Sunday, June 15, 2008

USMNT 2010 Pre-Qualifying Survey Results

Qualifying has started (with a bang), and it's time to look at the results. A link to the survey was posted here, as well as on the US Men forum at Bigsoccer. I tallied up the results about half an hour into the Barbados game (I believe one person voted after the game actually started, so that's not a huge deal).

USMNT 2010 Pre-Qualifying Survey

(183 responses. Percentages are rounded.)

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

Approve 44%
Disapprove 25%
Unsure 31%

A net approval of 19 points. This question was last asked in early August of last year, where the results were 86-4-11. Obviously there's been a huge shift downward, but the drop in approval is not matched by the increase in disapproval. Rather, the number of unsures has risen just as much as the disapproval. Apparently this drop is due to the performances and player selections in the recent high profile friendlies against England, Spain, and Argentina.

I should note that the data from last year was from a survey which included MLS questions, and therefore was also posted in the MLS General forum as well as the US Men forum. What difference that could make is unclear.

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

Approve 40%
Disapprove 34%
Unsure 26%

This was also asked in that same previous survey, where the results were 22-35-44. It seems that Sunil's image has improved in the past year, whereas Bradley, the man he appointed, has gone down. Perhaps the role in securing those big name friendlies has something to do with that. Also, any resentment over appoint Bradley in the first place may be over, as well as any negative feelings over applying and removing the interim tag from the head coach.

The disapproval is the same, but the number of unsures has lowered and they've moved in the favorable cateagory. Interesting that now more survey takers have a clear opinion on Sunil Gulati than Bob Bradley.

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

Jozy Altidore 1%
DaMarcus Beasley 1%
Michael Bradley 2%
Clint Dempsey 2%
Landon Donovan 56%
Brad Friedel 3%
Tim Howard 32%
Eddie Johnson 1%
Brian McBride 2%
Oguchi Onyewu 1%

No, I could not include every single player out there. Sorry, Freddy Adu fans. I don't think he would've done too well anyway. When putting this list together, first of all I wanted to include all American players, including the ones who have retired from the USMNT. I think the only ones you could argue about being here are Altidore and Johnson.

This year's field of ten included Altidore and Bradley, who replaced Feilhaber and Reyna. Last year's results (see above link) on this question are as follows: Donovan-45, Howard-19, Dempsey-11. The top two still dominate one year later, this time even more so. I'm not shocked by the results, but I don't think Friedel should be way behind Howard. They're pretty even in my book.

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

Canada 37%
Costa Rica 39%
El Salvador 1%
Guatemala 14%
Honduras 6%
Jamaica 1%
Panama 2%
Trinidad 0%

Costa Rica slightly edges our northern neighbors. Last year, coming off the Gold Cup, it was 43-37 in favor of Canada. Still very close though. Within the margin of error, as they say. Guatemala received 14% this year and 13% last year, which continues to confuse me. We're rivals?

5. If the USMNT only starts one player up top, who should it be?

Jozy Altidore 60%
Brian Ching 9%
Kenny Cooper 7%
Clint Dempsey 3%
Landon Donovan 12%
Nate Jaqua 1%
Eddie Johnson 8%
Chris Rolfe 1%
Taylor Twellman 0%
Josh Wolff 0%

Well, I definitely saw this coming. It's obvious that Altidore is the guy who should start for us in 2010, but I don't think he should do it just yet. I voted for Brian Ching, who I've been advocating should start for a while now. I was pleased to see him get a brace tonight. Anyway, I like Ching because he's a good passer and he tends to play very well with Landon Donovan being former teammates. He's also a real striker, not an in-between type like Dempsey or Donovan. Altidore certainly will be starting, but I think Ching should start for the semifinal round. Cooper's not ready to be the guy yet either.

6. What will be the result of the Barbados series on aggregate?

Barbados by 1+ goals 1%
Even on aggregate 0%
USA by 1 goal 1%
USA by 2 goals 7%
USA by 3 goals 10%
USA by 4 goals 23%
USA by 5 goals 21%
USA by 6 goals 17%
USA by 7 goals 7%
USA by 8+ goals 14%

I made my prediction the other day: 5-0 home and 3-0 away. Looks like even that was conservative, just like most of your votes.

7. Assuming that we qualify, how will the USA do at the 2010 World Cup?

First round exit 30%
Round of 16 55%
Quarterfinals or better 15%

I asked this question back in January 2007, my first survey. Though that time I included each round of the knockout stage whereas I simplified it here. That time it was 8-54-38. A bit more realistic here, though still optimistic. I think it's literally around 50-50 whether or not we advance; a lot of it has to do with the draw.

8. Among the following choices, who would you prefer to have as coach of the USMNT at this moment in time?

Bruce Arena 1%
Bob Bradley 17%
Sven-Goran Eriksson 3%
Gerard Houllier 5%
Juergen Klinsmann 48%
Bora Milutinovic 2%
Steve Nicol 6%
Peter Nowak 2%
Jose Pekerman 13%
Carlos Queiroz 5%

This was my favorite question. All of the guys listed were either previous USA coaches (Arena, Bora) or were mentioned in search leading to Bradley's selection. Oh, and Bradley's there too. Actually, I don't think Nicol was ever mentioned too much, but I included him over Frank Yallop (who was mentioned a bit) just because I think he's a better option.

The current coach only receives 17% of the vote, whereas the man who seemed like the obvious pick at the time gets a huge 48%. Klinsmann is scheduled to take over as Bayern Munich coach next month. Pekerman is a strong third with 13%, and was also my vote due to his track record with the Argentine U20 squad.

9. Who is the best non-American CONCACAF player at this moment in time?

Julian de Guzman, Canada 12%
Kenwyne Jones, Trinidad 2%
Shalrie Joseph, Grenada 8%
Andres Guardado, Mexico 18%
Rafael Marquez, Mexico 18%
Wilson Palacios, Honduras 0%
Pavel Pardo, Mexico 2%
Carlos Salcido, Mexico 6%
David Suazo, Honduras 25%
Carlos Vela, Mexico 7%

Inter's Suazo takes it. Lots of talented guys who I left off, including Blanco, Costly, De Rosario, Dos Santos, Guevara, Osorio, etc. I wonder how the results would look if I had put the club teams on there?

10. Assuming that Mexico and the USA qualify for the World Cup, who do you expect will get the third spot for CONCACAF?

Canada 35%
Costa Rica 35%
Cuba 0%
El Salvador 1%
Guatemala 3%
Haiti 0%
Honduras 20%
Jamaica 3%
Panama 1%
Trinidad 2%

Canada edges Costa Rica by one vote. I voted Honduras, simply because I felt that they were likely to get results in hostile territory than Canada. Certainly, they both won't advance from a semifinal group that includes Mexico.

Meanwhile, Costa Rica's 35% is surprising given their recent form. Yes, they've qualified two times in a row, but they've now gone 14 matches without a win and struggled to tie Grenada away from home. Still, they face a very easy semifinal group. Given that, they might be the top choice since they're virtually assured of being in the hex. Guatemala probably deserved to do better for that same reason.


Always fun to see how peoples' opinions change over time. I'll be asking many of these same questions again before the hex, and possibly before the semifinal round as well. Thanks for participating.

Previous Surveys

January 30, 2007 - 2010 MLS/USMNT
April 6, 2007 - MLS 2007
August 5, 2007 - MLS/USMNT Summer Survey
November 17, 2007 - MLS Cup 2007
March 28, 2008 - MLS 2008

Comments on "USMNT 2010 Pre-Qualifying Survey Results"


post a comment