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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal celebrates at full time

 By IVES GALARCEP

Arsenal had a busy summer revamping their roster ahead of a challenge for the English Premier League title, and the first step toward trying to win the EPL crown sees the Gunners take on Crystal Palace today in the opening weekend of league play.

Chilean star Alexis Sanchez will make his debut at the Emirates, while Arsene Wenger trots out a new-look defense to shut down the underdogs from Crystal Palace.

In other Premier League action, Tim Howard’s Everton visits newly-promoted Leicester City, Geoff Cameron’s Stoke City meets Brad Guzan’s Aston Villa and London rivals West Ham and Tottenham renew acquaintances.

In MLS, Real Salt Lake will take on the Seattle Sounders in an early match featuring two of the top teams in the league. The Sounders are sitting on top of the Western Conference standings, but if RSL can win at Rio Tinto Stadium today, the gap atop the West can be reduced.

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 soccer TV schedule is after the jump):

TODAY’S SOCCER ON TV

10:00 a.m. – Leicester City vs. Everton -NBCSN

10:00 a.m. – Queens Park Rangers vs. Hull City – Premier League Extra Time

10:00 a.m. – Stoke City vs. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00 a.m. – West Bromwich Albion vs. Sunderland – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00 a.m. – West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur – NBC Sports Live Extra

11:00 a.m. – Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bastia – beIN Sports USA

12:30 p.m. – Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace – NBC

2:00 p.m. – Toulouse vs. Olympique Lyon – beIN Sports USA

2:30 p.m. – Real Madrid vs. Fiorentina – ESPN Deportes

2:30 p.m. – Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders – NBCSN

5:00 p.m. – North Korea vs. USA (U-20 Women’s World Cup) – ESPNU

6:00 p.m. – Club America vs. Morelia – Univision Deportes

6:00 p.m. – Puebla vs. Tigres UANL – ESPN Deportes

6:30 p.m. – Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire – MLS Direct Kick

7:30 p.m. – New England Revolution vs. Portland Timbers – MLS Direct Kick

7:30 p.m. – Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy – MLS Direct Kick

8:00 p.m. – Monterrey vs. Cruz Azul – Univision Deportes

8:30 p.m. – Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC – MLS Direct Kick

10:30 p.m. – Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – MLS Direct Kick

10:30 p.m. – San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas – MLS Direct Kick

67 comments
    • USA 2022

      If GC is transferred, it will be interesting to see which position he plays for his new club.

      Like

    • JakeTheSnake

      I have not heard any transfer rumors about Cameron…but not seeing him in the 18 is odd.

      What teams are interested in him?

      Like

      • TomG

        “According to reports, no fewer than five English clubs, plus a further four in Germany, have expressed interest in the versatile 29-year-old, with Hull City, Swansea City, Southampton, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion all said to be courting his signature.” Freddie Shires, HITC

        Like

    • ssartor

      According to one of the Stoke City forums, both Cameron and Peter Odemwingie (the only 2 Stoke players to make the round of 16 in Brazil) were left off the squad today because neither is fully match fit.

      Like

  • Increase

    Well, Manu is off to a wonderful start. They still don’t have a midfield and Nani played.

    Like

  • Ivan

    NBC SN picked up a great game to show, entertaining stuff so far! And what a goal by McGeady.

    Great to see Manchester United are still awful, and keep us the good work from last season with a new and arrogant coach.

    Great stuff so far!

    Like

    • USA 2022

      Man U will never consistently meet the high expectations that were created by Sir Alex. Their fans ought to become accustomed to battling for a Champions League place and not take it for granted.

      Like

    • Tekneek

      I knew it was foolish for them to blame David Moyes. I hope the impatience with, and ill treatment of, David Moyes leaves them troubled for years to come.

      Like

      • Increase

        Well Moyes wasn’t blame free but that team had so many flawed players.

        Like

      • JayAre

        Van Gaal has been saying that this team was flawed all along, Moyes wasn’t the most tactically sound coach He bought 2 #10 while he was coach only to play the out of position while defense was a big issue

        Like

      • Increase0

        Ya, defence last year was too old or average. Now the old is gone and average remains. Midfield would be almost okay but Carrick is out now too. They just need to suck it up and buy Vidal. Or for depth player. Mexican Herrera but thats just so they can have a double Herrera midfield. I will say I was well impressed with the mexican Herrera in the WC and he should be cheap.

        Like

    • Dank

      I watched a lot of Sunderland last year to see Jozy. I thought Ki was their best player.

      Like

      • jones

        Same. Thought he was one of the only ones capable of stringing passes together and creating something. Unfortunately, Sunderland don’t seem to have upgraded their midfield much so the key will be playing as a team, which they really struggled with last season. If they play as a team and Jozy plays like we know he can, he could easily displace either of the starting forwards, but we saw how last year went.

        Like

  • USA 2022

    Does anyone know if Will Packwood is injured? He’s not even been on the bench for Birmingham, so far.

    Like

    • bryan

      I really wish a reporter would find out. Three games in a row now. The “he just got back from the U-23s camp” no longer applies.

      Like

    • Beckster

      The official blogger during their game said he is fine and just not strong enough to make the 18. They appear to have depth at centre back. Their captain centre back for years only made the bench today.

      They did say that Specs had a brilliant game at right back.

      Like

  • Byrdman

    I live in the Dominican Republic. Any ideas how i can get nbc sports network online? I dont have a provider in the US. Thanks for any ideas

    Like

    • Increase

      Unlikely that it is possible to get NBC there but then I doubt there are any legal streaming services in the Dominican Republic.

      I think the answer is to develop a drinking habit and start hitting bars at 8am. You are in the Dominican Republic. It sounds like what you should do.

      Like

      • Increase0

        But he is in the Caribbean… alcohol was good enough for Hemingway!

        Like

      • Increase0

        Are you saying famous writers aren’t good people to model your life on. What about Lord Byron?

        Like

      • GW

        No, I am saying Hemingway committed suicide.

        Lord Byron died of a fever. As far as I know he was nowhere near the Caribbean.

        Like

  • Citronomics

    Two subs for Sunderland. Both midfield players. According to ESPN gamecast, only 2 attempts by Wickam-Fletcher combo. Meh.

    Like

    • Nate

      great sign to see him on in the first game, even if as a sub, shows Poyet sees some value. Still, no goals from any strikers, but Rodwell, Gomez and Van Arnhem seem to have promise. Good to get a point on the road.

      Like

  • Dank

    Barry should have got his second yellow, but justice for Lichester with a late goal after Everton completely turn off the gas late.

    Like

  • Leo

    I’m glad that Sunderland was able to rescue that point, but a little disappointed in Jozy, for the fifteen minutes he played. He seemed to be way behind Sunderland’s second goal. Looked to me as if he had a few decent touches and another group of miserable ones. In the waning moments he halfway jogged down the right touch line and seemed to get his signals mixed up with whoever was trying to give him the ball.

    Not a whole lot of weeks left to make it up. I’d like to see him be a little more aggressive and assured than he was last year

    Like

    • Citronomics

      Hey Leo,

      I caught the last 10 mins, incl. extra time, and on the Larsson goal it appeared Jozy stopped his run anticipating the ball might be cut back to the edge of the goal box rather than played in. Certainly, he was trailing the sequence. He did also play one poor cross field pass that put the Sunderland defender under pressure.

      It’s the first match so hoping a week of training will help him get more in sync with the squad.

      Like

      • Nate

        he was correct to trail that play, given his starting position. He knew Larsson was making the crossing near post run from deep, so hanging back beyond the six provided van arnhem with multiple crossing options.

        Like

      • Leo

        I also agree, I’m just hoping that we see his positional awareness improve. I saw him running down balls in the midfield and in defense, just want to see him demanding the ball in more forward positions. Sorry for not being more clear initially.

        Like

    • Nate

      Ditto, he needs to get his confidence back. Given this is is first live action since the hammy, I can understand some lack of sharpness. Good thing is that i think Poyet is aware of the confidence issue and figures the best way is to relieve the pressure he may be feeling is by bringing him on as a late sub, and hoping that he gets on the end of something. I think one goal is enough to get him going, but you are right, that goal needs to come soon.

      Like

    • Fair Observer

      on that play down the right touch line he was waiting for the mid to send a thru ball, had he full sprinted he woulve been offside. the mid was in error there for waiting too long to just send Jozy down the line for a cross or cutback back to the mid

      Like

      • Nate

        true, Altidore expected an early pass, which didn’t come, and when Buckley (a new signing) finally sent the pass, it was a hospital ball.

        Like

      • Citronomics

        The ‘pass’ down the touch line to Jozy was, in my observation, a lame ball. Sort of in between a heavy touch and soft pass.

        Like

    • GW

      “In the waning moments he halfway jogged down the right touch line and seemed to get his signals mixed up with whoever was trying to give him the ball.”

      In a world full of uncertainty it is comforting to know that there will always be someone, somewhere who will track every single second of what Jozy does and judge him harshly for it.

      Jozy is lucky they don’t play the Star Spangled Banner before every Sunderland home game.

      Like

      • Jack

        I almost get it in a World Cup year but breaking down the 10 minutes he was on the field is a little much, right now.

        Like

      • Increase0

        That wasnt anything to do with jozy. The fullback held on the to ball to long then accidentally pushed it too far from himself. Im not even sure that was supposed to be a pass.

        And yes jozy is over analyzed. That play doubly so.

        Like

      • Since 82

        This.

        I’m so glad the BPL has started so I can sort through all the Jozy crap from the microanalysis all season long.

        Like

      • Leo

        Jesus Christ, you’d think I called for him to be benched.

        Try using reading comprehension and taking the stick out of your bum and read my post again.

        Like

  • Citronomics

    Terrific action on this BPL season opening day. Underdog squads scoring first making things entertaining.

    Like

  • wood chip zip

    Brede Hangeland scores vs Arsenal. I’m laughing at Fulham and Felix Magath right now. Karma is a Biatch.

    Like

    • GW

      Will you still be laughing if Fulham get promoted and Crystal Palace get relegated?

      It’s a very long season and the first game isn’t even over yet.

      Like

      • By the way

        Fulham treated Hangeland horribly. Perhaps that’s what it’s about. And Fulham have got off to a miserable start with two loses. They are coached by a mad man who is trying to win promotion with a bunch of teenagers and players who have never played in the championship. They are a mess and will not get promoted.

        Like

  • USA 2022

    I hate myself for doing this (like when I watch MTV reality shows), but… Anyone know if Mr. Adu played for his new club today?

    Like

  • TomG

    Really nice assist on the winner from Gil starting in the central role for Morales today. Yes, a cm should be able to play well on the left side of a diamond, but he does look more comfortable in the center of the field. Maybe it’s more psychological than anything else.

    Like

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