It’s Q&A Time (New Year’s Eve Edition)

Hello all. It is the last day of 2008 and it feels like the perfect opportunity to have the final Q&A of the year, especially since one of my New Year's resolutions is to not take so long to complete the Q&As.

It has been six weeks since our last Q&A, meaning there are plenty of fresh topics to discuss. Among the topics we DON'T need to discuss are: John O'Brien, Promotion/Relegation, Eddie Johnson's future, the Red Bulls stadium/training facility, World/CONCACAF/USA All-Time Best XIs, the U.S. team's starting lineup in any future World Cup, The best American players in any age group younger than 20, my favorite soccer teams, Freddy Adu's national team future or who the next batch of Designated Players will be. (I reserve the right to add this list as I remember other questions that have been asked dozens of times)

Those subjects aside, feel free to send your questions, either soccer-related or general pop culture questions, and I will look to answer them by Jan. 8th, with Jan. 9th being the date for the next Q&A (Yes, the plan is to schedule them in advance so folks can get their questions ready.

Now it's your turn, fire your questions my way.

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128 Responses to It’s Q&A Time (New Year’s Eve Edition)

  1. bellbj8 says:

    I figure you don’t get asked this much but it wouldn’t hurt to know it offhand in case you have to pick a mushy one for a date or something. What is your favorite RomCom (romantic comedy) or chick flick?

  2. Landis says:

    Hi Ives- great site. Question about Diego Jiminez. Will he be back in March or is he back in Mexico? On Teco’s webpage it says he’s returned from his loan at NYRB but I’ve seen no reports from you or MLS.

  3. paulinsaranaclake says:

    Ives,

    First off Happy New Year. I really enjoy the information found on this site and appreciate the hard work you put into it. With Subotic & Rossi spurning the US for different reasons will there be any fallout/backlash within US Soccer from this? Also are there any other players out there that could make a difference on the USMNT but could play for another national team? Thanks I’ll hang up and listen.

  4. NJ Guy No Longer Stuck in DC says:

    Who would be on your MLS all-time all-journeymen team? I’m talking players who pop up on a new team every year or two, are middling to below-average at best, and somehow get significant time on the pitch.

  5. Adam says:

    The whole Subotic situation…I know, I know… Do you think Bob Bradley as a coach was a liability during the process?

  6. Dannyc58 says:

    Hey Ives,

    1)Whats the latest on Kanji? Will he be picked up by NYRB, I know you said ATL transferred the rights to Carolina I think.

    2)What three teams do you think get relegated in the EPL?

    As always, your site rules.

  7. boneall says:

    I keep hearing about all the “partnerships” MLS clubs are making with teams across the pond. My question is what is the real pay out? Other than FCD’s Andre Rocha from CAP in Brazil I can’t recall seeing anything benefit the MLS team(s). I’ve read about coaches trips to the club(s) but how much does that really help if you’re not scouting talent?

    It seems to me it’s more for the other team to get their name bigger in America…is there something I’m missing?

  8. Matt says:

    Ives,
    Congrats on winning the Best in US Soccer award for ’08 and best wishes for ’09. MY question is rather plain and simple. Apparently Chris Birchall, T-n-T’s white lightning, is headed stateside (according to BBC and Sky). Have you heard anything about it being MLS? Everything I’ve seen just says America.

  9. Brian says:

    Just want to hear your take on the U20 team for 2009 assuming we qualify for the U20 WC.

    1) Do you think Freddy or Jozy will play? Since the tournament is in September and October, every player will have club/country conflict. FIFA will strongly suggest players be set loose from their clubs to play. Otherwise they run the risk of the tournament being pointless. Maybe the the best handful of players in the world will stay with the clubs but players of Freddy and Jozy will and should play. Do you agree?

    2) If Freddy and Jozy do play in the tournament how far do you think the team will go and which players do you think will gain the most attention from club scouts other than Freddy and Jozy? My bet is on Vincent Bernardo, Guiseppe Nazzani, and Peri Marosevic.

  10. Igor says:

    I know Agoos addressed this, but he was vague as usual. Do you have any more info about the Michael Bradley allocation that RBNY got? Agoos said they got one but he didn’t specify the amount.

    Keep up the good work on SBI.

  11. Gabe says:

    Ives,

    Greetings here from snowy NH. My question is simple. While it is obvious that MLS (and American in general) supporters are not quite as die-hard and rowdy as that of England, Italy, and Spain, do you think that the fan-bases in Columbus and Toronto are going to be the exception or the rule in 3-7 years in terms of rowdiness and overall passion for the game and their teams. Also, do you ever see US International supporters becoming a force to be “reckoned with” like in other die-hard nations?

  12. j1mbr0wn says:

    How do you see the new roster changes in the MLS impacting teams? I have to imagine that many teams will be stronger with more depth, but what about the development of players? Is the MLS getting better at negotiating with other leagues, so that they can afford to loose the contract controls of this many developing players? It seems to be quite the double-edged blade.

  13. jig says:

    How do you see the 2010 WC playing out as an event. I know more than a few people living throughout South Africa who believe the tournament will be a disaster in terms of logistics, safety, etc. Your thoughts on these issues.

    Have a happy new year!

  14. Chris says:

    Obviously, feel free to ignore this if you’ve touched on it before. Once MLS reaches 20 teams, are they closed for business? What do you foresee happening with owners/cities that still want in?

  15. kilmier says:

    Ives,
    What ever happened to Gold Coast Galaxy, the A-League expansion team allied with LA Galaxy? Last I heard they will be called Gold Coast United. Scared off by the poor LA “brand” perhaps?

    Alex

  16. EDB says:

    When do you think the MLS will look into doing a winter break? It could be a way to lengthen the season while still skipping the coldest months.

  17. CSD says:

    Ives,

    New Year’s themed questions for you.

    1) What do you consider the biggest soccer events domestically and internationally in 08′.

    2) What do you think the biggest soccer events domestically and internationally will be in 09′.

    I look forward to you keeping the SBI momentum rolling in 09′. I applaud your tireless efforts.

  18. Benjamin Davenport says:

    Ives, I love your site and check it more often than my email. Keep it up!

    1. I was wondering what the best game/atmosphere you have ever been to? I don’t know how anything would compare to the US/Italy game in the 06 WC for me ever….

    2. Who do you think has the edge in the EPL?

    3. Who do you hate more: Lampard, Gerrard, or C. Ronaldo. Personality only of course!

  19. David says:

    David Beckham. Elaborate.

  20. MZ says:

    what would you say furthers a players development more. Being in a intense training environment and playing with the reserves, or being in MLS and playing with the first team?

  21. Erik Abarca says:

    Happy New Year Ives, God bless you and your family. Who is, in your opinion the best No Limit Texas Hold Em cash game player, and the best tournament player? If you were at the 2009 Main Event final table and they had a break like they did this year and you can have someone mentor you to prepare you for the final table, who will it be? Thanks!

  22. JJJ says:

    why has the movement of players to Europe from MLS shifted more towards Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and France, and away from England?

  23. cowtown says:

    Who’s coming up from the Championship? (hint: the correct answer is Cardiff, with the other two spots being reserved for other years where Cardiff might need them. No, I haven’t read the FA’s rulebook. Why do you ask?)

  24. Aris says:

    Great site, Ives. I know you said no Red Bulls Arena questions, but I think mine’s not what you had in mind: will they allow tailgating like at Giants Stadium? I’m wondering really if it’s a New Jersey thing or a Meadowlands thing. Also, do you think we might see new kits with the new stadium?

  25. Marco says:

    Heard anything about a potential Kenny Cooper transfer? It’s been quiet, wondering if you’ve heard anything?

  26. TBrodie says:

    What do you see as the Red Bulls’ starting line-up opening night in Seattle?

  27. kahlva says:

    Hey Ives!

    Do you know what John O’Brien’s Promotion/Relegation situation is, in regards to Eddie Johnson’s future at the Red Bulls stadium & training facility in the World/CONCACAF/USA All-Time Best XIs, (with the U.S. team’s starting lineup in any future World Cup, of course), taking into account the best American players in any age group younger than 20, that you could see on your favorite soccer teams, while keeping in mind Freddy Adu’s national team future and who the next batch of Designated Players will be?

    Thanks, and Happy 2009!!

  28. Grease says:

    Where is US Soccer getting its funding, and how much does it get. I’m sure it makes a profit from the games it plays in, but it is quite costly to send players around the world, 10-15 times a year, put them up in hotels for in total more than a month…

    Secondly, do we know Sunil Gulati’s salary?

  29. mark says:

    Will BarcaMiami happen in 2010?

  30. Carlo says:

    If the US had nabbed Castillo, Subotic, ibisevic, and rossi. What would the starting lineup look like for the USA.

  31. eric says:

    Hey Ives –

    I spent a lot of time in Holland in the late 90’s and it pushed my soccer fandom over the top, so I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Eredivisie and Ajax in particular. Why is the league such a mess, what does it need to do to climb back to respectability, and do you think it’ll ever merge with the Belgium league?

    Have a happy and safe New Years!

  32. Steve says:

    Happy New Year Ives and thanks for all the info from 2008 you’ve set the bar high and naturally we’re expecting even more in 2009.

    With the (relatively) topsy turvy first groups stage in CONCACAF qualifying who do what’s the order you of finish you project in the hex? (My thought US, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, T&T, El Salvador – but I ask because I could easily see Mexico slipping to 4th and having to playoff in SA).

  33. Gilby says:

    Hey Ives, great site. IF DaMarcus does decide to come back to MLS where does he land and would he be a DP. I know Chicago would probably be his first choice but unless Blanco leaves I can’t see him fitting under their cap.

  34. Ed says:

    If I friend request you on Facebook, will you accept?

    Give me an MLS team to root for; I live in Alabama, so nothing really geographically close.

  35. Stephen says:

    Hi Ives: RBNY has lost Parke, Jiminez, and Cichero from the back line – who does Osorio plan on starting in defense in ’09? Please don’t tell me that Petke will be one of our starting CB’s next year!

    Any word on the negotiations with Dave VDB?

  36. Mark says:

    Happy New Year’s Ives

    What are the top 3 concerts you’ve seen?

    Did Chad Marshall make the right move staying in MLS? He was compensated well or he wouldn’t have stayed, but do you think he needed to go to Europe to take his game to the next level?

  37. g-loff says:

    Hey Ives, thanks for the site. A random question for you: what are your top 10 movie soundtracks? Last of the Mohicans is always a good one…

  38. Dominick says:

    Hi Ives, really enjoy the site! thanks for all your work.

    With more SSS in the works, can you see MLS moving to place MLS cup at the site of the team with the most points? I heard the league was against this originally, in part, because they didn’t control their venues and the dates–with SSS, this point loses its validity. Also, such a move would give more weight to the winner of the supporters shield.

    An idea worth exploring?

  39. Andre` says:

    Hey Ives…

    Think Jozy gets some meaningful minutes against Real Madrid in Villareal’s next game?

    Also, have to ask, any Red Bull transfer rumor rumblings us offseason junkie’s might be interested in?

  40. jjfad says:

    Happy New Year Ives.

    Two questions.

    Where do you see Charlie Davies going?

    What’s the latest you have heard about Bobby Convey?

    Thanks.

  41. jacobi millionaire says:

    Do you think MLS expansion dilutes the player pool too much? Or do you think MLS can recruit enough talent to fill the expected number of teams with decent players?

  42. Geoff says:

    Happy New Year to you Ives,

    I have a theory and I wanted to see what you thought. Personally in my opinion, I think that nobody does a better job at producing young talent then the Netherlands. Yes I know so many Brazilian players play across the world but they have such a huge population. But with Holland, if you look at the size of the country and the amount of great players that have come through the Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord youth systems in the last 40 years and how technically gifted they are it’s quite amazing really. My question is would it be a good idea if Dutch methods were adapted by coaches here in the US if they haven’t already? Could these ways of coaching kids from a young age eventually develop US born players into playing for any of the European big boys like Barcelona, Inter, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, Real Madrid etc?

  43. Citronomics says:

    Happy new years Ives and keep up the great work on the site.

    With Houston’s bid for Luis Landin getting rejected, what factors or conditions need to change for MLS squads to have more success at brining in young talent with some noteriety from Mexico, Argentina etc?

  44. Hincha Tim says:

    Happy New Year Ives!

    Do you see the USL ever trying to compete with the MLS as a rival league? Maybe under a different business model with an open system (anyone can form a club with little upfront cash (not like $40 million in the MLS) and start at the bottom and move up (or down) in a relegation/ promotion system).

  45. seven says:

    Is MLS making big mistakes with post-Toronto expansion? It seems that MLS is giddy about the Toronto’s success, but in looking to duplicate it they are ignoring the factors that made Toronto successful. Without a soccer specific stadium close to the downtown core Toronto would not have the same passionate crowds. Expansion fee is also 4 times greater than what Toronto paid. Seems like MLS is more interested in cash grab than ensuring that the strongest bids are rewarded.

  46. BoRiUaNo616 says:

    Im not sure if u posted it but i dont recall if u did. do you kno wat juan pablo angel is thinkin if he is comin back to nyrb or not? also was with kandji???

  47. mikebsiu says:

    I just heard that Chris Birchall who plays for Coventry is coming to the mls. People might remember him as the only white player for Trinidad and Tobago. Any news of where he is going? TFC?

  48. Randall says:

    Happy New Year Ives!

    In the Big Three American sports, athletes have gotten noticeably bigger, stronger and faster. In the cases of football and basketball, in particular, the game itself is very different than a couple of decades ago due to the rapidly evolving size and speed of the players involved. How has top-level soccer changed in the past 20 or so years? Would you say the changes in the athletes involved mirror those in the other sports, or is more of a premium placed on skill rather than raw athleticism?

  49. Mikemike says:

    1) What is your favorite dog breed? Why?

    2) If tomorrow MLS magically did away with all regulations on team size/salary cap/DPs, do you think the league would crumble like the NASL? Conversely, would the NFL crumble without these regulations?

    Happy New Years.

    -Mike

  50. Brendan says:

    Hey Ives,

    I was wondering how soon Charlie Davies will move to a bigger European club. Also, do you think that he will have a major role in the 2010 World Cup?

  51. Frog says:

    Hey Ives,

    Thanks again for all you do and best of wishes for the blog as we head into 2009.

    As for a question, a while back we had heard that Red Bull had lost almost all of their sponsors, and that is why during games the only real sponsor ever mentioned was the red bulls themselves. This was coupled with the massive amount of money that the red bulls lost in their first year. Can you shed any more recent news on these topics?

  52. Richie B says:

    Do you like indoor soccer? I hate playing it, hate watching it, hate basically everything about it.

  53. RS says:

    Do you foresee any changes/tweaks to the MLS playoff format for 2009 or will things stay the same for a couple of years until more teams are added? What changes could you see them making to the current format? (And no, I’m not asking about going to a single table format…that horse has been beaten rather severely for the time being)

  54. joe k says:

    hey ives, couple red bulls questions, thanks for taking your time to read all this nonsense:
    is it just me, or does kevin goldthwaite seem like one of the slowest players on the field every game?
    the way i see it, the red bulls never have enough depth in defense — is there a reason they focus on offensive positions?

  55. Daniel says:

    Dear Ives,

    Do you miss Eric Wynalda being in ESPN’s commentating booth just as much as I do? I know that the man is a walking time bomb of insensitivity just waiting to explode, but I think he was a great commentator. Without Wynalda JP Dellacamera, Rob Stone, Julie Foudy, and the like seem to lack the gumption to tell the game like it is. Wynalda would let you know when someone was struggling, and he could capture the intensity of a USA/Mexico rivalry like no one’s business. Do you think televised soccer lost something when it (justifiably) axed their “tough guy” personality?

  56. bubblehouse says:

    Will Jozy or Freddy ever end up on one of the BIG 4? If not any idea what american player might?

  57. patrick says:

    here’s my 2 completely unlrelated questions :

    Is red bull, as a corporation, happy with the status of the redbull within the NY/NJ market? I can’t imagine a company that size would be content to virtually ignore a population the size of new york city. We’ve talked about the fact that their home market is the NJ suburbs and whatnot, but as a company attempting to make money it seems odd that they ignore it. I thought once they took over we’d see a revisit to the NYC fans. Do you think we could see another attempt with the new stadium coming, or have they completely given up on the market?

    2) Nelson Becerra from SJU… MLS talent or flash in the pan?

    Thanks

  58. biological says:

    I would like to let sponsers of MLS know that I make an effort to purchase their products simply because they sponser MLS. With sponsership money a little more scarce these days, I am hoping a few words will go a long way. Do you know of a site where I would easily be able to obtain emails to do this (or who to write to at MLS)?

    Have you checked out Mad Men on AMC? I think you said you were looking for something new to watch and it is pretty good. It took me a few episodes to get into to, but now I’m hooked.

    Thanks for your site and all your work!

  59. Frimp says:

    Hey Ives, long time no post. Love the site. If this question is a repeat or whatever, my apologies please feel free to disregard. So looking at MLS and potential top foreign talent/DPs coming in…do you think MLS still gets enough bang for the buck with a big name as it did before, or would it be better in this phase of maturation for MLS teams only to bring in players based on contributions to the team completely regardless of name/stature/draw. That is, is it better to NOT have a DP and go with more “mid-level” players (ie RBNY may be doing in 09), or is it still really worth the hype of an aged star…?

  60. steal your sounders says:

    Do you think it would be a resonable to allow american national team regulars to come home as dp’s without it counting against your cap or taking up your dp slot? I guess I’m asking should teams be allowed to have a 2nd dp of american decent

  61. Brandon Donahue says:

    Hey Ives, why do you think bob bradley never wears a suit, or even a nice dress shirt to the games? I think it would look classier than the team training gear, and maybe people might think he knew what he was doing if he were to dress up a little bit. You know dress for success.

    – Brandon

  62. Indie FC says:

    This regards the recent decision of Neven Subotic. All feelings aside, I’m wondering if there are any lessons to be learned here. About 4 months ago, an article ran on Neven, centered around his experiences with our youth sides. In the article, it was stated that Neven was always separate from the other players and, in fact, commented on his lack of feeling “integrated.” If true (and I would like your impressions around this), do you feel that our program understands the importance of building camaraderie/friendship as much as skill? Your take?

  63. SeaOtter says:

    Ives,

    You may have covered this in another Q&A, so feel free to pass this Q over. But,….since Bradley gave Beasley a half at LB versus Cuba there’ve been many within the US soccer community who’ve believed he could be the answer there (not me). Assuming there’s a ready replacement for him at LMid, how does he compare to our other options?

    And since you may skip my 1st Q, I’ll ask a second. Who would make your MLS All Time – All Heart team? A team composed of players who didn’t whine, didn’t dive, but gutted out games whistle to whistle despite any pain or limitation.

    Happy New Year from a devoted SBI junkie.

  64. Graham says:

    Ives – Happy New Year. My question is how on earth did Max Bretos get a job? He is garbage. What can we do (SBI community)to get him replaced by you? Ever thought about commentating?

  65. Steve says:

    Happy New Year Ives,

    I was just reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book “Outliers” (a must read) and he had a chapter which focused on how people become experts, or world class at something. The data he presented seemed to indicated that what separates the greatest people in a given field is the amount of time spent practicing. He said that once someone has done something for around 10,000 hours he/or she should be an “expert” in that field. Applying this to the soccer, I think the reason that the US has not produced a true world class player yet is that soccer is usually never a child’s main focus in the US, like in other countries. This lack of constant practice might be what is holding us back as a soccer nation. I also think the data would seem to indicate the need for an academy based system, and a reserve system. Thoughts?

  66. James says:

    Thanks for the site Ives. This may have been covered already, but what cities do you see hosting the next round of WCQ games?

  67. Todd says:

    I am just curious as to why individual MLS teams are not able to negotiate independently with with companies that provide the jerseys and gear. Too many MLS teams jerseys are similiar. The only difference is the color pattern. I think each team should be able to have a jersey designed by Puma, Adidas, Nike, and etc. I feel like this would give teams even more of an identity. Your thoughts?

  68. Matt Laurenzano says:

    Which clubs/national teams have the best jerseys, at least your favorites? I liked Holland’s for the 2008 Euros.

  69. Carl says:

    Ok 3 v 3 soccer tournament. Teams are Jimmy McNulty, Kima and Lt. Daniels, and Stringer Bell, Avon and Bodie. Who wins?
    I’d go with Baltimore PD and I think McNulty would carry them as a striker. He clearly would be a good player, and I think Kima would be nasty in the midfield and Daniels would D up. Stringer would be on D and he wouldn’t be able to contain McNulty’s speed.
    A better question might be is there a better TV show than The Wire?

  70. Trent says:

    Ives, Great site, I love the Q&A but I rarely see anything about RSL so I thought I would throw these questions out at you,

    1. Obviously RSL needs a more leathal finisher than they have if they want to go all the way, but other than that, what addition do you think they need to indeed go all the way?

    2. Why doesn’t Kyle Beckerman get called up for any MNT friendlies, he is obviously one of the better defensive midfielders in the MLS and lately with the US friendlies it has been very pro-mls, so why not give KB another chance?

    Thanks Ives

  71. Chris says:

    Re the 10,000 hours. I heard a player needs 1,000,000 touches to be at the professional level. When (relatively) older players like Johnson haven’t had that many touches, is there hope that they will gain the skill later? Or does it only work if you’re young?

  72. Drew says:

    Who will be the surprise team of 2009? I like what KC is doing with all the experience their young players now have. Will they break out this year?

  73. beckster says:

    Happy New Year’s Ives. I’d like to know your oppion of the top 10 (most interesting or important) American moves in the January transfer window. Who and where – although by the time the answer gets posted, we may have the answers!

  74. Jerry says:

    Hey Ives,

    Do you think Honduras has a shot to clinch one of the 3 spots for Automatic WC qualification ? also do you know where the US vs Honduras game will be played here in the States?

  75. beckster says:

    Ives -also, if you were Dave Kasper and could make 3 trades for DC – what would they be?

  76. TBryantMU says:

    Hey Ives,

    We’ve all seen the effects of the DP rule in MLS and I’ve seen commercials trying to compare the MLS to american football, but it seems the general American public is still very unaware that soccer exists. Personally, it seems like a lot of people have some sort of vendetta against soccer (aka Jim Rome), and are completely close-minded toward the game. What do you think can be done or what will it take to really push soccer into the mainstream, and do you think soccer will ever be as highly regarded in this country as the NFL or MLB? I think MLS and US Soccer could be a little more aggressive in their marketing efforts.

    Thanks! Keep up the great work!

  77. Modibo says:

    Ives –
    Thanks for the site and all the work you do to keep us informed and entertained!

    Here’s a “question from hell”*:
    Where do see yourself and the site in five years? Ten years? (Acknowledging that there are known knowns, unknown knowns, etc, like technology, the news biz, soccer decisions)

    * (“a question I hate to ask and you may hate to answer” (courtesy Chuck Mertz, host of “This is Hell” on WNUR 89.3 Evanston, IL).

  78. Tim says:

    Ives,

    1. Now that it looks like Sacha Kljestan is going to Europe he has been rumored to a bunch of clubs including Zenit St. Petersburg, Shalke, Manoco, and FC Twente. What league and/or team to you think would be best for him? If he goes to the Eredivisie could that hurt his progress defensively? His defensive is getting better but it is less than desired.

    2. Why is Dempsey playing so well recently? Did Roy Hodgson get the best out of him by benching him in the beginning of the year and forcing him to play his best and earn his spot in the starting XI? Is it his USMNT form carrying over to the EPL? Or is it just him playing good and I’m just overthinking?

  79. Carl says:

    How good do you think Michael Bradley is? After he had such a good goal scoring season at Heerenveen, I thought that success might continue to the Bundesliga. But although hes started a bunch of games, he isn’t scoring a lot and has struggled lately.
    Is there an adjustment period when starting in Germany? Is his play a result of playing on a bad team? is it that he is playing a different position or can his lack of production be attributed to something else?

  80. Bacalao says:

    Happy, happy, Ives.

    Here goes: in your estimation, who has the best hair in the world game right now?

    Hint, hint: you can’t go wrong by picking any random Italian or Argy player. Having said that, there are some African players who have made tremendous strides in le coiffure.

  81. Tim says:

    btw

    absolutely love the site keep up the good work.

  82. Paul says:

    Two “essay” questions for you, Ives:

    (1) Can you review or summarize which leagues around the world determine champions by regular-season records (e.g., Europe) and which leagues have playoffs (e.g., Mexico)?

    (2) Can you explain the transfer-window rules? To which leagues, players, teams, and “movements” (player leaving vs. player arriving) do they apply?

  83. Gregg says:

    Ives,

    Why do you have no love for Portland? Enjoy your site BTW..

  84. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Damn- I blink and there are 75 questions already!

    Mine: I think the international tv rights for MLS is an interesting story. I think that once MLS is attracting younger international players closer to the prime of the careers (or on the early upside), they will be able to start selling rights more broadly. After all, a noon Saturday game in New York is a five o’clock game in London. There would be an audience for a quality product. Do you think MLS is thinking along these lines? Is it a viable idea?

  85. mikeK says:

    Ives-
    1) Any news about the fringe players on the Red Bull? Will players like Ubi and Sassano get a raise?

    2) Cat, dog, or other?

  86. James says:

    Great site Ives I appreciate all your hard work. Why haven’t youth clubs made moves to grow into professional rank adult teams also? Start with youth teams and build them up to one day having a professional team say at the MLS/USL level. A real soccer club with full training facilities etc. Thanks.

  87. kemps villa says:

    A year ago, the San Jose Earthquakes resumed play in MLS with part-owner Billy Beane, the man behind Moneyball and the GM of the Oakland A’s. He wanted to bring to his Moneyball tactics from baseball to help him run the Earthquakes alongside John Doyle. My question is have you heard or seen any evidence of Billy Beane’s Moneyball tactics being applied to the MLS franchise this past season? If so, please list some examples.

  88. jig says:

    Re: Steve and Chris

    Here’s a link to an article on Sky a while back on the theory of player development according to Arsene Wenger. Some pretty interesting stuff. It’s also a bit depressing because it shows that we tend to go about manufacturing players in the completely opposite manner than do the Gunners. I’d rather do it their way.

    happy new year! link to skysports.com

  89. Ed says:

    What do you think about the future of the USL? Teams are trying to leave to MLS, Atlanta folded, and there are rumors of some teams breaking away to form their own league. Will the league continue to survive and will it be able to expand?

  90. AltiCooper says:

    Hey Ives,

    One thing that really bothers me is the hole we (USMNT) has at Left Back. What do you think our best options are? I personally would like to see Boc move to lb as he has distinguished himself as one of the top lb’s in the French ligue. Spector is also another intriguing prospect. I have never been a fan of Bornstien or Pearce…Wade Barret and Harrington are even farther below. Thoughts?

  91. Bob says:

    Ives,

    If you were to make a USMNT soccer player from spare parts of either former or current USMNT players, whose parts would you use? i.e. whose head would you use, best for headers, whose eyes, has best vision of the game, whose hands, goalie, whose legs for speed, whose feet for touch, and brain for overall abilities?

  92. Tim F. says:

    Happy New Year Ives.

    With only 24 roster spots available on MLS teams, there will be fewer spots available to those leaving college. What are the best options for college soccer players attempting to play soccer professionally? USL? Overseas?

  93. isaac says:

    1)I thought the ussf should have hired a tandem of Steve Nicol and Mo Johnston. Or even Peter Nowak as head coach. Would this have been a good idea.

    2)Do you think Toronto FC will be a 20 game winning team next season if they pickup Osei Telesford, a DP forward and 3 1st round picks.

  94. puhe says:

    Ives,

    It seems that Jossimar Sanchez has left the Red Bulls Academy for PDA. Do you know why? And who remains as the top RBNY prospects?

    Thanks

  95. Marc Silverstein says:

    Hey Ives: Thanks so much for taking my question. Would you ever consider an article providing us with information about charities which have an affiliation with soccer? I know that some of the MLS teams have their own charitable groups that they support and some might have their own foundations and such. I know about the local GrassRoots soccer group from that Survivor winner, but I’m sure that there are other worthy charities out there that could use the publicity in these trying times. What do you think? Happy New Year!

  96. Cubillas says:

    Ives,

    Best wishes for the coming year. Knowing that NYRB is in desperate need for more depth, what players in your opinion, should they be looking at for the midfield and defense? I’m interested to see what lineup would you put together for our first game in ’09 using existing players? And, who do you think might make the most sense to play with Angel up front?

  97. Art says:

    Ives,

    Even if Kansas City paid half of VDB’s salary last year, shouldn’t the Red Bulls shell out in 2009 at least the full amount of what VDB earned last year if not a little bit more? The Red Bulls need a center attacking midfielder, center back and forward; shouldn’t they keep a proven player like VDB rather than have to replace him as well?

  98. Bits says:

    How is Johnny Exantus doing with the Belgian club? What is his update?

  99. Eugene T says:

    Ives – should Sarah Walker and Chuck Bartowski get together this season? I say yes; I don’t want one of those dragged-out plot lines. What do you think?

  100. Mike Caramba says:

    Ives,

    Thanks for the site and conrats on winning Top American Blog. Few quick questions.

    1. What do you rate more highly–Charlie Davies’ season at Hammarby or Kenny Cooper’s season at Dallas? They’re about the same for me. Anyway, this leads me to question two…

    2. Is Scandinavia really a gateway to bigger European leagues? I’ve heard this line for quite some time, and I’m wondering which (if any) American players have been able to use a Scandinavian team as a springboard to, say, England, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, or even Holland or Portugal? I’m not necessarily knocking those leagues–the paycheck is certainly better, so I fault no one for plying their trade their–but it seems like if you perform well in MLS, European clubs are starting to notice. Just wondering if you think the springboard theory is, at the very least, overstated. And on to completely unrelated number 3…

    3. I’ve never been a big fan of Hejduk. He’s bad on the ball, he’s reckless in the tackle, and his one great skill–running fast/getting forward–is largely negated by his inability to throw in a good cross.
    a. Do you think he’ll make the 2010 roster?
    b. Do you think he deserves it?
    I think someone needs to tell him “you had a…run, it’s over, ‘No Woman No Cry,’ stay in Columbus–you’ve got a good thing going.”

  101. Justin says:

    Do you think David Beckham will come back to the Galaxy on March 9, no questions asked, or will he try and stay in Milan?

  102. Joe B. says:

    Great site Ives,

    Has there been any more speculation/talk on where Beasley, Edu, and Yes Eddie Johnson may end up after the Jan. Transfer window?

    Thanks.

  103. Matt says:

    Hi Ives, great site, I read it every day and it’s the first one I hit as soon as I get home from work as my employer has blocked your site, bummer. Anyway, my question is this: what is the official rule with regards to a deflection from a defender negating a player’s offside position. In other words, if a through ball is played and the player it is played to is offsides, a defender makes contact with the ball while trying to prevent the pass, but the ball continues through to the intended target, is said player still offside? I recently watched a high profile game (league name withheld to protect the possible ignorance of certain announcers), in which a defender did just that. He deflected the ball while trying to block the pass, but didn’t actually trap and pass the ball, and the announcer seemed to believe that the simple act of a deflection negated the other player’s offside position. I was under the impression that the defender had to actually “play” the ball, i.e. trap and pass the ball of his own accord. What is the official rule on this subject? Thanks for your time Ives! Happy holidays!

  104. Homey says:

    If FIFA or various FAs can review dangerous plays to possibly assess suspensions, why couldn’t that be done for diving as well? I know it’s a tough call to make in full speed for a referee. But once you break it down slowly afterwards, sometimes dives are pretty clear. I say suspend every diver one game for those clear instances, and the game will start looking a LOT better.

  105. FCSuffield says:

    Hey Ives,

    I know in the developmental academy, the us u17 mnt plays as a team in the league… and I heard that they did the same thing with the St. Kitss and Nevis pro league, by inserting their U20 mnt into their league

    don’t u think that thus wud be beneficial in the mls, having the us u20s as a team, atleast we couldn’t gripe about them getting match experience

  106. lou says:

    Ives,

    Great site probibly the best for soccer in the tri state area. Ok so I have alot of questions so here it goes I would like to know about the following- John O’Brien, Promotion/Relegation, Eddie Johnson’s future, the Red Bulls stadium/training facility, World/CONCACAF/USA All-Time Best XIs, the U.S. team’s starting lineup in any future World Cup, The best American players in any age group younger than 20, my favorite soccer teams, Freddy Adu’s national team future or who the next batch of Designated Players will be.

    Just kidding, but in all seriousness I was wondering what is going on with Kandji in respects to him being on the Bulls roster, and just a little personal question who are you’re top favorite soccer players either playing now or all time. Thanks.

  107. Tim F. says:

    With Jimenez already gone, who else will not be returning to the Red Bulls in 2009:

    Terry Boss

    Danny Cepero

    Jon Conway

    Caleb Patterson-Sewell

    Andrew Boyens

    John Gilkerson

    Kevin Goldthwaite

    Chris Leitch

    Carlos Mendes

    Mike Petke

    Danleigh Borman

    Matthew Mbuta

    Michael Palacio

    Juan Pietravallo

    Dane Richards

    Jorge Rojas

    David Roth

    Luke Sassano

    Seth Stammler

    Sinisa Ubiparipovic

    Dave van den Bergh

    Juan Pablo Angel

    Oscar Echeverry

    Macoumba Kandji

    Mike Magee

    John Wolyniec

  108. Matt says:

    Hi Ives Great Site I Was wandering how much the salary cap they said a little how much is that 10,000 or 300,000 number please. Also i was looking at the salarys for the mls teams and why dont all the players in the senior roster make north of 100,000 because it’s possible i tryed making it its very easy if they make the salary cap 2.6 million. Alos why dont they pay for income tax.

  109. Rich says:

    Keep up the great work Ives.

    Do you think Rojas or Magee or Sinisa will play center attacking midfield for the Red Bulls or do you think the Red Bulls will find someone else to play that position? If the latter, who will it be?

  110. Matt says:

    Also wuth the cba why dont they make the minimum developental 75,000 and 95,000 for senior roster. the salary cap allows it. Also why dont the mls scrap allocation and teams can spend 50% of the revenue of the club also the clubs own the contracts. Do you think its a good idea.

  111. Brant says:

    Any chance of working loans from European leagues to MLS for players that are stuck on benches and needing some game time? I’m not talking about Americans, but someone like Shola Ameobi from Newcastle. He’s getting some game time right now with Martins hurt, but would Newcastle ever look into loaning him to MLS for part of their ‘off-season’ to get some games in while the squad is on break?
    Would MLS go for it at all?

  112. KP says:

    In the spirit of the New Year, what do you think Bob Bradley’s resolutions are for 2009? (soccer related of course)

  113. Alex says:

    I know that the draft hasn’t taken place yet, and not many trades have been made yet, but what teams who didn’t make the playoffs do you think could make a good run next year. (If you think it’s too early too call this, then feel free to ignore this one.)

  114. Johnny says:

    Hello Ives,

    Some FSC programming questions for you…

    1. Why in the world does FSC tease us with these sylvania HDTV commercials that boast about watching the beautiful game in HD when FSC is not in HD anywhere?

    2. Does FSC hate Fulham? There are barely any Fulham games on this year. I hate watching soccer on the computer!!!

    3. Any more BPL to ESPN rumors?

    Thanks IVES YOUR THE BEST!

  115. pk says:

    Ives,

    It seems that the US has had unpropotional success (compared to other field positions) in delivering world-class goalkeepers to top stages of European football. How do you rationalize this success? Is it simply chance or does the hand-eye coordination culture of the US, evidenced by sports like baseball and football, explain this trend?

    THANKS

  116. Ryan says:

    How likely is the following scenario? Beckham opts out of his contract following another dismal Galaxy season and signs a long-term deal with AC Milan to finish his career.

  117. El Scott says:

    In the American sports scene, it seems a given that some teams will eventually pack up and move to a new city. What is your best guess as to the first MLS franchise to relocate, where will it go, and what is your estimated ETA?

  118. Brant says:

    What do you think will happen with the new women’s league starting up? Stick around? Implode (again)? Will they fall victim to the marketing fallacy of the “soccer mom” (she drives the *kids* to soccer, people, she’s not a fan of any pro team or player…) ?

    The WNBA has survived in large part by being subsidized by the immense (though waning) popularity of it’s big brother. To my knowledge, there’s no connection between men’s/women’s pro leagues, is there? How stable is there plan?

  119. NICKELCALI23 says:

    Who are the 2 hardest working USA national team player in USA practices and games?

  120. Liam says:

    Ives, me being of Scottish heritage, I love to see Beasley and Edu playing or at least attempting to play in the SPL. What do you think about more Americans going to leagues like the SPL or League Championship where they’re guaranteed to get more playing time then most Premier league sides such as if like Holden, Rolfe, Mapp, Shea, Pearce would all be guaranteed to play for most of the SPL sides (remove Celtic/Rangers). Plus I’d be able to see more Americans play in my EUro League of choice.

  121. Thomas says:

    Give a rough estimate of the number of years before you think it would be fair to say that the quality of play in MLS puts it in the top three leagues in the Americas. My guess: 10-15 years.

    If you HAD to pick one or the other, which is more important to getting to that level, better foreign talent, better American (and Canadian) talent, or better coaching?

    Keep up the great work. I can’t wait to see the site redesigns.

  122. Mr. Derp says:

    Ives-

    I was reading an article recently where they discussed how the Bosman Ruling has all but wrecked team loyalty. My question is how were transfers/contracts done pre-Bosman?

  123. Chase says:

    When ESPN inevitably purchases the North American broadcast rights of the Premier League (and subsequently other European leagues), do you envision them using ESPN2/ESPNClassic as its platform or will they more ambitiously move to create a new channel (like ESPNWorld for example) that would be home to all soccer, as well as other sports like F1 racing, rugby, etc. This would make even more sense if ESPN/Disney buys Setanta (as is being rumored) and begins to compete with Sky Sports in the British market.

    And do you think ESPN acquiring the rights would be a good thing?

  124. Brokenbil says:

    Hi Ives,

    Thanks for doing this again. I love your Q&A, especially the recent debate on Supporters Shield vs. MLS Cup.

    Can an MLS team win the US treble of MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and CONCACAF Champions League in a single season?

    Thanks!

  125. BD says:

    Hey Ives, thanks for doing this again,

    If Ike Opara is really staying in school is there a chance that MLS might look to replace him in the GA class? I know Ofori Sarkodie had looked to go pro after the 2007 U-20s, do you think he (or somebody else) could be added to the class?

  126. Isaac says:

    Hey Ives. Thanks for the site. It’s expanded my understanding of the sport largely and i really appreciate it.

    What, in your opinion, was the best goal ever scored in the MLS and for the U.S. national team?

    Where do you see U.S.A. In the FIFA Rankings come South Africa 2010?

  127. Pico says:

    Hey Ives,

    since you are in the NY metro area, what are your favorite Peruvian restaurants? It takes me two hours from the Poughkeepsie area to make it to the RB games and I would love to take advantage of the situation to grab some tasty meals afterward.

    Any places in the nearby NJ region would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

  128. Ives says:

    NO MORE QUESTIONS FOLKS. Thanks to those of you who took part. Look for these answers next week.