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The SBI Podcast: Episode 9 (Talking Donovan, Rogers, Chivas USA, and more)

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The Major League Soccer season is still two weeks away, but there were some major news stories making waves this week on the MLS landscape, with Landon Donovan and Robbie Rogers serving as the key newspapers in recent days.

In the latest episode of The SBI Podcast, co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss Donovan’s decision to delay his return to the LA Galaxy until late March, and we talk about the news of Robbie Rogers’ decision to come out as a gay man and step away from pro soccer.

Those are just two of the topics we discuss. We also touch on the U.S. Men’s National Team player pool as well as on who is doing well in MLS pre-season. We talk Chivas USA, and their unbeaten pre-season and their roster moves, and we also discuss the U.S. Under-20 national team as they prepare to kick off CONCACAF Under-20 qualifying later today.

Be sure to give the show a listen and let us know what you think about the topics covered.

Enjoy the show (Episode 9 of The SBI Podcast is after the jump)

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What did you think of this week’s show? What’s your take on Donovan’s decision to come back late in March? Still surprised by Rogers’ announcement? Agree or disagree with our take on Chivas USA?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives and other commenters…

    I just HAVE to ask your opinion on this because I do not know what to think about it (sorry it is not really related to the actual podcast). I am not a doomsday naysayer, but let’s say the US ended up finishing 4th in qualifying and had a do-or-die two legged matchup against the Oceania champion. Without the worry of a pro-Mexican or pro-Central American crowd (unless they just came to root against the US), where do you think US Soccer would put this ONE home match where we would be playing for our World Cup lives? Columbus? Kansas City? Don’t tell me where you’d selfishly like it because you could personally attend the match, but rather where you think it would be. I would guess Columbus, especially if the US continued its run by beating Mexico (in which case we’d probably finish above 4th place, but I digress)…but don’t really know. Thoughts?

  2. The problem “IS” that our youth teams and players are NOT growing because of “technical direction.” As a Nation we already lack infrastructural talent, and the youth that chooses to play our beloved sport over the others (basketball, baseball, American Football, etc.) are managed by the same scissor cut coaches (Ramos, Rogen, the colombian, Caleb Porter and others) who lack youth development from the international experience. As a soccer nation we should be bringing in top rated youth coaches from around the world, period, “if” we want to compete with the best.

    by the way…Klinsmann should not be coaching our MNT … Guus Hiddink should…

  3. Ives, your description of what we should expect to see from the U20s against Haiti couldnt have been more opposite from what we ended up seeing. We supposedly will possess, be more technical, and pressure the opposition, but the fans rarely see this. This also seems to be a trend with all of our mens national teams. I would love to see journalists like yourself asking more questions of US soccer and its coaches.

    • Just because a team didn’t play to its strength, or do well what it is supposed to be good at, doesn’t mean the team isn’t built that way. The U.S. lineup is built to focus on technical play, sharp passing and possession. Clearly they didn’t get that job done, but that’s what they were supposed to do. A singer who has a bad night, and can’t hit his/her notes, is still a singer. It doesn’t suddenly make them a piano player. Just a bad singer, or singer who had a bad night.

      I think you, and most, should probably wait till you have more than just one match before you go making declarative statements about what this U-20 team can or can’t do. I’m not saying they’re going to wake up and be amazing from here on out, but one bad game doesn’t tell the whole story. Two things I did state pretty clearly are A) the defense is the big question mark with this team and B) this team isn’t as good as the 2011 U-20 team. Those points remain true in my mind, but I suppose you missed those 😉

      • Ives, first of all I dont believe I made a “declarative statement about the what the U20 team can and cant do”. While I had not seen all of them play before, I had seen several of them before and as a result completely agreed with your preview about what we should have expected to see. The fact that I wasnt questioning the talent of the U20 players is precisely why I brought up coaching and US Soccer’s approach to development. We are seeing a trend of our teams not being prepared for qualifying competitions as demonstrated by the amount of experimenting that is still going on DURING qualifying. All of the experimenting should be done, analyzed, and decided upon before qualifying begins. Instead we are seeing national teams filled with good players that dont appear to know what they are suppose to do or have a cohesive plan for how they are suppose to play. This alarms US fans. Jimmy Conrad is making silly videos that are clearly mocking Klinsmann’s abililty so in light of that I doubt I am jumping to hasty conclusions. Maybe there is a perfectly good explanation for what we are seeing, but I yet to see it. Ramos and Klinsmann repeatedly appear to blame the players for having to do better.

    • Hey Ives I liked what Shane said, I think you’re a great journalist and are a real trailblazer for our sport. I feel there is something missing in our relationship between soccer journalists in this country towards the likes of high profile foreign coaches?

      In all other sports the journalists grill coaches for losses or “ill- advised” line ups. I think because we are “newer” at soccer and that we have this perception that “klinsmann knows all” we are afraid to probe, question and grill him. As a country we have been playing team sports for decades and we do know when a team has talent and isn’t coached or put together properly, regardless of what sport we are playing. Kilinmann recently went on a rant about our players not doing s#$% and that we haven’t achieved anything yet as a nation-true, but if he can be critical of us, we need to be critical of him and demand the same standard.

      I believe we have talent in this country and I think we can go toe to toe with a lot of power house nations, but you can’t blame the players if they are not set up to succed. We had a 3 week camp in January to learn how to break down a Canadian team that we knew was going to bunker down-3 weeks!! And we didn’t improve from the last time we played them. I know the US players were better than Canada’s so that leaves me to believe that Klinsmann is not teaching how to break down teams, how to control a game or putting personnel in their natural positions.

      These are the questions I would like the journalists to hold him to. He is getting paid a lot and I know he has done a great job of shifting the culture from the youths up , but he needs to coach the game as he was taugh, and the media needs to hold him responsible to that.

      • I think this whole notion of the media “not holding Klinsmann accountable” is laughable. He gets asked tough questions after losses, and gets criticized for decisions he makes, so I don’t really get what it is people think isn’t being done. The only real difference between coverage in the USA and coverage in other countries is the amount of coverage. What I think some folks fail to realize is that just because there is a question YOU believe should be asked doesn’t mean A) it should be asked and B) it isn’t being asked.

        Do people really think journalists were going to “grill” Klinsmann about his team drawing a friendly with a B-C team? Really? Aside from the fact that there weren’t many regular national USMNT writers at that match, I’m going to bet there were still some questions asked about the team’s poor showing. Klinsmann is asked questions regularly about his decisions, and he defends each one in his way and that’s passed on. He’s also criticized repeatedly in pieces across the media landscape.

        Klinsmann has an easier time than coaches in other countries because in other countries the national team is the most important sports team in the country, and each paper and website devotes multiple writers, including columnists, to dissect every aspect of the team and bash struggling teams/coaches in every way imaginable. He does NOT have an easier time because those of us who actually cover the USMNT on a regular basis aren’t “doing our jobs”. Getting on the people who cover the USMNT because you think we’re not doing our jobs is absolutely misguided, and shows a complete lack of understanding of the media coverage the national team receives.

  4. Ives:

    Maybe Donovan isn’t coming back becasue he doesn’t feel challenged by klinsmann and maybe doesn’t respect him? What say you?

  5. No interviews NICE! In all seriousness, though, I was worried that the interviews would ruin the podcast but you guys have done a nice job. It’s down to one per show at most and it’s always topical so it fits seamlessly into the show as opposed to some other shows where the guest is sort of random.

  6. Ives, if I may, I think of all the podcasts I listen to, yours is the most I’d like to hear take calls/emails from fans. Generally, your blog is really interactive with q&a’s and such, it seems natural to me.


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