The SBI Show: Episode 143 (Previewing USA-Azerbaijan, recapping MLS Week 12, and more)

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The Memorial Day Weekend may have meant some time off for many, but it also provided American soccer fans with plenty to talk about.

Episode 143 of The SBI Show takes a look at the U.S. Men’s National Team as it prepares for Tuesday’s friendly against Azerbaijan. We project a starting lineup for the match, and discuss what we will be watching for in that first friendly in the USMNT pre-World Cup send-off series.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss MLS Week 12 results, including Landon Donovan’s record-breaking performance, New England’s big win against D.C. United and the exciting match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders.

Give Episode 143 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:

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80 Responses to The SBI Show: Episode 143 (Previewing USA-Azerbaijan, recapping MLS Week 12, and more)

  1. Joe says:

    I can’t believe how much water you are carrying for this charlatan coach. This is 1998 all over again and you know it.

    Clearly Green chose the US because he was guaranteed a spot. In fact, obviously Green, AJ and Brooks were all guaranteed spots. If you are fine with this clown selling out the fans for this World Cup for a bunch of possible Adu’s and Szetela’s than say so jack ass. Being Klinsmann’s PR rep isn’t going to get you more access.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Yeah Ives, show us your birth certificate.

      Hey Joe… Get a life.

    • Brad C says:

      Yeesh. Tranquilo amigo…

    • cpldaniel says:

      It doesn’t make sense to say that Green was guaranteed a spot by committing to the US in the spring because the moment he suited up for the USA against Mexico he lost every bit of leverage he had to enforce ANY deal he could have had with Klinsy. Green isn’t surrounded by idiots at Bayern or agent that represents & advises him. They all know FIFA rules. He’d be locked in with the US even if Klinsman told him yesterday to take a hike. Green has ZERO leverage to enforce any quid pro quo agreement that all the media and internets keep talking about.

      • The Garrincha says:

        Corporal Dan.
        Thank you for your service and your words
        very well said my friend. Good work +10 for Pele!.

      • Ali Dia says:

        I don’t think this happened either. But to address your question– if there had been an explicit deal, the preferred arrangement would likely have been a “gentlemen’s agreement” rather than a contract, whereby both parties recognize the potential liability of documenting their arrangement, and choose to proceed based solely on an assessment of credibility.

        In soccer, this arrangement in commonly used in loan transactions, with the Owning Club loans the player to a Loan Club, with the undocumented understanding that he not play in their head-to-head matches. It’s a common pactice and practically open secret, yet documenting this would be a violation of the competitive integreity of the league, as it would create an “unfair” situation for the other clubs, who had to play a full-strength version of the Loan Club

        These arrangements are, of course, incredibly difficult to prove, and usually require considerable third-party validation. But if proven, it is effectively the same as a contract, and could be used to prove an improper relationship.

        If Klinsmann had welched in this hypothetical situation, it would have been a game of “chicken”. Green’s best move – in all likelihood – would have been to confess, throw JK under the bus, and hope that the fact that he was an impressionable teenager who “came clean” earns him clemency (or threaten to do so). Another option would be to keep in “in house” and let the politics do the job. Things do have a way of coming around in organizations with long memories. Does anybody think Uli Hoeness is in jail because of a random audit?

        Well that was long… hope that adds some color to the situation (with both agree is irrelevant)

    • arsenal says:

      You know nothing about soccer or soccer history it seems. You want compare Donovan and Green? Let’s do it. 2002 world cup wqc, or maybe late 2001.Donovan is playing for Bayern Leverkusen, the reserved fourth division second team — he couldn’t even make the first team. In 29 games he scored 9 times (in his total career there, which I think was four years. He wasn’t even playing for the reserve side when he was called in). Who calls him in? Bruce Arena. Goes on to participate in the world cup. DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU? Sounds like Julian Green to me, but Green has much better stats and has made the first team. Arena took a chance on calling this new guy named Donovan and it worked out.

      Hmm..let’s go with Aron now. The guy played really well this year in Holland, and is a better league than the MLS. Yes, defending can be questionable, but it is still better. Now, Aron has about 24 goals and 7 assists. How many does Donovan have? The season is still young for MLS, but he has tow assist until last night.

      Brooks…I’m not going to even bother because he is a defender. You want Donovan defending because he definitely can’t defend.

      You, some others, have some serious tunnel vision. You all thought Donovan was untouchable, but he wasn’t and shouldn’t. I laughed when I found out because I knew the storm it would cause. Maybe that is why Johnathan Klinsmann laughed too? Or is that too logical?

      • james says:

        donovan already had a full season with san jose

        • arsenal says:

          I could be a bit wrong with that as I’m doing it all from memory and I was fairly young then. I though when he was called up for his first wcq he was still at BL, but I could be wrong. And, if we are honest with ourselves, the league was fairly bad back then. Putting new rules in and then changing them again as well as not many good players like we see today. But, even if I’m wrong, I think its still a fair comparison.

        • JayAre says:

          The 2001 version of MLS was comparable with the lower lower German leagues you’d be a naive fool not to admit that MLS was way below par in the early 2000’s

      • Nate Dollars says:

        not trying to support the OP here, but you should really make sure your facts are right before you say someone knows “nothing about soccer or soccer history”.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          re: donovan’s career

          …and now i see that GW already corrected you. disregard.

          • Increase says:

            He did and he didnt. It looks like his first call up was while at BayerII.

            The a WC did happen after the MLS season.

      • John L says:

        Holland is not a better league than MLS. If Aaron played in MLS there is no way he scores as many goals.

        • Matt says:

          It is a “different” style of play and league. A lot of quality attacking soccer…similar to Liga MX.
          Less defense and physicality found in MLS, but develops sound ball-handling players and good tactics.

        • Jack says:

          If he had Roy Beerens beside him he might.

        • Anthony says:

          I am a pretty big MLS supporter, but you would have to be a fool to say that the Eredivisie is not better than MLS. It is a different type of league (more technical and more offensive). A lot of players in MLS COULD NOT hang, technically, with a lot of Dutch teams. That being said, MLS is more tenacious defensively, not more technical, but more tenacious (e.g. give you less space and more physical — not better).

      • ZTom says:

        ….””is playing for Bayern Leverkusen, the reserved fourth division second team””

        First of all, it’s Bayer Leverkusen, not Bayern lmfao.
        You sir, are a moron. Let me save you the time it takes to learn this thru self-discovery, lol.

        Donovan was 17 years old when he got to Leverkusen. He was playing for the US-Under 17’s at the time! Please, you and all the vicious little MLS flameboyz need to go back to your mother’s basements.

        What I’ve been reading on this and other blogs regarding Landon is just unbelievable. How many high school kids could walk into a Bundesliga side, reserve team or not? The answer is that there ain’t none, not one.

        • Anthony says:

          How many high school kids would walk into a MUCH better Munich reserve team and lead them in scoring and impress so much that he would be given a professional contract in arguable the best team in the world (probably the best German team in about 40 years).

    • The Garrincha says:

      Somebody pass Joe the blow,
      I mean, take her easy and have a blow.
      Oh, wait I didn’t mean to say that either.
      Well, F-it!,
      just go ahead and say it ain’t so Joe.

    • wood chip zip says:

      +1,000 Joe except the Adu reference doesn’t work for me. He, unlike Julian Green, has actually provided the US MNT several quality performances against top international teams

    • r.benjamin says:

      Ives – Thanks for being practically the only voice of reason out there. I’ve listened to a few podcasts and read a ton of articles that are all so emotion driven and straight up homer. Twellman, Lalas and Connelly were jilter high school lovers.

      Your take and breakdown of the roster cuts are by far the most straight forward and independant that I’ve heard.

      • Wood chip zip says:

        Donovan has contributed more to the national team and US soccer than any player in our history. Any other country allows that player to retire from the national team rather treat him in such a humiliating way. Sorry but Lalas, Twellman, Jimmy Conrad, Ray Hudson, Brian McBride, Brad Freidel, and others who are criticizing the Donovan decision were professional players and internationals who know a bit more than Ives. Not “homers” as you say. The foreign media is critizing the decision too. Ives likes to rationalize Klinsmann for some reason

  2. robo johnson says:

    it’s not just fans killing green.. go to… all these writers are destroying this guy

    • arsenal says:

      Its really sad. You have the media creating up such a storm over one player being left out. One who said, I might not make it, I can’t train as hard, went on a sabbatical in the middle of qualifying, and poor form. Then he comes out and says I deserved a spot after saying if he doesn’t make it he will be the number cheerleader. All he is doing by saying this, instead of saying no comment and let’s focus on the team, is causing a huge distraction.

      • beachbum says:

        blaming LD for a distraction? total garbage dude. He handled it GREAT and with total class. Can’t say the same for all parties involved however who created any distraction to which you refer.

        hope Green plays well, looking forward to seeing him tonight.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        His being left off was going to be a distraction, period. If Donovan said nothing… THAT would have been a distraction. He ripped the band-aid off- addressed it, was honest, as gracious as one could possibly expect from a competitor, then said he was done addressing it, gave his support for the team and urged everyone to. Perfect.

        LD moved on, his energy is with club as demonstrated… as fans, best we place ours in support of our team going into WC- THEY ARE GOING TO NEED IT!

        Green? His only true competition- Shea flamed out months ago. His being on or off had ZERO effect on LDs fate. Donovan’s days out wide are done… even so for club, even by his own admission. He is a central mid, withdrawn forward.

        • Mueller says:

          Great point about LD. He is bad as a wide midfielder now. Green and Davis aren’t really his competition. They were more likely Corona’s competition if anyone still in the 30. Those goals this weekend were as a second forward. As a second forward his competition is Dempsey and Johannsson for two spots and he lost the battle.

      • Mueller says:

        He would not have been welcomed back to the squad of any other top footballing nation. Only in America. I love watching MLS and I think everyone needs to support MLS to grow the game here. But people need to watch other leagues as well to get perspective on the game globally. Bradley Wright Phillips the leading scorer in league came to MLS from Brentford in the English 3rd Division. If that is possible the league is not as high of a standard as many think. There is a reason Klinsmann went with the Bundesliga guys.

        Football is a daily grind globally, not a once every 4 years type thing. Don’t expect to let the players only treat it seriously once every 4 years and to be able to beat the top countries in the world.

    • Bac says:

      I’ve gone to, I’ve listened to that one guy blast the Green decision on the podcasts, but he’s blasting every decision.
      But every article is very positive about Green and how he’s impressing in camp.

      No matter what anyone’s opinion is on Donovan, we should be hoping for this kid’s success, cause guess what.. he’s our kid..wearing our jersey

      • Increase says:

        Many of the MLS writers are massively MLS biased. It is their job after all to prpmote the MLS. I wouldnt put much stock in their Editorials.

        Borg is the really negative one. I swear he has said negative things and implied favouritism about Fabian Johnson which is just silly. Fabian is one of our best players.

    • The Garrincha says:

      That’s because many a writer on soccer do not know the beautiful game.
      Thankfully it’s changing.
      The key ingredient is an educated knowledgeable fan base.

    • Anthony says:

      If MLS writers are destroying Green,then that is just SAD. What did this kid do? An 18 yr kid? Destroy the coach (even I like the kid being chosen). There is a reason that Klinsman is a professional coach and those writers and commentators on the board are not.

      Even of this garbage. Donovan was cut, end of! Deal with it! I was shocked, but I see the logic in terms of the 8 players chosen for the front 4 (which is what he was competing for). Why is no one slamming Brad Davis! Slam him, not some 18 year kid who gives you a little special of the bench. Zusi provides service!

  3. Brad C says:

    One thing people are forgetting recently, LD saying in interviews that he can’t train hard and play hard or vice versa. The World Cup is 3 games in 11 days with a ton of travelling. Coaches want players with fresh legs.

    • Benny says:

      What he meant is that he’s just pacing himself because of his age, Every player does this or he will breakdown. But who cares what he said, he belongs on the team, period.

      • JayAre says:

        So you are telling us what LD meant to say? So you know more than the person that was actually in the situation? Do you see how stupid you sound? you’re going against LD’s own words to vouch for him.

        • fifawitz1313 says:

          So you are telling us what LD meant to say? So you know more than the person that was actually in the situation? Do you see how stupid you sound?

    • ZTom says:

      “””‘3 games in 11 days with a ton of travelling”””

      Yo Brad, what makes you think that, say, Michael Bardley can do this? Klinsman thinks he can, in fact, he is making Bardley the man in this team.

      You and the flameboyz have made alot of reference to Landon’s 4 months off. But, nobody mentions that Bardley walked away from Roma in at the start of the year and did not kick a ball for Toronto until mid March. He only started 5 times for Roma before that.

      • Brad C says:

        For the record I didn’t like MB or Dempsey coming to the MLS. I wanted both to stay in Europe.

        I mentioned what LD said because it shows his mindset. He admits himself that he’s not the same as he was when he was younger.

        Pacing oneself sounds like something all players probably do but how many do you hear talk about it like LD did? Especially when questions about his commitment to the game come up?

  4. The Other Jeff says:

    In 1980 the US Olympic hockey team pulled off arguably the greatest upset in US sports history, beating the Russians in the “Miracle On Ice”. Coach Herb Brooks deserves credit for the way he put the team together and motivated them for that moment.

    How did Brooks pull it off? In his own words (these quotes were not made in this order but I think this sequence is a logical one, consistent with Brooks’ approach to coaching):

    “You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”

    “You win with people, not with talent. So the quality of the people is very important in building your team. I always looked for people with a solid value system. Then I recruited kids from a cross-section of different personalities, talents and styles of play.”

    “My recruiting key — I looked for PEOPLE first, athletes second. I wanted people with a sound value system as you cannot buy values. You’re only as good as your values. I learned early on that you do not put greatness into people…but somehow try to pull it out.”

    “Let me start with issuing you a challenge: Be better than you are. Set a goal that seems unattainable, and when you reach that goal, set another one even higher.”

    “We need to look at what Europe is doing to get better and try to get better ourselves. We need to make some changes and that can only be good for the game. Tolstoy once said, ‘Everybody wants to change the world, but they don’t want to change themselves.’ So we all have to change our thinking and focus on getting our kids better.”

    “Success is won by those who believe in winning and then prepare for that moment. Many want to win, but how many prepare? That is the big difference. A sound value system held water then, holds water today, and will hold water in the future.”

    Then perhaps the finest pregame inspirational speech in sports history:

    “Great moments are born from great opportunity.
    And that’s what you have here tonight, boys.
    That’s what you’ve earned here, tonight.
    One game.
    If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine.
    But not this game. Not tonight.
    Tonight, we skate with ’em.
    Tonight, we stay with ’em, and we shut them down because we can!
    Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.
    You were born to be hockey players — every one of ya.
    And you were meant to be here tonight.
    This is your time.
    Their time — is done. It’s over.
    I’m sick and tired of hearin’ about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw ’em!
    This is your time!!”

    The Russians might well have won anyway in that furious final push, maybe nine times out of ten, but who can doubt that it was Brooks’ approach to building the team that gave us the chance? A bunch of college boys took the ice as if they, not the seasoned professionals, owned the game.

    You find this same approach in many of the best sport coaches in history, “pulling greatness” out of players not just picking players based on what they have done in the past. Klinsmann hasn’t done that yet of course, but it is not irrational for him to approach his job this way. The US isn’t Spain or Brazil, loaded with talent. If he wants to play it safe he can put out what talent we have and know he won’t be criticized for it. If he wants to win, he has to do it with more than just the talent he has available.

    What Brooks faced in selecting and preparing his team is not dissimilar to what Klinsmann is trying to do today. Germany? Portugal? Even the US bogeyman Ghana? They are our Russia.

    Klinsmann’s approach to coaching is cut from the same cloth as Brooks. He has approached this US side from the outset by following the Herb Brooks script, building around a set of values not a set of players, and looking for players that he, Klinsmann, can personally inspire to achieve more. Every press conference since taking over he has emphasized values not skills.

    I’m guessing here, but I think Klinsmann the competitor wants to win this group, not just survive it and limp into the Round of 16. To do so, he needs his team to play as one. He needs to “pull greatness” from his players. He needs each of them to believe he is pulling greatness from themselves and the rest. He needs every player to respond to HIS coaching and inspiration. Only Klinsmann really knows why he cut Donovan, but my guess is, the answer is very simple: Donovan is an enigma. Not just to Klinsmann as Alexi Lalas suggested, but to all of us. Klinsmann, like Brooks, wants a team, not a collection of individuals, and therefore had no room for an enigma. I take him at his word that he has ultimate respect for Donovan; that doesn’t mean he thinks he is right for his team.

    • arsenal says:

      Very, very, very good post. I didn’t think about Brooks. I should’ve because the man is a legend for what he did and how he approached coaching.

    • start Wondo says:

      some utterly fantastic posts made on this website in the past week, and yours is another.

      well done.

    • GW says:

      Brooks also said:

      “If you give me 99%, you make my job very easy”

      • Sharkbait says:

        Yeah that was actually one of the first things I thought of when I heard Donovan was cut.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Titanic Home Run of a Post. Excellent.

    • Bac says:

      Does that mean Christiano Ronaldo is the new Stan Laurel?

    • MisterJC says:

      Excellent. I’m tired of so many of our fans media being so dismissive and overreacting. They are angry and taking it out on the team as a whole, and they lose faith so easily in Klinsmann because he doesn’t go about things in a way they expect, anticipate, or that helps them be comfortable.If we as soccer fans and media expect to get to the next level, we’ve got to allow these decisions to be made and executed without flying off of the handle…

      • the original jb says:


        And I would add that in addition to accepting decisions that run contrary to prior conventional thinking, we will have to accept some bumps in the road.

      • wood chip zip says:

        The next level. Well the media in the next level soccer countries, (Brazil Germany Argentina) are flying off the handle about the Donovan exclusion

        • MisterJC says:

          True. However, I believe that has more to do with LD being the US player other countries are most familiar with rather than having an understanding of our team’s current condition.

          I’m not even saying people can’t be upset about one of their favorite players not going to the Cup. I’m saying that when it’s being handled in a way that affects the whole team and program negatively, then it’s going too far, in my opinion. Especially as it pertains to the soccer education of the uninformed and casual observer that we want to attract…

    • The Garrincha says:

      Hey the other Jeff, great, Herb Brooks stuff there.
      talking about players, yes everybody has to buy in, and be one toward the teams ultimate goals and success.
      I would say this philosophy applies to all teams,
      but in regards to amateur teams it is most important,
      because you don’t have all the talent available and at you’re disposal.
      Regarding the game did you see it?,
      funny thing about it is it was not even the gold medal game.
      it was quite a game, one of the great moments in the annals of sports.
      I also saw Muhammad Ali, get carried out one last time. the parallel’s of Landon Donovan’s USMNT, career are starting to look like a cross section of this.
      anyway. LD may be an enigma to all of us, but soccer people know what he has done and can still do on the soccer field.
      For the record I have always and continue to support JK, and the Team.
      I do recall I did say regarding JK, “we finally got the cook in the kitchen”…

      • The Garrincha says:

        The Grinchy, coughs.
        Foolish me I guess I did not see.
        and added two more goals than there was to be.

      • The Other Jeff says:

        As I thought about the Donovan thing, what came to mind was the 49ers giving Joe Montana a plane ticket to Kansas City in favor of Steve Young. He came to camp assured it was an open competition but in the end the decision had clearly already been made. 49ers won the Super Bowl that year as I recall.

        A friend of mine, a baseball commentator, told me the ones who have been great and are starting to slip all have one thing in common: no matter what’s been going on, they all believe they are just one pitch away from getting it back and proving they aren’t over the hill just yet.

        Yes, I watched that game and remember wondering, “Why am I watching a hockey game?” It was just the Olympics coverage on at the time not something I sought out. Reagan newly elected, Iran hostages just released, stagflation, cold war in full tilt. Cool… the US is winning. Against Russia! I’d better pay attention. It was toward the end that it turned from an entertaining game into something else as wave after wave came at Eruzione, the most dramatic few minutes I’ve ever witnessed in sports.

        The next-closest: LD’s goal against Algeria, when a whole nation erupted.

        Here’s hoping the next comes in this WC. Doesn’t matter who.

    • Jim says:

      Fantastic post. Ives should make it required reading and give it a post of its own.

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        I’d go for a podcast reading as well. James Earl Jones available?

    • Sharkbait says:

      I’ve been wanting to bring up Herb Brooks for a while now but you just did it way better than I ever could. Bravo.

    • Mueller says:

      Very good post. There is also a very simple way to look at it for me. Klinsmann wants a Willian instead of a Mata. That’s why he assembled a bunch of worker bees like Bedoya, Davis, Wondo, Beckerman, etc that will give absolutely everything to the cause. JK is harnessing his inner Diego Simeone. I like it.

    • JayAre says:

      I’ve never read a better comment on SBI. This is exactly what I believe Klinsmann is doing. We have to be honest as a nation if we stack our talent and Germany stacks theirs Germany will win every time. But when they believe and play for each other we have a chance to win that one game just like the Spain game in the Confed Cup in 2009. If We played Spain again the next day we would have been mauled. Maybe Bradley read them this speech or something.

    • Raymon says:

      Hey Jeff, do you have a twitter or blog? Cause I wanna follow.

    • Joamiq says:

      The problem with your theory is that there are a lot of guys on this team that could be called enigmas. There aren’t a whole lot of knowns. Frankly, we know a lot more about what Landon Donovan can bring in a World Cup than we do about some of the other guys on the 23.

  5. Ali Dia says:

    Titanic Home Run of a Post. Excellent.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Titanic Home Run of a Post. Excellent.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Sometimes this happens.

        • The Garrincha says:

          What the hell happened to you Ali Dia,
          did you go on full tilt?.

          • Ali Dia says:

            Yes. This did not go well. Missing the correct reply field twice in succession. Does look a bit like I’m stuck in a fugue state, doesn’t it?

            I noticed you published your new novel below. I will see if I can do better here once I get a chance to read it.

  6. The Garrincha says:

    another Great Show Guys thank you!,

    inviting you all to watch 138 goals in 10 minutes.

    everybody who is weighed down for whatever reasons
    in some contrary position to Donovan,
    yet many have no answer and offer no solution?.
    I am usually of the opinion that if one is
    pro, no, or neutral?, you should at the very least be able to offer up
    any kind of constructive insight or alternative solution.
    sadly my friend every day that goes by we’re all on the decline.
    but today, today my friend is an international friendly date.
    People may not like or agree with my comments sometimes
    however I am certain that I am fair, subjectively objective, truthful to a fault, and sharply honest in my observations.
    no bias, prejudice, agenda driven, homer style rose colored glasses.
    I was constructively critical of Greens, play among others,
    as I am in total support and belief in their exploits and true potential as a players.
    (simple and basic measure of constructiveness, in the end was it right or wrong?).
    You can distinguish and separate the two.
    liking someone plays little to no part?, understanding and realizing their inherent potential and developed value, to a specific task, team, or cause is what separates free and noble thinkers from sheep. (practical philosophy: meditate, or see the nature of affinity and attraction, aversion and repulsion ).
    Now back to the real point off all of this.
    Nice to see all of the goals together, thank you ives.
    What we can witness.
    A list of points, insights, and observations in no particular order.

    First congratulations!.
    thank you for all your contributions to soccer in the US and world at large,
    and to the team.

    There was many great goals however a few that stuck out for me.

    First ever MLS goal against NY/NJ Metrostars, was that Hulk Howard?.
    Goal #13 Ramshack Rimando,
    # 14, # 23, #27, #31, #42, #49, # 53 Golazo!, #66, 69 – 71 great hat trick,
    #49 # 105 & #128 all out. #91, #92, # 138.

    1. out of all of Landon Donovan’s goals scored, only half a dozen or so came from outside the box.( a misguided reason to currently rate him solely as a striker).
    further surprised to see that only about five percent of his sum total of goals was scored via PK.(meaning he’s worked for a lot more goals than I imagined).
    Side note: looks like a 1st or 2nd choice PK taker, and a 2nd or 3rd choice free kick taker(depending on the spot).

    2. very adept at passing and finishing with both feet. That’s super nice.

    3. highly skilled and technically savvy, with good vision and field sense.
    Furthermore his passion, heart, and drive does not appear to be diminished.

    4. A multiple threat, endowed with good team combination play and individual play making ability. (All time goals and assist’s, so nothing to dispute).

    5 still very agile with quick feet, fine touch, multiple threat attacking mid/false 9/pseudo poacher type. with very slightly diminished speed but added more physical strength.

    6. poised on the ball control, endowed with a killer instinct, a lot of heart, winning attitude, and a competitive drive that enables him to make up for whatever physical deficiencies and defensive liabilities he may posses.
    LD, through hard work and good fortune has produced and sustained quite an exceptionally high level of production, as one can see going through the goals and years.

    7. Talent and experience both matter, and to those that will point out a bad world cup or two good world cup performances…
    this is exactly what I mean, he has the skill and complete experience.
    You can just feel that he’s ready to go all BMB, “Beast Mode Brazil”…

    This all said I wholeheartedly and unconditionally support the team.
    enjoy the game everybody and stay classy.

    Peace, love, and have a nice day.

    P.S. The divine ones speak and The Garrincha listens,
    just isn’t Good Mojo, to not have your Talisman with you.
    deep in Amazon rainforest.

  7. HH says:

    New England went Balls deep into DC this past weekend. Can’t wait to see what they do on the road against a desperate Montreal Team.

  8. beto says:

    Disagree Ives! The idea of bringing multiple young players that you dont want to play in the WC is DUMB! I see the arguement for 1 maybe 2 but there are too many “future” players in this camp..

    Don’t claim this is bulid up for 2018; we have 2 Gold Cups, Copa America, Qualifying and hundreds of friendlies until then. <– probably a better time to bring Yedlin, Green, Brooks, Chandler, others in justsaying…

  9. Dman says:

    What is Dom Dwyer’s situation with regards to US citizenship? Ives mentioned that he might be able to play for USA in 2018 which would mean he is ahead of Fagundez somehow.

  10. Mikey K says:

    I know everyone is excited for the world Cup. Jeez some of you all are posting whole essays,thesis theories, and case studies on SBI today. Lol!

  11. Raymon says:

    So is anyone’s productivity at work already suffering? Cause “a friend of a friend” has a problem focusing on non-WC related stuff lately, and is looking for some help. And the children expect me to feed them every day, like 3 times at least.

  12. wood chip zip says:

    So Jurgen essentially barred development academy players from playing high school soccer yet his kid gets to play Development Academy soccer, U18 national team soccer, and high school soccer for Mater Dei. Things that make you go Hhhhhhmmmmmmm

  13. Joamiq says:

    Ives, a few counterpoints to what you said about Donovan at the top of the show:

    1) Certainly his game against the Union doesn’t PROVE that he should have been on the team. That said, it does go a long way towards disproving the notion that he’s so out of shape that it negates his abilities. This should have been clear from the whole season since he usually goes 90 for the Galaxy, but when he’s still running hard and scoring in the 80th minute a few days after he’s cut ostensibly partially because of lack of fitness, it makes you think that theory is bunk.

    2) You said he had opportunities to have a performance like this before the last game, and that’s partly true. However, that fails to take into account the fact that he played a different role on Sunday. For most of the season he’s played in a shuttler role in the Galaxy’s diamond midfield. With a few players ahead of him, it’s not that much of a surprise he hadn’t been racking up the stats. But in the last game he lined up up top with Keane. It’s not all that surprising that he broke out when put in a more advanced position.

    3) I don’t think it’s really fair to downplay the performance because it came against the Union. Donovan has spent the vast majority of his career outplaying inferior opposition in MLS and then going and showing that he can get it done on the international level. Beating up on teams like the Union has never stopped him from bringing it at higher levels before. Why should we think it would be any different now?

    • Mueller says:

      I think #2 is why he didn’t get picked. He only plays really well as that second striker whether its MLS, Gold Cup, etc. As a shuttler he is pretty average. The problem is Klinsmann only picked two second strikers, Dempsey and Johannsson. Everyone wants to say he picked Yedlin, Green, Davis, etc etc etc over Donovan, but he didn’t. He had an eye on Donovan for one position but Dempsey and Johannsson beat him out for the job.

      People keep saying “but he is versatile. He can play midfield. He can be a super-sub.” Klinsmann has defined traits he wants in certain parts of the field and certain roles. Is Donovan better than some of the people on the team? Of course. But Klinsmann probably liked other players better with certain roles that showcases their skill sets.

      If we go 0-3 and score no goals everyone can burn him at the stake, but until any of us sees how the team functions together we should give JK the benefit of the doubt.

      Sorry if that became a rant.

      • Joamiq says:

        I disagree personally. I think Donovan’s a pretty effective shuttler – in fact, I think that’s his best position for the US (I think LA’s problem this season has been more that the other shuttler and Keane’s partners have been pretty useless). Donovan is still effective both ways and operates well in tight situations. He’s not going to race up and down the sidelines anymore, but that’s not a problem if he’s pinching in and the FB is making overlapping runs. I think he, Zusi, and Bedoya are all very good in that role, and I was really hoping to see the three of them rotate.

        I hope we do well, of course, but I have trouble giving JK the benefit of the doubt right now. This is a guy who persisted with 3 d-mid/3 forward lineups for a little while, and who has tried to force the US into a more open style of attack but without emphasizing movement, which has led to a decrease in goals. I hope he proves me wrong in the World Cup, but I’m far from convinced at this point.

  14. MisterJC says:

    Great show as usual, guys…