Your Running Commentary

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Both Arsenal and Manchester City endured painful UEFA Champions League defeats at midweek, and both must shake off those disappointments if they are going to avoid falling any further back of current English Premier League leaders Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Citizens have a golden chance to close the gap on one or both of the EPL leaders when they play host to Swansea. The Swans are a dangerous team, but City will have the confidence of playing at home. For Arsenal, a win against last-place Queens Park Rangers is a must. The Gunners are sitting in ninth place at the moment, but are just three points from the top four.

If you are up early, you could catch Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj against Norwich City in a vital match for the Villans chances of moving away from the relegation zone.

The final weekend of the MLS regular season will give us some important matches in the Eastern Conference, with D.C. United and the Chicago Fire playing for second place in the East, which the New York Red Bulls traveling to Pennsylvania to take on the Philadelphia Union in a match they need to win to avoid having to play in the Eastern Conference wild card round.

If you will be watching today’s soccer action on TV, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):


7:45am- Fox Soccer Channel– Aston Villa vs. Norwich City

9:30am- GolTV– Freiburg vs. Borussia Dortmund

10am- Fox Soccer Channel– Arsenal vs. Queens Park Rangers

10am- Fox Soccer Plus– Reading vs. Fulham

10am- FoxSoccer2Go– Stoke City vs. Sunderland

10am- FoxSoccer2Go– Wigan Athletic vs. West Ham United

10am- FoxSoccer2Go– Celtic vs. Kilmarnock

10am- beIN Sport– Espanyol vs. Malaga

11am- Univision Deportes– Lille vs. Valenciennes

11:30am- GolTV– Schalke vs. Nurnberg (Delayed)

Noon- beIN Sport– Siena vs. Palermo

Noon- beIN Sport en Espanol– Real Betis vs. Valencia

12:30pm- Fox Soccer Channel– Manchester City vs. Swansea City

1:30pm- NBC– Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

2pm- beIN Sport en Espanol– Celta Vigo vs. Deportivo La Coruna

2pm- Univision Deportes– Nancy vs. Paris St. Germain

2pm- MLS Direct Kick– Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution

2:45pm- RAI– AC Milan vs. Genoa

3:30pm- ESPN3.com– Gil Vicente vs. Benfica

4pm- beIN Sport USA– Rayo Vallecano vs. Barcelona

4pm- NBC Sports Network– Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United

6:30pm- beIN Sport– AC Milan vs. Genoa (Delayed)

6:30pm- NBC Sports Network– Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes

8pm- beIN Sport USA– Real Betis vs. Valencia (Delayed)

8pm- MLS Direct Kick– Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

8pm- MLS Direct Kick– Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo

    • Brian

      I don’t think the record will have any bearing on if he goes or stays. His numbers over the last three years are impressive regardless of him breaking any records.


    • Vic

      Not sure about that. He’s worth alot to San Jose. Not sure a European team would pay that much for a player his age.


    • primoone

      Yeah…and while im betting on that…i will also bet the house that his european career ends as fast as it starts.


  • Michael R.

    Lichaj on after the starting LB got sent off for a dumb 2nd yellow.

    Guzan has made a couple of good saves. Hoping we give Timmy the summer off after the June WCQs and Guzan gets a run of games in the Gold Cup.


    • Edwin in LA

      Agreed….although I could see either Hamid or Johnson getting some games too with that Gold Cup to try and season them a bit already….lets hope we stack up a good 4 or 5 wins early on in the Hex so maybe the last 2 games can just be procedural and can give our young goalkeepers and other players some meaningful minutes against teams that most likely will be playing for their World Cup lives….

      Lichaj playing Left Back again as they said (commentators) he’s versatile and can play either Left Back OR Right Back…..you’re listening Jurgen? lol god we could of used him vs A&B and not have Boca on the wing…..oh well…..

      This probably means he starts next week too….lets hope he starts the weekend after that and gets a call up for the Russia game about 2 and a half weeks from now


      • Steve

        Once again Lichaj shows why he is not ready. 1-1. The guy looks so uncomfortable at LB. He is clearly a RB being forced to into service in a position. People need to stop pretending this guy is ready. He needs much more seasoning, and a run of games to build confidence.

        In his defense, he has seemed like he is working against a lot of 2v1 on the left side since he came on.


      • Edwin in LA

        Did I miss something? I thought the goal came on a corner? And it was somewhat of a hurry up move when Norwich tried and succeeded to surprise Aston Villa and sent in the cross with virtually nobody marking the passing player? Was it Lichaj who got beaten? Or did he give up the corner?

        The guy played Great in the Gold Cup….you’re going to tell me he wouldn’t have been a better option than say Boca at Left Back and how that could allowed Boca to go back to where he really can play at this stage in his career the best, Center Back and that puts Goodson on the bench? That is for the game AT Antigua & Barbuda btw….the one we narrowly won 2-1….


  • MensreaJim

    Announcers loving Guzan. He stoned Holt on a 1 on 1, but AV gave up a goal (that had been coming) a minute later.


  • xanadu

    I hear this Guzan kid is ready to give Howard a run for his money

    How far along are Sean Johnson, Hamid and MacMath? They all need to be playing in Europe within the next 18months


  • lo

    Lichaj should be called into camp. He’s a RB and can play LB. I mean Cherundolo is great but he needs an understudy. Lichaj and Parkhurst should compete for that role


      • Tim M.

        It’s occured to me that Johnson and Williams are probably the most peaceable charachters on the field for Hoffenheim.

        At the half, Johnson didn’t do to much for the Hoffenheim attack, but was solid defensively. Williams as usual, played the number 6 role very well.


      • Tim M.

        Hoffenheim are pretty much down for the count being down 3 in the 70th min. Nothing to do with Williams and Johnson though IMO


  • EvertonBrian

    In case you missed the Villa game, Guzan was phenomenal. Deserved a clean sheet. Theor left back was sent off for a silly foul (2nd yellow). And, I don’t want to do this but I have to- Lichaj was the nearest defender on Norwich’s goal. Just sayin…


    “Villa have now won only one of their last 19 league matches and were indebted to a trio of fine saves from goalkeeper Brad Guzan for earning them a share of the spoils.

    “It needed a fine save by Guzan to keep his side on level terms after 22 minutes.

    “Grant Holt threaded the ball through to Hoolahan who was left with only Guzan to beat but the United States international managed to block the shot with his left foot.

    “Guzan then cut out an attempted knock back across goal from Holt aimed at the unmarked Anthony Pilkington.


  • Liga

    After watching the past couple games for Lichaj it’s more than clear why Klinsmann did not call him up and why comments on here need to calm down with thinking they have a better grasp of a player than the coaching staff. I think this is one of the nicer things said about him on Twitter today.

    The Shin Guardian ‏@shinguardian
    Lichaj having a bit of a shocker here. Playing with the least confidence I’ve seen from him in awhile.


    • Mig

      Bit of a tough situation for Lichaj today. Comes on in the 55th or so and playing a man down. And Villa is just bad right now which rarely makes the job easier for defenders.


      • beachbum

        was going to post some of these relevant facts too, not that he played well. Never seen him play with so little confidence.


    • beachbum

      You act as if the coaching staff is batting a thousand on their player pool. the reason the coaching staff is questioned on some things is because they have displayed a knack for not having the best grasp on their player pool.at times, Torres on the left, Bunbury, Williams RW, Orozco-Fiscal, etc. By advancing thru to the hex they now have more time to figure it out. More, since it’s clear Lichay needs a confidence boost, perhaps a callup with spaces available might help; Klinsmann is known to be able to instill confidence in younger players and he’s given such opportunities already (see Shea for example), and RB/LB is a position of need, big need. There are nice options but the threat of injury looms and remains a real threat to the team’s overall potential. His situation is not so cut and dried as you play it because the pool is thin


    • Nate Dollars

      yeah, don’t these people understand that if you have some bad games in the EPL, you’re not fit to be a sub against Antigua?


    • DCP

      Of course Liga is where I go to get my informed impartial review of how Lichaj played. Yesterday he took the opportunity to comment on how Parkhurst being named to the Champions League team of the week was proof that Lichaj should not be called in to the MNT. While I actually agree with Klinsmann’s decision not to include Lichaj in recent rosters, I really get the vibe when I read Liga’s comments that he would be perfectly happy to see Lichaj break his legs and never play again. It does seem that Lichaj is struggling a bit right now, but he has plenty of time to turn things around and to develop into a good player for us.

      I understand that it gets tiresome to read all of the comments about how player X should be called up (Adu anyone?), but I find it even more tiresome when so called MNT fans seem to be happy about potential Nats struggling.


  • Citronomics

    Once again as a neutral watching Arsenal; decent flow to the match and QPR pressing forward this half.

    Btw – Congrats on the site upgrade Ives. Please keep the analysis/commentary pieces coming.

    Just watching a little footie before getting ready for hurricane Sandy here in central mass.


  • Citronomics

    Enjoying the Arsenal v. QPR match. Decent flow and both sides pressing the attack.

    Btw – Congrats on the site refresh Ives. Please keep the commentary/analysis pieces coming!

    After some footie this morning, time to get prepped for ‘Sandy’ as we await the storm’s arrival in central mass.


  • Ted in MN

    If Adam wanted a better ball from Cameron, he damn well shoulda done something himself cause Cameron created that entire movement.


  • Citronomics

    Whoa. Cazorla skies one in front of the net missing a clear chance. Arsenal just not connecting with the final touch or cross.


      • Citronomics

        I believe Arteta’s goal came off a rebound from his first attempt (a header from Julio Cesar’s save of Giroud’s initial header) which hit the post so how would the offsides rule apply. E.g., If he was offsides on his first attempt, does he remain offsides (technically)?


      • Brian

        If he was offsides for the initial header the flag should go up at that point and halt play. It depends on whether Ramsey hit the ball when he went for it, if so Arteta was offsides otherwise the goal is fair. None of the replays I saw gave a clear impression that Ramsey hit it so I would call it good.


  • biff

    Another yellow card for Daniel Williams today–leads the Bundesliga with six yellows in only nine games and I think this is his fifth game in row seeing yellow. Will he ever go another game without seeing yellow?


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