SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 20th Edition)

Good evening folks. It's time for our regular installment of the SBI Live Q&A. We are back for the second night-time Q&A after having enjoyed a successful first foray into the evening Q&A format.

You know the drill. Send your soccer (or pop culture) questions my way and I will try to answer as many of them as I can over the course of the next few hours. Please be aware that hundreds of questions are pouring in, so be patient. Also, please try and not to repeat your questions too many times. I will get to as many of the good questions (and questions I can actually answer in this format) as I can.

Let's get started (Tonight's Q&A is after the jump):

 

 

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9 Responses to SBI Live Q&A (Oct. 20th Edition)

  1. Jake says:

    Brek Shea: nervous because he’s not ready

  2. Jason says:

    The last forward DC got from NY was Francis Doe, and that didn’t go all that well.

  3. Fear The Beard says:

    When is Ronaldinho coming to the Galaxy? Do they have to let Donovan go first?

  4. Yurch says:

    Oh great, more blind Michael Bradley defenders! Who claims he didn’t have a great World Cup!??! I think even his staunchest critics would admit he was absolutely fantastic and the US team’s best player.

    What does that have to do, however, with wanting him to get subbed out when he is playing terribly, or to give Jones and Edu some time together as the CM pairing?

    As I mentioned previously, the MB haters had their moment years ago, before Bradley turned into a player that should, more often than not, be on the field for the USMNT. Now they have largely disappeared, replaced by people (like me) who don’t think he should be guaranteed a place on the team, regardless of his form.

    Unfortunately, we now have MB uber-defenders, who still think the first group is around and blindly defend him, arguing against nobody that his World Cup performance was world class (which it was).

    Quite entertaining, actually, to see the back and forth over the years.

  5. GW says:

    Your post is quite reasonable but I’m in the camp that thinks that MB’s “challengers” so to speak, aren’t that impressive yet. Actually neither is MB or for that matter Jones.

    Next to Rico, Sacha, or Beckerman, yeah Jones is a god but he’s probably an average to above average international in World Cup terms at this point.

    In the Poland and Colombia games I wanted to see how well Jones and MB linked up. And if that wasn’t working out I was still perfectly happy to see it play out over the course over two games. It takes time to develop understanding. I prefer a player get an extended run alongside another player to really see what is going on. And MB has earned being first in line at this point.

    It wouldn’t have bothered me if BB had subbed out MB with Edu or Holden to see how they hook up with Jones but there will be chances for that in the future.

    I see Jones as a proven above average club player who is likely going to be a very good international. MB is getting there, Edu’s World Cup was pretty average and Holden’s basically non existent.

    All four of these guys still have quite a lot to prove at the international level so it strikes me as nuts to go crazy over MB having two games in a row with Jones. It’s like going crazy over the fact that Fitzpatrick beat out Trent Edwards for the Bill’s QB position of the Bills.

    Bradley is the youngest, he is more proven at the the club level (BMG bottom dweller? Yeah they are 5 points behind Bayern and higher in the table than Schalke [Jones and Raul], Cologne and Stuttgart. Some good players there) and the international level.

    Edu is getting established but Rangers play in a very substandard league and Holden’s been doing well for 9-10 games at Bolton, hardly long enough to get that excited yet. Those two have a ways to go before they can be called established internationals.

    I expect Holden will ultimately be Jones’ best partner, not because he’s miles better than the other two but because his skill set may fit in better alongside Jones.

  6. Yurch says:

    You also make reasonable points. However, saying there is time for others to play with Jones doesn’t seem to follow BB’s pattern. MB plays every game regardless of his form. Clearly it would be best to get Jones and MB on the field together, but against more defensive teams (especially in CONCACAF), one of them should be sufficient. Unfortunately, BB has never shown the inclination to sit MB on the bench.

    It is fairly clear BB was going for the win in these past two friendlies judging by his selections. If that is indeed the case, why not substitute a player whose form was TERRIBLE (by almost everybody’s ratings).

    And saying Edu’s World Cup was average is a little disingenuous. He never really got a chance to play due to BB’s continual selection of Clark.

    In my opinion, the foursome of Edu, MB, Jones, and Holden are all relatively equal in terms of ability going forward. The only problem is that MB is absolutely locked in to one spot, with really no chance that he won’t be on the pitch. In my opinion, the only player locked in to a spot regardless of form is LD and maybe Jones after his two recent performances.

  7. GW says:

    “Unfortunately, BB has never shown the inclination to sit MB on the bench.’

    True but I’ve never had a probelm with that because he’s never had a player like Jones available before. Jones is the first serious competiton MB has ever had.

    I see Jones as the indispensible one of the four, at least in the next year or two. I think Edu could have challenged MB but he spent most of 2009 injured and has only very recently had a nice long consistent run with Rangers to emerge as a possible true challenger to MB, even though the SPL is really only Rangers and everybody else.

    “He never really got a chance to play due to BB’s continual selection of Clark.”

    I’d say it was Torres who cheated Mo out of more time. In the tournament overall Clark played 121 minutes and Mo played 197 minutes or about one hour more.

    “In my opinion, the foursome of Edu, MB, Jones, and Holden are all relatively equal in terms of ability going forward. The only problem is that MB is absolutely locked in to one spot, with really no chance that he won’t be on the pitch”

    Ability maybe but Jones has a more consistent command of his skills than the other three probably because he has faced more stringent, higher level competition over an extended period of time than any of them.

    I disagree with you that BB won’t bench his son. I know him as well as you do which is to say not at all but everything I’ve read about him tells me he wouldn’t let a little thing like hurting his son’s feelings get in the way of his job. Besides MB is a big boy. Everything I’ve read seems to indicate MB is a very tough cookie. After all he went off to live in Europe and try to make it as a pro by himself, something not every teenager can do.

  8. Yurch says:

    Hey, believe me, I hope your analysis is right. And, to be honest, I don’t think BB cares about hurting his son’s feelings. BB is professional, and that shouldn’t be an issue. At the same time, it worries me when I see MB stink up the joint with Jones player very well, only to see them both stay on the field.

    Like I said previously, by Bob’s selections it looked like he was going for the win. If that’s the case, he should’ve substituted MB since he was detracting from that goal.

    In any event, it’s only two games. I guess I’m a bit pessimistic due to Bob’s past performance and selection. Since it seems like the full team won’t be together for quite a while, I guess we’ll both have to wait and see.

  9. GW says:

    “At the same time, it worries me when I see MB stink up the joint with Jones player very well, only to see them both stay on the field”

    If I were the manager the way I would have looked at those two games was, MB is my starter, a job he earned.

    You don’t pull him for substandard play especially when:

    It’s an experimental game

    He’s never played with Jones before

    He wasn’t playing that bad for god’s sake.

    If it’s still like this after a couple of games and Holden, Edu and et al. are still playing at a high standard, then I think about taking his place away for a while.

    Everyone accused Bradley of being slow to sub out and then in the World Cup he suddenly developed a quick hook. Well the games really mattered then. So it’s clear he gives people time to work things out. And why shouldn’t he?

    These are all pretty much the much ballyhooed “meaningless friendlies” after all.

    “Like I said previously, by Bob’s selections it looked like he was going for the win.”

    If he wanted to win he would have played Dempsey all the way through both games and/or brought in Donovan for one or both.

    If you interpret bringing in the older guys like Howard, Boca and Dolo another way to look at that is that he was bring them in to provide leadership and a point of reference to guys like Lichaj,Shea and Jones. Dolo and Boca in particular are captains and European vets and if I were a guy new to the team I’d appreciate having people like them around in training to learn from. Everyone wants to write those two off for 2014 but we may need them, at the very least, to get us there and who knows what kind of shape they will be in then.

    As for Howard, he’s always made me nervous and I’d just as soon leave him off the team and let Guzan develop into the #1. Then again, having Howard and Freidel in front of him seems to be a good motivator for Guzan so maybe I’m wrong about that.