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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Tim Howard

By IVES GALARCEP

Tim Howard and Everton have seen two leads disappear in their first two games of the English Premier League season, and the search for that first win of the campaign will only get tougher as the Toffees square off today against Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho’s side is off to a perfect start, and will head to Goodison Park looking to go 3-0 by beating an Everton squad that looked impressive against Arsenal before squandering a 2-0 lead and settling for a 2-2 tie last week.

In Italy, Serie A kicks off this weekend with a slate of matches led by Roma’s date with Fiorentina. Meanwhile, Germany, Schalke 04 will look to try and hand Bayern Munich a rare Bundesliga loss when they meet today. In France, AS Monaco and Lille meet in what should be a good match-up.

In MLS, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps face off in a Western Conference match-up with major playoff implications. Both teams are fighting for the fifth and final playoff spot in the West. In the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC is set to face New England in another match with major playoff implications.

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

7:15 a.m. – Sheffield Wednesday vs Nottingham Forest – beIN Sports USA

7:45 a.m. – Burnley vs. Manchester United – NBCSN

9:30 a.m. – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin – GOLTV USA

10:00 a.m. – Fulham vs. Cardiff City – beIN Sports USA

10:00 a.m. – Manchester City vs. Stoke City – NBCSN

10:00 a.m. – Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace – Premier League Extra Time

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

10:00 a.m. – Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion – Premier League Extra Time

10:00 a.m. – West Ham United vs. Southampton- Premier League Extra Time

11:00 a.m. – AS Monaco vs. Lille – beIN Sports Connect

12:00 p.m. – Chievo Verona vs. Juventus – beIN Sports USA

12:30 p.m. – Everton vs. Chelsea – NBC

12:30 p.m. – Schalke 04 vs. Bayern Munich – GOLTV USA

1:00 p.m. – Cordoba vs. Celta de Vigo – beIN Sports Connect

1:00 p.m. – Athletic Club vs. Levante – beIN Sports Connect

2:00 p.m. – Nantes vs. Montpellier – beIN Sports Connect

2:45 p.m. – Roma vs. Fiorentina – beIN Sports USA

3:00 p.m. – Atletico Madrid vs. Elbar – beIN Sports Connect

4:00 p.m. – Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids – MLS Direct Kick

5:00 p.m. – Espanyol vs. Sevilla – beIN Sports Connect

5:00 p.m. – Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution – MLS Direct Kick

6:00 p.m. – Puebla vs. Morelia – ESPN Deportes

6:00 p.m. – America vs. Pumas UNAM – Univision Deportes

7:30 p.m. – Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew – MLS Direct Kick

8:00 p.m. – Tigres UANL vs. Chiapas – Univision Deportes

8:30 p.m. – Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas – MLS Direct Kick

9:00 p.m. – Club Leon vs. Pachuca – Telemundo

10:00 p.m. – Atlas vs. Santos Laguna – Univision Deportes

10:30 p.m. – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers – MLS Direct Kick

10:30 p.m. – Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes- MLS Direct Kick

165 comments
    • Rob

      That’s impossible. I was told rather nastily, that Bayern was selling players to make room for him as a starter.
      Eddie? Expat! Increase? Is he not “Pep’s boy” anymore?
      Bayern is sending him on loan hoping he does well enoug to be sold for a couple of millions.
      He was given a shot with Bayern and he’s just not good enough for them. Most players aren’t.

      Like

      • Michael Stypulkoski

        What in the world…? He’s nineteen years old; no one knows whether he’s going to be good enough for Bayern, not even Bayern. Sending a teenager out on loan is hardly an unprecedented move. When David Beckham was that age he went on loan to Preston. It wasn’t because he wasn’t good enough for Man U, it’s because he wasn’t ready yet.

        Like

      • Increase0

        Me? When have I ever said something like that. They wouldnt be making room to be honest it would be more like Shaqiri gets sick of being benched and demands to get sold.

        Like

      • fischy

        Would you want to pay for it?

        I mean, I’m interested to see Hyndman, but not so much that I’d pay for the privilege.

        Like

      • adhd

        see if u can find reviews or clips. 1 thing if this was 2012 and Dempsey was there. Otherwise I wouldn’t pay.

        Like

      • Jamie Z.

        I’ve been impressed with him. I think he’s looked quite tidy on the ball.

        Like

      • jag

        Definitely gotten in to the game more the last 20 min of the half. Seems effective playing that deep lying mid role. Tidy in possession, solid touch, solid vision. Definitely can tell what the excitement is about for an 18 year old

        Like

      • Internazionale

        Plays better deep because he doesn’t see as much pressure where as Parker can battle through and fend off the pressure.

        Like

      • AJH

        My only criticism would be that he rushes the pass too often. He’s got more time than he thinks and he as the ability to dribble.

        Like

  • fischy

    How soon until Man Utd fans start pining for the glory days of David Moyes…when Man Utd could score?

    Like

      • AcidBurn

        I want to know what Ted Lasso thinks of a potential Manchester United relegation.

        Like

    • Landy Cakes

      If only ManU is relegated, this will be the greatest EPL season ever!!!!!!!!!!! Van Gaal floating back to the netherlands on a sea of tears…. Rooney having to have a face transplant to go along with his hair….

      Like

      • i'd gvive anything

        to see thisHAPPEN.

        dear God, Allah, please Budda, make it happen

        Like

      • Increase0

        Okay, I said that and I’m only semi wrong.

        Berlin has zero shots on goal but is winning because of an own goal. That’s not really a long term plan there Berlin.

        Like

      • fischy

        WHere you’re most wrong is in saying “‘Bayern’s’ gonna hammer ’em.” Berlin is not playing Bayern.

        Like

      • Increase0

        Ya.. I typed a bonus N. It’s Bayer. =(

        They should still be winning though

        Like

      • Increase0

        Yup, Tore up a Danish team in the CCL qualifier and beat Dortmund last week. They are playing well right now.

        Like

    • Citronomics

      Looking at ESPN gamecast, looks like Johnson and Wickham are the wide forwards in a 4-3-3. Hopefully we’ll see Jozy coming on for decent sub minutes.

      Like

  • Brian S.

    Anybody having issues with Extra Time app? Mine just says coverage will begin shortly but the Sunderland game should be in the 25th minute by now

    Like

  • EvertonBrian

    Hyndman looks good. Playing within himself but incredibly tidy and quick on the ball.

    Like

    • Robbie

      I like the kid and he’s had good composure on the ball today… just hard for me to get excited about another deep lying mid. I want an American MJ of futbol. I am not sure this will happen in my lifetime, but one can dream.

      Like

      • TomG

        LIke the kid, but he doesn’t have the physical tools to be the Football MJ. Rubin or Haji Wright or Pulisic might have a small chance at that, but not Hyndman.at his absolute height he’s the football John Stockton, I think.

        Like

      • GW

        It is way too early to tell how far this kid will go.

        Hyndman’s performance in two games in the Championship for a team undergoing a seismic reorganization is not a career defining sample size.

        Like

      • don lamb

        from the guy proclaiming that Julian Green is completely legit…

        Like

      • don lamb

        the title you have already anointed him with, which, as far as I can tell, is based on absolutely nothing concrete.

        Like

      • don lamb

        you said before the world cup that green would be the best us striker within a year…

        Like

      • GW

        Yeah?

        That means there are about eight months to go to prove me right or wrong. Get back to me then.

        In the meantime, besides Jozy, name me a better one.

        Like

      • don lamb

        He has a lot of ground to cover in eight months. Even if there is just Jozy, it’s a ridiculous statement about a kid who has hardly begun his career. However, I am not convinced he is ahead of Zardes. I am less convinced that he is actually a forward… It’s just too early to tell much with this kid. Again, which is why I was so surprised by your proclamation.

        Like

      • GW

        Zardes?

        The USMNT won’t play any competitive matches until July of 2015 when the Gold Cup starts.

        Until then everything will be experimental and not worth arguing over.

        Like

      • don lamb

        Zardes has the raw ability to be a big time player. His improvement from last year to this year was remarkable. He is a player to watch, and I bet he has the attention of a few clubs. Put Hamid in that same category.

        Like

      • GW

        Mr.lamb,

        Zardes is a fine prospect but he is still just a prospect.

        He hasn’t been capped or even called in.

        Excelling for a Galaxy team with guys lIke Keane and LD to take the pressure off of you is one thing, playing for the USMNT is another.

        And his real competition for a spot with the US is not Green it is Jozy, Boyd , EJ, Will Bruin, Alan Gordon, Chad Barrett and guys like that;quite a logjam to go through in the next few years

        Like

      • don lamb

        Who has been capped and called in is absolutely irrelevant right now.

        Someone like Nagbe is a much better example of who Zardes is competing with. He is miles ahead of all of those guys that you mentioned except Jozy.

        Based on the leap that Zardes made from his first year to his second year, his potential is serious. On the other hand, you have hyped an unknown player in Green.

        …And then you go and tell someone not to hype a new prospect who is actually showing some real promise. The irony is that you downplay something tangible that someone else notices, but you are adamant about your own unsubstantial claim.

        Like

      • GW

        Mr. lamb,

        As they say, I’ll bet you could get into a fight if you walked into an empty room,

        When I made my comment about Green he had just been capped vs Mexico.

        Talk about unsubstantial, the guys you are talking about may never get capped.

        When they do then you can talk.

        Like

      • don lamb

        ha. I do get frustrated when I see people proclaiming that they know best when, clearly, they are pulling stuff out of their behind.

        Like I said — who has been capped or not is absolutely irrelevant at this point. If you are basing your position off of that you are not making a very smart argument. You evaluate a player based on what he is a player doing day in, day out. There has been no way to do that for Green (unless you were watching Bayern II play), so therefore I knew your statement was complete bs. And then you continued to choose to up the ante.

        Zardes now has 12 goals in 17 starts this year. Up from 4 last year. More importantly, if you WATCH HIM PLAY, you see major improvement in his decision making, comfort level on the field, and overall technical ability.

        When you made your loud statements about Green, he had shown nothing to support your argument. You just decided it was so and therefore everyone was supposed to believe it. I can;t think of anything more arrogant.

        Like

      • GW

        don,

        If you can’t think of anything more arrogant then you don’t read the posts on SBI very much.

        Like I said, this is an empty room and you are getting into a fight with yourself.

        Yes , I saw very little of Green but do you know who I saw as his competition? Brek Shea.

        What I saw in the Mexico game merely confirmed what was strongly indicated by the real world actions of other, more knowledgable professionals.

        I saw JK lay an awful lot on the line for this Green kid. I also saw Pep Guardiola fast track this kid into Bayern’s first team squad and then loan him out. You loan out people either to get them a lot of playing time or because you are trying to offoad them and have no buyers so a loan at least showcases them and gives you some salary relief.

        If Green was a washout Bayern would just him loose like Dortmund cut Boyd loose. After all when Dortmund cut Boyd they knew they were going to lose Lewandoski at some point soon. So if they had rated Boyd, you’d think they would have found a way to keep Terrance around. This tells me Klopp did not rate Boyd.

        JK and Guardiola have a lot more experience evaluating talent that you or me. And they have access to a lot more data on Green than you and me. And leaving Guardiola out of it, the entire Bayern program is hardly sentinmental about cutting people loose. Lots of talented players don’t make it at Bayern, Landon Donovan to cite the most obvious example.

        So for Green to be where he is in their program is by itself a very high recommendation. All that plus what I have seen of Green makes me fairly certain he will be the USMNT’s best striker within the time frame I mentioned.

        You are saying that Zardes and Nagbe, two guys have not played a minute for the national team are better USMNT forwards than a guy who has already been to a World Cup and scored a goal and did not look out of place.

        That may be someday or even today but there is no objective proof of that.

        This business of trying to figure out whether player X will succeed in a league or national team where he has never played is very inexact. For example, Holden went to Bolton and, very quickly, not only did well but was well on his way to being a DOMINANT player in the EPL. I sincerely doubt anyone thought that was likely. Stu more than anyone recently, had a chance to change Euro perceptions about US outfield players. I rate his absence from the 2014 team as the biggest what-if.

        I’m sure Zardes and Nagbe will go on to have fine pro careers in MLS or elsewhere but you are changing the rules in the middle of the game when you say playing for the national team is irrelevant since this discussion is about rating USMNT forwards.

        They may also have a future for the USMNT but Nagbe is not eligible yet and Zardes has not been called up. They are not USMNT forwards. And that is not an arbitrary distinction nor is it a formality.

        So you are getting all lathered over nothing. There is no debate here. Green is in the picture for the USMNT going forward. Zardes and Nagbe may or may not be. Hold your debate when those guys get capped.

        Like

      • don lamb

        Back to the topic at hand…

        Hyndman has now been called in by Klinsmann and he is a part of the first team at Fulham.

        Why is it okay for you to pronounce Julian Green as the next big thing, but it’s not okay for someone else to be excited about Hyndman? If you watch (and don’t just take a coach-with-an-agenda’s word for it), you would see that Hyndman has shown as much as Green. That was my whole point here.

        You have admitted that you are making your assessments based on much tangible evidence, but rather just going off of what you have read coaches say (coaches don’t often say what they really think about their players to the media — exhibit A: “Green is in our plans this year.” Then gets loaned out.)

        Like

      • GW

        Mr.lamb,

        “Hyndman has now been called in by Klinsmann and he is a part of the first team at Fulham….Why is it okay for you to pronounce Julian Green as the next big thing, but it’s not okay for someone else to be excited about Hyndman? If you watch (and don’t just take a coach-with-an-agenda’s word for it), you would see that Hyndman has shown as much as Green. That was my whole point here.”

        When I made my initial comments on EH , he had not been called in by JK. And if your read my posts on Hyndman they were more about telling people that two 90 minute games for a much depleted , experimental Fulham team in the Championship were not enough for people to start writing off Hyndman’s defensive abilities or predicting where his midfield role would ultimately be. It would be fun to see JK turn the team over to him and let him run it vs the Czechs. This is a no pressure experimental game.

        Green was different. When he came into the picture there were vacancies up for grabs in the WC squad. His first slot for the US was the same as Shea’s, showing speed, taking on defenders and disrupting defenses and hopefully, scoring goals. In the Mexico game he showed the first two and scoring is obviously something he has a knack for. And given the circumstances, he did not look out of place. The Mexicans immediately got very physical with him and he held up okay I saw Shea’s first game for the USMNT for example , and Shea looked for less composed or organized.

        By the way, if and when Shea gets his head back on straight, he can still be a very dangerous weapon for the USMNT. At his best, he is direct, big, fast strong, fearless and relentless.

        Defenders hate guys like him.

        “u have admitted that you are making your assessments based on much tangible evidence, but rather just going off of what you have read coaches say (coaches don’t often say what they really think about their players to the media — exhibit A: “Green is in our plans this year.” Then gets loaned out.)”

        Tangible evidence? Define tangible evidence.

        If Zardes scores on Chivas USA defenders is that tangible evidence that he can score against the Czech Republic, Mexico or Portugal? Jozy went through a long drought where he was burning up Dutch defenses and yet could not get bupkus for the USMNT. Jeff Cunningham and Kenny Cooper Jr. both tore up MLS defenses and did nothing for the USMNT.

        I don’t go off what coaches say to the media either

        I go by what they do.

        You want tangible evidence?

        1. JK’ ‘s actions with Green:

        Took him to the World Cup in spite of massive criticism. Actually played him when the game was still on the line. Green was warming up before Belgium scored their second goal. Had Clint put away that free kick chance, and he probably should have, the game maybe goes to penalties.

        2. Peps’s actions with Green:

        Did not send Green back to the Regionallia. Did not cut him loose like Klopp cut Boyd loose. Instead he is loaning him to Hamburg, another Bundesliga team. This is still a higher level of competition than he would get in MLS or the Austrian Bundesliga for example.

        So both Pep and JK by their ACTIONS, not their words, are showing great faith in Green.

        You don’t think Zardes, Nagbe or any young USMNT prospective forward would benefit from having a shot at playing for Hamburg?

        Like

      • don lamb

        Tangible: Something that a player has actually done.

        Not tangible: Speculation based on the actions or words of someone else.

        I agree with you about Shea — he is dangerous as heck and could make a huge jump in the right direction if he can get settled. He and several others (including Zardes as we have discussed) have shown than Green have in their careers and show at least as much promise.

        You are basing your assertion on something like 60 minutes of game action — it was less than that when you actually said it. The rest of your argument is not based on things that happen on the field, so it is hard to take them too seriously.

        Green has two very important steps to get through before we can even compare him to Shea and Zardes (much less Altidore).

        1) He has to become a regular player at Hamburg.
        2) He has to play well on the field for Hamburg.

        Until then, easy with the whole “Green is the best American striker” business. Or, let other people hype up whoever they please.

        Like

      • GW

        Mr. lamb,

        Let’s put it this way.

        If the USMNT had to play a match this week that really meant something, and JK had to call in the first team , do you really think Shea, Nagbe or Zardes would be on the field for the US before Green?

        I don’t.

        Like

      • don lamb

        Not sure how that makes Green “the best American striker within the next year” …

        Like

      • GW

        Mr. lamb,

        Just in case it hasn’t been clear before my interest in US strikers is on the ones who play for the USMNT..

        If,for example, Zardes is in your view the best American striker, but he isn’t playing for the USMNT ,then that’s great but I couldn’t care less about him.

        I’m not a Galaxy fan.

        .

        Like

      • GW

        Mr. Lamb,

        “Until then, easy with the whole “Green is the best American striker” business. Or, let other people hype up whoever they please.”

        So it is okay for you to not let me hype up Green but I can’t do the same thing to others? Isn’t that a little hippo-critical?

        And besides if you read my comments on Hyndman, you will see that I was responding to people saying Hyndman did not have the “physical tools” to do this or that. In other words they were being premature in saying what he could not do in the future.

        It’s clear to me that we don’t have enough data to set the limit on EH’s ceiling. Which is a very different thing from what you are saying that I am doing.

        Feel free to hype Zardes and Nagbe all you want. Until they get into the USMNT picture I’m not interested in them.

        Like

      • TomG

        Not for physical tools, no. There is a definite ceiling on physical tools. You can pretty definitively state that he won’t be the MJ of American soccer since MJ had elite physical ability.

        Like

      • GW

        1. If EH were a striker you might have a case. Midfielders often take a little longer to develop.

        2. EH may not be finished developing his “physical tools”. Two games is not enough to tell you the full extent of his “physical tools”

        Like

      • Internazionale

        I don’t think deep lying mid is what he typically plays, but he has been playing that role in the Championship a lot. He has been ineffective further up the pitch in the more attacking role due to the pressure he sees. He is still a kid and adjusting to the mans game so there is time. But like others have said his challenge will be does he bring the physical tools that will be needed to make an impact for the USA.

        Like

  • Pace

    Brooks could have maybe done better on that goal. Second goal was a beautiful set play from bayer.

    Like

  • TomG

    Hyndman really looks to find guys in and around the box. His passes are very accurate and sit up nicely so the attacker can settle quickly. He started a nice sequence by getting the ball in to the top of the box and had the ball squeak out to him at the end about 8 feet above and to the right side of the box but whistled the shot high and wide. He seems like he might form a nice relationship with Jozy who loves to combine and post up around the box and get the ball at his feet. Who knows of course – it’s 45 minutes of 2nd division football, but it’s fun to watch him so far. I just like how aggressive and confident on the ball he is for such a young player.

    Like

  • Pace

    I know they won the World Cup, but kiessling still should have been on that team. Just ran all the way into his own 6 yard box to make a crucial defensive header, and he’s one of the best and most consistent strikers in the bundesliga.

    Like

  • Pace

    And as I say that Brooks makes a ridiculous recovery run and tackle to deny kiessling on a breakaway. That was a great play.

    Like

  • ManicMessiah

    I miss the first half of the newcastle game, turn it on just in time to see them go a goal down where defenders just stand and watch Puncheon bring down a ball and hit it on a half volley. Ridiculous.

    Like

  • TomG

    EH just launched a wildly optimistic shot from the top left corner of the box, cutting right to gain space on his man. Not sure whether to laud his aggressiveness or critique his poor decision making.

    Like

    • Citronomics

      And 2 nutmegs on Diouf’s box to box run, and the second nutmeg through Hart for the score really should’ve been dealt with.

      Like

      • Ali Dia

        Oh yeah… in all reality it was about the least compicated 80 yard run you’ll see outside of high school football game. Right up the gut, schrugged off Kolorov, easily megged Fernadinho, and Joe Hart basically fell down like a grandmother.

        Like

  • TomG

    EH really has done a nice job several times to create space in tight spots then make a smart, aggressive, positive pass.

    Like

    • Citronomics

      TomG… from your observation today of EH, is he playing more box-2-box and regardless, appear to have that ability?

      Like

      • TomG

        I’ve also recorded it, so I will watch again and report back if I get the chance, but mainly I was just very impressed with his sense of the game and ability to create space at such young age. It’s such a subtle skill that often takes a long time to develop and he seems to have it in spades already. One time he sensed defenders on his back and instead of waiting for the ball, he anticipated the pass and came to get it, making like he was going to go right, then going left before he even touched the ball, then immediately does a double fake with the ball, circling around and immediately, head up, finds an open teammate down the pitch like he had planned the whole thing out. The two defenders just had no idea what he was going to do and he put them on their heels seemingly so easily. I don’t want to overrate a couple plays in the Championship, but if he keeps developing, he could be a very fun player to watch for the little things he does. Or I could be reading more into his game than I should, but hopefully we will get a lot more chances to see him this season and find out.

        Like

      • beachbum

        appreciate that thoughtful reply. going to try and find a replay to watch, try to start following

        Like

      • TomG

        Cardiff. As far as I could tell, they seemed to try to run guys at him, maybe in attempt to rattle him bc he’s so young? But he handled it very well in possession and looked to make positive passes. He seemed to get pressured more in his own half actually than when he got forward from what I remembered. There were a few times when he snuck forward and no one was marking him. It was generally a pretty good test though bc he had to deal with a decent amount of ball pressure and Cardiff was pretty physical.

        Like

      • TomG

        He seemed to be playing a deep lying playmaker role which he seems very well suited to in terms of his offensive playmaking but not sure about his ability as a true box-to-box guy. I didn’t see him win any balls defensively and didn’t notice anything positive or negative regarding his positioning and work rate. Did anyone else notice anything? I find those things difficult to diagnose in one match. He’s a fairly small guy so I don’t think he will turn into a tough tackling box2box guy like MB or JJ, but I’d love to see if he’s got a little bit of defensive toughness and bite to his game. That would give him more options to get on the pitch.

        Like

      • ChrisTheLSUTiger

        Hyndman had a decent game today. He actually made some good defensive plays as well.

        As far as his positioning goes, he hangs back a bit and recycles possession, but he goes up from time to time as well. He had a few shots this game. His passing is really sharp, he’s tidy on the ball, and his movement and positioning is very intelligent for a player only playing in his first few games as a pro. You can tell he was brought up knowing his size was a disadvantage, and he makes up for it with his excellent positioning.

        Like

      • Citronomics

        Thanks @TomG and CTLSUT. Look forward to these (hopefully) weekly “reports”.

        Like

    • Fair Observer

      interestingly enough, when he did sub on, the commentator said “i think this switch should have happened along with the last sub…”

      Like

    • dirkus

      It’s funny… swansea basically went back to their starting 11 from 2 seasons ago. Taylor at lb was class until he broke his leg. Ki bosses that midfield… can’t believe they let him go to sunderland for the year.

      They play pretty, simple football.

      Like

      • dirkus

        I think they took a slight step back last year in how they played under laudrup. But they are easily my favorite team to watch for the past few years. It’s pretty neat they new gaffer played for them in all 4 divisions.

        Like

  • Fair Observer

    i thought jozy played with energy today. on a side note, it’s not that he is just terrible at winning midfield headers… he just completely doesnt want to win them. he gives a flail in the direction of the ball but he seems to never really TRY to time it right. and im a jozy supporter haha. he had a good shot that was blocked, some good runs and a nice set up for V Aanholt that was a little wide. not much wrong in 15 minutes.

    Like

    • dirkus

      I disagree half way here. He does flail but tends to win/flick on at least 50% of what is played in to him. Usually when he wins the header though nobody is running onto it.

      I said it last year, poyets system doesn’t fit jozy strenghts. He likes two wingers and outside backs to push forward. Last year Johnson should have been feeding jozy the ball from the wings but tended to hog the ball 90% of the time to try and make the world cup squad. This year the team looks a bit less selfish but jozy isn’t playing.

      However, you can’t tell me fletcher is worth being in the first team.

      Like

    • TomG

      He did win the one at the end over two defenders, flicking it back to Wickham. It was really well done. I think he’s improved but he’s still very inconsistent on those. Some of them he misjudges awfully, but I don’t think he isn’t trying to win them.

      Like

      • Nate

        On one of those, he got nudged in the back, which made it seem like he totally misjudged.

        Agree with dirkus though. Not much service to any of the forward in Poyets system so far this season. Fletcher getting the lions share of minutes with precious few opportunities to show for it.

        Like

      • GW

        TomG,

        If Sunderland is emphasizing the aerial game, Fletcher, more of a classic Brit center forward, is far superior and will always be superior to Jozy.

        But Jozy is far from terrible in the air, it just isn’t his stength the way it is for Fletcher.

        Like

      • TomG

        I’d agree. It’s disappointing, though, that they NEVER whip a cross or corner into him. I know he’s not their best, but we’ve seen him with AZ and USMNT show some ability to knock in headers, not dueling headers, but off of runs.

        Like

    • Brett

      Jozy has never been good at judging the ball in the air. It’s why Villarreal gave up on him so quickly. A guy that large and strong should dominate in the air.

      Like

      • Nate

        Villareal did not play a ton of long aerial balls to their forwards…Jozy’s problem was that Rossi was an automatic starter, and they had more technical forwards competing for the other spot. Villeareal tend to keep the ball on the floor…

        Like

    • Tony in Quakeland

      Second goal certainly looked off side. And while I’m rooting for Everton, I’m not going to cry too much on their behalf since a far more egregious offside goal gave them the draw with Arsenal last week… much to my incredible annoyance.

      Like

    • Brett

      Gotta keep those gullible Americans watching. He is not up to the quality of that team, and now that he’s officially “American” in soccer terms, he has no shot.

      Like

  • jones

    Great response from Everton. I wonder what Diego Costa said to Howard before that altercation, though.

    Like

  • Dan

    Dude, Everton’s defenders seriously need to buy Tim Howard dinner after the game. That man is getting hung out to dry.

    Like

  • fischy

    How many goals has Howard given up already this season where he’s absolutely flat-footed? He’s not even reacting to these shots.

    Like

    • jones

      There’s really only one goal where I thought he could have done better. Mostly either poor defending or unfortunate deflection. He doesn’t have 8 limbs.

      Like

    • Citronomics

      The Costa goal Timmy got nutmeged and should have done better (and one goal was off Coleman). IMO, Timmy has been massively let down by his defenders who either don’t close down or get badly beat into the box (again and again).

      Like

      • jones

        Maybe they need a shake up in the center. At least might put a fire under them to step up their game.

        Like

      • beachbum

        Everton midfield could do better at not getting caught out so much too, and some problems in 1v1 battles all over that D

        Like

  • Tony in Quakeland

    The Everton – Chelsea game is entertaining, but really not a well played game. Lots of sloppy defending.

    Like

  • beachbum

    Howard and Costa hug and make up after final whistle, from the heat of the battle fire to kumbaya

    Like

  • Benjamin C.

    I know this is likely beating a long dead horse, but I am guessing that Lichaj is simply not on JK’s radar at all. Starting and playing at least solidly for the first place team in the English Championship and not getting a callup instead of Garza or an injured Cameron? I simply don’t get it.

    Like

    • whoop-whoop

      Yeah- that was pretty clear last cycle when we were pretty thin there and he didn’t get a sniff. I can certainly see the point of those questioning this, but it’s not utterly baffling. Lichaj is further along in his career than Garza, he pretty much is what he is and will be: a serviceable back in the Championship that doesn’t fit the JK FB mold going forward. Garza is younger, with more potential/room to grow. Cameron is clearly seen as a CB by JK and is not competing with Lichaj.

      Like

    • Increase0

      He did call up Lichaj once last year(?I think.) but then he got injured and couldn’t come. So you are right that JK doesn’t like him for some reason but there is a bit of bad luck to it as well.

      Like

      • Hogatroge

        Lichaj got 30 min as a sub between the Austria and Scotland matches last year…his only under Klinsmann. He did okay…didn’t show much going forward, but having seen him play for Aston Villa several times (I remember a specific 2 assist match at the end of the 2012/13 season against Chelsea, I believe) where he showed he does have those tools.

        He does have pretty bad injury luck, though, even if it’s not quite at John O’Brien, Stuart Holden or Josh Gatt level yet.

        Don’t really know why he hasn’t gotten much of a sniff, even in a low stakes match like this.

        He and Packwood would make great injury additions to the roster.

        Like

    • GW

      “Starting and playing at least solidly ”

      That is hardly what I would call a rousing recommendation. How would you feel if that is how someone recommended you?

      It sounds more like , “at least he is not as bad as player X”.. Eric was with the USMNT in 2013 and played some garbage time vs Scotland and Austria. At the time the starting fullbacks were Evans and DMB.

      My assumption would be that he did not impress JK during the training session otherwise he would have seen more time. And when he did get on he looked very tentative.

      I followed him a fair amount at AV and saw a few games and he was never entirely convincing. Too inconsistent. Still he is young enough to make a run at it and I expect to still read “well he started the Gold Cup final in 2011” well into 2018.

      With any luck he will replace Freddy Adu at the top of the “players who have unjustly been denied their fair shot at a USMNT place list”.

      I was hoping Agbossomunde and George John would replace Freddy but they just dropped off the face of the earth so spectacularly

      Like

      • Hogatroge

        Well, Dallas is grooming Matt Hedges for the USMNT to make up for breaking George John.

        Like

  • EvertonBrian

    Anyone catch any Rubio Rubin or Bedoya today? It looks as if Bedoya may have won the free kick that led to Nantes winner? Not sure, though.

    And please don’t mention my Toffees game from earlier. I still don’t know what the F happened.

    Like

  • RB

    Major dive from the Sounders’ Pineda. Clear as can be on replay. The DisCo can review and penalize for those, too, right?

    Like

  • fischy

    So, I read the LA Rams cut Michael Sam…and the speculation is that he will be brought back on the practice squad, where he will make $105,000. Made me chuckle about he gap between the economics of the NFL and MLS. If Sam had made the team — or if he gets picked up and makes another team — the league minimum salary for someone on the 53-man active roster in is $420,000…more than the MLS maximum for a non-DP player (or someone whose wage is paid down by allocation $$). There’s only one DC United player making that much.

    Like

  • Benjamin C.

    Doesn’t look like Clint Dempsey plans on fading into his National Team twilight. Yes, he is 31, but he is still scoring some nice goals and still playing with a lot of passion out there.

    Like

    • GW

      Klose was 36 when he won the World Cup. And Dempsey was slow four years ago and will be just as fast four years from now, so that is not an issue.

      If Dempsey can keep his form and his desire, he has a very similar gift as Klose, that instinct for vital goals.

      This is very rare. Even a team as deep as Germany could not find a replacement for Klose. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I would not be so quick to write Deuce off.

      Like

      • Paul

        Is that a prediction that Germany won’t win at Euro 2016 or the World Cup in 2018 without Klose?

        Like

      • GW

        No, it means they have a years or two to find a replacement.

        By the way, what’s it like being dead?

        Like

  • Benjamin C.

    Once Jermaine Jones gets acclimated to the squad, New England is not a team I would want to mess with going forward. Also, I hope Nguyen gets a little National Team love in the upcoming domestic friendlies. Really enjoy watching him play.

    Like

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