Sunday, August 05, 2007

MLS/USMNT Summer Survey Results

A few days have passed, and it's time to look at the results. A link to the survey was posted here, as well as on the MLS General and US Men forums at Bigsoccer. My goal here is to get a look at the approval ratings for the important men in American soccer, opinions on ESPN coverage, opinions on players, and a couple fun questions as well.

Several of the questions were repeated from the last survey. Those were the approval rating questions, which I plan on including every so often so we can compare them over the months and years.

The number of responses for each question varied a bit, but most noticeably for the music question. I guess some people either weren't familiar with the songs (you hipsters), or just didn't care.

Obviously, the people who took this survey are mostly hardcore fans, so keep that in mind. Of course, if you're not a hardcore fan, then you probably wouldn't be reading this blog anyway.

MLS/USMNT Summer Survey

(201 responses. Numbers listed below are percentages.)

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Bob Bradley is doing as US national team coach?

Approve 86%
Disapprove 4%
Unsure 11%

Thoughts: This is the first time I've asked this question. Bradley enjoys extremely high popularity among USA fans, and frankly I'm surprised. The Copa America performance was obviously disappointing yet expected given the players on the squad; however, it appears that fans didn't blame Bradley for those selections. Or maybe they're still glowing over the Gold Cup triumph. Personally, I expected a Gold Cup title, so I can't give him a ton of credit for that.

Will his popularity still be as high after the tough games coming up, friendlies though they may be? What kind of record do we expect from away games against Sweden, Mexico, Switzerland, Catalonia, and South Africa? People are happy with the way things are going, although any dip in form and who knows how forgiving they'll be. Bradley doesn't have the previous success Bruce Arena had during the last cycle.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Sunil Gulati is doing as US Soccer president?

Approve 22%
Disapprove 35%
Unsure 44%

Thoughts: I guess the big thing on voters minds was probably the national team coach search, where he's been criticized for waiting so long to settle on Bob Bradley, and then for naming him as interim coach, only to remove the title before he played any meaningful games. Other than that, most people probably didn't have much to go on, hence "Unsure" winning in a plurality. It's hard to say how good of a job he's doing until we see the results down the road. We can't judge him on the results of one game or attendances.

For more on Gulati, read these articles:

2/23/99 - Gulati's ouster singles change in MLS winds
5/1/06 - USSF president Gulati is professor of the pitch
9/27/06 - U.S. Soccer prez says youth teams must shoot for diversity

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Don Garber is doing as MLS Commissioner?

Approve 87%
Disapprove 6%
Unsure 7%

Thoughts: Previously, he was at 91-4. So virtually no change. It's certainly a good time to be an MLS fan, and Garber's leading the path to profitability. I wonder how much of an impact he's really had though? Would we be seeing this growth and these rights fees without him?

4. Who is the best American soccer player at this moment in time?

DaMarcus Beasley 2%
Clint Dempsey 11%
Landon Donovan 45%
Benny Feilhaber 7%
Brad Friedel 4%
Tim Howard 19%
Eddie Johnson 5%
Brian McBride 6%
Oguchi Onyewu 1%
Claudio Reyna 0%

Thoughts: No disagreement here on Donovan. Howard is a somewhat surprising second. He's seen a ton of positive press since his move to Everton. Is he really better than Friedel now, or is it just that Brad's been around for a long time and isn't as exciting? Beasley at 2% seems to be in the opposite scenario. Just securing a starting role at Rangers would have people thrilled.

I forgot to include Bobby Convey, likely due to his time off with injury. I wanted to include Reyna because despite the hate, he's only half a year removed from the Premiership and one year away from being a sure USMNT starter. He received no votes.

5. Who is the best American soccer player without a cap for the senior national team?

Josmer Altidore 66%
Arturo Alvarez 8%
Davy Arnaud 2%
Jose Burciaga 5%
Michael Harrington 3%
Jay Heaps 1%
Stuart Holden 6%
Troy Perkins 3%
Eddie Robinson 4%
Craig Waibel 3%

Thoughts: Easiest outcome to predict. I didn't want to include guys like Zizzo and Szetela, who have either not played a professional game or rarely see time. By the end of the year, I would say Altidore should be capped for sure. Others likely to get called up include Alvarez, Harrington, and Robinson. Burciaga probably will continue to get ignored, although there's a golden opportunity: the Mexico game comes on a weekend where every MLS plays except Kansas City.

6. Which song currently in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 best describes MLS?

Plain White T's - "Hey There Delilah" 8%
Fergie - "Big Girls Don't Cry" 7%
Rihanna f/Jay-Z - "Umbrella" 5%
Timbaland f/Keri Hilson - "The Way I Are" 21%
Shop Boyz - "Party Like A Rockstar" 28%
High School Musical 2 Cast -"What Time Is It" 11%
Akon - "Sorry, Blame It On Me" 4%
Hurricane Chris - "A Bay Bay" 2%
T-Pain f/Yung Joc - "Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')" 12%
T-Pain f/Akon - "Bartender" 3%

Thoughts: MLS players = rock stars? You guys think so. I think that my choice, "The Way I Are," is pretty apt. The top two are definitely the best choices, as a lot of them I couldn't even consider (shame on the four of you who voted for A Bay Bay, lol).

7. Do you approve or disapprove of the job ESPN2/ABC is doing with their MLS broadcasts?

Approve 45%
Disapprove 37%
Unsure 17%

Thoughts: A net approval rating of +8, which is quite lower than April's +33. I suspect the David Beckham game's coverage has a lot to do with that. Or, and I think this is pretty likely, Beckham's arrival has lead to new fans (and new Bigsoccer readers) who previously didn't watch MLS. Those soccer fans wouldn't like any Americanized things in the broadcast, even less than a lot of longtime MLS fans would.

8. Who is your favorite co-host/commentator/reporter on ESPN2/ABC's MLS coverage?

Julie Foudy 5%
Allen Hopkins 11%
Dave O'Brien 2%
Tommy Smyth 32%
Rob Stone 12%
Eric Wynalda 39%

Thoughts: Wynalda is the biggest favorite, likely for his outspoken opinions. Smyth has generally been a decent favorite among US fans for a while now, no shock to see him near the top. It's interesting to see Allen Hopkins with 11%. That's only good for fourth place, but more than I expected for a guy who's neither a big part of the broadcast nor is that memorable. Perhaps Hopkins voters just disliked everyone else more?

9. Who is your LEAST favorite co-host/commentator/reporter on ESPN2/ABC's MLS coverage?

Julie Foudy 30%
Allen Hopkins 4%
Dave O'Brien 31%
Tommy Smyth 8%
Rob Stone 10%
Eric Wynalda 17%

Thoughts: DOB barely beats out Foudy. I'm going over last year's Czech Republic vs USA match to analyze the commentary of DOB and Marcelo Balboa. I plan on comparing it to the 2002 commentary of Jack Edwards and Ty Keough. So I'll find out if Dave sucks as much as many of us think he does. Wynalda at 17% shows that his personality can rub some people the wrong way. I also honestly thought that Rob Stone would be a bit higher.

10. Other than Mexico, who are our biggest rivals in CONCACAF?

Canada 43%
Costa Rica 37%
El Salvador 2%
Guatemala 13%
Honduras 1%
Jamaica 1%
Panama 4%
Trinidad 2%

Thoughts: I voted Costa Rica, if only because it's hard to have a rivalry when you beat the other team every time. One blown call during one close game doesn't make a rivalry IMO. Our record at Costa Rica is just as bad as in Mexico. Beating them there in qualifying would mean more to me than beating Canada anywhere.

Guatemala's support is a big confusing, but somebody had to finish third and we do play them a lot.


It's a good time to be an American soccer fan for sure. We now know the future is bright and secure. That also means we'll be expecting more. Those expectations may be the subject of my next poll. I already did looked at that a bit with the January one, but next time it'll be more about the years in which you think certain things will happen rather than just 2010.

Previous Surveys

January 30, 2007 - 2010 MLS/USMNT
April 6, 2007 - MLS 2007

Comments on "MLS/USMNT Summer Survey Results"


Blogger Doug said ... (9:55 AM, August 05, 2007) : 

How about adding some questions about other networks or TV announcers?

e.g. best network (espn, fsc, local)

My personal favorite announcer is Dave Johnson -- regular for DC United on local Comcast Sport Net but he's also on FSC and did WC coverage for XM Radio.


Blogger Jonathan Geissler said ... (12:36 PM, August 05, 2007) : 

Dave Johnson annoys the hell out of me with his "It's in the net!" crap.


Anonymous Michael Juby said ... (1:02 PM, August 05, 2007) : 

American's shouldn't be 'glowing' at there gold cup win, they basically bumbled and tripped over themselves the whole way there, you guys should just take the trophey and try and to forget the tourney cause it wasn't exactly your best moment.

Demarcus Beasley is far superior to landy cakes.

And it's not very suprising that we (canada) are considered your rival, we've played twice in the past few years, a 0-0 tie and then we got screwed in the gold cup. The way I see it, Canada and costa rica are rivals cause we are battling for third, just like mexico and usa are battling for first, and then Canada and US are 'regional' rivals, despite the fact that mexico could be called this too. Costa Rica vs Canada is one of THE fixtures of any gold cup, if costa rica's also your rival then you have way too many for any to matter as do costa rica.


Blogger Toddzilla said ... (8:15 AM, August 06, 2007) : 

I missed the survey as far as answering the questions, but if the second question really was, "Do you approve or disapprove of the job Sunil Gulati is doing with their MLS broadcasts?", then it's pretty clear why so many would say "Unsure"...

I seriously doubt 44% of the folks are unsure about their opinion of the professor, so I'm guessing that's how the question came out.


Blogger Phillip said ... (8:51 AM, August 06, 2007) : 

I chose Guatemala as our second biggest rival because it seems that every time we play them, the game is always an ugly, chippy, grudge match.To me those are all features of any rivalry match.

I also do not agree that Canada is our next biggest rival. For one i don't really have too much hatred towards Canada (at least nothing compared to Mexico), and i cant for the life of me think of any really memorable games between us. So for me the absence of those two elements makes it impossible for Canada to be that next rival.


Anonymous Michael Juby said ... (12:11 PM, August 06, 2007) : 

uhhh, did you not watch the gold cup? that was a messy ass game (go to and watch canada's gold cup journey part 2 if you missed it). not to mention the tie the year before in which freddy adu got his first cap and dove the momemnt he entered the box after subbing in. You only don't want to be rivals cause in the last few years were good guys and your douche bags.
btw everyone hates guatemala now, carlos ruiz is THE biggest douche in Concacaf.


Blogger Phillip said ... (3:17 PM, August 06, 2007) : 

Sounds like somebody has a chip on their shoulder...

Whatever man that my opinion. Just when i think of a rivalry usually there is animosity between the two sides. I have no ill feeling towards Canada thus i dont see them as a rival.

Now if by biggest rival you mean which team poses the biggest threat then yes, after Mexico i would say its Canada. But like i said, i don't have enough hatred towards Canada to really see them as that next rival.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:42 PM, August 06, 2007) : 


Are you a guy or a girl?



Blogger scaryice said ... (9:19 PM, August 06, 2007) : 


The Gulati question was fine, I just messed it up on this post when copying and pasting stuff. See here:

Oh, and I'm a guy.


Blogger scaryice said ... (10:20 PM, August 06, 2007) : 

I edited the Gulati question here to correct it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:13 PM, August 07, 2007) : 

Then why do you have a picture of a girl on your bio?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:07 PM, August 07, 2007) : 

Why is there a Canadian pissing and moaning on a USA Soccer Blog?

Did you perhaps miss the title of the blog? It clearly states USASOCCER.BLOGSPOT.COM

If you don't like it then don't read it.


Anonymous Michael Juby said ... (1:24 AM, August 08, 2007) : 

ummm, I download the mls videos, and I where did I say I dislike it? I just disagreed and said Canada and the US are rivals, don't be such a douche, the canadian site has a bunch of americans running there mouth...


Blogger elopingcamel said ... (3:08 PM, August 08, 2007) : 

The rivalry between the US and Canada is heating up...


Blogger scaryice said ... (1:49 AM, August 09, 2007) : 


The pic on my bio is of Pink during the "Get The Party Started Video." It's there because it amuses me.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:44 PM, August 25, 2007) : 

I watched last weeks MLS game, all I want to know is where is Tommy Smyth Eric went on and on about what!!!!!

He really must go..let him be the water Boy!!!

The broadcast missed all the knowledge and insite Smyth brings to the game.....Last weeks broadcast stooped to the Lowest level.

Will Beckham improve the ratings?? without good broadcasters viewers will change the station no matter who it is........


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