It’s Q&A time

Good morning folks. If you’re stuck at home watching the snow fall like me, I feel your pain. If you are in Hawaii or any place else where the tempurature is above 50, I hate you (okay, not really).

It is that time again, time for you all to submit your questions for the latest Q&A session. Just post your soccer-related questions below and I will provide my answers, opinions and suggestions next week (I’m shooting for Monday).

Please remember, as always, keep the questions from being too long, limit your questions to two at the most and please consult previous Q&A sessions so we don’t get the same questions being asked over and over (If anybody asks about John O’Brien I am banning them from the site. Okay, I’m half kidding).

Fire away!

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91 Responses to It’s Q&A time

  1. Onionsack says:

    Do you find Red Bull is more restrictive than Metro about information? If so, how does it effect you reporting? I ask this because other writers recently have come out and said MLS is not media friendly and forthcomng as other US sports.

  2. kahlva says:

    The old Stand-By Red Bulls’ Questions…

    – Any leads on who Osorio is targeting for attacking midfielder or the other positions (defender, winger)?
    – Stadium & Training Facility Construction Update?

    Thanks Ives!

  3. Ted says:

    What about Quentin Westberg’s future?

  4. Matt says:

    Ives, with Philly on board MLS will have expanded by three clubs over three years. Do you see the league holding off on further expansion for a while to allow the talent pool to catch up, or are they aggressively looking to add a 17th and 18th club?

  5. GLD124 says:


    Off all the foreign sigings so far, which non-high profile player that has been signed do you think will have the biggest impact?

  6. Carlos says:

    Where can one hang out with Ives on a normal day?

  7. J1m says:

    How does the addition of Philly to the league impact the schedule of adding another NY team? What other cities have the best chance at making the cut before the lockdown?

  8. Dave says:

    It certainly seems as though Osorio is freeing up cap space, i.e. Dema trade. Do you think he knows exactly who he wants and how much he needs to get them or do you think he is just anticipating needing the space?

    Can a Conde trade happen? And is Conde holding out at this point?

  9. Doug says:

    With Philly looking like a lock for 16, where can we expect expansion to go? I’m from St. Louis and absolutely want a team, but how good of an idea is all of this expansion? We already will have 3 new teams in 3 years. In your opinion, is there enough talent, money, and interest to support an 18-team league 4-5 years from now?

  10. Mark says:

    Will we see a RBNY-RB Saltzburg final this year? Is there anyone on the Salzburg roster who would be a good fit for NY?


  11. Chuck says:

    Hey Ives– Why hasn’t Neven Subotic been called in with U-23’s? Nowak has shown that there is a lack of depth at the CB poisiton at that level after being forced to move Maurice Edu back there. Where’s the love for one of the best young defenders playing in Germany?

  12. Dominick says:

    Is it a done deal the US will play Argentina on June 7th?

  13. Jeffrey says:

    Looking into your magic globe who do you see not making the playoffs this year? San Jose and Toronto still seem to be obvious choices. How about the Galaxy? They were horrible last year. Can the magificant trio of Beckham, Donovan and Ruiz save their season by themselves? That defense looked nonexistant Wednesday.

  14. Graig says:

    What ever happened to the all state teams you did a few months ago? Tough thing to do being two years away, but your ideal starting 11 for the 2010 world cup based on nothing else except your pure guess as to who will develop and/or shrink away during the next 24+ months. Thanks.

  15. andrew says:

    Hi Ives 2 questions.

    1. Do you have any idea what salary Babayaro will be on, if he finally signs for the LA Galaxy? In England he was earning at least $1-1.2 million a year, possibly much more. I find it strange that he would accept a substantially lower salary e.g. $200k. How can this team afford him and Xavier etc

    2 Why does MLS ban transfer fees inbetween MLS teams? It seems like a good ‘trade’ for obtaining a player. e.g. NYRB could pay Chicago $500k for Conde etc

  16. Hincha Tim says:

    Would the league accept a fan based association ownership situation like Barcelona or the Green Bay Packers if they could raise sufficient funds?

    If so, how much capital do you think the league is requiring for an ownership group to have (obviously about $30Mil for the price of a team, but they must want to see additional working capital)?

  17. froboy says:

    What is DC going to do with their second DP slot? It seems too late for this year, and any thoughts on the new DC stadium?

  18. Rishi says:

    Hey, as a follow up to Dominick’s question,

    Any insight on other potential US Friendlies, like, such as, for example, England?

    Also, any idea where we will play Spain?

    (subtle reference to Ms. Teen SC)

  19. 1 – What are the chances Red Bull trade or release another player before the season commences?

    2 – Whom are they looking at as their present and real CAM options?

    3 – What are the chances of another New York franchise appearing within the next 5 years?

  20. Matt G says:

    hypothetical question:

    if soccer ever becomes a popular sport in this country, and all the expansion is said and done, do you think the MLS will ever go into a relegation format?

  21. Willis says:

    Hi Ives, not sure if this has been asked yet, but what level do you see the MLSs salary cap being raised to in next year’s collective bargaining?

  22. Brett says:


    What is the situation with Heath Pearce? Apparently his time with Hansa Rostock is over, where do you see him going?


  23. Nick says:

    Hi Ives,

    This is a more personal question for you, how are you liking in new site compared to your old site? Are things working out as well as you had hoped?


  24. ajr_rsl says:

    with the new philly team why can’t they have the team start in 09 so we have even teams with seattle.

  25. Adam says:

    Any word on whether or not Barca will be making a stop at RFK or FedEx field???

  26. emanon says:

    re EPL’s Bottom 3 – Predictions as to whether Reading and/or Fulham can avoid relegation. If they can’t, do you see some of the Americans moving teams, and if so to where? Another EPL, MLS, Spain . . .

  27. John says:

    I heard you on CSRN’s American Soccer Show podcast. Well done. Any chance that you’ll get your own?

  28. Aaron says:

    You mentioned a while back of the MLS allowing its clubs to have minor affiliated teams outside of its market (i.e. Cities that do not have teams). Any developments concerning this? Thanks Ives.

  29. mark says:

    Ives, How serious is Montreal Impact about joining MLS. Can you ever see this happening?


  30. Shmenge says:


    Any inside word on locations and dates for Superliga?


  31. AJ says:

    Will Soccer By Ives endorse a Presidential candidate?

  32. BFBS says:

    Less of a question, more of a request: I would be interested to see a feature on obtaining tickets for European games without getting fleeced. That is, tips for American fans who are planning their trips to Europe and would like to attend a game. (Sample teams of interest: Fulham, Villareal, Benfica.) Thanks.

  33. THE Nick says:

    Can you start blogging from a cafe or pub or something so that SBI Mafia members can stroll by and come hang w/ Don Ives every now and then?

    Real question:

    You think Barca will sell out GS again? I think in 06, Ronaldinho’s popularity is what did it. Now, his popularity has been waning, along with his form, and even though Henry is in the picture, it might only bring in 50-60k. What’s your estimation?

  34. DURSK says:


    Do you think Renya has it in him to actually benefit the RBs this season???

  35. Brandon says:

    how is Eric Brunner doing? Do you see him getting signed and if so is it to a senior deal or developmental?

  36. Doug says:

    With Philly looking like a lock for 16, where can we expect expansion to go? I’m from St. Louis and absolutely want a team, but how good of an idea is all of this expansion? We already will have 3 new teams in 3 years. In your opinion, is there enough talent, money, and interest to support an 18-team league 4-5 years from now?

  37. Shane S says:

    Ditto Nike G: What are the prospects for a real league system in American soccer?

    So I’m in Birmingham AL. What MLS team should I consider my team? The closest one is probably Columbus(!).

  38. reid says:

    Any leads on DP for the Revs?

  39. James T. Kirk says:

    Hey Ives –

    1. Do you see a future of the Superliga with the advent of CONCACAF Champs. League? It seems that the not-so-popular sport in America is now very crowded: MLS league schedule, Open Cup, Champs League, Superliga, Pan-Pacific, plus other friendlies.

    2. With all of this congestion, do you think CONCACAF will follow the rest of the world and change the Gold Cup to every four years instead of every two years? It just makes sense since the FIFA Confederations Cup is every four years.


  40. Brian says:

    1. If you were Benny Feilhaber’s agent/manager/advisor, what would you suggest for him to get some quality PT?

    2. How far do you think the U-23’s will go at the Olympics?

  41. Jerry says:

    Thanks for the CONCACAF Abroad Report each week. With so many Canadian players on teams overseas, why isn’t their national team more of a force in CONCACAF qualifying?

    Any inside info on status of Bobby Convey’s knee or when Eddie Johnson might start to get playing time at Fulham?


  42. Chris says:

    Regarding Conde do you feel it is worth losing Dane Richards to acquire Conde? Metros/RBNY have traded away young midfielders in the past who have gone on to have good careers. Is it worth the risk of losing a possible young and talented midfielder to fill a hole that could be fixed by other means.

  43. sutnice says:

    Is my perception correct that Jonathon Spector generally goes under the radar when discussing the future of the U.S. national team unlike other young defenders like Jonathan Bornstein have? If so, why? Though he is not always a starter, he is still young and has generally established himself as a reliable defender on a Premiership team that is not likely facing relegation.

  44. patrick says:

    A follow up to Aaron’s question. Do you see mls teams placing their reserve teams in other cities?

  45. Edward says:

    Pull out the crystal ball: how long do I have to wait until I get an MLS team in the South? Over/under 5 years?

  46. Johnny says:

    Ives you’re the best!
    1. What is your up to date prediction on where Jozy will end up once he is transfered and will he go in the summer or winter window?

    2. Do you think the new team in Philly will hurt ticket sales for the New York Read Bulls? It does seem like quite a few soccer junkies who would have travled north might just hold out until things start up in Philly. At this rate the stadium in Philly will be done before the Red Bulls get their act together!

  47. Lloyd Heilbrunn says:

    Any truth to the rumor that the Galaxy will be playing a tournament in Guam???

  48. Dannyc58 says:


    What were the motives behind Osario’s 2 year deal? Was that more of a Red Bull philosphy (choice) or JCO’s?

    It just feels like he is out of here after that contract, or has aspirations for bigger clubs. (I know he has to show he is good before he moves on).

    Also, DVB has to be worried about his roster spot, right?


  49. MemRook says:

    Ives: all time favorite soccer related book, movie and personal memory???

  50. brent says:

    I know you get tired of answereing this question but is promotion/relegation ever going to be a possibility. Or once we hit 18 teams is the growth of the league over. With so many cities interested anything over a 20 team league would be horrible especially if we stay in the conference format.

  51. kpugs says:

    My question is very simple, yes or no, so you’re welcome in advance.

    Is it just plain easier for goalkeepers to get an English work permit because it is so much harder for them to play the requisite amount of international matches, i.e. there are way more keepers in a given country than there are slots/matches/opportunities with the national team?

  52. Mike from Baltimor says:


    Any word on where Santino Quaranta may end up? He’s been working out in Baltimore trying to get fit. Any teams thinking about kicking the tires on him? He’s still only 23. I have to think he’s worth a gamble.

  53. Adam says:

    Any idea how serious NYRB will take the Carolina RailHawks game, considering it’s their last game before MLS? Will they keep everybody out to avoid injury… or play the best XI to build chemistry?

  54. Brian says:

    Any idea where Atlanta stands in the expansion mix? I’m a fairly new soccer fan, and it’s hard to be that passionate about the league when you don’t have a team that you can call your own.

  55. Rui says:

    What do you know about João Vieira Pinto and the signing possibility with Toronto FC? He’s old, but was one of the players of portuguese “Golden Generation”, twice Under’20 world champion (89 and 91).

    Can he be a good signing?

  56. tsingletonvt says:

    A few weeks ago, maybe in a Q & A answer, you stated that MLS players would be wise not so sign long term contract extensions this year or next year pending the upcoming labor negotiations. That makes perfect sense.

    My question is, do you see owners trying to ink DPs before the DP rules or labor agreement changes in an effort to only have $400K count against the cap?

    More generally, what types of financial rangling, contract negotiating do you anticipate from the owners as the end of the current labor agreement approaches?

  57. sorry eyeves, i didnt read the 2 ques limit.

  58. Dave says:

    Two Questions:

    1) Do you see Gooch going somewhere this summer and if so whats a likely fit for him?

    2) If Rochester ever got some decent financial backing would the MLS ever consider them, we do have a nice soccer specific stadium already, which is more than most of the MLS can say!

  59. Ben says:

    any info on a possible USA-England or England-USA game and where it would be played if it’s in the US ?

    Would Robbie Rogers be a good signing for LA Galaxy (aside the whole cap issue) ?

    cheers for your news blogging

  60. Stephen says:

    Any chance that the Revs use the DP slot to bring Benny back to the US?

  61. Stephen says:

    Any chance that the Revs use the DP slot to bring Benny back to the US? If not Benny, do you know who the Revs are looking at to fill the DP slot?

  62. PatrickfromNC says:

    do you see mls ever taking a serious look at moving away from the single entity structure?

  63. J-Man says:

    How old is Matt Kassel?

  64. Louis says:

    Hey Ives,

    Any chance Osorio might bring some more high profile Colombians, how about Bustos?


  65. Mike says:



    How did the Chicago Fire put together such a complete, competitive expansion squad in 1998 AND under a tighter salary cap? Why aren’t more teams following what they did as an expansion model?

  66. Ryan says:

    Any updates on these guys:
    Gabe Ferrari
    Johann Smith
    Danny Szetela

  67. Dave says:

    Over at the Sideline Views blog, Luis Bueno did pre-season unit rankings where he ranked how everyone’s keepers, defense, midfield and forwards ranked in MLS. Ours is as follows: keepers (9), defense (9), midfield (12) and forwards (1). Do you see these ratings as being accurate?

    The two ratings of 9 and one of 12 are pretty bad, who might get thrown by the wayside to make room for new players or do you think we’ve seen enough cuts?

  68. Tim F. says:

    What are the top ten experiences (in priority order if possible) you would recommend mens’ soccer fans residing in the US try to do before they die?

    Commentary you can delete:
    Here’s my list which is unfortunately based on hearsay as I’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing most of these yet. For purposes of developing this list, I assumed the fan does not live near a MLS franchise (in such a case, I may have added a couple more MLS-related experiences factoring in convenience and cost). I strongly considered adding Celtic vs. Rangers; AC Milan vs. Inter; and AS Roma vs. Lazio and perhaps should have:
    10 – Attend the inaugural MLS match in a new soccer specific stadium (e.g., RSL, NYRB, etc.)
    9 – Attend a MLS Cup Final
    8 – Attend a Gold Cup Final
    7 – Attend Mexico vs. USMNT in Azteca Stadium
    6 – See Fenerbahce and Galatasaray play each other in Istanbul
    5 – See Sporting Lisbon and Benfica play each other in Lisbon
    4 – See Man U or Liverpool play an EPL game (preferably in Old Trafford or Anfield)
    3 – See Barcelona and Real Madrid play each other in a Primera division match
    2 – See Boca Juniors and River Plate play each other in Buenos Aires
    1 – Spend at least a week and see three soccer games live at a World Cup

    In a few years may add CONCACAF Champions League Final and even Superliga final…

  69. Karen says:


    If a youth academy player is signed, does the full amount of his contract count against the team cap or only part of it similar to the way a Generation Adidas contract is treated; if the latter, do you know the specific terms of how the YA contracts will be treated for purposes of the cap (e.g., based on players age up to age X)?


  70. Art says:

    Thanks for doing Q&A Ives.

    Congrats to New York as they seem to have selected well in the draft, with Brunner, Roth (although he is injured now), Sassano and Borman each having strong training camps.

    However, given that you watched the combine and did research on some of the players, can you give your assessment of whether the Red Bulls should have selected other available players – based on talent and/or needs – such as …

    Yomby William, Eric Avila, Peter Lowry, Michael Videira, Ricardo Pierre-Louis or George Josten instead of Brunner;

    Joseph Lapira or Geoff Cameron instead of Sassano;

    Rauwshan McKenzie, Scott Campbell or Xavier Balc instead of Roth; and

    Pat Healey or Yannick Reyering instead of Borman?

  71. Jeonju2-0 says:

    Thank you again Ives for the Q&A

    I wanted to know about MLS rebranding. Have you heard rumors of any new color/logo/name switches in the works? I’m thinking maybe KC when they get that nice new stadium. It’s hard to believe that all team identities seem to have survived the offseason intact.

  72. Greg says:

    What happened to MLS Direct Kick? I haven’t seen anything on it. Is MLS not doing this TV package this year?

  73. Steve says:

    Have you heard any rumors of who FC Dallas will be unloading? They seem overloaded at D-Mid, already have way too many internationals in camp, and have tons of cap space still to spend, probably on more international players (Ruiz replacement). What do you think it would cost an MLS club to trade for an extra an international spot?

  74. daniel says:

    I just bought tickets to the final match of the CONCACAF U-23 tournament. Since the top two teams will be going to the olympics is this just a glorified exhibition? Is there anything on the line other than the title?



  75. Todd says:


    Great site I am glad i found it. Do you know if Direct Kick will be broadcast in HD this year?

  76. derek Gores says:

    I live in Florida, loved (and miss) the Mutiny and Fusion, but why should anyone believe a new Miami team will fare any better than the Fusion did? I know they will be closer to Miami, but does that really make all the difference? I found in Tampa that the Mutiny was largely a walk-up-day-of-game crowd, and the Florida summer thunderstorms regularly obliterated potential attendance. I really hope they get a new team, as long as it is viable. I’ll be fan 1.

  77. Coz says:

    So, what’s the deal with Scandinavia? Why do so many American players seem to be going there? Do these countries have a higher incidence of English-speakers without the work permit requirements of, say, the UK? Or is it just that the level of play is more in line with American players, but with bigger salaries?

  78. ken says:

    This question has probably been asked before, but why is it that Feilhaber hasn’t gotten any playing time at Derby? Is there a better
    player blocking him? Is there some other reason? I am truly puzzled. I watched a bit of a derby match the other day and they seemed terrible. I just can’t see how Benny wouldn’t get any playing time with a squad that bad.

  79. SeaOtter says:


    I keep reading snippets about Benny F. and his huge ego. I didn’t think much of it at first, but I’m beginning to wonder if he hasn’t pulled a bit of a Pearce and pissed off his employers rather than been outperformed by his competition within the team.

    Have you gotten the impression that Benny thinks a little too much of himself? Have an opinion on this slant on Benny’s story?

    Many thanks for the work you do.


  80. Randy Biernat says:


    Can you tell me why the USMNT won’t use a 3-5-2? Is it the lack of quality in the back? Not enough technical skill to maintain possession in the midfield? Something else. It would seemingly solve our left-back / 2nd string right back issue. and allow Landon/Clint to play free in the middle. What do you think?


  81. Freddy says:


    Do you think Landon Donovan should really be recognized as USA’s all time leading goal scorer considering that maybe about half his goals were from penalties he didn’t draw himself?

  82. Fred says:

    How badly will the Galaxy suck this year?

  83. ron says:

    Is Rev’s owner Kraft still pursuing purchase of Liverpool or another English club?

  84. matt says:

    Ives, love the new site. Two Questions for you:

    1. What’s the deal with Subotic? Will he play for the US at the Olympics if we Qualify? Based on what he’s done in Germany’s 2nd division it seems like he’d be a quality option center back.

    2. Don’t feel obligated to answer this one, but just because I’m a nerd; are you following the presidential race very closely? I’m also wondering if you have a favorite candidate? Once again feel free to pass on this one. I’d certainly understand if you didn’t feel like disclosing your political preferences.

  85. Beckster says:

    (1) Ives, what do you attribute Convey’s issues against Mexico to? Was this really a career ending injury? Do you think he will ever be the same?
    (2) Enough of the Red Bulls, how do you see DC United’s chances? Will Ben Olsen get another crack at the us team?

  86. Brian says:

    Is Neven Subotic going to play for the US or Serbia? What’s your guess? How good is he and do you think he would be in our plans?

  87. Ben says:

    Fire fan here – first thanks to this whole Osorio/Conde crap, I’ve discovered your site which gives me lots of info I didn’t already have = good, thanks.

    Onto the question:

    Fire fans were warned about Osorio by fans of his former club Millionaros about the way he left, then how he took Conde with him. He did basically the same thing with the Fire (don’t know about Conde yet), don’t you think he’ll do the exact same thing to the Metros, if given half a chance?

  88. CACuzcatlan says:

    Who are the #3 and #4 teams in CONCACAF right now? Canada looked very strong in the Gold Cup and Honduras has some very talented players playing overseas and they beat Paraguay in a friendly during the last match day. Anyone else that comes to mind? Can our #4 win the play off spot against CONMEBOL for the World Cup spot?

  89. josh says:

    Ives, I need your guidance…I lived in LA for 12 years, during which time MLS sprang up, and the Galaxy counted me as one of their first fans. During that time, I developed a healthy hatred for our bitter rival, San Jose. 3 years ago I moved to the Bay Area, and have watched my Galaxy devolve into a circus. But the colors get into your blood. But it was okay, as there was no local team to compete for my attention, unless you count the CA Victory. (RIP). But here are the Quakes! Born again, and playing just down the road. If the Galaxy wasn’t such a star-f**king joke, this would be no problem, but…as it is I am torn.

    Ives, tell me…what would you do?

  90. Kurt says:

    Ives – Why is it that MLS (and from what I hear Scandinavian leagues) have a massively longer winter transfer window relative to european counterparts?



  91. Ives says:

    THAT’S ALL FOR QUESTIONS FOLKS. Thanks for those of you who took part.