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"10 Most Fascinating (Soccer) People" of 2004.

Bruce Arena -- This is as easy as it gets. It's now been over six years since he was named as the manager of the U.S. national team, and we still don't have the faintest idea what makes him tick. He loves a good Italian meal; he enjoys golf and tennis; he listens to Howard Stern in the morning; and it's evident that he secretly gets a charge out of sparring with the media even when we're just trying to get a few basic quotes for a quick preview article.

I admit, I'm continuously intrigued by the man. Before he retires, my goal is to get a round of golf in with Arena and see what he's really like away from the soccer fields and the press rooms.

Jorge Vergara -- A self-made millionaire who is multifaceted in every sense of the word with hands in music, movies, art, investments, vitamins, philanthropy and now soccer. As co-owner of Chivas USA, you get the feeling that the expansion club will not rest until it becomes the best team in the league and amongst the best clubs in the region. What I like about him is that he's a bit of a loose cannon. He'll say whatever he thinks and he won't be afraid to gripe about league policies once his side gets going. He's not Steinbrenner -- no one is -- but he'll as close to the MLS version of the vocal and aggressive Yankees boss as anyone owner the league has ever seen.

Dema Kovalenko -- Outside of Chicago and D.C., he is perhaps the most hated player in MLS. Yet, within the locker room, he is a respected player and a valued teammate. He's also a player that every single coach in the league would take in a heartbeat. We need Barbara Walters to come in, sit him down and start the questions: "What happens to you on the field?" "Why do you get so mad?" "Tell me about your childhood ..."

Clint Mathis -- Tino Palace can't get enough of him. Neither can I. And I'm guessing the same goes for most every U.S. soccer fan out there.

Alexi Lalas -- It doesn't matter that the long hair and the goatee are gone. It also doesn't make a difference that he's now "a suit" and not a hard-tackling defender. We're still intrigued. What other owner or GM would answer an inquiry about whether he was in England earlier this month with this type of response:

"I had an English muffin this morning while listening to a Bowie track but that's about as close to England as I've been in a long time. Don't believe everything you read."

Yep, same old Alexi.

Jimmy Conrad -- The Kansas City Wizards center back probably should have been a goalkeeper. He has that sort of personality. If you've ever read his column on SI.com, you know that he's a bit "out there," yet incredibly wise with a comedic flair. When he retires, there'll be a place for him in a TV booth if he chooses to do such work.

Phil Anschutz -- I picture him living in a Dr. Evilesque lair with pet tigers and an on-site staff that wears those silver track suits that wrestlers wear to lose weight. In reality, the man could be as boring as your typical CEO. But it'd be nice to find out his opinions on people like Arena, Don Garber, Sigi Schmid, Freddy Adu, Roman Abramovich and Malcolm Glazer.

Ivan Gazidis
-- The Deputy Commissioner of Major League Soccer and International President of SUM has a hand in most every transaction involving players. The secrets he's held onto about deals that were discussed or that were never reported are intriguing enough. Gazidis is the type of guy that you'd love to see a detailed schedule of what he does during a busy day around contract time, including all the people he had conversations with over a 24-hour period.

Bora Milutinovic
-- U.S. Soccer's original International Man of Intrigue. No matter how many other national teams or clubs he's presided over as a manager and whether it's been a wild success or a miserable failure -- there's been a good balance of both, too -- Bora has a home in our country's soccer lore. He also remains as one of the sport's most interesting characters, appealing to people in several continents around the globe.

Eric Wynalda -- Right, like you can have a list like this and not include Waldo? By Marc Connolly
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