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The SBI Show: Episode 37 (Looking back at USA-Belgium, ahead to USA-Germany, MLS Week 14, and more)

Clint Dempsey

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With the USA-Belgium friendly in the rearview mirror, and the upcoming friendly against Germany looming on Sunday, the latest episode of The SBI Show puts special focus on the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Co-Host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss the U.S. team’s 4-2 loss to Belgium, and we take a closer look at the options at Jurgen Klinsmann’s disposal when the U.S. take on Germany at RFK Stadium.

We also discuss MLS Week 14, including the match-up of the weekend featuring Montreal and Sporting KC.

The MLS discussion also delves into the U.S. Open Cup results of the week, and the recent departure of Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, also known as ‘El Chelis’, from Chivas USA.

Here is Episode 37 of The SBI Show:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=000fff&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=’166′ iframe=”true” /]

What did you think of the show? Agree on our take on the USA-Belgium match? What MLS Week 14 match are you most looking forward to? Think Chivas USA should be taken over by MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives’ observation about wondering when Jones becomes a liability for leaving his role… been saying this from the get go. One of our most talented players, but if he were more disciplined in his role (not tackles or such) he’d be full time beast mode.

  2. If bookies are taking bets on this game? Always surprised how unaware many Americans are about how vast soccer betting is. You can go to the main online bookmakers and bet on Norwegian women’s soccer. You can certainly bet on a USA-Germany match!

    From bwin, price is return on a $1 bet, including your original dollar.

    USA 4.60
    Draw 3.80
    Germany 1.70

    In soccer they don’t generally refer to teams as being a “2 goal favorite” or anything like that, though you could probably get a fairly even bet giving Germany a +1.5 handicap, which is basically the same idea..

  3. No need to panic just yet guys. I am glad Klinsi has the cachet to schedule these tough friendlies against physically imposing and technically and athletically more gifted teams. And, in fact, the results really don’t matter.

    The only problem I see is that our boys will get use to opponents who stand their ground and won’t know how to handle the CONCACAF flopping that goes on versus Central American sides, in particular. There is more diving in one game against CONCACAF than in ten friendlies against Northern Euro teams.

  4. Ives, all of the USA’s deficiencies fall on the fact that the US players are not at the level that fans expect. The USA wasn’t even competitive in the Belgium match. It was an A squad versus a B squad.

    it’s time for the staff and players to step up or sit down.

    • I have been critical of many of Klinnsmann’s selections. However, I dont think the Belgium game was a fair game to judge him by. USMNT was approaching a 5 game stretch. Two of the games are meaningless friendlies. We had players missing (Johnson, Bradley and Castillo). We also have young players that he’s saving for the Gold Cup. I’m more concerned about the qualifiers than friendlies. If Klinnsmann doesn’t do well in the qualifiers then it will be a different story.

    • DC Josh,

      “Ives, all of the USA’s deficiencies fall on the fact that the US players are not at the level that fans expect. The USA wasn’t even competitive in the Belgium match. It was an A squad versus a B squad”

      I don’t know what all US fans expect but if you are comparing talent pools, Belgium is A level and the US is B or C level.
      The USMNT is not responsible for that. They just pick the best available players and try to make them into a representative team.

      “it’s time for the staff and players to step up or sit down.”

      That is a little dramatic and exaggerated. It’s a friendly, a glorified warm up scrimmage. These particular US players do not have a long history together and they haven’t played together for TWO months. The USMNT has traditionally been slow out of the gate in such circumstances.

      The Belgians have been idle that long as well but their players DO have a long history together and in terms of overall and individual talent are a step or two above the US.
      Given all that, the result was entirely predictable.

      And you are wrong, the US was competitive, They came back to tie and were looking good for a while but the Belgians smartly killed that off and kept the pressure on until near the end. That is what good teams do.

  5. Hmmm. What’s the intro beat, IG? Its the same sample that Masta Ace used on “Good Ol Love”, but the drums are a lot harder.

  6. A few thoughts,

    1. Why are US fans panicking? Because it is too late to be finding what players will step up. That should have been done before WCQ began. Klinsmann should be capable of identifying those players way sooner than he has. These tough friendlies should be for the purpose of helping the starting XI solidify and gel together as a team for the upcoming CRUCIAL qualifiers

    2. Ives, “not a US fan” – I’m hurt.

    3. People who question the loyalty/commitment of the German-American players are “stupid”? Sorry it is completely reasonable to question this. These players grew up in another country and do not know nor have they ever played with or against the US-based players. Questioning whether they want to win as badly and have the same pride about wearing the USA jersey is natural and Timmy Chandler proves this. You can disagree with this concern, but saying people who have it are stupid is, well, stupid.

    • The concern over German-American players is ridiculous and you further prove that by citing one player versus the slew of others who have dedicated themselves to the US squad. Jermaine received two stitches in his ankle at halftime against Costa Rica and then went out and played for another 40 minutes. Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams have shown nothing but commitment to the US squad. Hell, even Timmy says he’s only focused on getting back for the June qualifiers right now.

  7. I’m sure I will catch some slack but Ives mentioned it in the podcast. The defense has looked weak for months. Would it not be worth it to give Bocanegra and Gooch a look? They are both playing(training) at a higher level than the current center defenders. ??

    • Boca should absolutely be in camp. He was incredible in the Jamaica World Cup Qualifier in Columbus. He totally controlled and owned our defensive half in that game. It is just plain dumb that Klinsmann suddenly completely dropped our captain from the team and I have to wonder why.

      • Shane,

        When JK dropped Boca, Los had not been playing for a while.
        It was Honduras away, with Azteca, the two most difficult away qualifiers the US will have in the Hex. It was also the first one so if you were going to take a chance on someone that was the time to do it.

        Just to step back for a minute, it was clear after the last WC that the US was going to need at least one preferably two new young CB’s for 2014. The hope was that Boca would be able to mentor the new guy/s or even play alongside them in 2014. And that was looking good until Rangers FC had their financial meltdown and unsettled Boca to where he had to move to Spain and a screwed up club in Santader. Had that not happened I think Boca is still starting and captaining the USMNT.
        In 2012 there were three CB’s of particular interest invited to Camp Cupcake, Gonzo, George John, and Cameron. Gonzo begged off to trial at Nuremburg only to get hurt. George John begged out to trial at West Ham where he failed to win a job, came back to Dallas and has been hurt off and on or out of form off and on ever since.

        Cameron stayed and eventually won a regular job. Unfortunately Geoff transferred to Stoke where he has played regularly and everywhere BUT at centerback. His last few US games suggest it hasn’t helped his USMNT CB form.

        So here it is June of 2013 and the US should have really had at least one of these guys going by now but for what I would call a fair amount of bad luck.

        Given the circumstances then throwing Gonzo in at the deep end was an acceptable risk and should still prove to be the right move in the end.And Boca is now playing regularly so we shall see.

        The silver lining through this CB train wreck is the emergence of Besler who is very raw but may prove, in the end, the best of the lot.

    • Because the young centerbacks have to go through growing pains and I rather have them crushed by Belgium in a meaningless game than beat by Ghana or Slovenia in the World Cup.

    • I am also concerned, but CroCajun is right. On the one hand, I resent Gonzo for being a regular pro who makes the same mental mistakes over and over again. On the other hand, the guy is relatively young, definitely inexperienced on this level, and he did ok during the March qualifiers. Give him a little more time. I still think we qualify, even if by the skin of our teeth.

  8. More than the result, the thing that worries me is the absence of shots on goal in the run of play. This has been a consistent problem over a long period of time. The coach promised an attractive, attacking type of soccer. This has not developed.

    From my perspective the failure to put offensive pressure on goal comes more from player selection as well as coaching. Klinsman seems to shoot himself in the foot by selecting and playing so many defensive midfielders at the same time. He needs to select more creative wings and midfielders.

    Offensively, we lack creative wings and movement off the ball. We don’t seem to make good runs of move well. We also don’t seem to make good, creative passes that put pressure on the goal.

      • I don’t agree with Ken. I think Bradley and Jones are just plain old midfielders, with defensive and attacking qualities. Both play with grit, and Jones is a little tougher, but Jones also likes to create stuff. I think what Ken meant to say was that we need a better pure defensive midfielder and then a true #10 playmaker in front of him.

    • “Klinsman seems to shoot himself in the foot by selecting and playing so many defensive midfielders at the same time. He needs to select more creative wings and midfielders.”


      I read this criticism a lot. It’s inaccurate and frankly, a lazy one.

      Midfielders by definition should be adept at both offense and defense.

      MB90, Jones, Edu, Beckerman, Sacha, Danny Williams, Dempsey, Shea, Zusi and JFT are the midfielders that I think most often come to mind as associated with JK’s US teams.

      Only Danny Williams and Beckerman could fairly be described as primarily defensive midfielders and both can get forward if required.

      I think JK picks the best midfielders available and assigns them roles with various degrees of offense and defensive responsibilities.
      On a given day, if everyone in the pool is in form and available the USMNT can beat anyone.

      The problem is “everyone in the pool is in form and available” is not often true. The US does not have an excess of talent. What JK has been mostly doing is trying to dig up more depth.

      And while the team is undergoing this “discovery “ phase, offensive cohesion will suffer.

      Why do you think JK keeps adding game after game to the schedule? The failure to get into the Confed Cup and the Olympics has certainly hurt JK’s “discovery” process.
      JK isn’t just trying to figure out who his starters are, he’s trying figure out who their backups are. After all it’s still a year out and the backups might well over take the starters in the upcoming season, before the World Cup.

      Remember JK had 13 fewer games than BB did before playing his first WC qualifier.

      Besides the WC and the Gold Cup, all these game are just dress rehearsals for the real thing and should be viewed in that light.

  9. Great show, guys. I wish Chelis would coach another team in MLS that is better run than Chivas USA. He has personality, which I think is lacking in the coaching ranks, with only two or three exceptions…

  10. Loved this show guys! I love when you guys get fired up. Line of the day: “…But I want to feel good, Ives!” (Garrett).

    PS: Ives, you said that you were not a USA fan. Do you have a favorite international team whom you are emotionally attached to? Any club teams you love?

    • Believe he has mentioned in the past he doesn’t really have a favorite international team but has said he has some ties to Peru if he had to pick one

    • as surprised as I was to hear this as well… I have to admit I really like the fact that he is dispassionate. It allows me to take his observations with a different weight than some other blogs that are out there where it’s easy to see they have an axe to grind.


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