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The SBI Podcast: Episode 12 (Talking U.S. U-20s, Holden and a preview of the MLS Western Conference)

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With the 2013 MLS Season just three days from kicking off, The SBI Podcast will be taking a look at the upcoming campaign and we start our close look with a preview of the Western Conference.

Co-Host Garrett Cleverly and I break down the West, and the teams that should compete for the top spot in the conference, as well as the team most likely to be the pleasant surprise of the season.

We also discuss the U.S. Under-20 National Team’s victory against Canada, and their qualification for the Under-20 World Cup. We also touch on Stuart Holden’s return to league action for Bolton, and even the latest on Clint Dempsey’s minor injury situation.

Here is Episode 12 of The SBI Podcast:

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What do you think of our picks? Excited about the U.S. Under-20 National Team? What do you think of Holden’s return for Bolton?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. hey ives, i love the podcasts but can only listen to them at nite while multitasking….are you going to create a section heading for the podcasts?? Thanks

  2. To:Ives

    From: FCD

    Subject: Our concerns

    We worry about the transition into a new formation, we worry about whos going to be starting at GK, We worry about Cooper and Perez gelling, We worry if Jacobson&Warshaw can hold down the middle, We worry about our boy Zach Loyds form, we worry that we don’t know if we like J.Benitez or not, we worry about how to pronounce our new players (Michels) name. WE DO NOT worry about Brek Shea being gone,nor do we worry about our ace CB George John. Never have and likely never will.

    • How much does George John pay you to type this? You complain about every position on the field except him. It’s the GK’s fault and the CM’s fault, even the RB’s fault. Basically everyone except George John. Are you actually George John posting to make yourself feel better?

  3. Ives please understand the difference between someone having a disappointing year due to NOT BEING ON THE FIELD (injuries) and a disappointing year due to POOR FORM. They are not synonymous and yet consistently you seem to interchange those in reference to G.John. You did it here and you did it in the past referencing his rookie campaign.

    And look, before you cop out and say “its common knowledge” that he was in poor form* ask yourself …..

    1. Can I link to an article from the Dallas (hell even National) press, a blog post (even mine) where this poor play was called out/documented? How about a post game quote from Schellas Hyndman -EVER? Can I even point to a single game that I saw him play poorly in last year? How about just 1 goal where I saw John screw the pooch last year? So why did I say he was in poor form?

    Cmon son

    • I get that you’ve been the president of his fan club since day one on this site, and I can respect that, but whether you want to agree or not in MY opinion his form wasn’t as good in 2012 as it was in 2011 (and yes, I mean when he was on the field, not out injured). For me, he took a step back.

      In 2011, John was thoroughly dominant, there was talk about the national team and Europe and him taking his Greek passport and landing a big contract overseas. By end of 2012 he was re-signing with MLS and any talk about the national team had evaporated. Do you honestly think his stock hasn’t dropped? Really? If not, I suppose we’ll just agree to disagree.

    • boosted 335

      “Ives please understand the difference between someone having a disappointing year due to NOT BEING ON THE FIELD (injuries) and a disappointing year due to POOR FORM. They are not synonymous and yet consistently you seem to interchange those in reference to G.John.”

      In sport the distinction you are trying to make is often minimal, useful mostly as a mindless debating point.

      When GJ burst on the scene he was seen as dominant.

      If a player is not as dominant as he once was there is always a reason. Injury will hurt your form.

      If there is no physical injury then the search for the reason for your loss of form is even more difficult.

      It may be due to a change in the team personnel; strategy, coaching or maybe your opponents are catching up to you, getting better, figuring you out. And even after you recover from an injury, there is always a concern about whether you will ever be able to be the same. The difference between being dominant and just being good can often be pretty slim.

      None of this really matters. The fact remains you are not as dominant.

      In John’s case just before he was hurt he also suffered the great disappointment of failing with that trial at West Ham. Regardless of the reasons, such failures hurt and it is impossible for any of us to know how much that might have affected him. Perhaps it had no effect but it has negatively affected others in the past.

      George John isn’t the first and won’t be the last, one or two year wonder on the US soccer scene. Fans have a tendency to think that if you are great for one season and are reasonably young and strong that it will always be that way.

      It’s not that easy.

      On the other hand, there is no reason to assume he can’t recover to have another great season.

      As for the USMNT his chances have decreased because his competition has been busy making their case. At this point GJ is very rapidly running out of time to make his case that he would be better for the US than Cameron, Gonzo, Besler and whoever else is in the mix.

      And JK can only work with whoever shows up and GJ has been less than great about showing up for what ever reason.

      If you are Donovan and a great track record you can do that.

      GJ has no such record.


  4. I’m beginning to wonder whether ANYBODY has actually SEEN John Anthony Brooks much less seen him play. The kid is 6-3/6-4 Tops and 170lbs. He IS NOT 6’7″

    • I’ve seen him play several times and the 6-7 number is what he’s being listed at these days. He was 6-4 and apparently had a growth spurt. He definitely looks abnormally tall, but no, I’ve never been around him in person to verify the 6-7 number. It might sound like an improbable height, but having recently seen Marquette centerback Axel Sjoberg a few times (he’s also that tall), it is possible for a centerback to be that height and be effective.

      • Sure, Mertesacker has had a perfectly good career at 6’6″

        Though, I have not been able to verify his height in person.

      • It’s a great podcast, but the conclusion to the evaluation of Vancouver was a little difficult to get a handle on. Was Vancouver going to under-perform because Ives thinks that Martin Rennie has some kind of managerial ADD?

      • When LA was without gonzo last year they struggled. I imagine that if they lose him via transfer or national team game the same will happen. Landon too. You take those two off, they are still a playoff team but not a top 2 team: especially in the west were every team is going for the playoffs.

  5. (record tearing sound) “YO YO REDMAN! What the #$#% is that punk smooth ISH? Get with that rough ISH!”

    love that beat! Classic. You guys should start letting the instrumentals ride in the background the whole time. And if only you knew a dj who could then mix the beats the whole time underneath it. (hint, hint. haha)

  6. Only briefly mentioned U20s centerbacks, but it piqued my interest. What is the situation with John Anthony Brooks? Is he eligible/comitted for the US for the U20 world cup?


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