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Your Running Commentary

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

NeymarBarcelona (Zimbio)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The legendary El Classico rivals, Barcelona and Real Madrid, both open up their La Liga seasons on a busy Sunday of action from all over the world.

Barcelona will kick off the day with fans anxiously awaiting the league debuts of two new members of the club, manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino and Brazilian star Neymar. Superstar striker Lionel Messi is expected to be back in the starting lineup for Barcelona, but it unknown whether midfielder Cesc Fabregas will be available for the home match against Levante.

Later in the day, Real Madrid will take the field in their first La Liga match under new manager Carlo Ancelotti. Los Blancos are coming off an undefeated preseason that included wins over Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Inter Milan, and they will look to continue that hot start with a home win over Real Betis.

Sunday’s action will start in England as Tottenham Hotspur, fresh off their eventful offeseason of transfers, visit newly promoted Crystal Palace. Chelsea vs. Hull City will follow, and many eyes are sure to be on Stamford Bridge to see how the Blues do in their first competitive match back under the direction of Jose Mourinho.

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):

8:30am – NBC Sports Network – Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur

11am – NBC Sports Network – Chelsea vs Hull City

11:30am – GolTV – Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Braunschweig

1pm – beIN Sport – Barcelona vs Levante

1pm – Univision Deportes – Pumas UNAM vs León

3pm – GolTV – Flamengo vs São Paulo

3pm – beIN Sport – Real Madrid vs Real Betis

5pm – beIN Sport en Español – Sevilla vs Atlético Madrid

6pm – UniMás – Guadalajara vs Puebla

10pm – UniMás – San Jose Earthquakes vs Sporting Kansas City

65 comments
      • Bean

        It’s possibly because he just played a tough match in Bosnia on Wednesday.

        Like

      • Rami

        I get that but I have not seen that be an issue for anyone else who played In that game. Jozy went 90 Cameron went 90 Jones went 90

        Like

      • louis z

        Yeah, I thought so too. don’t want to make too much out of it until next week lineup.

        Like

    • biff

      This should help Chandler’s chances of getting a call-up in September. As we all know, Klinsmann likes certain right backs who are not playing at the club and absolutely love ‘em when they are not even dressing on game day.

      Like

      • Rami

        I get the joke but, some people are making Lichaj out be the answer to some amazing fullback we are not bringing in. Not exactly leaving Donovan off the roster.

        Like

      • biff

        No, most of are not touting Lichaj as the answer. But we are having a difficult time understanding why Klinsmann has not one time, just one time, brought him into camp for a look, see what he can do. He’s bringing all sorts of other players who are not playing at the club level and giving them a chance to show what they can do and with some of them he is apparently trying to jump-start their stalled club careers which I think is showing personal favoritism and highly unfair to other players in the pool and not befitting of a national team coach. Tim Ream called in last week and Michael Parkhurst yet again when he hasn’t played a club game since March and have not even made the bench this season.

        Like

      • Daniel

        As a coach you have a vision. And Klins is trying to bring in the best players, who are getting minutes with respect to his vision. It isn’t just looking at minutes or what club a player is at. All of these pieces are part of the equation to bringing players in but they aren’t everything…If he doesn’t for whatever reason see Lichaj as a fit so be it. They’ve won 11 in a row. Stop complaining. If Lichaj continues to get more burn I’m sure Klins wiill see to give him a look. 2 weeks is not a large enough sample size, especially considering his lack of playing last year.

        Like

      • chris

        We are playing Evans at RB. Dolo is still injured. Chandler blows and Parkhurst can’t even dress for a team worse than Aston Villa.

        Lichaj is a versatile outside back who has shown well at both RB and LB for the US (shutdown Mexico at both RB and LB, defended well against Colombia). Lichaj has shown he can get involved in the attack as well (had an assist yesterday)

        Like

      • TomG

        Yes, he’s always been impressive every time he’s been called in. Klinsi may have a blind spot for him, but if he keeps playing well for his club, JK will eventually give him a chance. Heck, when JK first took over, he didn’t rate MB. That sure changed after a couple months. JK is sometimes a little thick in some separtments but his mind is open enough to admit his mistakes when it’s clear.

        Like

      • McQ

        Cameron actually played right outside yesterday. I wouldnt be too upset with him out there, Besler inside Gonzales/ maybe Brooks inside left then we just need to find a left outside. I know Cameron isnt the best option going forward But with Bradley/Zusi/ Johnson/ Dempsey/Bedoya and Donnovan to choose from coming out of the midfield i would be willing to sacrifice a little offense for defense at the back. we also attack a lot more up the middle than we ever did. I think sometimes, the former US player/ commentators criticize our wingers’ service a bit too much because that is the only way they ever knew how to play… take Dempsey for example – he played the wing at Fulham and Spurs at times and his game was never to run to the corner flag and square balls in – he would come inside with the ball oe make runs into the box which is more like the way we are playing .

        Like

      • Brian

        Timmy will get a call-up, its a matter of him being willing to fly to the games.

        Like

      • chris

        What?????? More clueless people commenting on things they know nothing about. Chandler has been horrible for a year now and horrible is no hyperbole, do some research. The one time he was called he sh!t a brick in Honduras. If Chandler gets called in it speaks more to JK’s hypocrisy than Chandlers abilities

        Like

      • byrdman

        I disagree. Parkhurst has been beyond horrible, by not playing. Chandler has been invited has had said “no”, that is a fact and is undisputed(I love A Few Good Men). TC has played poorly, that too is a fact, and apparently undisputed🙂. But the options are great, so I hope to see Lichaj sooner rather than later. I am a believer in JK. I had a few doubts, but have seen continued improvement. I think I recognize a grand plan, but it is still hazy.

        So until they play horribly on a continued basis, I am a believer.

        Like

      • bryan

        1. the guy was making a joke about Chandler not liking to fly
        2. you can’t be clueless and make that joke
        3. he’s a Bundesliga player, one bad game against Honduras will not kill his career.
        4. you want to talk hyperbole, saying Chandler has been terrible for a year is hyperbole (i did my “research”).

        Like

  • MidWest Ref

    Lots of Spur supporters last season blamed any lack of goals on Dempsey slowing down the attack. So far in the first half against a pretty weak Crystal Palace squad, Tottenham has scored a mighty 0 goals

    Like

  • QuakerOtis

    Was high on Brooks, but then he goes and lives up to the scouting report: looks dominant, until the ball is played through the air. Fouls the attacker. Free kick results in the equalizer. Not a catastrophe, but I see why we should temper expectations. Chandler got a few decent minutes.

    Like

    • TomG

      Many guys, even big guys, are not naturally good in the air and must learn the skill. It’s quite complex and requires a lot of body control.

      Like

    • jlm

      are you referring to dzeko’s second goal? not much any defender could have done to stop that

      Like

      • jlm

        and you are basing your entire opinion off of this one game where he played only 5 minutes? probably at least a couple of factors at play that have nothing to do with his talent or potential.

        Like

  • Daniel

    Funny how the national team has won 11 straight yet people are still complaining. Will never stop.

    Like

      • Fredo

        Beating Mexico in WC 2002 is the best. But, I do enjoy different perspectives.

        Like

      • SanFran415

        I’m sorry, but this is the best the team has ever looked. One win does not an era make.

        Like

      • phillypride

        One win on the biggest stage to take the team further than they’ve ever gone. Plus they looked damn good against Germany in the next game too. That whole world cup was tremendous

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      • beachbum

        +1

        the best WC showing ever, and beating Mexico in it to boot, an era does it make

        Like

      • TomG

        Of course. Making the quarters and outplaying Germany there is definitely the best we’ve ever looked. SanFran and Daniel, you may be too young or perhaps you weren’t following the team closely at that time. It’s absurd to say that a bunch of friendlies and CONCACAF wins is the best we’ve ever looked.

        Like

      • chris

        Only after JK realized 3 cm’s is a dumb idea and moved back to the 4-4-2 did the winning streak start. Look at who’s been carrying this team Jozy and Bradley two players he left off the team for a while. Yes this is the best the national team has ever looked but is its JK’s doing or the fact that this is the most players we have ever had playing at the high levels of the game?

        Like

      • phillypride

        Yeah, I think it’s mostly due to the increase in talent in the starting 11 as well as the huge increase in depth. But when a team’s on a streak the coach deserves a lot of credit for getting them to play consistently.

        Like

      • byrdman

        I think both MB and Jozy have improved tremendously since BB’s days, due to club situations. In Jozy’s case, I think it was good for him to miss a few games and wake up to the fact, that they can win or lose without him. Now he is playing two or three notches higher.

        On another note, we also play the ball out of the back, and through the midfield. We are moving the ball quickly with 1 to 2 touches and everything is better. BB did not promote this, but probably because he didn’t have the guys to do it.. But I do think JK played 3 dmids because our defense was horid! Now we can use the dual pivot because Besler, Goodson, Omar, Brooks, Cameron, etc… have raised their games. They still need to continue to improve, but this has been the reason for the 3 dmids, sometimes a fourth with Danny Williams playing on the right helping lock down that side. I believe there is method to the madness. But it can be maddening none the less.

        Like

      • TomG

        Yes, JK has his blind spots like all managers, but he has enough of an open mind that he eventually realizes his mistakes.

        Like

  • EvertonBrian

    I caught Bedoya’s debut for Nantes. Came on as a sub early in the second half.

    I thought he looked pretty sharp. He was assertive, and linked up well with his teammates (when they had mounted any semblance of an attack, which was kind of rare).

    In the final minute of stoppage time, he had a shot past the keeper but stopped by a retreating defender.

    Like

    • TomG

      Thx brian. I’m very impressed he’s managed to work his way into a game so soon. He must be training well. Ligue 1 is no joke.

      Like

      • Hogatroge

        He had other options of clubs to go to as well. I’m assuming he took the spot at Nantes with an expectation of starting once he gets familiar with the squad.

        He did play for the US midweek.

        Like

      • jones

        agreed. This game is freakish – they scored again so I’m just going to turn it off. A league where the same couple of teams dominate so thoroughly doesn’t make for compelling entertainment.

        Like

      • Bean

        I have to agree. I have nothing but respect for these top players in La Liga, but there is too much difference between the top 2 and the bottom 5. Barcelona matches are snooze time, but for when they play Madrid, Athletico, or Malaga.

        Like

      • Jose from the Bay

        Thankfully MLS strives for parity. This in not sarcasm. I do not want NY and LA to win the league every year.

        Like

      • Rabbit

        We could have an interesting philosophical discussion about this. One could argue that if you’re able to put together the best team, and dominate everyone else, you should be allowed to do so. If the league comes in and says “you’re too dominant, we’re going to have to restrict your ability to dominate” (through salary cap or luxury tax or whatever else), there’s a sense in which that is a very artificially created parity.

        I don’t know which side I’m on, but part of me would like to see a laissez-faire system in american sports, including MLS. But now I’m sounding like a republican.

        Like

      • ThaDeuce

        I don’t think you can call a private company, MLS, running their business how they want to anything but laissez-faire in terms of what system of economics they function in. now if the government determined the wages etc, then that’s a different story (which is partially done today so we have a mixed system).

        Looking at the end results of big time leagues who choose to operate in a manner in which you suggest like MLB, La Liga, EPL, they end up with Yankees, united, barca etc. There is something to be said for parity.

        I don’t think parity will last, the franchise owners will want more power eventually as the league and stakes grow and parity will be destroyed. I just hope the league isn’t along with it.

        Like

      • ThaDeuce

        And it is always really annoying to me when it ends up with which corporate ownership group is willing to go into the most debt to win ala Rangers. Much prefer owners being forced to work within relatively equal restraints.

        Like

    • mike

      Levante was a mid table team last season. they did well. They were in 6th position mid way through the season and stayed there for several weeks even reaching 4th place at one point, they ended up 11th. I would not say they are not first division material.

      Like

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