It’s Q&A Time

Good afternoon folks. With the MLS regular season about to get underway I think it is a good time to have another Q&A session.

You know the routine. Ask your soccer-related questions and I will answer them next week. The following topics are off-limits: John O’Brien, promotion/relegation in MLS and Red Bulls stadium or practice facility updates (the stadium is being built, the practice site has hit a snag but nothing major).

Limit yourself to two questions and try to keep them a reasonable length and I will look to have them done for Monday.

Fire away!!

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93 Responses to It’s Q&A Time

  1. Eric says:

    Ives,

    What are your thoughts on the Tottenham Hotspur organization, as a whole?

    To me, of all the non-Big 4 clubs, they seem like a sleeping giant. Not just because of money and resources, but they also seem to have bought smart in the transfer market.

    They’ve made a commitment to keeping guys like Berba, Keane, Lennon, etc. and have brought in a slew of young defenders and midfielders. Now, with Ramos, it seems like they are an offseason away from really being a force in the Premier League.

  2. Rob C says:

    Sorry this isn’t MLS-related since I know you’re trying to steer the questions in that direction, but:

    Of the USA’s three big-time friendlies coming up (England, Spain, Argentina), in which game do you think they have the best shot at winning?

  3. Andrew says:

    Ives, if you were MLS comissioner would you raise the salary cap in 2009, and if so by how much?

  4. mikeK says:

    We RB supporters in recent days have seen JCO do nothing to drop a hint about signings and give us hope. In other major sports, this sort of thing would have leaked or been disclosed. Will the MLS or Red Bull ever think of the fans and tell us such things, or is “secrecy” really a key in signing people?

  5. James says:

    Ives, What is the latest on Jose Angulo? Thanks.

  6. Mighty says:

    Ives,

    Seeing how well the United States team play against Poland, how do you rate Coach Bradley? What are his strongest points and his weakest?

    Also how do you feel with the United States team so Far? are they meeting your expectations?

  7. Wes says:

    What the odds that the talks between MLS and the players union will get nasty? Like strike/lockout nasty…

  8. Aaron says:

    1) A long time ago, you collected our names, where we lived, etc. Were you just collecting a hit list or has that project come to fruition?

    2) Do you have an opinion on if Seattle MLS discards the name “Sounders”?

  9. Frog says:

    What kind of year do you see Mike Magee having if he can stay healthy? Is he really the answer playing behind the forwards?

  10. john in atl says:

    On your recent visit to Austria, did you get a feel for how successful the Euro 2008 tournament will be? Are you going to covering the tournament in person?

  11. BJR says:

    Looking to the not-to-distant future, what do you think would be the best way to utilize Dempsey, LD, Adu, and Altidore on the field at the same time? In a related question, why is it that we never see LD or Demspey playing as CAMs?

    I haven’t complimented you yet, but I’ve been enjoying the new site since day 1. Thanks for all the info and analysis.

  12. How would you compare Osorio’s coaching, in particular, his preperation for the season, as opposed to Arenas style? (since you have a first hand look at both)

    Whats your favorite food / dish/ meal(Argentine Milanesa with Ensalada Rusa or the basic Argie BBQ does it for me)?

  13. Martelucci says:

    Has there been a qualification set for the MLS participants in the CONCACAF Champs league?

    Is there the possiblilty of the U.S. Open Cup winner gaining a slot?

    Thamks.

  14. ejs says:

    Will there ever be a dominant striker in MLS who scores atleast a goal every game?

  15. Dave R says:

    If you had to pick one of the lesser known/spoken about cities for an MLS franchise (Not Vancouver, Montreal, St Louis, Tampa, Miami), which “under the radar” city would be most successful?

  16. jb says:

    What do you see happening with the Liverpool ownership situation? Will Hick’s be able to go 100%, how long can he block Gillette from selling his stake? What are the potential ramifications of a Hicks/DIC ownership and how would infighting among owners hurt the club?

  17. ben says:

    How good do you think the chances of the US hosting the 2018 World Cup are at the moment with England’s misbehavior both on and off the pitch and the PR disaster it looks like China’s olympics are going to be?

  18. KJ says:

    Ive heard rumors about Michael Bradley moving over to the Premier League. What teams are interested and who do u figure is gonna get him? And could he set a record transer for an American?

  19. William Anderson says:

    Off limits?? But, don’t you think that if John O’Brien came out of retirement and played for the Red Bulls at their new stadium the team might avoid the prospect of relegation to the USL? Assuming of course that MLS institutes promotion/relegation before the new stadium is completed (when is that supposed to be again?).

  20. KJ says:

    Who is likely to be in the starting XI for the game against England? I figure itll all be European based players with the exception of LD and Altidore. Is there a chance EJ will start as striker?

  21. JK says:

    When are teams like Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, New England Revolution and Kansas City Wizards set to have their own stadiums? How big would u guess they would be?

  22. Artc says:

    2 questions for you….

    1) Why, in your opinion, is Donovan usually selected for taking the free kicks for the national team? He is too inconsistent.

    2) Who in your opinion, should be the main selection as the choice for free kicks at the national level? I saw Lewis has a good talent, but he will not be around for the 2010 World Cup. I can see Adu in the future for the senior team. I actually remember Dulo being decent at it also. Donovan is usually only good for corner, or lobbing kicks, not a free kick on goal.

  23. KJ says:

    Is there that any chance Fulham wont be relegated? I figure they need to win all the remaining games even though the likelihood of beating Liverpool is dismal. But can they do it?

  24. William Anderson says:

    Sorry, Ives, but i could not resist that last question. My REAL question is this: what is the scuttlebutt relating to Michael Bradley’s status after the Dutch season ends? Earlier this year, there were rumors of transfers to Serie A or the EPL, but things have suddenly gone quiet. Personally, I’d like to see him go to Ajax and follow in the footsteps of John O’Brien.

  25. Edward says:

    What’s your opinion on MLS players being loaned to the USL, and vice versa foreign players coming in on loan deals? Is this good for the league?

  26. gaucho says:

    Who do you expect to make the CONCACAF hex and why?

  27. duthie says:

    Joseph Lapira, any word on what’s he’s been up to??

  28. AC says:

    1) When do you see Dempsey having a consistent chance at playing a more attacking role at midfield at club and national level, instead of being a foward?

    2) And why is Dempsey still usually selected as a foward for games and not given a chance to use his strength of ball movement?

  29. Scott says:

    Ives

    What would happen if Toronto FC won the MLS cup or supporters shield, would they qualify for CONCACAF Champions League and take one of the USA slots?

    Who do you see as the next big name DP being signed as?

    Thanks

  30. tedhill says:

    1. As the number of teams in the league keeps increasing, do you think there would be changes to the playoff system? Could they increase or decrease the amount of teams selected or change which rounds are single legs or two legs?

    2. Are any teams in the league seriously in jeopardy of being contracted or relocated or is that an issue that won’t be relevant for another several years?

  31. jayslick says:

    When does the MLS put itself into a position to not have the youth of this country poached for teams across the pond before the kids are even old enough to be on an MLS radar for development. for example: link to dallassoccernews.com

    at what point does the MLS do something proactive to halt the long trend.

  32. sutnice says:

    Theoretically, what would be a worse outcome for Beckham and/or the league: 1)Beckham gets injured early on for the season and the Galaxy go on to win MLS cup or 2) Beckham plays entire season and Galaxy miss the playoffs?

  33. Gilly73 says:

    How long until the MLS & USL merge so there can be Promotion/Relegation and the playoffs can be eliminated or do you think that will ever happen?

  34. Mike says:

    Looking at the TFC Roster page, they have a mess of “MLS Status” references – I (International) SD (Senior Development), DI (Developmental International) that don’t make a lot of sense to me, such as:

    1. several US players on the roster are listed as “I”, which makes sense as Toronto is in Canada, but others are listed as “S”. I recall that the distinction between Canadian and US players was removed after last season, am I wrong or is the webpage out of date?

    2. What the hell is Senior Development?

    3. Similarly, what is a Developmental International player?

  35. Max says:

    Ives,

    How much demand do you think there will be for USSF tickets at the 2010 World Cup. Do you think it will be easier to score seats for US group games than in Germany?

    Also, it’s always bothered me that MLS teams only count regular season league play towards club records. Any chance of someone compiling all-time lists based on all competitions (Open Cup, Champs Cup, Superliga)?

  36. dave says:

    With the John O’Brien mystery answered, I have a Metro-related question from the ‘Where are they now and what are they doing?’ file.

    Where is Tim Regan at and what is he up to?

    He was never a star of course, but his goofy look bore an uncanny resemeblance to one our brothers so we’d always root for him.

  37. TapocoL says:

    What do you think of Benny Feilhaber? Do you think he is a top midfielder? Should he get out of the premiership in the summer?

  38. Dannyc58 says:

    Ives, Sorry, but I still find the whole allocation process confusing. A player like Juan Toja, how come he is not subject to the process (last year when he first signed) since player are signed by the league and not teams? And I suppose teams tell the league whom they want? Its just so odd, and I’ve followed the MLS for years and find it confusing. Why does Robbie Rodgers go through the allocation process while Oscar Etcheverry is directly signed by the Red Bulls? The confusion for me stems from the fact that the league does all contracts, do teams use discovery claims everytime they sign someone not drafted?

    Sorry for the rudimentary nature of my question…

    Thanks,

    Dan

  39. chris says:

    1. Who will be mls fantasy leading scorer?

    2. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jozy Altidore. And I think he is a player with great potential. But I feel like he is still pretty average technically and that he would struggle in the Premiership. He is probably a better finisher than EJ, but probably on the same level technically. Would he do that much better than EJ?

  40. Ben says:

    Can you please put together a list of ALL competitions/tournaments a MLS team can enter/win/qualify for ?

    MLS Regular Season + MLS Cup

    US Open Cup

    SuperLiga

    PanPacific Championship

    Concacaf Champions Cup

    Concacaf Champions League

    Club World Cup

  41. jerry says:

    Whats your take on Amado Guevara coming back to MLS?

  42. bc says:

    1. Hear anything about Thierry Henry having contact/discussions with MLS ? I think Henry to NYRB in 2009 would be a good — almost obvious — fit for both parties.

    2. How was Jozy allegedly going to go to Reading this past January? I assume he would have significant problems getting a work permit. Is there a mitigating factor that would push through a move?

  43. Dannyc58 says:

    Eric, you must be a Spurs fan since you act like Everton doesn’t exist (and a few others).

    And Sp*rs fans wonder why they are mocked…

  44. Ryan says:

    Hey Ives,

    What do you think of the new away kit for the US? I didn’t think they could come up with something more boring than our home kit…but they did! When I first saw it online, I thought it was just a training jersey! Nike should be embarassed.

  45. EssEff says:

    What transfer value do you think Landon Donovan would have if he were to go to Europe?

  46. Ryan says:

    Gerson Mayen is listed on the Chivas-USA roster on MLSnet.com, he has spent quite a bit of time previously on Chivas USA’s U17/18 academy squad. Is he the first signee by a MLS team from their academy?

    Thanks!

  47. jerry says:

    Ives,

    What do you think will happen to MLS once the Collective bargaining agreement is over ? what will happen to smaller teams like KC,RSL, or Chivas? what will happen to the salary cap?

  48. Dominghosa says:

    Thanks for the Q&A again, I’m looking forward to it being answered in May.

    (Just kidding.)

    Here ya go, homes…

    1. Who are your best buys (small salary, big impact) in the SBI Fantasy League?

    2. Your top 3 or 5 players in MLS you expect to have breakout seasons?

    Thanks man, as always.

  49. MZ says:

    Any new stuff about Boruc? Where he wants to go or who wants him?

  50. Geoff says:

    Ives,

    how do you compare the MLS to the Mexican first division? I do watch Mexican soccer regularly on Univision and Telefutura and I can honestly say from my point of view there is no evidence to say the Mexican League is any better then MLS. Which one do you think is better and why? Thanks

  51. JeffM says:

    1. Oguchi Onyewu seems to be in pretty good form right now, and his team is on top of the Juniper League. Do you think interest in him from the top leagues will heat up again this summer?

    2. This past offseason, MLS lost players to Norway, Austria, and Greece. When the new CBA comes around, will MLS management be willing to agree to a significant raise in the salary cap in order to keep MLS competitive with these second and third-tier leagues?

  52. Bobby says:

    Ives, what’s the current sentiment amongst the MLS ownership about raising the salary cap? Will the league continue to grow at a snail’s pace, or will david beckham only be the beginning of greater things to come as suggested by league officials’ language around the time of Beck’s arrival.

  53. Addick says:

    1)Will US Soccer ever offer a live audio feed of the games?

    2)Has US Soccer/MLS looked at getting games onto satellite radio?

  54. Jon E says:

    Is there anything like a shared ballpark estimate among the people who matter (say, Garber and MLS Players Union honchos) about how much the salary cap will increase under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement? I know that nobody on either side is going to say anything definitive before the negotiations really get started, but are you talking to credible people who have solid estimates of what kind of increase we might be looking at? (5%, 10%, 25%, 100%, more?)

    On a related note, what are the prospects of increasing the senior roster size during the CBA, especially given MLS’ apparent commitment to participating in extra-league tournaments?

  55. Chuck says:

    Hey Ives- I’m curious as to what sort of attention Mike Bradley is getting in Europe with his current form….I know he’s sure to be moving on from Heerenveen, but where to? Also, when will tix go on sales for the now confirmed US-Argentina match.

  56. Jon E says:

    (Bobby apparently types faster than I do. I swear that question wasn’t there when I started mine.)

  57. mnmike says:

    If you were an MLS GM, what position do you try to solidify first? Would your answer be different in Europe?

  58. SeaOtter says:

    Let’s assume you’re Eddie Johnson’s coach. Is there any point where you just tell him if he gets the ball anywhere near the 18…’just shoot the damn thing’? Its hard to fathom anyone coaching him, in his current state, to hold up play as much as he does.

    Odds that Lalas loses his job this season?

    Thanks.

  59. Zach says:

    Ives,

    This question is kind of a shot out of the dark, but I was thinking about this on my way home from work.

    Considering the national team’s upcoming friendlies, and remembering how we got screwed in the last world cup draw (i.e. Mexico’s higher ranking resulting in an easier group than us), is it possible we might move up in the Fifa rankings with favorable results against these high quality opponents, or at least the opportunity to leapfrog mexico?

    I don’t fully understand the FIFA rankings, or how Mexico is ranked higher (despite not being able to beat us). I’m excited for these matches, and I think it’ll be a great test, but is there a motive to put us in a better position for the ’10 world cup draw?

    Thanks

    Zach

  60. jerry says:

    Ives,

    What do you think will happen to MLS once the Collective bargaining agreement is over ? what will happen to smaller teams like KC,RSL, or Chivas? what will happen to the salary cap?

  61. mark says:

    How does Jack Warner still have a job with the non-stop allegations of unethical and illegal behavior?

  62. Spencer says:

    Is there a chance of another Texas team in San Antonio? I think they’d do really well. The fans there want another team to support other than the Spurs. I assume the fan base would be like Houston and also they’d have an amazing youth academy for recruiting.

  63. tsingletonvt says:

    1) What league and team, in Europe, do you think would be the best option for Michael Parkhurst after his contract with MLS/Revs expires? Why?

    2) Which cities do you think will get and lose MLS teams in the next five years? Which cities are best suited for expansion and which are best suited for a relocation? What are the differences?

  64. andrewdiceway says:

    eddie johnson. what gives? i’ve been wathing a lot of fulham of fsc and took in the nats’ game against poland as well, and he just looks lost. poor first touch, bad/no decision making, ill-timed runs, can’t finish, etc. it can’t be easy to adjust from the mls to the premier league… but he’s just bad. why so many chances for this guy? is he great in training? are the athletic assets too tempting for managers to pass on? what are your thoughts?

    thanks.

  65. Sushant Rao says:

    Hi Ives,

    q1) I follow european soccer, primarily champions league. I’m interested in watching some MLS. Which teams play attractive, attacking soccer in MLS?

    q2) Why do people say that soccer couldn’t survive in the fall/winter in the US? European clubs play outdoors when it’s snowing, don’t they? Is it because soccer will get no attention due to football/basketball/hockey? Please explain.

    Thanks,

    Sushant

  66. Steve says:

    With the news that Demarcus Beasley is making a speedy recovery, do you expect to see him in any of our friendlies this summer?

  67. Nick says:

    Hi Ives,

    When collective bargaining comes up again next year, I think it’s safe to assume that the salary cap will increase, but do you think that the league will also allow more than the current 18 senior roster slots?

    Obviously bringing in players that command a higher salary and paying newcomers decent wages will help the league, but I just get the feeling that with so many competitions (MLS Cup, CONCACAF CL, US Open, SuperLiga) going on it would be great if the teams could have 20-23 players on their senior roster so they have more depth to win these competitions and stay competitive in the league.

  68. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Another crystal ball question: Describe MLS 2018. Where is it played, what’s the quality, where are the players coming from and what is its international rep?

  69. Stan from El Barrio says:

    Ives, with the dollar so weak, will MLS teams refrain from signing European players in favor of more South American talent?

    Also, do you feel that there’s a distinct lack of buzz for the new MLS season given there’s no Beckham’esque “marquee” signing so far?

  70. smorebs says:

    Hey Ives,

    I’ve got a couple questions for you:

    What is the likelihood of a DVB trade?

    Any predictions (Final scores, who will be the hero/bum) on the US nats tour de force?

    THANK!

  71. Stevie G says:

    Before his injury, was DaMarcus Beasley starting for Rangers? What was his contract set for? 3, 4 years?

  72. kj says:

    Who is the biggest American player abroad? Who has the largest contract? Who has the most starts for his team and who has the biggest effect on his team’s playing ability? DaMarcus Beasley? Brian McBride? Clint Dempsey? Freddy Adu? Oguchi Onyewu? Michael Bradley Bradley? Tim Howard? Brad Friedel?

  73. Mike22 says:

    Not sure if this is a question or just a complaint, but what happened to Eddie Johnson? In his last 2 Fulham games and during the Poland match, he suddenly has become pass-back Pete Vagenas. He doesn’t take people on, he doesn’t even try to make a cutting pass. He’s like a holdup player that doesn’t win high balls. Did Fulham do this to him? Has the EPL robbed him off all his confidence? I never thought he was amazing, but he looks pathetic at the moment.

  74. Sean G says:

    Question 1. With the collective bargaining between the players and MLS ownership coming up I am hearing rumors that the players have a bunch of non-financial demands that are really important to them. Do you know what those demands are?

    I’ll get back to you if I think of a good question 2.

  75. Tonerl says:

    Did I miss any news on the fate of Lider Marmol, or is his situation still floating around out there in the ether?

  76. mastaliu says:

    Ives, what does the international media coverage of MLS look like for the 13th season? I know it’s not watched in Europe much (or at all), but what about in Mexico, Argentina?

    Just spotted that Shaka Hislop is the new MLS correspondent for Guardian Football:

    link to blogs.guardian.co.uk

  77. smokeminside says:

    Who do you think are the five–I’m just picking this number out of the air– best options at forward for the US Men’s team?

  78. Brian says:

    Ives – Who would you consider the best American soccer player right now? And in case you take the “easy” route and go with Howard, who do you think is the best field player?

    Also, who do you think will be the best player in 5 years? Adu? Altidore? Bradley? Or someone else?

    Love the site!

  79. Beto says:

    1) Any insight on the next most probale DP signing?

    2) Will DC use their extra DP this year? Next?

  80. DURSK says:

    IVES,

    Is it just me, or does it look that the NYRB’s have the sexiest kit of the 2008 season? I think adidas did a terrible job this year on kit design.

  81. gimmi says:

    To Ives,

    My question is why does MLS not look into African Players as much they look into S.Americans? Is it because of the travel distance or style of play? Please Explain..

    Thanks,

    Gimmi

  82. chesterton chris says:

    People always complain about a lackluster mls. to keep teams interested, has anyone paid attention to how the dutch second division does it? it’s broken down into “periods” of the season and those who win those periods make the playoffs. no team is ever out of it…..so teams are always competing. Do you think that would ever work for mls? better question to ask is: could you forward that on to the mls front office to get their take on it?

  83. gimmi says:

    To Ives,

    Why doesnt MLS look more closely at African players like they do with South American Players? Please Explain.

    thanks,

    Gimmi

  84. Artc says:

    1) What European league do you see as a good fit for Donovan?

    2)Why haven’t any European leagues inquired again over Landon Donovan? I know he bombed in the Bundesliga, but that is a rugby league some of the time, and not suited to Donovan’s quick, openfield ability. He also has stated about being comfortable in MLS, but do you see a European move in the future?

  85. gimmi says:

    sorry didnt mean to ask the same question twice. I didnt think it went through.

  86. Palermo Son says:

    Ives, how do you rate the possibility of Rico Clark moving overseas this summer?

  87. Brian says:

    With Bob Bradley calling out Benny Feilhaber publically, do you see Benny’s role changing for the national team or having shot with the national team?

    I am of the opinion that our overage player for the Olympics should be Simek, Bornstein, and Guzan. Especially since we have to be sensitive to the senior team an their World Cup Qualifier during the Beijing games. What is your take on the overage players we will bring?

  88. duthie says:

    regarding immigration status for players, has the mls ever had problems with the issue of not being able to bring players in because of that? is it an issue in Toronto?

  89. ben says:

    Hey Ives, great site!

    Looking into your crystal ball, who are your:

    1) top 5 goalscorers in MLS 2008?

    2) top under-the-radar newcomers to MLS (both signings and rookies) this year?

  90. Michael says:

    What are the chances of MLS clubs competing in the Copa Libertadores? And if the chances are decent, how long before it could happen?

  91. j1 says:

    Is heath pearce 23 or younger? If so is there any reason he hasn’t been called to the U-23 team? Also when is nevon subotic of mainz going to get a shot with the national team he’s rated as one of the top defenders in the 2.bundesliga so i’m also curious why he isn’t with the U-23′s

  92. matt says:

    i know he’s not exactly a star anymore, but could you see dwight yorke coming to mls soon? he could be a big draw in toronto with all the trini immigrants up there, and he can still play at a reasonably high level

  93. tedhill says:

    I actually asked a couple questions earlier but now thought of a really good one and hopefully you will answer it.

    Why does the MLS season start in late March/early April? I understand the idea of not wanting to compete against the NFL, NBA, and college football for attention and ratings, but to me the MLS is missing out on the boring month of February. The Super Bowl ends, and it is still a month away from March Madness and two months away from the start of MLB. If the MLS started in mid-February it could get a lot of attention and excitement. Will this be considered at any point.