Welcome to the latest installment of Your Questions Answered, with the third of a four-part series on July questions.
This batch of questions has a good number of MLS questions, as well as some Americans Abroad queries, with Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson among the players people want to know about. The most popular subject looks to be Landon Donovans future and where it will take him.
Just as a heads up, I will be looking to finish the last batch of July questions this week, which will hopefully clear the way for a new QA on Friday. Get yourquestions ready now.
Lets get back to the questions. Here is Part Three of Your July Questions Answered:
SMITS- Dynamo Assistant John Spencer has come up as a Head Coaching candidate several times in the past. Which do you think is more likely he kicking himself for not taking the Chicago job when he had the chance or him scratching his head when he wasnt automatically offered the Colorado job when it became available? Also where/when do you see him finally getting his chance to call the shots.
IVES- I dont think Spencer regrets not taking the Chicago job. For one, the Fire was offering very low money, secondly, sources tell me that Fire owner Andrew Hauptman has morphed into a heavy-handed owner who is just a tad too involved in soccer matters (think Dan Snyder with less knowledge of the sport his team plays.). As for Colorado, Im not sure Spencer wants to go their either. Where does that leave? How about Toronto FC in 2010? Would it be far-fetched to see a Scottish head coach working with Mo Johnston? New York will be available but Im not sure Red Bull will want a coach with no head coaching experience.
RYAN- I realize Donovan probably wont move until January, but what are the chances a deal gets announced before the MLS season is over? Any insider info on possible destinations (other than Livorno)?
IVES- If Donovan moves in the winter we wont hear about it until late December at the absolute earliest. Im pretty sure the Galaxy wont want any distractions once the playoffs begin (and yes, they look like a good bet to get their.)
CYRUS- With Kenny Coopers move to 1860 Munich, what does this mean for U-20s Peri Marosevic and Brek Shea on FC Dallas? Will Dallas bring in another forward or are they content with Shea being the future starter at that position? Id like to see them get a lot more playing time, especially considering Cunningham cant have too much left in the tank. On the contrary, do you see Marosevic or Shea possibly making a move to Europe after the U-20 World Cup in the fall?
IVES- Coopers departure, coupled with Dallas poor playoff chances, should mean increased playing time for both Shea and Marosevic. Schellas Hyndman has a ton of young talent that could develop into a pretty strong MLS team if given the chance to gain experience and grow. If Dallas falls into the trap of bringing in foreign veterans and giving them the bulk of playing time in a season where the playoffs are a real long-shot, then Dallas could miss out on a chance to develop one of the leagues best collections of young talent.
RAOUL DUKE- Very well done. I hope that this leads to other opportunities with ESPN as you clearly can be that much-needed bridge between American soccer and world football.
1) Wither Freddy Adu? My Portugese friend states what he reads in the Lisbon paper is that Benfica is not prepared to sell him at a loss or even loan him. So are they going to keep him on the bench? Can Adu force their hand?
2) Champions League on Fox. Were now less than three weeks away and I have not heard their broadcast plans in terms of announcers, future HDTV plans, etc?
3) La Liga on ESPN. Am I correct that they have the rights to La Liga in the States? If so, same question on announcers, which matches, etc.
IVES- 1. Looks like a loan is in the works. I have a feeling they might have thought about keeping him before being gifted Keirrison by Barcelona on loan.
2. I still havent heard anything either so I wouldnt be shocked if they simply took the European feed rather than using in-house announcers. As for HD, keep dreaming. Fox wont have it until 2010.
3. Yes, ESPN secured rights to La Liga in the states, though Im not sure just how many of the matches will air on English-language ESPN networks. I would imagine theyll use European-based English feeds for those games as well.
ISAAC- should the league(MLS) lose the salary cap. we have seen european and mexican clubs come here and sell out stadiums. should a team (an example like the la galaxy ) and the league be penalized and made to lose out on money just cause the san jose earthquakes want the ability to pay players a little more than minimum wage. thank you for your time.
IVES- I think the cap should stay, but should be increased. You cant just go from having a cap to having no cap. I think a gradual chance is what the league must go through. Overspending without a solid economic infrastructure isnt a good formula for long-term success. Havent we learned anything from the NASL?
MIKE- With the start of the regular season around the corner in Europe, is it safe to say we have seen the last of the transfers of the american players, i.e. Dempsey, Altidore, and Bradley?
IVES- Jozy Altidores move to Hull is the most recent for an American, but I think well see Freddy Adu loaned somewhere before the transfer window closes (not to mention a Zak Whitbread move.
ROEHL- Last week was a very entertaining set of MLS matches, and I think the action in the league and with the national team has been better this season than last, but I dont see Eurosnobs coming over and supporting American soccer. Yet certain fans have tried to de-Americanize the sport in recent years. Are the leagues overtures about shifting the league calendar, and ESPNs moves towards European commentators for the next World Cup really about getting diehard soccer fans, or is it just to appease the fans that American soccer already has?
IVES- I dont think the league has many any overtures about shifting the league calendar. Youve had some people suggest that the league needs to (such as Sepp Blatter). As for European commentators for the next World Cup, I think the success of Andy Gray at last years Euros showed that an American audience will embrace quality announcers, no matter the nationality.
GMONSOON43- What do you think benefits a national team more, having most of its players in the same league with all similar playing styles(England, Spain, Germany) or have players from various different leagues with different styles to bring to the team(Brazil, US)?
IVES- Ultimately what benefits a national team is players playing at a high level regularly. If youre Spain, England, Italy or Germany, then you can find that in your domestic league, but if youre most leagues beyond the Top Four your talent pool is more likely going to need to go abroad to play at as high a level as possible.
CREIGE- Call it a Donovan fixation but am I dreaming that he would be a great fit for Evertons midfield especially with Arteta still in recovery? There are very few teams where I think he would be an instant fit but this is one of them.
IVES- Given Evertons dire need formore offensive punch I think its fair to say that any quality attacking player would be a good fit for the Blues, and yes, Donovan would fit that category.
STL SOCCER FAN- With the MLS transfer window recently opening, do you see another Designated player being brought in by any teams? Who could you see coming in?
On the other hand, which MLS stars appear on the way out as the Cooper news has just broken?
IVES- Nope, I dont see anybody unveiling a big-ticket player this transfer window. Now, in 2010, I think we should see a handful of new DP signings (assuming DP slots are brought back.
FREDDY ADU ANONYMOUS- 1) Where can a brotha get some playing time?
2) Why did Houston get the 2010 All-Star game? Wouldnt it better to wait couple of year and have it at their new SSS?
IVES- 1. I hear Denmark has some PT, while Belgium and the Netherlands are also possibilities.
2. Good question on this one. Youve got Philly and New York opening stadiums in 2010 yet neither will host the All-Star Game? Thats pretty shocking if you. Something tells me theyre hoping that a successful All-Star Game helps them pump some more local interest in the Dynamo and its stadium project. Either that or MLS is trying to save on airfare since we know Dom Kinnear and half the Dynamo will be selected to the West team next year anyway.
FULHAM PETE- It seems like theres a LOT of money being spent by City and RM, and not much of it is getting spent on replacements. I have a theory that a couple of those teams watched Landon torch Spain and Brazil, and dont want to pay a mid-MLS transfer, but would shell out some of the earned transfer bucks in January.
So, whaddaya think?
IVES- Nice theory Pete, and it would be nice to see Donovan go to a top club come January. I do see him leaving MLS in January, but whether MLS actually gets the money its looking for remains to be seen. European clubs dont always want to spend for mid-season signings.
WAITING FOR GUITEAU- David Beckham, then Freddie Ljungberg. I had heard rumors that Thierry Henry wanted to retire to Red Bull New York a few years ago, but somehow I think Barcas recent success will put that on hold. Who do you think is the next big European star to close out their career in MLS? Also, of the US players currently still playing domestically, who do you think will be the next big export?
IVES-No idea who the next Dps will be, but something tells me well have some big signings in the summer of 2010, after the World Cup. As for who is leaving the league, Id say Landon Donovan should be the leagues big departure, with Stuart Holden also very likely to move on.
JOE GOLDSTEIN-What team do you root for in the MLS?
IVES- I dont root for any team. Never did, never will. I root for good soccer, great goal and great stories.
JASEN- Whats up with Setanta U.S.? Is it worth it to order the channel now that Setanta UK has gone bankrupt?
IVES- Setanta USA is still airing EPL games, as well as other soccer games, so if you had it before theres no reason yet to get rid of it.
STL SOCCER FAN- Have you heard any news about Eddie Johnson at Fulham? With their Europa Status this season it would seem as if there will be more opportunities to play than last year as Fulham will be looking for depth. It would be nice to see him getting some PT at Fulham.
IVES- As it stands, Johnson looks to have done enough during the pre-season to impress Roy Hodgson and earn himself a place on the roster. Given his pre-season success you might have thought hed have some sort of role but Johnson didnt dress for the opener. With the Europa League and the domestic cups you would think Johnson would have a chance for PT, but if there isnt going to be playing time then the Cottagers need to loan him out again and give him a chance to play regularly.
DIGITAL TAKAWIRA-You have the power to eliminate one element from the modern game, what do you choose?
a) Exorbitant transfer pricesb) Diving/play-actingc) Vuvuzelasd) Other (please specify)
You have to power to add one element to the MLS, what do you choose?
a) Larger salary caps and/or DP slotsb) Designated away-supporter sectionsc) World-class refereesd) Other (please specify)
IVES- Id probably go B and then C. I know transfer problems are an issue but I just absolutely hate any and all forms of diving and pretending, whether youre pretending to have been fouled, or pretending a slight slap to the head was a full-blown elbow. Its all a pitiful scar on the game. As for the MLS question, I was torn between A and C and was left thinking that even if the quality of players improved, if the referees were still bad the game would still be ruined far too often.
What do you think of these answers? Share your thoughts below (also, let me know at what time of the day you would like to see me post the next QA).