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The SBI Show: Episode 59 (Looking back at MLS All-Star Week, talking Dempsey rumors, and more)

Michael Bradley


With the 2013 MLS All-Star Game Week in the books, and transfer rumors spreading like wildfire about U.S. Men’s National Team captain Clint Dempsey, there is no shortage of things to talk about in the latest episode of The SBI Show.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I look back at the memorable week in Kansas City, as Sporting KC put on an All-Star Week for the ages. The All-Star Game itself wasn’t all that memorable, but the events and buzz generated during the week in KC were unmatched.

We also discuss the Clint Dempsey rumors, and just how realistic they are. Brek Shea’s sprained MCL is also discussed, as is the latest SBI projection for the USMNT World Cup team.

We also discuss the NASL, which kicks off this weekend with the New York Cosmos returning to action after three decades away.

Give Episode 59 a listen after the jump:

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What did you think of the show? Agree with our World Cup roster projection? Still holding out hope that Dempsey is coming back to MLS? Did you agree that this past MLS All-Star Week was one for the ages?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. RE: Dempsey

    There’s one thing I don’t think I’ve heard mentioned about Dempsey’s motivation to come back to MLS. Building on Ives’ comments about Seattle being a more enticing deal than people give them credit for, is it possible that at the same time, Dempsey’s priorities may have changed? We all know his goal was to play in the Champions League, but I feel like as he was getting closer and seeing what that goal would look like if it were fulfilled. Perhaps he started thinking, “so when I make it to the Champions League, then what?” It began to look more and more unlikely that he would ever be that go-to guy on a competitive team in the Champions League, so in that light it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to see the appeal of coming into a decent squad, immediately becoming their superstar player, and having a chance to win the MLS Cup from year 1 (or 2). Especially when you consider Ives’ comments about the MLS being completely different from what it was when he left I think that it was a no-brainer given that Seattle was willing to put up the money.

  2. Well… Looks like Ives is not so well connected at all.

    He was 100% wrong on Dempsey to Seattle, and was wrong to make fun of DempseyWatch, proving he is one of those old voices that like Goff needs to leave the evaluation of transfer rumors to the professionals.

    This story was covered by our local TV and sports radio in Seattle to much a higher degree of accuracy than some glorified East Coast blogger.

    Don’t take this comment down Ives. That would just show how weak you actually are.

    • I just got done listening to the podcast this a.m. after learning of Dempsey’s agreement with the Sounders last night. I was surprised that Dempsey went to Seattle like most, but the manner in which Ives dismissed the idea as a ludicrous proposition was bothersome to me. He didn’t seem to have any inside info as to whether he was coming to Seattle or not, but seemed to be speaking in absolutes taht he most defintely would not come to the Sounders. If he would have stated his opinion, but at least acknowledged a slim possibility that a transfer was possible I would have found the discussion a bit more enjoyable. By the way I also agree that Garrett’s opinions seem to be dismissed in a manner that takes away from the show (maybe it’s just the phrasing used by Ives).

    • so he sort of whiffed on the dempsey story. so what! he generates crap loads of content every day and takes assertive positions on controversial topics constantly. of course he’s gonna whiff once in a while – particularly on transfer rumors. your anger and disdain is is ugly and unwarranted.

      • No anger. No disdain. No issue with someone beng wrong on a story whatsoever. I just thought his tone was so dismissive of at least the possibility of Dempsey’s move. I’m on Ives’s website multiple times a day, I obviously like and respect it very much.

  3. Multiple sources reporting that Dempsey to Seattle is done, including espnfc. I will believe it when it is finalized but still crazy

  4. Where’s the love for the Revs? They’re an up and coming young team, they’re in the playoff hunt, yet you never really talk about them. You often don’t review their game or discuss the upcoming game.

  5. Thanks for all the feedback folks, and I’m sure Garrett appreciates all the support and concern for me going at him this episode. I do want to clarify that I do respect Garrett and his opinions, and when I go at him it’s because that’s my style. Not because I don’t respect Garrett.

    Ultimately, whether you’re an MLS player, retired USMNT legend or Garret Cleverly, I’m going to come at you the same way if I’m defending my opinion and we disagree. That’s just my style. It’s East Coast, in your face. I’m right, you’re wrong, and if you’re think you’re not wrong then bring the noise and prove it. In the end it’s all in good fun, and it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea.

    And no, Garrett is not being replaced. He’s a big key for the show, and deserves a lot of credit because at the end of the day the SBI Show would never have happened if not for him and I coming together and me trusting him enough to finally make an SBI show a reality.

    Lastly, no, we’re not trying to be some First Take-like debate show, but once in a while you’re going to have disagreements and rants and back-and-forth banter. That’s going to happen. You can choose to agree with one side or another, but this whole “Stop being so mean” theme making the rounds here is funny. We’re grownups, nobody’s off crying in a corner after the show. Okay, maybe Garrett is. Haha. Just kidding.

    In the end, if we give folks something to entertain and inform and make people think about American soccer, then we’re doing our job. I can only hope we’re succeeding in that regard.

    • + 1 I don’t know why, but sometimes we soccer fans can be a touch too sensitive. I’m glad we care more about cetain things, but as evidenced by the bogus Dempsey watch, small things get taken way too far…

    • I guess Demps going to Seattle wasn’t that crazy. A little bit more respect for Garrett. By the way, if that is the East Cost style, its truly classless. Just my opinion.

  6. Little hard on Garrett this time Ives… you guys normally seem to have a good time but, Ives, you seemed a little cranky this podcast.
    You guys do a good podcast.

  7. Garrett is great and is clearly also an expert on the issues. He just doesn’t have the notoriety of Ives so he is looked down upon. Without him Ives will just toot his own horn and rant for a long time, Garrett moves the show along, and deserves respect. I mean lets be real Ives has never really taken conflicting opinions very well.

  8. Wow, what’s with all the hate you guys?
    Just a counter-point:
    I think this is all part of the narrative. I understand this is like an interview. Garrett is bringing up a point (sometimes it may be his opinion, sometimes it reflects reactions on SBI) about the initial reaction about the Brek Shea injury, and then Ives tells not Garrett, but us the soccer public who saw the injury as all doom & gloom, to calm down, this injury could have been much worse.

    The instance of the expansion MLS numbers, it was like a conversation btwn friends. If I or one of my friends tossed numbers out I’d say, “dude your pulling those numbers outta nowhere”. No big deal.

    I think Garrett’s fine. It’s nothing to do with him being “out of his league” or w/e. He’s the set up for Ives, who is the headliner act on the SBI show. Garret sets ’em up, Ives knocks ’em down. Garret alley’s it, Ives oop’s it. I actually think the dynamic duo works. They’re a good tandem.

  9. USMNT is playing magnificently, would be great if after qualifying for Brazil 2014 WC, they would play a friendly against Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  10. Meh cant get too excited about the all star game any more, its good exposure for the league but otyherwise it seems like a distraction. Never heard of Maclemore and Ryan Lewis and didnt think they were anything special. Im sure it was fun to be in KC but meh whatever back to the important stuff.

  11. Jesus Cristo, all you guys calling for Garret’s head are whack. I like him, he produces and directs the show well, has great rapport with Ives and helps to add humour and positive energy to the show.

    Ives is the star of the show so why all the fuss about Garret?

    I think they make a great team.

    • garrett does a find job hosting/producing. but i do agree with others that it wouldn’t hurt to have another strong voice on the show to get into it with ives. maybe play around with having a third once in a while? Love the show, having more discussion’/debate could keep it interesting.

      • That sounds like an ESPN style Skip Bayless waiting to happen. I can only speak for me, but I don’t want to sit and listen to people argue and “get into it”. I want thoughful opinions and analysis, not a shouting match.

  12. After listening to numerous of these podcasts, I’ve decided Garrett Cleverly needs to be replaced. He is like USL talent trying to make it in the MLS.

    The show is mostly a collection of Ives’s opinions because it lacks a co-host capable of challenging him and holding his own.. Whenever Ives starts in with “Listen, folks,..” you know he’s about to launch into a sililoguy of uncontested opinion. I’m not saying Ives is right or wrong because much of what he says is opinion which is fine, but Garrett is incapable of debating him, calling him out, or even presenting much in the way of contrasting points of view. It is for this reason that this podcast is not good as shows like MLS Extratime Radio or NASN’s Best Soccer Show. They have personalities capable of challenging each other so they are forced to back up their opinions or consider alternative theories/opinions.

  13. I’m a devoted listener of the show. Thanks for putting it out.

    Here’s my hopefully constructive feedback: Your open disregard for Garrett’s opinions is a weak point of the show for me. If you think he adds nothing of value to the show, get a new co-presenter. If not, treat his opinions with some respect.

    -Instead of saying he’s pulling numbers out of his *&^ on new franchise fees and startup costs, just explain why the NY experience might not be translatable to other markets (you did explain, just not respectfully).

    -The disagreement about Brek Shea’s injury news was bizarre. Garrett was obviously saying that the injury itself was bad news because he is trying to get into the coach’s good graces at Stoke. You acted like he was a moron for saying that because it was actually good news that it was only 4 weeks. You were both right and were just referencing different points in time (the injury itself as terrible news vs. the news that it was only 4 weeks as good news). No need to manufacture an ESPN style argument out of that…

    I do enjoy the show. Thanks.

    • He disregards Garret’s opinions because generally Garrett is a light weight compared to Ives. That’s the flaw of the show. See my comments below..which I was probably writing at the same time as you.

      • I agree with AH. Although Garrett’s opinions may not be as nuanced or informed as those that Ives provides, he does lend a decent attitude to the show (other than his obvious jealousy of anything East Coast) and keeps things flowing from topic to topic fairly well. I hardly ever feel like turning off the show and listening to something else, which is quite a testament, as I find it difficult to keep my attention on one thing for long.

        Ives, in support of what AH said, we understand and appreciate the face that sometimes you know or have heard things that Garrett and the rest of your audience has not. I think you can disagree with Garrett without necessarily being condescending. Just my two cents, thanks.

    • Yeah, I mean I understand where both of them are coming from. Both were right. It is a good thing in so far as it is not more serious and a bad thing in that he is missing time and still isn’t in shape and will be that much more behind.

    • I disagree. I like the back and forth banter and gentle abuse of Garret. Its like Ives is the big brother, teachin his lil bro how its done. And Garret seems game for it. I like the rapport they have.

    • I’m actually on board with some of this feedback. I dont listen to every show, but Ives, you do give the impression sometimes that Garrett’s opinions are worthless. Rather than accepting that somebody sees it differently than you, you sort of beat him into submission. Not sure what the purpose of that is but I think it hurts the chance for open dialogue.


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