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Your Running Commentary

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

TottenhamChelsea (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

While many fans in the United States eagerly anticipate the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season, the busy Saturday of action will begin with several important matches in England.

Chelsea will look to extend their lead in the English Premier League when fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur visit Stamford Bridge, where Blues manager Jose Mourinho has never lost a league match. The hosts have had no trouble with Tottenham at home in recent years, but Spurs have already forced Chelsea to share points during their meeting earlier this season at White Hart Lane.

Before the two London rivals take the field at Stamford Bridge, another powerhouse from England’s capital will try to keep their quest for a FA Cup going with a quarterfinal match against visiting Everton. Arsenal are looking to bounce back from their loss at Stoke City with a cup victory against the visiting Toffees, who have never won at Emirates Stadium but have drawn in their last two visits.

In other EPL action, 19th-place Cardiff City and 20th-place Fulham will square off in a traditional relegation 6-pointer in South Wales. Elsewhere, first-place Bayern Munich visit Wolfsburg in Bundesliga play, while Barcelona look to put pressure on league-leading rivals Real Madrid with a road victory at Real Valladolid.

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):

7:45am – West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United – NBC Sports Network

7:45am – Arsenal vs. Everton – Fox Sports 1

9:30am – Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich – GolTV USA

10am – Cardiff City vs. Fulham – Premier League Extra Time

10am – Crystal Palace vs. Southampton – Premier League Extra Time

10am – Norwich City vs. Stoke City – Premier League Extra Time

10am – Real Valladolid vs. Barcelona – beIN Sports USA

10:30am – Bastia vs. Paris Saint-Germain – Univision Deportes

12pm – Udinese vs. AC Milan – beIN Sports USA

12:30pm – Chelsea vs. Tottenham – NBC Sports Network

12:30pm – Nurnburg vs. Werder Bremen – GolTV USA

2pm – Nantes vs. Ajaccio – Univision Deportes

2pm – Celta de Vigo vs. Atletico Madrid – beIN Sports USA

2:45pm – PSV Eindhoven vs. Utrecht – GolTV USA

3pm – Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC – NBC Sports Network

4pm – Granada vs. Villarreal – beIN Sports en Español

6pm – Club America vs. Santos Laguna – Univision Deportes/Univision

7pm – D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew – MLS Direct Kick

7:30pm – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls – MLS Direct Kick

8pm – Pachuca vs. Monterrey – Univision Deportes

8pm – Tigres UANL vs. Cruz Azul – UniMás

8:30pm – Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution – MLS Direct Kick

8:30pm – FC Dallas vs. Montreal Impact – MLS Direct Kick

10pm – Atlas vs. Chiapas – Univision Deportes

10:30pm – LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake – MLS Direct Kick

10:30pm – Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union – MLS Direct Kick

118 comments
  • biff

    @Expat4455: I am sure by now that you have seen my response to the request you made asking me to provide a link backing my statement. But after I posted the links for your, I asked you a question and you have not yet answered and I am still waiting for a response. I hope that you (and not a surrogate filling in for you) will have the courtesy to finally provide an answer as I did for you.

    To make it easier for you, here is a link to the discussion. Or you can respond here on this thread. Up to you. Thanks.

    http://www.soccerbyives.net/2014/03/usmnt-alejandro-bedoya-1.html#comment-1385929

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      i’m pretty sure the rules state that you must post those links to each and every comment that expat has made about this: so you’ve got about…98 to go. better get started!

      Like

    • arsenal

      If they were so concerned about Chandler, and didn’t think he made the team better, why did they not buy another rb or at least get someone on loan during the transfer window? Unless, I missed that from the horrible translation provided by google.

      Like

    • Fair Observer

      granted, i’ve had my on-going arguments with this BRETT guy on here but never carried over to another article and never had to post links to another article on SBI where i …..posted links… to another article… that proved my point. like really???….

      Like

      • Fair Observer

        brett, Is M. Alonso a good defender; YES or NO? one word answer please

        Like

    • Fair Observer

      biff, how much sleep have you lost over this Expat guy? is it really that deep? why the need to show one guy over the internet why you feel chandler is bad? who really cares? get a life biff, just write your thoughts and keep it moving. it’s really not the deep…. im not trying to put you down just trying to help show u that commenting on different articles to the same guy is ridiculously petty and makes you look like an silly (which im not saying your are, just LOOKING like it). let Expat disagree with you and be done with it. WOW……

      Like

      • Rory

        Holy crap what kind of craziness have we stepped in here?

        Guess what, people don’t always agree no matter how much data you have.

        If you are this bothered by someone disagreeing with you on the Internet then I hope I never have to encounter you in real life.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        biff was responding to a question that expat asked him, and then went out of his way to make sure he saw it. from what i can tell, it was a conversation that resolved very nicely.

        what exactly is that problem with that? hell, i wish all online exchanges went like that.

        Like

  • Joe

    No Timmy in goal. Has Martinez been resting him for cup ties? Who are the Americans to watch today?

    Like

    • Swish

      Joel looks comfortable, confident, and terrible. It is a matter of time before Panties Cazorla clangs one off his dome Canseco-style into the roof of the net.

      Like

      • arsenal

        Don’t worry, Everton has a good chance of scoring with flamini being his wreckless self and vermilion being as slow as a snail.

        Like

  • Expat4455

    biff, thank you for your replies to my asking you to confirm what Verbeek said. I now see where your got your info. Both articles you linked to mainly dealt with Nürnberg’s interest in obtaining Jan Kirchoff on loan from Bayern (he was loaned to Schalke on 27 Dec. 2013). Although nowhere did I find a quote by Verbeek saying Chandler did not do enough to help Nürnberg he was quoted as saying he would “most like to have a right-back who makes us better”. CLOSE ENOUGH.

    Now, the 2 straight weeks that Chandler was named to the Bundesliga Elf of the week were the last week before Winter break and the first one after.

    Again, thank you.

    Like

  • Travis

    This arsenal v everton game is quite wide open and entertaining. Arsenal have probably been slightly better but everton have been dangerous on the counter

    Like

  • Joe

    So is there a 9:55am (EST) Premiership match that will be televised on NBCSN? Is it possible there is no match listed because Manchester City v Aston Villa was the originally scheduled match? Hopefully, we can watch Cameron and Stoke City against Norwich.

    Like

    • Ali Dia

      Actually NBC was hoping they could close their eyes and wish super-hard and another Olympics that nobody cared about would appear. How did Bode do? Can you believe we finally broke our curse at Ice Dancing? Any updates on Bob Costas’ pink eye? Did you know that there is a war going on all around us? Should we report it? GOOD GOD NO!!!! THERE IS BIATHALON GOING ON RIGHT NOW!!!!!

      I want to beat the guys to death at Fox and (mostly) ESPN who allowed NBC into this game. I will take Lalas and Twellman any day over this “hey have you guys noticed soccer is a big deal?!? just give us a minute and we’ll maybe focus on it!!!” Perhaps there is a game on USA network right now? Who knows!?!

      Like

      • CamRahn Bay

        Dude you can’t be serious. You are defending a network that put Arsenal vs Liverpool on Fox Sports 2, a channel that over half the nation doesn’t even get. That’s not even the worst of it… They aired Nascar Truck Racing PRACTICE over Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich in the Champions League!

        NBC’s coverage of the Premier League is 90 million times better than anything Fox ever did. The only thing I miss is Fox Soccer News, but I can deal with those chumps on ESPN FC for the time being I guess.

        Like

      • Gary Page

        There is one great advantage Fox had over NBC. Fox devoted its whole schedule to soccer. NBCSN shows the featured games which they may replay once later on, but that’s about it. I miss the Fox Soccer Report that used to be on daily.

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        I will not defend Fox in the post FSC era. And yes FSC was low budget. But as the fella above said, it was round the clock soccer. And you can make the argument you did about NASCAR bs JUST AS EASILY with NBC sports. Have you tried leaving your TV on NBC Sports channel? Do it sometime;.

        Like

      • CamRahn Bay

        All are fair points, I do miss all soccer all the time, and I have seen some odd sports on NBCSN.

        It is so difficult for me to avoid results, so the replay thing never worked well for me. I really like the Extra Time feature On Demand, as well as the App for my tablet (which is free; Fox’s cost money)

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        Agree there. I guess what I could say is… if NBC found its way around to creating a soccer-only TV channel, it would solve a lot of my issues!

        Perhaps they could finally put GolTV out of its misery and pick up a few of their properties…

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        And in the “egg on my face” department, I left my TV on NBC Sports earlier and am now watching paralympic ice hockey. And it’s awesome.

        Like

  • TomG

    Utrecht on GolTV! I get to see Juan in Holland for the first time! Hope he starts.

    Like

    • TomG

      Ugh, don’t read it. It’s like reading an entire article by an Internet tro11. What a dbag.

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        +1. when leitch was running the joint, it was the best sports site around. now it’s barely a sports site at all.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        the original article from deadspin, or the response from warshaw? i thought the original was pretty awful, but the response was well-thought-out, respectful, and insightful.

        Like

    • CamRahn Bay

      Enjoyed this, thanks.

      I’m what some would call a “Eurosnob” I guess. I really like watching some of the mid-level clubs in Europe and would prefer to over much of the MLS…. until this season. I really look forward to this year’s MLS and plan to watch as much as possible, regardless of teams involved.

      Outside of the obvious sides of interest in MLS (Galaxy, KC, Salt Lake, Seattle, and Toronto) I am also excited to see Maurice Edu in Philly (does he have a shot at Brazil?) Eddie Johnson in DC, and even Teal Bunbury in New England (Okay I refereed him as a youngster in MN)

      Let’s just hope they are on TV?

      Like

      • Increase0

        The top MLS teams can put on a good show. The final last year wasn’t that. The semis were pretty good though.

        Like

    • Bongwater

      A clear penalty, based on the mild reaction of the players and commentators, as well as the replay evidence. Move on. And I’m an Everton supporter…

      Like

  • biff

    Fabian Johnson starting today for the fourth game in a row at right back. In the past three games with him at RB, Hoffenheim has won twice and drawn once, and scored a total of 12 goals.

    Like

  • Joe

    Neither Danny Williams nor Brek “screw the supporters” Shea are in the gameday 18 for their respective sides. Jonathan Spector and WP90 both get the start for Birmingham City.

    Like

    • Bongwater

      Strange about Williams… his form has been good and he looked valuable against Ukraine. As for Shea, adult literacy classes are opening up in June.

      Like

    • Joe

      Duane Holmes getting the start for Yeovil Town v Sheffield Wednesday with Oguchi Onyewu in central defense.

      Like

    • John

      Kind of funny the player that starts the fight with a “supporter” is in the starting line up while Shea is left off.

      Like

      • Bean

        Could be a few of reasons why Shea is left off:

        The manager doesn’t need Shea

        The manager doesn’t want Shea

        Shea is injured

        Like

      • John

        If it was just punishment then why is Dawson starting. Williams isn’t in Reading’s team either so is it the midweek game and travel? It’s probably a little bit of all the above. It’ll blow over though.

        Like

      • bryan

        Only Shea decided to flip the supporter off, right? If so, that’s probably why. Can’t be giving the middle finger to supporters lol

        Like

  • Travis

    That was a big game for Arsenal, Ozil and Giroud both had strong outings. If those two can get going it could reignite their charge for top of the table

    Like

    • biff

      I only saw a few minutes and Ozil looked good, fired up. I was very surprised to see this. That sort of response is a very good sign after all his trials and tribulations, including being booed Wednesday by Germany fans when he was subbed out of the Germany-Chilie match, that instead of buckling under he is responding with fight and determination.

      As for next Wednesday, if Ozil can keep the fire then I could see him starting in Munich against Bayern. If Arsenal can score first, then game on. Bayern got real nervous today against the average team of Wolfsburg the pressured and Arsenal is much better than Wolfsburg and can give Bayern a hard time. I think Arsenal is gonna win 3-1 and move to the next round and we will get the pleasure of watching the Bayern boys after losing crying like babies:-)

      Like

      • Increase0

        Of course then…. Bayern put Manzuick in and scored 6 goals. So… making them mad can hurt sometimes.

        Like

  • Gerard D.

    Just read what Brek Shea did. Wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t play another game this season. Maybe the apology mitigates that, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    That behavior is about how he plays though–reckless and out of control.

    Like

  • biff

    The Wolfsburg vs FC Bayern game is outstanding, 1-1 at halftime. Wolfsburg is one of the few teams this season to press Bayern up high and put pressure on Neuer instead of letting the Bayern backline leisurely move the ball out to midfield. Plus, Wolfsburg is playing highly aggessive, not afraid to challenge Bayern with physicality. And Bayern is getting flustered, not used to having to deal with this sort of pressure. The is really the only way the USMNT is going to have to play with Germany/Bayern in June at the WC to have a chance at a point or three.

    Like

    • biff

      well, the Bayern machine has prevailed once again, with a couple of key early 2nd half substitutions by Pep, and in the end too much for Wolfsburg, which was the better team for the first 63 minutes. 5-1 Bayern and still counting. Let’s see what Arsenal can do on Tuesday in Munich.

      Like

      • Expat4455

        lol, we disagree again. In the first half Bayern had about 60% possession with 7 shots on goal compared to Wolfsburg’s 2.

        Like

      • biff

        well, I tuned in at 26 minutes right as Shaqiri scored the equalizer to make it 1-1, and for the rest of the half Wolfsburg dominated and was basically running circles around Bayern with several good scoring chances. Ditto in the first 10 to 15 minutes in the second half until Pep brought in Thiago and Mandzukic, who spiced things up. After Muller scored the go-ahead goal, it was all over.

        That is why we all have to think positive thoughts that Arsenal will score first on Wednesday in Munich, then the pressure will be on Bayern and I think we see Arsenal win 3-1 and move to the next round.

        Like

      • Expat4455

        I watched the whole game and what I saw wasn’t what you saw. I did not see Wolfsburg “dominating and running rings circles around Bayern” nor did I see “Bayern getting flustered” at any time.

        But as an Arsenal fan, hoping against hope, that they have a chance (lol, you even predict a 1:3 win for them at the Allianz) against Bayern I can understand how you see the things you do and now know the color of those glasses you wear.

        Like

      • John

        Considering the league is won and Bayern can move all focus to Champions league, does Green get called to see some actual league minutes at some point?

        Like

      • Expat4455

        Bayern’s sporting director said in Jan. that Green pipped to get in Pep’s starting rotation in the second half of the season. But I tell you, Bayern is loaded with world-class attackers.

        Like

      • Expat4455

        Here is what Matthias Stammer said in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung on 14 Jan.: “Julian Green is tipped to break into Pep Gruardiola’s first team plans in the second half of the Bundesliga season.

        Julian has made a very notable development. He can play in every position in attack. Despite the many top international stars at Bayern, Green is capable of holding his own”.

        Like

    • Increase0

      I checked the box score. Mandzukic come on and goals start going in. That guy is massively underrated.

      Like

      • bryan

        If I’m Mexico, I’m pissed he isn’t missing their game. Him and Modric are going to cause a ton of problems.

        Like

  • arsenal

    According to Nuremberg FC, Chandler is expected to be back by the beginning of April. Could make things interesting come May.

    Like

  • Bac

    Hudson with the commentators call of the year…

    “That ball was as clear as the nose on Barbara Streisand’s face”

    Like

  • Increase0

    Wait Barscalona lost? Messi looked not so healthy mid-week. What’s going on with that team…

    I heard rumors the team doesn’t like the coach but this is silly.

    Argentina needs to hope he is forced to get healthy.

    Like

  • argh

    why didn’t we schedule ARMENIA instead of Azerbaijan?

    That way we could have welcomed home Yura Movsisyan (who is a great goal scorer in Russia) and also that Mikhytran guy at DORTMUND.

    that would be 1 heck of a match in los angeles

    Like

  • argh

    best team in the world right now?

    Bayern Munich or Real Madrid or PSG or Barcelona?

    Like

    • Expat4455

      I agree, those are the top 4. But as a big Bayern fan, I have to go with Bayern Munich being the best. I do understand however, that being a fan might cloud my judgment sometimes.

      Like

    • Increase0

      Bayern is the best team overall(mental, tactically etc) but Real may have some better players in Raw terms.

      They have Bale and Chrissy, who can ruin anyone’s day. A game between those 2 would be a proper tactical battle.

      Like

      • Expat4455

        Maybe Real and Bayern can play the final in Lisbon. That would be a great match.

        Like

  • Expat4455

    I to was happy to see Özil have a good game, even though I was rooting for Everton. Also, he was one of the only bright spots in the Germany-Chili friendly. An article on the match said.”Özil went through the Chilean defense….and found unmarked Götze who fired it home” It was the only goal in the 1:0 match.

    The German fans in Stuttgart were not happy with their teams performance. The booed a lot throughout the match. btw, the fans did not single Özil out in this regard.

    Like

  • AcidBurn

    Iceman’s second goal was filthy. Compare that skill to Jozy’s first touch like a donkey.

    Can see him coming in as a big time impact sub at the WC. (Bagging a last minute equalizer against Portugal…)

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      yeah, poor jozy. if only he had as good a first touch as johannsson (instead of a donkey, apparently), he too would’ve been able to score in the eredivisie. god he sucks.

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        also, is anybody else tired of commenters who can’t compliment one player without tearing down another? and i guess it’s impossible that jozy and aron could be on the field at the same time.

        Like

    • Fair Observer

      please note the goal around the 1:18 mark

      please not the many clever heel flicks to teamates off the first touch.

      please note that Acid Burn doesnt want to admit that Jozy has talent but is currently in bad form (things like this happen, he’s only 24.)

      last year everyone was singing praise for him, now in the few months after a USMNT hat trick vs bosnia he lapses into bad form on a terrible Sunderland team and everyone thinks Jozy has no talent…… btw no player on Sunderland has more than 7 league goals, only one has more than 6 league goals -Adam Johnson… a midfielder-, no striker has more than 3 league goals, so for everyone saying Jozy sucks and it’s not because of Sunderland being bad….. you’re wrong. SUNDERLAND IS BAD. No one else on their squad has scored a ton of goals. Borini has 3 league, 3 League cup, and 1 FA Cup; nothing to write home about. Adam Johnson has 1 FA cup, 7 League and 1 League cup goals; better but he’s a midfielder, i’d like to think he should be passing a little more, not to mention a few of those have been rebound tap ins off a Jozy shot or where Jozy sprang Borini or someone loose with a clever pass who then took a shot, had it deflected and AJ taps in a goal….. I’ve watched 85% of Sunderland games. Their mids are terrible playing as a team. and while Jozy IS in bad form, it’s NOT because he doesnt have TALENT. it’s confidence, system, terrible team and partly because he’s just not scoring. let’s not run wild and say he’s not skilled

      that is all

      PS- hi brett, M Alonso still sucks at defense

      Like

      • Fair Observer

        not to mention, borini has scored most of his goals while playind midfield. to put it simply, Sunderland’s mids refuse to pass the ball to the striker (fletcher only has 3 total as well, one more that jozy, yet he catches no flack). Sunderland is full of mids who never saw a 30 yard shot they didnt love like a HS girl…..

        Like

      • John

        Thats where I think Poyet’s comments aren’t helpful, saying him being left out of the team is on him. Jozy needs to just get in there and be selfish like everyone else on the team. Just get in there and shoot with every touch. If Sunderland goes down who cares if you knock in a couple.

        Like

  • bryan

    Bedoya on the bench to start but ends up getting subbed on in the 24th. hoping he scores against Ochoa today!

    Like

  • Ali Dia

    At any given time, Chad Barrett is under contract with four MLS teams and two Scandanavian teams. He also occassionally performs under the stage name “John Rooney”

    Like

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