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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

JozyAltidore (Action Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

While Jozy Altidore and Sunderland will take the field for the first time this English Premier League season without Paolo Di Canio, Liverpool will welcome striker Luis Suarez back to league action Sunday.

Suarez will make his much-anticipated return to EPL play Sunday when Liverpool visit Sunderland, who recently fired polarizing manager Di Canio after a winless start to the Black Cats’ season. USMNT striker Jozy Altidore and Sunderland bounced back with a Capital One Cup victory earlier this week, and they will look for their first EPL win of the season against a Liverpool side that has struggled recently at the Stadium of Light.

The day’s action will start with the Derby della Mole in Italy. Defending Serie A champions Juventus are undefeated to start their quest for a league three-peat, but their first match of the season against city rivals Torino is expected to be a tougher challenge than ones in years past. Torino sit in eighth place with a 2-2-1 record, and they were seconds away from a win over Italian giants AC Milan earlier this season.

Soccer fans in the United States will want to keep an eye on Sunday afternoon’s Liga MX clash between Puebla and Club Tijuana. As many as seven Americans could be in action in that match between two Mexican sides desperate for three points. Puebla’s DeMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco will welcome fellow countrymen Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Paul Arriola, who are coming off Thursday’s 6-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over Victoria of Honduras.

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):

6:30am – beIN Sport – Torino vs Juventus

8:30am – NBC Sports Network – Stoke City vs Norwich City

9am – beIN Sport – Cagliari vs Internazionale

11am – NBC Sports Network – Sunderland vs Liverpool

11am – beIN Sport – Ajaccio vs Montpellier

1pm – ESPN Deportes – Puebla vs Tijuana

1pm – Univision – Toluca vs Atlante

2:45pm – beIN Sport – Roma vs Bologna

3pm – beIN Sport en Español – Real Betis vs Villarreal

3:30pm – NBC Sports Network – Portland Timbers vs Los Angeles Galaxy

6pm – UniMás – Guadalajara vs Atlas

8:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Dallas FC vs Columbus Crew

9pm – ESPN – Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls

11pm – UniMás – Chivas USA vs San Jose Earthquakes

228 comments
  • USMNT Fan

    Sunderland forwards have no service from the midfield. That is the issue and a change of manager cannot change that.

    Like

    • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli - Platonias

      He can instill chemistry. I doubt these players aren’t where they are today if they couldn’t make an assist.

      Like

      • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

        But they do have credible, talented players. They just need to adjust to a post Di Canio hangover

        Like

  • MidWest Ref

    That was just a great counter by Liverpool.
    Liverpool’s keeper has been solid in his box. Sunderland attackers are running far post for every cross and corner and he just grabs it without pressure.

    Like

  • Francois

    Adam Johnson is horrible. He can’t cross to save his life, Jozy has been starved for service for another week. He’s doing everything to make this attack go, but he’s getting no support, and there’s nobody looking to play the ball on the ground or work combinations. Everybody wants to shot from 30 yards out instead of looking to break a team down.

    Like

  • biff

    Well, Sunderland can be proud of the effort put out against an very good Liverpool that also got the benefit of Howard Webb allowing Liverpool defenders to get away with moider. Jozy is without a doubt one of the top players on the team, but seems like his teammates are not focusing on him enough. Going forward, the coach is going to have to demand that Jozy be made the focal point of the attack, that he is the go-to-man.

    I don’t know this Sunderland team very well, but my impression is that there are really no leaders out on the field and the guys are afraid to assert themselves, like when Sturridge hand-balled his goal, nobody protested.

    Like

      • GW

        Well you should have, The commentators went on and on about it as soon as it happened.
        In the post game interview Sturridge confirmed it was an “accidental” handball.

        Like

    • Darwin

      Not sure I agree with Jozy being the focal point. It has to be Giaccherini. He has two goals already and was hands-down Cats best player today. Ball needs to get him to be an Adam Maher type to play along with Jozy.

      Like

      • biff

        Good point, Citronomics. That second announcer, Graham Whoever, was a bona fide idi—, well guess I shouldn’t say it. And his explanation when the first announcer asked whether it wasn’t a foul when Toure held down Jozy at the top of the box made absolutely no sense, something to the effect: Well, Toure when the ball was coming sort of used Jozy to get high. Full Stop. And the first announcer was silent. You could tell Announcer Two was a Liverpool man and very much subjective. I like Liverpool also, but not when they are playing against Jozy.

        Like

  • ChiPersianFlip

    HULL Jozy Watch 2013-2014

    Jozy Altidore after 6 games: 0 goals

    Ives predicted 11-15 goals

    Like

  • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli - Platonias

    Altidore should have done more really. He should of realized that Webb wasn’t going to give him anything today, yet he still wanted the calls when he knew they weren’t going to come.

    Instead of trying to point on how he was being fouled, even if they technically were, I think he should of abandoned any hope of trying to draw fouls and fought through everything as hard as possible.

    The service was bad, because this isn’t yet a team. Until their a team it’ll be more of the same.

    Like

      • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

        Exactly Darwin and that’s what I’m referring to. Not to say he wasn’t extremely physical. He was. But he should of understand he wasn’t going to get any sort of call his way unless it wasn’t open to interpretation.

        Webb set the precedent for what he was going give Jozy quite early and instead of becoming frustrated and expecting a call, he should of fought through every play until he heard the whistle, wether it was on his count or there’s

        Like

  • MikeG

    Long year for Jozy. His stats will be way down, but hopefully he continues to shine for the USMNT.

    Like

    • MikeG

      He just does not have the midfield or team in support. Relegation. Hopefully Jozy has a relegation clause in his contract. If not then a double stupid move my Jozy. Some players need career counseling on the USMNT

      Like

      • John

        They did look much better then had the last few matches at least. Just some of the decision making in the final third really needs to be worked out. However at least they weren’t just turning it over in the midfield every time they touched it like before.

        Like

  • Mike E.

    If you’re the coach how do you not tell your players to stop blowing build ups with ridiculous shots. I mean come on is English coaching really this bad?

    Can you imagine someone like Wenger or SAF allowing that nonsense? I’ve seen SAF yell at Rooney for taking even one poor shot.

    There is no coaching discipline in some of these teams. Might as well bench the greatest media creation since Andy Carrol–Adam Johson. Because its pretty clear he only wants his.

    Like

    • MikeG

      At the youth level all shots should be encouraged..no shot is a bad shot..at the professional level a bit of discretion is the norm.

      Like

    • Increase

      A lot of the best British coaches/manager are Scottish. I can’t think of one English coach who is actually considered good. So even the guys who are actually from the same Island are not English.

      Sam Allardyce
      Alan Pardew
      Steve Bruce
      Chris Hughton
      Ian Holloway

      Sam Allardyce is considered competent(I think) but is mocked constantly.
      Can I say Harry Redknapp as he is in the Championship soo….. yeah…

      Like

      • GW

        Increase,

        I’m not sure what you mean by your list but all the guys on it are English except for Houghton who played for the Republic of Ireland.

        Like

      • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

        Sir Bobby Robinson, Roy Hodgson, Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle, Sam Allardyce, Harry Redknapp, Alan Curbishley and Steve Bruce are all at the least competent.

        Like

    • GW

      I had zero problem with Johnson shooting.

      I had a problem with the quality of his shooting. And his crosses.

      Nothing on target so therefore no chance of scoring and, almost as bad, no chance of rebounds.

      Like

  • Darwin

    It’s a pathetic year, and the future looks bleak. I’m sure it will pick up for Jozy, Brek, and Edu. Cameron is playing well, and Guzan is bossing it. but…

    Christ, we’re saving our weekends to watch Stoke, Sunderland, and Villa. If those weren’t almost the bottom three last year, they surely will be this year. Here’s to some yank popping up on a team that is actually fun to watch. Hell, send them to Swansea.

    Like

    • MikeG

      MLS has a lot of parity. Therefore most MLS teams can beat Sunderland. Sunderland looks like Chivas USA

      Like

    • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

      It’ll pick up for Brek and Edu if they can get a loan out, otherwise I don’t see it. Maybe Brek, maybe.

      Guzman is in top form and hasn’t missed a beat since last season. I would consider Cameron and Altidore to be playing well, despite their teams success or lack of.

      Like

    • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

      AJ will probably be in the EPL as soon as this January, so that maybe that’ll raise spirits.

      We’re hearing Celtic now, but I think we all know by the time transfer season comes around, we’ll be hearing a lot more about potential suitors. Icelanders always have a penchant for landing in the U.K. I guess because their proximity, even though I know AJ will be a globally known commodity.

      My guess is he ends up their anyways. He’ll have his options but I think english the second most spoken language for Icelanders, as is the case for all other Scandinavians

      Like

  • Ld

    Jozy is not good at putting the ball in the back of the net. He is only good at holdup play. At least this blog is good for a laugh. You’ve got people on here claiming an anti American bias and the impending fall of the premier league on the global stage and all sunderlands players being amateur level because the one great American hope couldn’t score in a brothel. Haha!

    Like

    • Darwin

      “impending fall of the premier league on the global stage”

      Who on Earth was saying that? Here FYP.

      “impending fall of [Sunderland] from the premier league”

      I think that is what people are talking about.

      Like

    • jones

      “Jozy is not good at putting the ball in the back of the net. He is only good at holdup play.”

      wow, you must not not be very familiar with the game…

      Like

    • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

      And we’ll never from you again to face your criticism, as if you’d never seen it, haha!

      Like

      • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

        According to the Guardian, the only person with an assist this season is Emanuele Giaccherini, with 1. I also liked the way he looked out there when behind Alti. Mavrias looked good out there, so between Borini, Johnson and Larsson and evidently Gardner and Colbeck, who seem like more traditional outside mids (but what they as long as they can retain possession, play a decent ball and put in a good cross), they should be anle figure something

        It’s apparent though that in order for Sunderland to have success for the rest of the first part of the season, Giaccherini and Altidore need to form a good understanding with one another. Maybe adopt a pure 4-4-1-1. You don’t have to invent the wheel to have any semblance of success. Just look at Tony Pulis’ stoke side last season as example.

        Like

      • Ld

        As hard as it may be for u to admit, Jozy is just not a goal scorer at this level. The premier league is a step too far for him. He should have stayed in the Netherlands where even crappy players score alot

        Like

      • JeffP

        It’s often not the level, but rather the system that doesn’t fit the striker. Jozy has a lot of talent. If he can’t score at the top level, how do you explain his international goals against Brazil, Germany, Spain and other top teams? He may get going soon, but it must be said that no one at Sunderland is scoring goals in heaps.

        Like

    • Nate Dollars

      ‘Jozy is not good at putting the ball in the back of the net. He is only good at holdup play.’

      ha, this comment is so @ss-backwards. it’s funny when it’s so obvious that the critic has never seen the player actually play.

      Like

      • Ld

        It’s so obvious that you and most other posters here are massive USA fanboys that you cannot watch Jozy with an unbiased eye and cannot accept that he is just not that good because USA has no one else it scares you and makes you sad

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        so, i’m biased because i think jozy’s holdup play isn’t very good?

        as any casual observer would’ve noticed, jozy is quite good at putting the ball in the net when he gets service (with both club and national teams). what he’s not good at (although some think he’s improving) is holdup play, in large part because he’s just not very good at winning the aerial battles involved.

        your comment was laughable because it got both the criticism and the compliment dead wrong. but i think i’ve spent too much time on a troII.

        Like

      • whoop-whoop

        JD:
        I’ll take a wild stab and guess that you were steered here from “that other site” Ives now writes where instigating confrontation and insulting other posters is the norm rather than having anything resembling a discussion. Nothing wrong with disagreeing, but how about making an intelligent point rather than attempting to insult the majority of posters here in your first paragraph? I’d guess you’ve likely spent as much time watching Sunderland this year as you have on this site…. not much at all. Altidore has received plenty of criticism here when warranted and sometimes when not. Remains to be seen how he things shake out, but I’d hardly say anything is conclusive 6 games into a season, on a new team, in a new league, on a bottom dweller club in such turmoil that the manager was sent packing 5 games into the season. While the team has struggled, Jozy has worked very hard and created opportunities for himself and others out of not much and not looked at all over matched. Fans and announcers have seen JA as one of the few bright spots… are they “US fanboys” too?

        Like

  • Matt

    Don’t look now but Beasley is starting at LB for Puebla. Have I missed this all season or has he officially made the switch at both club and country?

    Like

    • The Other Jeff

      Anyone else think we may see Brad Evans at LB for Sounders? Only way to have Martins, Dempsey, EJ, Rosales, Neagle, Alonso and Evans all on the field at the same time. And aligns him with where he plays for NT (sort of).

      Like

      • Big Red

        He is the coach’s favorite besides Johnson so he’ll play. I think it is more likely he stays center or plays left mid and Neagle hits the bench. Martins is the other candidate to hit the bench. It’s too bad because Seattle is the best and most exciting team in the league when Neagle and Martins play forward. It’s pretty obvious. Too bad their coach doesn’t see it.

        Like

  • Darwin

    Ok, some positives for Sunderland. Cattermole gets his first start coming back from injury and did well to control the game for stretches. Giaccherini showed his tenacity and got a goal from a play that Altidore could easily have scored on had he made a run for a followup goal. Sunderland’s attack woke up in the final 10 minutes, when Giaccherini moved beneath Altidore. They played this formation well in the Carling cup game.

    Maybe having Cattermole in will allow Borini to start wide and Giaccherini next to Altidore…

    Like

    • Increase

      I think they have a winger named Mavrias who looked okay the 1 time he was on but ya just that 1 time.

      Like

      • Darwin

        I think Borini has more quality and is more experienced, but he is new to the team and hasn’t reached full fitness yet.

        Like

  • Bean

    Luis Suarez didn’t miss a beat. He is a prolific goal-scorer, and may be one of the best in the world today. Mamadou Sakho put in a strong shift for the Reds. He is earning himself a starting spot. Liverpool will be better going forward once Coutinho is back. Kolo Toure is covering for Glen Johnson admirably.

    Like

  • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

    According to the Guardian, the only person with an assist this season is Emanuele Giaccherini, with 1. I also liked the way he looked out there when behind Alti. Mavrias looked good out there, so between Borini, Johnson and Larsson and evidently Gardner and Colbeck, who seem like more traditional outside mids (but what they as long as they can retain possession, play a decent ball and put in a good cross), they should be anle figure something

    It’s apparent though that in order for Sunderland to have success for the rest of the first part of the season, Giaccherini and Altidore need to form a good understanding with one another. Maybe adopt a pure 4-4-1-1. You don’t have to invent the wheel to have any semblance of success. Just look at Tony Pulis’ stoke side last season as example.

    Like

    • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

      He just needs to keep on keeping on. I wonder if at his age, if he’ll try and make the nxt step. Which wouldn’t be much higher up really. I’m not even sure if he could make it in for a top team in any of the 5 big leagues in Europe.

      Maybe a Champions / Europa perennials like Panathinaikos, PAOK and Olympiacos in Greece, Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord in Holland or any of the Istanbul teams, Bursaspor or Trazbonspor in Turkey.

      I know it might seem redundant to go to another team, in another league sorta like Anderlecht in Belgium, but he seems he’s learned all he can at Anderlecht and good do with another challenge. There’s always new things to be learned from other leagues.

      Like

      • Turgid Jacobian

        But Anderlecht *is* a perennial continental competitor, and Belgium in the top 10 in leagues in UEFA. Turkey would be a step down, and the Netherlands only slightly up.

        If anything I would hope he would go to maybe France or Germany–if he could get interest there in the mid table.

        Like

      • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

        I think he could get interest from any top division in Germany, Italy or Frace. But playing time is something else. I think his skill, talent threshold is the equivalent of Parkhursts or so. And in comparison, He could sign with a team in one of the aforementioned leagues but would he see any time,? and then if not, would he be like Parkhurst and attract top tier teams in the 2nd divisions of those leagues? On the border of relegation teams in the 1st, promotion teams in the 2nd, i.e. Spector, Ream, Parkhurst and so on.

        Why Struggle with that when you can move to a league like those i was talking about. In regards to turkey, I completely disagree. If you look at their rosters and the standing each season, much like the Eredivisie, there’s always some surprise teams and the top half of those are,packed with players who have, succeeded at one point in a prominent league. Greece maybe not so much, Portugal really either. They both have 3 really great teams 3 respectable teams and the rest is on par.

        Straight out, Turkey or Holland would be a move up, especially if you can land on a perennial European competition club and get playing time. Greece and Portugal if you could get into on with a big player.

        Again you’ll say, “what’s the difference”? Well like I had mentioned I think he’s done all he can in that league and proven himself. The nxt step would be to go another league with different football styles and prove you can play their too. You’d only grow as a player in doing so.

        Like

  • MikeG

    Just an observation: Why do so many teams in MLS, some in the EPL, when they get into the final third (in the middle of the field) they pass it out wide to the left or right, and then look for a playmaking type of pass (cross most of the time) into the box? This seems counter productive. When the ball goes out wide the defense has more time to close down and congest. I would rather have a fast or quick forward take a through or chip pass right down the middle and use athleticism to beat the defender. I see this a lot in the Bundesliga and Serie A. Look at Ozil at Arsenal. Just shows that a true #10 play-maker is definitely missing in today’s game.

    Like

    • bryan

      Because the #6 position was created to stop a #10 from tearing up the middle. So #10s are working from wider areas now. Great video on mls going over the evolution of the position.

      Like

      • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli!

        You can’t have only one way of attacking, defenses would figure it out quick. either compact themselves from letting a through ball get through the middle or like you said play wider and more dirrect to get the defense to spread out and to free up players. It’s important to have a mixture of both and that why the ball is constantly shifted from side to side, inside and and out. To keep defenders are their toes to when you spot a chance you can seize on it.

        It just so happens some countries have a knack for one or the other. Of your like England or the US, you traditionally play wider and, through the flanks to whip ball into the box. if your not so quick about it, what you described happens and by the time your in the opponents third, the defense has settled and so your forced to bring it back out and restart the attack or let our mids take shots from thirty yards out (this was Sunderland today).

        More technical leagues usually produce football of the later stated result, which just so happens to be the more entertaining. This is why all of the UK national teams are rather boring ( England can be fun though because their attacking flair wingers / forwards and Gerrard ), compared to…everyone else.

        Like

      • mikeg

        Some leagues have a primary attack in the wings and some attack down the wings as a secondary plan. Look at the WC history of Brazil, Germany, Italy, and Argentina. These teams have the talent to dissect down the middle. Look at England. Not picking on England or taking anything away from 1966, but times have changed. Look at Germany and Brazil in the history of the WC. They are doing some things right. They always have a #10 that dominates even a #6.

        Like

      • bryan

        When did I say you can only one way to attack? I just said the #10 position has evolved. Supposedly. I was providing a source addressing the topic the op was speaking on to provide sole context he might consider interesting.

        Like

      • MikeG

        Nobody said anyone has to attack only one way. The number 10 traditional position does not exist with England or the USA (or most other english speaking nations). The #10 in England and the USA is out on the wings and honestly..it’s only wing play and not much play-making like a #10. Watch Arsenal Kick EPL A$$ with Ozil as a #10. I read the MLS article on Play-makers. I see the trend and it sucks. LOL…

        Like

      • bryan

        That comment was to Kingsly. I’m not sure anything you said is different than what I said. There are few pure #10s, most drift wider than traditionally.

        Like

  • Steevens

    Portland Timbers sure are lucky MLS refs almost never give yellows for diving. Valeri and Urruti both with pitiful displays around the 65th min

    Like

    • Steevens

      Keane did manage to complain to the ref after he kicked Hurtado out of bounds last week… twice.

      Like

      • petedx

        I’ll give it to him though he doesn’t discriminate, he throws his hands up at his own players, refs, and the opposing players.

        Like

      • Steevens

        Keane should be so incredibly ashamed of himself for sprinting toward the line judge after having a goal called back for being (IMO) correctly ruled offside.

        So pitiful. So embarrassing. Not the behavior of a top player.

        Like

  • Mike E.

    Simply a pathetic call.

    Your arm can be anywhere. You can only be offside based on your torso, head or feet. None of those were offside.

    Referee took points from the Galaxy. Joke.

    Like

    • Steevens

      Your eyes work different than mine. I saw Keane’s entire torso leaning offside behind all other players. The ref made a tough call, and got it right.

      Like

      • bryan

        Misread your post but I guess I was confused when you said you can only be offside based on certain body parts. Either way, he was offside. I’m an la fan. It was a good call.

        Like

      • Steevens

        And you failed your eye exam. Keane’s entire torso was offside. They just showed it again in SUPER slow motion with a screen capture.

        Did you see it now?

        Like

    • petedx

      It was a close call those are the breaks. What was pathetic and a joke was the galaxy reaction lead by Keane and Arena.

      Like

      • petedx

        *led by, and to be fair it was really just Keane and Arena not the entire squad.

        Like

  • Steevens

    Martins has been poor. His passing has been off, and that is largely down to poor choices. He’s either not seeing the open player, or not making the right decision.

    Like

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