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UEFA Champions League

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

Thierry Henry, Corey Ashe

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The New York Red Bulls are no longer without a win, but now they are on a mission to establish their first winning streak of the season.

The Houston Dynamo return to Red Bull Arena tonight (7:30pm, MSG) for the first time since eliminating the Red Bulls from the 2013 playoffs. They come in winless in four, and facing a rested Red Bulls team still missing Tim Cahill from the starting lineup.

Elsewhere in the world of soccer on Wednesday, Cruz Azul visit Toluca for the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final,  and Santos Laguna visit Lanus in the Copa Libertadores knockout stages.

If you will be watching tonight’s matches, please feel free to leave your thoughts, some play-by-play and analysis in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (today’s schedule can be found below):

2:45pm – Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich – Fox Sports 1

7:30pm – New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo – MLS Live

8pm – Toluca vs. Cruz Azul – Fox Sports 1/UniMas

9pm – Atletico Nacional vs. Atletico Mineiro – Fox Deportes

11:10pm – Santos Laguna vs. Lanus – Fox Deportes

114 comments
  • Matt

    Heres to hoping that Bayern absolutely mops the floor of Real Madrid and takes out Ronaldo for our WC game against Portugal

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      lol, i was just about to ask if we’ll see the same ‘anti-soccer’ comments re: real madrid’s play so far. seems like they’re doing the same as chelsea, except they’re at home.

      Like

      • RB

        Well I was going to say maybe 1, at the moment, and 1 just trying not to be embarrassed at home…

        Like

      • reignman

        The difference between Real today and Chelsea yesterday is clearly in the lineups. Chelsea yesterday started 4 defenders and 4 defensive mids, that is crazy. Real has plenty of creative attacking players in their lineup (Di Maria, Benzema, Modric, Ronaldo), so they may be a counter attacking team but it is clear they also want to score. I never felt yesterday that Chelsea had any ambition of scoring.

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      • Nate Dollars

        eh…lampard=modric, ramires=di maria, torres=benzema…

        the only difference is that willian is an attacking mid, whereas ronaldo is a striker/winger.

        well, that, and the fact that madrid’s players are so much better. :)

        Like

      • reignman

        what? lampard may have been a CAM earlier in his career but hes really a CDM now, nothing like modric. ramires is absolutely a CDM, di maria is a winger, not even comparable.

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      • Nate Dollars

        no. lampard is a holding mid now, much like ancelotti uses modric. ramires has always been a box-to-box mid, often on the outside, which is also di maria’s natural role.

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      • reignman

        i guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one, i dont see how you can honestly think di maria and ramires are similar at all. ramires’ primary job is to defend, getting forward is a bonus. di maria’s primary job is to get forward, they don’t even occupy the same areas on the pitch.

        Like

      • JayAre

        The problem with Chelsea yesterday wasn’t their line up. Teams have gone with a defensive line up with the intent to counter attack but Chelsea parked the bus right from the start Mourinho actually clearly told his players not to go forward in the first half!!! THATS UNHEARD OF!! This game is pretty slow and defensive compared to Real and Bayern standard but compared to Chelsea game yesterday it looks like they are playing an all out attack

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    • bryan

      not really, but he just had a BAD advantage call. he doesn’t let it play on and blows the whistle when Ronaldo would have been in on goal. yikes.

      Like

      • bryan

        wasn’t a PK. he was already falling over before any contact was made. good no call.

        Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        Correct…although I wouldn’t quite say that Mueller was “falling over.” He was attempting a sort of over-the-shoulder scissor kick.

        (I just don’t want anyone thinking Mueller “slipped and fell,” because that doesn’t paint the right picture.)

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    • bryan

      don’t like that CR and Coentrao created that goal though. not as a US fan. Benz with the simple finish. 1-0 Madrid. CR almost scores right after.

      Like

      • Dainja

        But did you just see CR miss a sitter just now??? that’s gotta make you (and every other US fan) happy! Shocking from him.

        Like

      • JayAre

        Real Madrid has a lot to play for in these last few weeks of the season. Hopefully the pressure gets to them and Ronaldo’s hamstring gets worse. There’ll be plenty of fouling going on in the next game since thats all that is left that Bayern have to play for.

        Like

    • reignman

      Many would argue best LB in the world right now, I’m not sure I agree with that sentiment but he’s top 5 for me clearly. Crazy thing is he plays at CM for Austria I believe

      Like

      • Pete

        Yeah I think he does. Sort of like Lahm plays CM sometimes. Just extremely talented players.

        Like

  • arsenal

    Man, that Madrid counter is fast. This is a good game to watch as a U.S. fan and see the competition we will be up against. It clearly shows that getting out of the group will be extremely difficult .

    Like

  • beachbum

    Bayern with at least half a dozen poor crosses into he area so far, not close to finding the target, just turnovers

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    • Nate Dollars

      yep, reminding me of atletico madrid yesterday.

      the only real difference in today’s game is that real madrid are a much better team than chelsea.

      Like

      • beachbum

        the difference is the quality of the balls served in imo; whereas Chelsea’s defenders had to win balls in dangerous areas, Bayern has not served in the dangerous balls

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      • Bac

        Kinda surprised by that substitution pattern though, then just as surprised Ancellotti took out Isco instead of DiMaria… but hey.. what do I know

        Like

  • reignman

    wow bayern just stopped a really good attack so that Pepe could get treatment, i can’t believe they’ve done that.

    Like

  • Nate Dollars

    i’m waiting for the commenters yesterday complaining about time-wasting to chime in about pepe…

    Like

    • reignman

      pepe is dirty and always has been, the fact he acts like a baby when hes on the bad end of a tackle makes it even better.

      Like

      • reignman

        that fall however did look like it hurt quite a bit, his ankle didn’t look quite right on the landing.

        Like

      • JayAre

        It all works well for the National team Jozy has improved his diving skills in England so I’m sure he knows how to deal with Pepe

        Like

  • bryan

    hopefully madrid don’t regret finishing those chances. need to get out of here up 2-3 goals.

    Like

      • Ali Dia

        Hahahaha. Poor Scott Norwood. Still getting cracked on a soccer site 20 years later.

        Like

  • Increase0

    The more I see it the more I hate this Lahm in midfield thing. Pep took a Excellent Right Back and made him a pretty good midfielder and replaced him with Rafina is just not that great. This happens all while he has Martinez on the Bench who is a Excellent defensive midfielder.

    He has essentially replaced two Excellent plays with 2 pretty good ones. It hurt them in the Manu game and its hurting Bayern now.

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      yeah, i was wondering if martinez wasn’t 100%. it’s the only thing that would really make sense to me.

      Like

  • bryan

    Wynalda says dumb stuff sometimes. he said that only in Spain will fans go, “ooooo,” after every close chance. has he ever been to Central or South America??!?!

    Like

  • Ali Dia

    Curious if Julian Green will become the second American with a CL winner’s medal if Bayern win the competition. I had previously thought that he qualified based on having appeared in the competition. However, I am learning that this may not necessarily be the case. What little information I gather suggests that 30 medals (and no more) are minted and given to the winners to allocate at their discretion amongst players and coaches. Anybody have any insights on this?

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      i was under the impression that a player has to play a minimum (probably higher than 2) of minutes in a champions league game, but i guess that would really suck for the backup goalkeeper who’s there every single game.

      Like

    • slowleftarm

      Pretty pointless since he didn’t do anything to contribute to them winning the competition.

      Like

      • Ali Dia

        Yes it would be pretty silly, and I doubt it will happen if they are only allocated 30. But as Nate points, out, few would begrudge the backup keeper a medal, even if he did not play.

        Like

  • bryan

    Ramos being a DUMB and sliding in on Robben and MISSING. leaving gotze wide open. thank god Casillas is awesome…

    Like

    • Increase0

      It was excellent from both Gotze and Casillas. No idea what Ramos was doing. Maybe looking for Red card number 22.

      Like

      • bryan

        seriously. as i saw him sprinting towards robben, i was like, “oh crap…”

        Like

      • Bac

        I think it’s because he just caught one square in the Jimmy a few minutes before and was looking for some payback. Damn the torpedoes if he takes out his own guy too

        Like

  • Atletico Man

    Since it would kill me to say anything positive about Real I will just comment that I think, when my guys beat Chelsea, I would rather they face Bayern now than Real, which I did not expect before this match.

    Like

    • Increase0

      I know what you mean but I think its because Pep tries to get to clever all the time. I think Messi used to bail him out a lot by being amazing. It’s not that he is a bad coach he isn’t but I think Messi made up for the lack of scoring that comes from Pep’s system.

      Like

      • frank from santiago

        there’s still a second leg in germany……this is far from over. you guys might be singing a different tune next week.

        Like

  • Jack Del

    Mueller wants a penalty for missing the ball, slipping and hitting the guy who got the ball. Gotta try, right?

    Like

    • biff

      Typical Bayern, diving and then crying like babies for penalties. And in the Bundesliga refs will usually oblige.

      Like

      • biff

        Well, Bayern has a different style, sort of a sense of entitlement to be gifted penalties when needed. The way Mueller was whining about not getting the penalty after he basically slipped an fell on his a$$ and then the bench in an uproar, including Matthias Sammer, sporting director and good buddy of Jurgen Klinsmann :-) , jumping up and down demanding a penalty like Bayern gets in the Bundesliga. I was surprised Webb did not give Mueller a yellow.

        Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        Nah, Webb is too level-headed—and non-biased {ahem!} to throw a yellow for that.

        Like

      • bryan

        yup, he was trying to scissor kick it which wasn’t clear until the replay. he jumped, he missed, no contact…no PK.

        Like

    • KingGoogleyEye

      Looked like a foul until the replay. Webb got it right in real time. Does this mean Xabi Alonso will forgive him? ;)

      Like

  • reignman

    Bayern got very close to equalizing late in that game, I think they turn around the deficit at home and make Real regret all the wasted chances in the first half.

    Like

  • bryan

    well, glad Madrid won. but 1-0 is not enough, those missed chances will haunt them unless they can pull it together and get a result in Munich. but if they flop like they did in Dortmund, forget it.

    Like

    • biff

      Hopefully Real learned from the debacle in Dortmund and will have a better plan. I don’t think Madrid will be able to keep a clean sheet in Munich, gotta attack and score first to quiet the crowd and get the Bayern players and Pep nice and nervous. You could see the tension on Pep’s face today.

      Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        I don’t really care who plays as long as they play (i.e., if I never see another match coached by Mourinho it will be too soon).

        That said, because I now hope Atletico win, I’d prefer to see them play against Bayern rather than have an intra-Madrid final.

        (On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind if CR played 197 matches between now and June 22….)

        Like

  • Atletico Man

    Next week is going to be a lot of fun. Chelsea cannot park the bus like they did this week, so that one should be quite open and exciting. And Bayren will have to attack until they score three, so that one should be good, too.

    Like

    • Ronaldo Messi

      Chelsea will probably play similar stile, but being at home and Atletico’s need to score, they will have more chances and the game should be a bit more open. Also, good luck with Mourinho’s CL voodoo.

      Like

    • Nate Dollars

      you think simeone will let it be open and exciting? hell no; he and mourinho are from the same mold.

      you’ll see them play tight and physical defense, much like chelsea yesterday, just with a little more attacking at the end (if still 0-0) because it’s the second leg.

      Like

  • Kodi

    Watching RBNY v Dynamo. RB Arena looks pretty empty. Dynamo have missed several opportunities to get back in the game. Right side of Dynamo defense really missing Kodi Sarkodie. So far 2-0 NYRB.

    Like

  • RB

    Sobering to consider that SKC, the defending MLS Cup champs and a team routinely considered one of the best teams in MLS (or at times, _the_ best), was steamrolled by the Liga MX team that now even the hapless and disorganized Toluca is quite competitive against.

    Like

    • KingGoogleyEye

      Might be a little less sobering when games are held when teams from both leagues are in mid-season form.

      Like

      • RB

        Yeah that’s what people say. I don’t really buy it, though, as then the Mexican teams can just shift to playing more of their first XI in each match, too.

        Like

  • Jack Del

    You have to love that Toluca just lost in literally the last few seconds because a dirty player tried to cheat by earning a penalty instead of tapping in a rebound on an empty net from like 3 or 4 feet.

    Seriously, looked to try and earn a penalty and volleyed it over to lose.

    Like

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