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The SBI Live Q&A (Sept. 9th Edition)

Mix Diskerud


It has been a long time, but the SBI Live Q&A is back.

It is time to talk all things soccer in the latest installment of The SBI Live Q&A. If you don’t know what it is, or can’t remember because it’s been so long, the Live Q&A is your chance to throw some soccer questions my way as I spend the next few hours answer questions from readers.

Want to talk MLS? Have a question about the U.S. Men’s National Team? Want to talk pop culture, perhaps a TV-related question? You name it, we’ll talk about it for the next few hours.

Get your questions ready and join me after the jump:


Live Blog The SBI Live Q&A: Sept. 9th Edition



    • The “replacement” topics have become very contrived… Even FIFA thinks the avoidance of the real issue is embarrassing. I am wondering just where the scarf is– I used to know a guy who was really good at repossessing sports memorabilia, but it turned out he was OJ and he actually wasn’t very good. So I’m working on another idea.

  1. In some ways, the soccer model of youth academies is more honest than what we see in some other sports, where top athletes who are officially in school spend countless hours with the AAU basketball teams or their club baseball teams. A soccer academy with an educational component could be up-front about its purpose — to develop top-notch players — while not cutting the players off from educational opportunities.

  2. Would like to see some additional thoughts on Homegrown Players. Agree with your assessment that MLS clubs have descended into comedy with their overstatement of actual contribution to many of the current crop of HGP’s. But I would like to hear thoughts on what the realistic “ceiling” is for MLS academies as an institution in a developing player’s life, because I suspect it will be far lower than the top global academies. For example, I am hard-pressed to even imagine a situation where an MLS club is actually responsible for a developing player’s primary education, as happens in many other countries. Yes there is some precedent for the very elite players who have been to Bradenton, but this is an exceptional circumstance rather than a model

    For the most part, soccer is an “extracurricular activity” for our teenaged athletes, same as any other sport– and I suspect this will remain a limitation (if . It does not displace a normal education and there may well be heavy resistance to the adoption of a European style youth academy– most people say “no way” or simply laugh at the idea of the Lakers or Raiders running a high school, so why soccer?

    How do others see it? What is the end-game of these academies in terms of hours spent per year with a player? Is that enough? Does it matter?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. In response to :
    Thoughts on the hate the German-American players receive? It seems a lot of people are just in denial about how good some of these duel nationals are. example Jones

    I think its more about how being German-American almost guarantees a place on the team vs. them being German-American. And its not only there fault. They really are that much better than the “pure” American players who are on the team. We want to see “pure” Americans push these guys so that some make it and some don’t. The fact that they all can make the team with little to no pressure from outside players is annoying.

    One more, Klinsmann has ignored the players that can compete with these guys. Ream vs Brooks. Lichaj vs Chandler. Donovan vs Green. Jones vs Edu. Leading up to the world cup, these “pure” Americans weren’t really given a fair chance to compete with these German-Americans for a spot on the team.

    I am not saying they are better in any way, I am just highlighting the point that leading up to the World Cup, they were pretty much ignored or alienated by Klinsmann.

    Disclaimer: Boyd was the obvious exception. But even his exclusion was a head scratcher. Also, I would have taken every one of the German-Americans over their counterpart I listed (however would of left off other players for some I listed).

    • It’s “dual” not “duel” as you misspelled it above and in your question to Ives. Using multiple names and doing your best to keep this tiresome issue alive. You really need to question why other people’s opinions are so important to you.

      • If nothing else, this comment caused me to stream and re-watch the movie “Duel” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Dennis Weaver, best known for his performances in commercials for Great Western Bank during the late 1980s. I then spent significant time checking to see if Dennis Weaver was Cam Weaver’s dad, because they are both pretty mediocre. I checked Jeff Weaver too, for the same reason. I even checked Gary Wright, on account of the song “Dream Weaver”. Nothing.

        You win this round, slowleft….

    • I don’t know. People who use the names “Lichaj and Ream” aren’t really asking the right questions. They’re Jonathan Spector types – decent, blue-collar guys who are good enough for the Championship but aren’t really athletic enough for the International level, IMHO.

      Can Ream really compete with Omar Gonzelez, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, or John Anthony Brooks athletically? I personally don’t see it. Brooks is wet behind the ears but he has the tools to be a world-class CB…he’s got size, speed, and Oh My, is he athletic, bounds around amazingly well for such a bigger player, and his touch and distribution out of the back is smooth, smooth, smooth…give him another cycle, and he might not be quite a Vincent Kompany but he’ll likely be a fixture for a Bundesliga team, which is not an easy thing for anybody to do. Ream is technically good and distributes well but athletically he’s not on the same planet as Brooks.

      Ditto for Lichaj. He’s just not as athletic as Chandler – or nearly so – and he’s not NEARLY as good as Fabian Johnson or DeAndre Yedlin going forwards…and considering that Klinsmann pulled Run DMB off the scrap heap and converted him to left back it’s obvious that Klinsmann is interested in true wingbacks, which Lichaj is not.

      Edu is not Jermaine Jones. Sorry, he just isn’t. JJ was the best American field player on the roster for the World Cup. The guy he was in competition with was another “true” American, Kyle Beckerman (who wasn’t on anybody’s radar), and Beckerman proved pretty conclusively in the World Cup he was worth his spot.

      I am with you Edu would have been a good take – personally, I would have left off Chandler for Edu or Boyd – Chandler never saw the field, and for good reason – and gone with just 7 defenders, especially since we had Geoff Cameron, who could have slotted in at RB if it had been needful. We ended up not having enough dedicated defensive CM’s, especially since we were running three almost every game. I honestly think Boyd’s exclusion was a nod towards team unity; Klinsmann had to cut SOME German-American to show impartiality or there would have been even more grumbling, which could have decimated the locker room. And we ended up without a target forward when Altidore went down.

      The Donovan thing was its own discussion, which I won’t re-hash. But Klinsmann’s “takes” made a ton of sense…the only real quibbles I would make with his selections were a lack of 1-for-1 replacement for Altidore and only carrying 3 CDM’s when he was playing three.

      • quozzel –
        Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. But what many fail to remember is that the Dual Nationals brought in this past cycle (Jones, Fabian, Brooks, Johannsson, Chandler, Boyd, Williams, & Bunbury) were originally looked upon as depth options or filling a position of need (replacing aging vets) by the Bradley staff.
        The players earmarked by Bradley to step in (Chandler, Lichaj, Jones, Gonzalez, Agudelo & Bunbury) began to be incorporated in 2011. Lichaj played well as did Jones. Chandler we all know the story. Gonzalez blew out his knee…so did Bunbury…falling off the team for a while. Williams & Fabian were being recruited…but hadn’t chosen yet. Brooks was invited to youth camps. Few knew about Green, Johannsson, or Boyd.
        JK was hired to replace BB….Williams, Fabian, & Boyd declare for the US. Green was a risk late in the cycle…which will hopefully pay off in the long run. Lichaj & Ream had bad runs of form and injuries which pushed them further down the pecking order of the Player Pool. Both should get consideration over the course of the 2018 Cycle as both are very good players and can provide depth to the squad.
        NOW looking towards 2018 the USMNT has true depth and competition within the squad.
        Striker: Dempsey, Jozy, Boyd, Johannson, Agudelo, Green, Rubin, Gyau, with the potential of Parker, Nagbe, and others.
        Midfield: Bradley, Jones, Edu, Torres, Williams, Canouse, Stanko, Trapp, Powers, Gil,
        Outside Back: Beasley, Fabian, Chandler, Yedlin, Klute, Lichaj, Castillo, Ferrell,
        Center Back: Besler, Gonzalez, Cameron, Brooks, Ream, Packwood, Orozco, Hedges, Okugo, O’Neil

        There are fewer holes to plug this cycle…and many more options than ever before. The gap between starter & backup is narrower….and that between backup & 3rd string almost none existent. JK will have a lot of difficult decisions to make before each camp on who to call in and who not to.

      • If we are going to count on players that are going to be 35/36 in 2018 then we are going in the wrong direction. True JJ outplayed MB in 2014 WC but I expect JJ to slow down to the point where JK should select a younger replacement. I expect young ones to step up and force the old guard to take a seat on the bench or in their living room.

      • ” I honestly think Boyd’s exclusion was a nod towards team unity; Klinsmann had to cut SOME German-American to show impartiality or there would have been even more grumbling, which could have decimated the locker room. And we ended up without a target forward when Altidore went down.”

        Your honesty has nothing to do with it.

        The next time Boyd actually does something on the field in a USMNT shirt to show he deserves to be on a World Cup team will be the first time.

        Yes he has had limited minutes but he generally does nothing with them or worse, something stupid. And he has been called into camp plenty of times so he should know what JK wants.

        Obviously you don’t think much of Jurgen Klopp, the guy who likes Joe Gyau but cuts Boyd loose even when he knows Dortmund are going to lose Lewandoski.

        Boyd seems like a great guy and has the tools and loads of potential and has time yet to make his mark but based on what I saw leading up to the World Cup, if you were going to take a big powerful guy to back up Jozy, I would have taken Alan Gordon over him, given that EJ was in auto destruct mode.

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