Your Running Commentary

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

BayernMunichRecent (Getty)

The final international break of the season is in the books, and it is time for the top leagues in Europe and Mexico to get back in full swing.

Manchester United will kick things off on Saturday as the club resumes its march to reclaiming the Premier League trophy at Sunderland. The host Black Cats have only collected three points in their last seven league matches, pushing them dangerously close to the drop zone. United will visit to the Stadium of Light for the first time since the final day of last season, when the Red Devils thought they had done enough to win the league title.

Perhaps the biggest match of the day will kick off before the rest of the day’s Premier League matches get going at 11 Eastern time. Inter Milan will host Serie A-leading Juventus in another edition of the historic Derby d’Italia. Inter, a club trying to stay alive in the race for a Champions League spot, snapped Juventus’s 49-match unbeaten run during the clubs’ last meeting. Roma will also be kicking off its match against Palermo at the same time—Francesco Totti’s first match after reaching the 20-year anniversary of his Serie A debut.

Bayern Munich will have a chance to make history on Saturday, depending on the result of Dortmund’s match with Stuttgart. If the defending champions fail to secure a win against Stuttgart, a win over Hamburg would clinch the Bundesliga title for Bayern. A Bundesliga team has never clinched the league title in the month of March. Will Bayern be the first?

If you will be watching today’s action, 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):


8:45am – ESPN2/ESPN3.com – Sunderland vs. Manchester United

10am – beIN Sport – Internazionale vs. Juventus

10am – beIN Sport en Español – Palermo vs. Roma

10:30am – GolTV – Stuttgart vs. Borussia Dortmund

11am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Arsenal vs. Reading

11am – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester City vs. Newcastle United

11am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur

11am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion

11am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Wigan Athletic vs. Norwich City

11am – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Southampton vs. Chelsea

1pm – beIN Sport – Celta de Vigo vs. Barcelona

1:30pm – Fox Soccer Channel – Everton vs. Stoke City

1:30pm – GolTV – Bayern Munich vs. Hamburg SV

3pm – beIN Sport – Real Zaragoza vs. Real Madrid 

4pm – beIN Sport en Español – Levante vs. Sevilla

7pm – ESPN2 – Cruz Azul vs. Atlas

9pm – ESPN Deportes – Morelia vs. Atlante

9pm – UniMás – Santos Laguna vs. Querétaro

9pm – Univision Deportes – Monterrey vs. Pumas UNAM

10:05pm – Telemundo – León vs. Pachuca

11pm – Univision Deportes – San Luis vs. Jaguares

    • TomG

      Not really a competition. There’s a pub called McBride’s across the street from Craven Cottage. I think that pretty much says it all.


    • Tony in Quakeland

      I will say that Wynalda was more talented. He was faster, more technical. In the right set of circumstances, he might have been a much. much better player.

      McBride was grit and courage and determination and intelligence. (And was just freaking inspirational.) If Wynalda had McBride’s mental toughness, he would have been…well, what’s the use of wondering. I loved Wynalda, but he was as high strung as a Yorkie.


      • chris_thebassplayer

        Overall attacking skill – Wynalda…. McBride prior to going overseas was almost exclusively a threat in the air. Playing at Fulham brought his overall game to a much higher level. Apples an oranges really… dominant target forward versus someone who could walk by guys off the dribble and finish.


  • liz2

    Michael Bradley is a sub today. Is it usual that he doesn’t start for Roma? Or is the coach just giving him a rest after going 90 min twice over the international break?


    • Citronomics

      Think (?) folks posted in prior weeks that Bradley has been on the Roma subs bench. So while the international fixtures could be a factor here; however of late, Mikey may not be in the preferred 11.


    • yikes

      lately he’s been a super-sub getting like 30mins a match, add on to playing 180mins in the course of 4 days, yep he on the bench.


  • David M

    Dempsey is not even on the bench. Given a rest from the USMNT duty or completely out of favor?


  • David M

    Both Williams and Johnson, well-rested, are starting today for Hoffenheim. What a surprisingly quick recovery!


    • ChiTown

      Johnson was missing matches prior to the WCQ as well with his injury.

      What is with all the conspiracy theories around here?


      • fischy

        Your comment implies they weren’t so hurt that they could nto have played in the WCQs. Back in the day before they were cap-tied, such comments would imply they were just trying to avoid being cap-tied, but still stringing along the USMNT.

        Now that’s over, it’s hard to craft a decent conspiracy motive.


      • EvertonBrian

        Still a little “fischy” to me, bruh..

        The Mexico qualifier was a mere 5 days ago… I think, deep down, we fear these guys may not bleed red, white, and blue…


      • Colin in MT

        I’m with you David M. It makes perfect sense to me that Williams and Johnson, age 24 and 25 respectively, have both decided to never play for the USMNT again after the Honduras qualifier. It wouldn’t surprise me at all that Klinnsman actually cap tied all these German Americans in order for us to get dependent on them but knew they wouldn’t play after the first Hex game in an effort to destabilize US soccer. I mean, there’s just no way they were both suffering from minor injuries that might get aggravated by playing two WCQ’s in 4 days and the medical staff decided it’d be beneficial for them to fully heal. My only problem with your theory is that you failed to mention Castillo and Torres, who were obviously put up to the same scheme by Vasquez because they’re Mexican Americans.

        A real American, like Spector, would never miss two WCQ’s with minor injuries.

        Has anyone else had black helicopter’s following their every move lately?


    • QuakerOtis

      They were already in recovery mode, needed an extra week to be nearer 100%, and were therefore unlikely to contribute to a WCQ without risking further setbacks. Their clubs are also fighting the drop. Calendars are fun, as are pieces of information that don’t include your suspiciously rash dislike of their dual citizenship.


      • David M

        Both Williams and Johnson were reportedly released by Hoffenheim for international duty. No club will release their players if they’re not fully fit and healthy.

        I think they all, Jones excluded, were having second thoughts. To play in the World Cup is a dream of every player. Once they saw they had no chance of making it to the German national team, the US became their only ticket. After the Honduras game, when, all of a sudden, US chances of making it to Brazil started to look shaky, they began wondering if all that travel and playing in countries like Jamaica and Honduras were worth the bother.


      • ChiTown

        Frankly, questioning the loyalty of these guys is insulting. Chandler is a fine argument–go ahead. But Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson have done nothing to deserve any sort of unfounded derision. Johnson was released for the qualifier because he has to be released for the qualifier. They decided that he was not fully recovered and that was that.


      • David M

        Of course one can prefer to believe that growing up in Germany they always felt more American than German in spite of, in some cases, having never even been to the US, and always dreamed of wearing the US jersey.


      • Clyde Frog

        Unless you can read minds you have nothing to base any of what you say on except your own hatred.


      • away goals

        Believing the worst about somebody with no current or historical evidence to back it up is the mark of an a–hole.

        But then, calling people a–holes on the internet is also the mark of an a–hole, so even steven I guess.


      • Thebumswillalwayslose

        “I think they all, Jones excluded, were having second thoughts. Blah, blah, blah, blah”

        To quote one of my favorite movies of all time – if you were thinking you wouldn’t have thought that.

        Looking at it logically, they were recovering from injuries and while they were close to full fitness, they weren’t quite there yet. So the players, club and country decided that it was in everyone’s best interest not to put them on a plane for 11+ hours, fly half way around the world across 8 time zones, play 2 full games in 4 days, and then turn around and fly halfway around the world again.

        But hey, it’s way more fun to question someone’s heart than logically think a situation through, right?


      • gabe

        thebumswillalwayslose, finally a voice of reason amongst this ethnocentrism madness…


      • chris

        This has nothing to do with ethnicity but thanks for trying to make this a race issue. Can always count on someone to try and pull the race card


    • John

      Johnson had missed games before the WCQ’s and I don’t know why you would call Williams in any way after Honduras.


  • BCC

    Wow, terrible challenge from Cambiasso at the end of the Inter/Juve match today. Ugly. Was a pretty good contest, otherwise.


  • leftcoastmetro

    Oh, man, In the Juventus game Cambiasso just destroyed Jovinco’s leg on the last play of the game. Straight red and i’d be surprised if Jovinco’s even back befor.e 2014


  • ChiTown

    I’m still cringing from that tackle. 3-5 game minimum suspension for Cambiasso? That was just brutal.


  • Joe

    o/t question: If the USA finish first in the hexagonal, what are the chances they will be placed in the higher-seeded pot that Mexico usually occupies from the CONCACAF region?


      • Joe

        I honestly don’t know the answer. I sincerely hope nothing is ever based on FIFA rankings.


      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        I believe its a combination of your FIFA ranking and last 3 World Cup performances weighted so the most recent counts heaviest and so on. There is no guaranteed seeding for any region. We won’t be a seeded team. Don’t get your hopes up.


    • ConradB

      We placed first last time and weren’t seeded. I don’t believe Mexico was either though. I don’t think concacaf is guaranteed a seeded team.


      • Joe

        Are only 8 teams seeded out of the 32? Or are there two levels of seeding; 1-8 and 9-16?


      • KNPonder

        For the last World Cup, there was only one “seeded” pot. It consisted of 7 “seeded” teams and the host country. The other pots were just divided up by regions to ensure that no two teams (other than two UEFA teams) would be in the same group. Basically, this means one seeded pot, one pot with all non-seeded UEFA teams, and the other two pots filled from the remaining regions. Given the regiional allocations, this system works pretty well and I suspect that it won’t change much for 2014. As an aside, I doubt that any non CONMEBOL or UEFA team makes it in the seeded pot. Japan actually might have the best shot.


  • Ben

    1. Clubs HAVE to release players for qualifiers, so don’t make it like they simply refused to go.

    2. Back to back games- they needed fit, in form players. Neither of the Hoffenheim men qualified.

    3. Honduras is one game out of 10, and it was kind of a fluky result. I don’t guys playing in Germany week in and week out are that freaked out by a trip to Honduras. I’m sure, if anything, it was fascinating.


    • Joe

      I agree with what you say. JK made a big deal about “hustle and flow” (or something like that, lol) and, from the results, it appears he made good selections.


  • Tom

    Messi scored in his 19th consecutive league game. That’s every team in the league, in a row.


  • louis z

    Gonzalez got wrong footed and got beat for the go ahead cross that led to the goal. Villareal, came back to tie the game at the end of game with a beautiful scissor kick from 8 yards away.


  • chris_thebassplayer

    Holden starts, goes 62 minutes, goes in on a ton of tackles will no ill effect…good overall reviews…music to my ears.


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