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Your Running Commentary

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

CristianoRonaldoRealMadrid1-BayernMunich (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Both the La Liga and English Premier League seasons are on the line on Wednesday as Real Madrid and Manchester City look to bolster their title chances.

Los Blancos hit the road to take on Real Valladolid, knowing that anything less than three points is a failure, according to manager Carlo Ancelotti. Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane miss out but Iker Casillas will start in goal for the first time in La Liga this season. If Real Madrid win their final two matches and Atletico fails to beat Barcelona in the league finale, Real Madrid will win the title.

Equally important in England is Manchester City’s match against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium. If the Sky Blues win, they’ll be in pole position to win the EPL but Aston Villa will make life difficult for Man City. Manager Manuel Pellegrini is without forward Sergio Aguero for this important clash, putting pressure on Edin Dzeko and the rest of the squad to score.

PSG can clinch the Ligue 1 title today at home when they host struggling Rennes. PSG only needs a draw to secure their second consecutive league title.

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):

1pm – AS Monaco vs. Guingamp – beIN Sports USA/Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Manchester City vs. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Network

2:45pm – Sunderland vs. West Bromwich Albion – Premier League Extra Time

2:45pm – St. Johnstone vs. Celtic – Fox Soccer Plus

3pm – Paris Saint-Germain vs. Rennes – beIN Sports USA/Univision Deportes

3pm – Real Valladolid vs. Real Madrid – beIN Sports en Español

8pm – Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew – MLS Direct Kick

9:25pm – Pachuca vs. Santos Laguna – Univision Deportes

10pm – Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas – MLS Direct Kick

10:30pm – San Jose Earthquake vs. Colorado Rapids – MLS Direct Kick

100 comments
  • bryan

    ugh, Ronaldo subbed out in under 10 minutes. he needs to stay healthy until after the final…then he can be injured!

    Like

    • arsenal

      I want to see both teams fully healthy to battle it out in the finals. It will only make it more exciting.

      Like

    • PokeMan

      yeah bummer. hope it isnt lengthy. want to c madrid win it all and c portugal v usa full strength

      Like

      • JayAre

        Seriously? Ronaldo is a good player but i won’t mind if he doesn’t play. I follow La Liga enough to know what he’s capable of no need seeing him do it against the US

        Like

      • PokeMan

        best to play the best not scrubs this is wc after all

        Like

  • arsenal

    Guzan already with a few big saves. It looks like only a matter of time before City scores, sadly. Hopefully, City get a similar pumishment to PSG with the FFP ruling this week.

    Like

  • bryan

    Ramos is on fire! i didn’t even know he could hit a free kick like that.

    Like

  • Increase

    So… Still no Johannson. Maybe that injury is more than we thought. =/

    Like

    • arsenal

      I think he is on the bench according to their twitter. So, that is not too bad of a sign. Maybe just precautionary at this point.

      Like

      • arsenal

        I could be wrong. I saw his name listed with a bunch of players after the lineup was announced, but I don’t know Dutch. Hopefully, he recovers quickly!

        Like

  • Steven

    Sunderland with Altidore: worst team in the EPL

    Sunderland without Altidore:decent midtable team

    Discuss!

    Like

      • bryan

        it’s insane. he makes a great run, the guy actually passes it, and he hits it wide. that was harder than actually putting it in. probably won’t get the ball again. he needed that for his confidence and you could tell how mad he was after missing.

        Like

      • Gary Page

        I would like to see a slow motion replay on that. When I saw the regular speed replay I was trying to figure out how he missed. It looked kind of like the ball was just a teeny bit behind and he hit it with his (left) trailing leg. But it was hard to tell. Anybody with any info on that?

        Like

  • bryan

    come on Jozy!!!!! that is a perfect pass and a nice run and he MISSES it. he HAS to finish that!

    Like

    • Ted in MN

      Pretty damn close. All he has to do is not scuff it at a 45 degree angle

      Like

  • Bach's Thumb

    That’s why Jozy doesn’t play. Jesus, half of us could probably hit that into the net by pure accident.

    Like

  • Gerard D.

    If Jozy is finishing like that right now he can stay the hell away from the USMNT. What the hell, are you a professional footballer or not?

    Like

    • Don the Jewler

      The off side flag was up. Probably enough to throw him off, but he will be great once he is with a real team.

      Like

      • bryan

        it is true the flag was up despite him being clearly onside. so it wouldn’t have counted either way unless the ref overruled the AR. but still, his back was to the AR, i’m not sure the flag had anything to do with it. especially when you look at his reaction after missing it. he was MAD.

        Like

  • kimo

    Just awful finishing. His finishing has been dreadful this year. With even half decent finishing he’d have at least 1/2 a dozen this campaign.

    Like

      • Nate Dollars

        you must’ve misunderstood my comment. i meant that it seemed like the OP hadn’t watched much of sunderland’s games, because, even if jozy had world-class finishing, it still would’ve been hard for him to get 6 goals.

        sadly, i’ve watched far too much of sunderland.

        Like

  • Vik

    Whoa, Jozy just tossed aside a defender who was trying to tactically foul him by dragging him down via his arm. Makes you wish Jozy would turn and dribble like that more often.

    Like

  • bryan

    oh man Jozy with a POWERFUL, surging run forward. crowd and coach loved it. he’s not playing that bad, but missing that sitter will sour his performance.

    Like

  • Dirk

    I do believe you all will be surprised by what Jozy does in Brazil. I still have faith in him.

    Like

    • Increase

      He really needs some gimme goals against Azerbaijan. He needs them sooo much.

      Like

      • Jim

        Jozy with goals in 2′, 10′, 12′, 34′, 45′ against Azerbaijan.
        Book it.

        Like

    • Dainja

      I believe as well.

      I…

      I BELIEVE…

      I BELIEVE THAT…

      I BELIEVE THAT JOZE WILL SCORE!

      I BELIEVE THAT JOZE WILL SCORE!

      Like

      • Dirk

        He does not have to score, the team needs to win, and Jozy will do everything with that in mind. He always has.

        Like

      • Gerard D.

        Missing sitters from inside the 6 as a forward is doing everything? Actually, yeah. He does have to score.

        Like

      • GW

        Not for the US. The US has other scorers who need to be sharp.

        For the US if Jozy is playing well, doing those surging runs of his with defenders bouncing off of him either he will score or someone else will

        The US has no other forward who can attack the center backs like Jozy can. The World Cup is about power and for the US that starts with Jozy.

        Like

  • Brian S.

    Did anyone else’s stream just stop all of the sudden around the 82′ mark? It stopped on the iPhone and iPad. Just when Jozy was getting involved

    Like

    • bryan

      sure did. so annoying!!! and of course Jozy almost had an assist right after that according to ESPN. game just about over now.

      Like

    • K Haro

      yep…and it still wont come back, was hoping to check the comments for updates…super annoying, jozy is putting in the effort he is still hungry to do well in the WC, let’s all wait til July before crucifying him

      Like

      • bryan

        despite the awful miss, he looked good. he just has jinxed himself or something because apparently his finishing in practice has been good. so who knows but hopefully he snaps out of it…

        Like

      • Gary Page

        I’m surprised no one mentioned the good reverse pass to set up Catermole. That showed excellent vision.

        Like

      • bryan

        my guess is it’s because the feed went out right before it happened. i know mine went out right before that. i heard about it because of the ESPN live commentary. that was right after his powerful run where he bossed two defenders.

        Like

      • GW

        It is a conspiracy. Those people who are controlling JK from afar like Dirk says did it.

        Were you wearing your tin foil hat? I bet you were not.

        This is just a small sign of their powers and abilities.

        Like

  • Chris

    I (so boldly) predicted the title would be Man City’s a few weeks back.

    Hell ya ;)

    Like

  • Brett

    This was a fixture for a middling forward to score. The type of game where an often quiet Emile Heskey or Bobby Zamora type can bag a goal. Let that sink in. Jozy is not even up to the level of a Bobby Zamora.

    Like

    • GW

      Brett,

      Zamora played 10 seasons in the EPL and was pretty much a regular for most of that time.

      Heskey played about 15 seasons in the EPL and was also a pretty regular player for most of that time.

      Most people on SBI moisten their underwear when they think of what a remarkable accomplishment it is that Geoff Cameron has started for an EPL team for 2 whole years.

      If Zamora or Heskey were in their prime both would walk right into the USMNT starting 11. If Jozy is at prime Zamora level then Dempsey would be happy and would know just how to use him.

      Like

  • Atletico Man

    the sound of two points dropping as Valladolid score in the 41st!!!

    Like

  • Dirk

    What a finish for Sunderland. These last 5 games, holy cow. The coach showed a lot of faith in Jozy, putting him in the second half. And Jozy did his job. You know, I do believe Jozy will be back at Sunderland next season, and this time…………………well.

    Like

    • Jim

      So he can get more splinters on the bench and applaud loudly for Conor Wickham?

      Like

      • Dirk

        Now Jim, you know I am hoping for something better than that. Or you just a troll?

        Like

    • Gary Page

      I think Jozy would be better off elsewhere because I don’t think Poyet uses him incorrectly. Too often Poyet uses him as a lone striker while Sunderland plays defensively with about 9 guys behind the ball. I think Jozy would do a lot better in a 4-4-2 with some decent midfielders who could actually make good forward passes.

      Like

      • Gary Page

        Ooops, should read I don’t think Poyet uses him correctly.

        Like

      • GW

        Mr. GP,

        If Jozy remains at Sunderland it is likely that the team and a bunch of other variables will be significantly different.

        Poyet’s approach is likely to be different.

        My guess would be that Jozy will try to finish up strong, which he is doing and then have the best World Cup possible. If he does well in Brazil then his options increase, maybe even dramatically.

        So as bad as the season has been it just might work out in the end for the US and Jozy.

        Like

  • bryan

    pathetic madrid. absolutely ridiculous. just threw away the season. well, reserves for the next two games and focus on winning the CL. that’ll help make me forget that they threw away the La Liga twice within a few days of each other.

    Like

    • Increase

      If Atletico win 1 more game, Real can’t win at all. All they have to do is beat Barca.

      Like

  • Dirk

    by the way, does anyone know what number Julian Green wears for the USA? I don’t know.

    Like

    • John

      well he wore 9 in his appearance, i don’t think anyone else usually wears it, maybe Herc did when he was in the team

      Like

      • DB

        I find it somewhat hilarious that World Soccer Shop already has Julian Green #9 jerseys for sale.

        Like

      • Good Jeremy

        Besides #10 and usually 1, players don’t really care about using numbers like that anymore. What does Dempsey’s 2 mean? Altidore’s 17?

        Like

      • GW

        Numbers actually do not mean anything but there are still some like JK who remember the old days. In the old days there were no player names on the shirts and you wore the number of the position.

        George Best is known as one of Manchester United’s immortal #7’s but he often wore #8 or # 11. Bobby Charlton wore # 9 usually but wore all the forward numbers in his Manchester United career:

        Keeper: 1
        Right back 2
        Left back 3
        Right half back 4
        Center back 5
        Left half back 6
        Right wing 7
        Right inside forward 8
        Center forward 9
        Left inside forward: 10
        Left wing 11

        Subs: 12, 13, 14, etc.

        As tactics and formations changed eventually associating positions with number became meaningless but a lot of players and managers still have a fondness of the old numbers.

        Ryan Giggs broke in as an orthodox left winger and #11 has remained his number. National teams also gave players a chance to wear different numbers. Henry, who was a winger before moving inside, wore #12 for France and then #14 for Arsenal. The great Johann Cruyff was the original #14. Gerd Mueller the great German striker wore #13. Beckenbauer started out wearing #4 when he was an attacking midfielder but switched to wearing #5 when he lined up as West Germany’s nominal center back but was actually their deep lying attacking sweeper. Of course, Zidane wore #10 for France his entire career but wore #5 for Real Madrid. Go figure. Deuce is not a right back but he wears #2 for Seattle because that is his nickname.

        These days jersey numbers are useless as indicators of role or position.

        Like

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