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The SBI Show: Episode 68 (Looking back at USA-Mexico, and more)

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With the latest U.S. Men’s National Team victory over Mexico in the books, it is time to look back at Tuesday’s 2-0 victory in detail as The SBI Show makes its return.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss the U.S. team’s victory in Columbus, including the players who stepped up the most, and what the result means for struggling Mexico. We also take a look at the rest of the Hexagonal Group.

We also take questions from listeners in the latest installment of The SBI Show Q&A, with topics ranging from John Anthony Brooks, to the October qualifiers.

Give Episode 68 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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What did you think of the show? Agree with our take on the USA-Mexico match? Think the USA-Mexico match should be played outside Columbus?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. in total disagreement with Ives that “US benefits if mexico qualifies…”

    If the situation was reversed and mexico had a chance to eliminate the US you better believe they would drive the dagger in and twist it.

    This past US-CR game in San Jose was not so much revenge for the snow-game in Denver as it was revenge for the 2009 US-CR game in US soil that literately knocked CR out of the 2010 World Cup.

    US-CR games never lack drama/controversy as they played 6 minutes of extra time with the US scoring and salvaging a draw as time expired.

    In everybody is out for themselves… no favors.

  2. Ives and Garrett,

    Excellent show. The level of the shows keeps rising. Kudos to you both.

    An important point to make about the USA’s last two qualifiers,…it is absolutely in the USMNT’s interest to win those games. While most consider the FIFA rankings to be useless,…they are nevertheless a component of the seeding for the WC. Therefore it is in their best interests to win those games and boost the ranking for seeding purposes.

  3. Why in the world does Ives think only the USMNt will only field MLS players against Panama.

    Klinsmann has already stated that he is going to field his strongest side against both Jamaica and Panama.

    • Why? Because history has shown this to be the case every time the U.S. has already clinched early. They bring a weakened team. Would it be great if Klinsmann called in the full-strength team? Sure, but I just don’t see it happening based on past history.

      • But the interesting conflict is that MLS will still be playing games during the FIFA break (many with playoff implications) and the Euro teams will not. Expect some “mix and match.”

      • I wouldn’t be surprised to see 2 separate rosters. AZ won’t be crazy about AJ coming, but if it’s to KC and return, that’s a better deal. Same for Boyd. These guys want the chance to perform and JK needs to keep the MLS coaches happy, too.

  4. I would much rather bounce Honduras from the WC than Mexico, if its possible…so much more respect for teams with quality and style (Panama & El Tri) than cheap thugs (Honduras & Ticos)

    As for the rest of our games; our MLS/LigaMX based roster can still easily beat Jamaica in KC.
    Bench: S, Johnson, Goodson, Orozco, Castillo, Corona, Davis, McCarty, Agudelo, Wondo, JackMac..

  5. Ives, I heard your call for writers on the podcast. I have a writing background and experience. Is there an e-mail address where I could contact you? I am having trouble finding a contact source on this site.

  6. Captaincy is about team leadership. His continuing to wear the armband should be based on who Jurgen thinks offers the best leadership. Obviously, should be a consistent starter who is respected by both team and coach. From the outside looking in, I think that Bradley would make the best choice. From the inside, I might think otherwise. Short term, the arm band has been used by coaches to effect change by putting greater responsibility on a players shoulders to bring about maturity/greater selflessness. Perhaps Jurgen thinks that Dempsey is the best captain. Perhaps he is trying to effect change. We will probably never know.

  7. Ives – please remind me of the podcast where you went on a tirade when someone (klinsmann) suggested carlos bocanegra ought to have his captains armband stripped and then be dumped from the team entirely. would love to hear that

    awsome player still playing a high level (MLS). dempsey = bocanegra

    i dont remember the big fuss over boca

  8. Ives – ill take your bet. this team is gearing up for a WC. most of the guys you mentioned will be there (i bet)

    Ives answering question about diskerud (i dont partiularly care for diskerud):
    – its all about RIGHT NOW

    Ives answering a question about clint dempsey (I happen to like dempsey)
    – look what he has done in the PAST
    – clint dempsey – 776 minutes – ALMOST 9 FULL GAMES – between USMNT and seattle – without goal from run of play

    – as of right NOW i think CD should start big games. if CD is not playing well come June I think JK should at least consider rotating an in-form player for dempsey in a game or two.

    – with a lot of mileage on legs, seems like worth considering rotating dempsey if he is not making big impact and continuing to play at sub-dempsey level come June

    maybe Ives can continue to talk about dempseys PAST accomplishments to explain why dempsey should be a lock starter through June without question

  9. Great show. I don’t miss it.

    I disagree re Mexico losing out is bad for the region and US.

    A). It shows just how good the region is improving if a team like Mexico can’t even place in the top 4.
    B). In broader look, Mexico not qualifying has implications on the youth and programs. It becomes much easier for 7 year old mexican-american to aspire to the US team. It certainly helps remove some of the glitter and mystique of the Mexico team that US fans are constantly swimming upstream against.

    • Very good points “Left Wing”. Something I’ve heard from several of my Mexican American friends, when I’ve called or texted them to gloat is “well at least I can still root for the US”. Which of course is BS, they can’t steal my thunder like that. It does got to show that you are right, having Mexico out might start to tilt the balance and bring more Mexican Americans into the team US camp.

      I don’t think Ives point is necessarily wrong though. If you assume that Mexico will perform better than a Panama. If Mexico shows up and looks as awful as they have in qualifying then having them in the World Cup does very little for the region. If the old Mexico shows up… they would definitely represent better.

      I still would get a huge kick out of El Tri not qualifying. Personally it would be worth the lost prestige to CONCACAF so I could enjoy our bitter rivals demise.

      • Agreed. While I think it would stink for CONCACAF to not have Mexico at the World Cup, if they were not there, can you imagine having damn near the entire country getting behind the US undivided? And to add to that, if we make a deep run, we will draw in the casual fans into the fold as well. Exciting possibilities.

    • Good points. I’ve never bought the argument that Mexico not qualifying hurts the US by hurting the region. That argument is never actually thoroughly articulated. I agree that a strong Mexico team gives the US more of a challenge in competition and that that can have a positive effect for the US, but Mexico being strong is different from Mexico qualifying. Mexico is Mexico, whether they manage to qualify or not. And I think people also overvalue the effect of another CONCACAF team advancing to the knockout stages and how that makes the region look. Mexico getting to the round of 16 vs. Panama getting knocked out in group play isn’t going to have a significant effect on what the world thinks of CONCACAF. And any marginal effect it does have isn’t going to actually change anything for the US. It’s not going to result in European teams suddenly paying more money for American players.

  10. Love when Ives loses his sh1t and starts going off.

    I think some people don’t love Dempsey because he does that thing when he loses the ball or gets fouled, he just kinds sits there for a while, or throws up his arms. You see him walking a lot, he looks lazy sometimes, let’s be honest. But if you don’t see that he is one of our best/most valuable players of all time, then you are a fool. The dude is a beast. He has come through in a clutch so many times, I’m losing track. He has the best ball handling skills/best outside shot of any US player that I can remember.

    • I get so frustrated when people call him, or Jozy, or whomever is playing striker for the day lazy. Their job is not to run burn all their energy chasing defenders when they’ve lost the ball. Watch a Baracelona game and tell me what happens when Messi losses the ball. He doesn’t jump to his feet right away and run as hard as he can to get it back. Why? Because it’s a total waste of energy and not his role.

      It’s unbelievable to me that anyone who knows anything about Demspey would call him lazy. He is the epitome of hard working.

      • I don’t think he’s lazy and appreciate what he does and has done for the team. But, you have to admit that it is frustrating to watch opposing players dribble right by him after a turnover while he complains about a no-call or just walks and watches the ball roll by a few feet away. I am not asking that he chase counter attacks all the way back to his own 18. What I am asking is that he get in front of and slow down a counter when he or a teammate loses the ball.

    • I agree with this.. And why I have hated to see Dempsey out there and loved it in a span of 15 mins. If he would just hustle for the 50/50 and hold the ball with more muscle he wouldn’t be second guessed.

      As it is now that he’s in MLS as well, the leash of what have you done for me lately as a USMNT becomes shorter.

    • You see him walking a lot, he looks lazy sometimes, let’s be honest. This is what pisses me off of this guy, like he is too good that the ball need to come to him and not go after it. Acting more like Cuathemoc Blanco then playing soccer.

  11. Ives, did someone piss in your Cheerios before the Q&A? Settle down there…

    Jokes aside, great voice of reason about Mix and Demps. I also was on the brooks/AJ bandwagon for the qualis in October but after hearing your take, wouldn’t be surprised if they are left in Europe.

    • Ives & Acid, I really don’t think you guys are right on this one. I believe that we will see a significant # of European players for the final 2 qualifiers. Most leagues are on break. European Qualifiers are going on at the same time. So clubs in Europe will take that week off. Most teams good enough to field international players understand and expect their players to get called into national teams during that time period. Will there be a few exceptions where a player is better suited to stay with their clubs, yes. I think on the whole, Jurgen wants an opportunity to try to continue to work on solidifying his best team. This will be one of only a few times to do that before next summer comes. I think he will take the opportunity and mix in some different ideas he has wanted to try with many of his best players.

      In addition, doesn’t FIFA require teams to release players for official World Cup Qualifiers? We may not want to get in a shouting match with club teams, but I think FIFA rules would be on Klinsman’s side if he wanted to bring in his best players.

      • I think it absolutely behooves Klinnsman to fight to at least get Brooks, Johannsson, and Mix in for those games. This is about US success at the World Cup. It’s no time for niceties. You have to do what’s in the best interests of US Soccer.

  12. Ives, I am with you about Mexico qualifying. As much as I love watching them fall deeper in the Hex standings, I still want them at the World Cup. They always represent CONCACAF well at the World Cup.

      • I’m at work and can’t listen to the podcast, but I’m missing how Mexico’s inability to qualify would lose slots. Wouldn’t it help prove that concacaf is more competitive and thus deserving of as many or more slots.

      • If teams from a region perform bad at the WC they are at the risk of losing spots in the future. OP is probably thinking that Mexico is more likely to do well in the WC than say Panama, even though they are playing worse currently.

      • this. Panama has the same record as Mexico in the hex but they are reaching for it not underachieving. Who has more of a shot improve and do well in the WC? I’d say Mexico because they have the individual talent to play well if they can put it together.

      • I don’t really see it as problematic if CONCACAF loses that half slot. If the US has to worry about finishing 3rd vs. 4th, we’ve got bigger issues.

      • You dont see a problem with that? Less slots for a region means less publicity in the WC for that region and it also means that region is viewed as weaker. Which then hurts teams in that region. Spots in the WC are a HUGE deal which is why CAF was recently complaining about their allotment.

      • I disagree. I think this effect is overrated. A fourth CONCACAF team going to the World Cup and failing to get out of the group stages is going to have only a marginal impact on how the confederation is viewed. I don’t think this helps the US much. It’s not like it’s going to make Euro teams go out and spend more money on American players or something.

        If the region as a whole gets stronger, that can help the US. But the region getting stronger and having a 4th team in the WC are not the same thing. For that 4th team, getting into the WC can have a positive impact on making their program stronger, but I think it’s way down on the list of factors affecting national team strength, well behind things like the nation’s size and economy, the people in charge of the national soccer hierachy, and pure luck as far as talent being generated. If you don’t have good people in charge, for example, the benefits of getting to the World Cup will be squandered.

      • The WC would do just fine without Mexico and their representation would mean nothing when they have had more head coaches than wins. Go Panama!!!!

  13. Solid show, fellas.

    Thank you, Ives, for your point about Dempsey and him being the captain. It just seems like people forget too easily what this guy has done. I’m trying to remember if this many people were yelling for Boca to lose the armband when he had garbage games…

    • Garbage games and a lack of effort are different things. Clint appears to be not putting in much effort. The diving and whining aren’t helping his case.

    • Enjoyed the show on the way to work this morning…keep up the great work.

      Not a time to complain afetr such a solid win…the myth and legend of Columbus grows on…

      I gotta agree with Paul on this one. I truly appreciate what Dempsey has done in WCQ. No one was scoring inthe first 3 games of the HEX except for Dempsey. But, I do not understand why he is not helping on defense. After the US turns over the ball, Dempsey is literally watching the opposing players dribble by him to start the counter attack. I don’t know if it is a preserve energy thing, but I don’t like it, especially when you see the other players fighting to win back the ball high up the field.

  14. I think Mix is probably going to Brazil. Who is his competition? Kljestan..? Beckerman..? He does good things everytime he wears the US jersey. And there are certainly people who akready have a ticket yo Brazil. I understand what you mean Ives, but I come on. We know there absolute lock starters for the WC.

  15. … Am I the only one who thinks the audio was actually BETTER than usual for this episode? It was clear on both sides with no normalization issues… Garrett, let Frankensetup live!

    As for the content, I wish the question had been about Dempsey’s fitness to be captain from the perspective of his leadership qualities vs. his consistency, since the latter is indeed stupid. I think most USMNT and Deuce fans think Bradley should be captain, though we don’t exactly know these guys personally or see them behind the scenes. (Dempsey not having the armband would make it easier for Landon to reassume PK duties…)

    • It be weird to just take it away from Dempsey now though. Potentially volatile.I didn’t like the choice originally because I thought Bradley was consistently, there’s that word again, our best player as well as a vocal leader with an unwaring motor. But Deuce is the captain now, and you have to figure that’s the way it will stay until the cycle is done. At least.

      • I’m not sure Dempsey should even be in the starting XI. His best position is as a second FW so if the team used a system with two strikers he would do better. In the 4-2-3-1 they use him as a CAM. That position is for a playmaker, a number “10” which Dempsey is not. Dempsey lacks the foot skill a creativity to do that. What he does is he floats around for about 75 mins then takes a shot at long distance, he’s been able to get away with it because he scores goals and nobody else was doing that.

      • I think you’re right that it would be weird, but I think Klinsmann should try to find a way to do it gracefully. It can wait until after qualifying is over.

  16. I’m concerned about the idea of captain immunity when it comes to subs. It’s a legit issue when you assign a streaky player like Dempsey(yes he’s more streaky than most of are other top players, save the “every soccer player” nonsense.) to that role.

    • And when he was given the armband, he was on a streak. A streak that saw him do the following:
      – Get named the USSF player of the year for 2 years in a row
      – Finish 3rd in the EPL in goals before moving to a top club
      – Finish 5th in the EPL in open play goals over the last 3 years behind RVP, Rooney, Suarez, & Berbatov
      – Most importantly….. Put the Usmnt on his back through initial qualifying and carry us through the hex until Jozy found his scoring touch

      Yea I’d say that was a streak alright… one worthy of the armband… and like Ives said, to take it away after the CR game, or even after Mexico, is just ludicrous

      • Exactly. Being the captain isn’t about being the best player, it’s about being the leader. As the team chanted in the tunnel after the game in Columbus, Dempsey is the “captain of their ship.”

      • Agreed.
        I actually think Bradley and Howard are more significant leaders for the team. I think Deuce is (or was) a more reluctant leader, which is why giving him the armband and sort of forcing the issue is a good thing. Bradley will lead and be vocal. Howard will lead the defense and be vocal. Deuce will be wear the armband and feel inclined to be a leader because of it. My random $0.02. Actual value may vary.

    • Bingo. Why can european teams not release players for meaningless games but MLS teams must? JK is going to want to see players that have a chance to make the 23 – my guess is he is undecided on about 2-4 spots. My guess is players will be released to play in one game, perhaps MLS for Jamaica and euro/mex for Panama.

    • There’s a big difference between flying from Italy/France/Germany/UK to Panama vs East Coast/Mid West to Panama. You can get time Panama in about 4 hours from NYC.

      Not to mention Panama is the same time zone as Chicago (Central time).

      • Agree. I think you might flip-flop that with the Euros playing in KC and more MLS/MX going to Panama (with overlap on those folks who don’t have games).

  17. I don’t mind Bedoya, but he doesn’t do much going forward, and the handball nearly cost us a man. He is a grit and hustle player; overall, i’d prefer him not to start.

    • Grit and hustle are sometimes precisely what we need. See: losses to Honduras, Costa Rica. There are games where it makes a lot of sense to start Bedoya.

  18. As a Seattlite, as much as I’d LOVE to watch the US vs Mexico here… you CAN’T take the game away from Columbus. We have so much of an edge over our arch rival in that location. Beating Mexico is more important to me than watching it live at Century Link.


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