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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

MilitoDi (Getty Images)

Today is the day after the World Cup draw, meaning there's still that lingering hangover from finding out which teams will be facing each other next summer. The World Cup is still six months away, but there are plenty of matches today to satisfy that hunger soccer fans are sure to wake up with today.

The match of the day will take place in Turin, where Juventus will play host to Inter Milan in a battle of Serie A powers. Juve has fallen behind AC Milan into third place in the Italian standings and must win today to cut down the eight-point lead Inter has.

The EPL will feature a handful of quality battles, including Chelsea's visit to Manchester City and Jozy Altidore's first meeting vs. Brad Friedel when Hull takes on Aston Villa.

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 schedule of TV matches is after the jump).

SATURDAY

7:30am– ESPN2- Portsmouth vs. Burnley

10am– Setanta USA- West Ham vs. Manchester United

10am– FSC- Arsenal vs. Stoke City

10:15am– RAI- Brescia vs. Empoli

Noon– ESPN Deportes- Xerez vs. Atletico Madrid

Noon– GolTV- Sevilla vs. Real Valladolid

Noon– RAI- AC Milan vs. Sampdoria

12:30pm– FSC- Manchester City vs. Chelsea

1pm– Setanta USA- Valenciennes vs. Monaco

2pm– GolTV- Real Madrid vs. Almeria

2:45pm– FSC/RAI- Juventus vs. Inter Milan

3pm– Setanta USA- Bordeaux vs. Paris St. Germain

4pm– ESPN Deportes- Deportivo La Coruna vs. Barcelona

5pm– FSC- AC Milan vs. Sampdoria (Delayed)

6pm– Azteca America- CD Cruz Azul vs. Morelia

6:30pm– GolTV- Santa Fe vs. Nacional

7pm– FSC- Aston Villa vs. Hull City (Delayed)

8:15pm– GolTV- Atletico Huila vs. Tolima

9pm– FSC- USA Under-17 vs. Brazil Under-17 (Nike Friendlies)

4am– FSC- Perth Glory vs. Brisbane Roar

Comments

  1. What about a diamond midfield? That way Donovan can get involved in both the attack and link-up play, and the midfield can fire in crosses (and protect the outside backs) to essentially three attacking players:

    Jozy-Dempsey
    Donovan
    Feilhaber/Torres-Holden/Rogers
    Bradley/Jones

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  2. Freddy Adu didn’t play but the playing conditions were horrible (damn field was a swamp) so it is not like he would have made a huge difference. Coach made only one sub with five minutes to play.

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  3. This worked well in the Confed Cup. Personally I’m a big fan of it. The only concern would be Boca’s ability to deal with speed on that flank.

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  4. you’re missing a couple things. the first loss was against arguably the best team in europe on a day when Arsenal were missing, among other first choice players, their best attacker.

    The second was in the carling cup, when a trophy-desperate City put out an 11 that’s as close to first choice as you can get. Arsenal ran out a side that included Craig Eastmond, Fran Merida and Sanchez Watt. Granted, fine young players, but let’s not get carried away.

    Arsenal would love to win the carling cup by sticking to their policy of fielding their youngsters, but if it doesnt come off, its not the end of the world.

    So yeah, it was a great performance today against a Stoke side that had only the intention of putting men behind the ball and scraping a draw.

    What crisis?

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  5. Weird! Ive seen three penalties saved today:
    Arsenal Stoke
    Man City Chelsea
    and just now in the Real Madrid Almiera game. Real were the only ones to score off the rebound though . . .

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  6. to play devil’s advocate, there arent too many successful teams that simply accommodate the best attacking talent. Pato and Diego might not even be in South Africa because they dont have a place in Dunga’s set up. Crazy, I know, but I think you can draw some parallels.

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  7. I’d have to agree. However since Onyewu won’t be healthy for any of our friendlies leading up to the World Cup, I’d like to try out Castillo at left back, and Spector and Cherundolo over at left back too.

    I think clearly our strongest defenders (when healthy) are Onyewu, DeMerit and Gooch. And that our right backs (Spector, Dolo) are better than any of our left backs (Bornstein, Castillo, Pearce).

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  8. With Demerit’s return, do you think that we would go with him at CB and move Boca to LB? I think me might have used this one game in the confederations cup, and I think if bornstein is not up to the task this could be a good back line. That is assuming gooch is healthy.

    Back line

    Boca—-Demerit—–Onyewu——-Spector

    what do you guys think?

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  9. Sorry BrooklynFC, there have been games that Bradley has been woeful for Club and Country, yet no one gives him the same schtick they gave DeMarcus Beasley who is a far more accomplished player than Bradley. (Yeah Beasley has not been the same, since his knee injury. He still deserves more respect being one US player that has gone far in the Champions League with PSV and won Championships with them. You can argue that he was doing well for Rangers before his injury).

    For me, that is the problem I have with Bradley. He gets far more credit than he deserves sometimes. He is young and still developing, but he is not there yet. Yes, he is a box to box midfielder, but he is still developing and I personally am ok with that.

    But…if Jones and Edu come back and show far more experience and effectiveness in the midfield, I want the best players on the field. If Bradley is not better than them, he should not be on the field.

    Somehow, I don’t see that happening.

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  10. adu made the bench again today. he has sounded upbeat this week so hopefully he gets some playing time. Even if he is not a viable candidate for this summer, he is only 20. he has plenty of soccer left in him so don’t write him off.

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  11. I kind of like your idea of developing a system to put your best players on the field rather than try to fit players to your scheme. Give Donovan a role like gerrard has for England. Have the bonecrusher Jones in front of the D with Bradley. Dempsey as a withdrawn striker/attacking midfielder. Holden can combine with Spector to just rain crosses from that side. However, if Chuck D is healthy, throw all that out the window.

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  12. hey that is fantastic news. Wasn’t he the captain of the Hornets before he was injured? He should play Monday *fingers crossed*

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  13. You have to realize that altidore is only 20. He has more playing time in professional football than donovan had at the age of 20 and donovan won fifa’s best youth player at the 02 world cup at age 20. I really think he is progressing at a good rate. I am not saying he will be the best youth player but he is definently worthy of a spot as forward unless findley or davies show up fit and ready to play at a high level over the next 6 months.

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  14. Donovan has a hard time finding the game as a forward. The only way I’d consider playing him as a forward is if Beasley suddenly reverts to his PSV form. Then I’d play Donovan left shaded and as a shadow to Dempsey who should be our target forward. Pair Donovan and Beasley on the left, Dempsey and Holden on the right.

    Altidore should be a sub. He’s not ready for a featured role at the world cup.

    Of course, this is assuming Davies won’t be available.

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  15. Nice that Beasley got some minutes and made an impact. With Davies still a question for the cup, a speed option on the left that would free Donovan to play elsewhere would be an excellent acquisition at this point. We’ve missed someone like him who is a great late-game defender when we need to hold a lead or stop the bleeding.

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  16. Comically, the BBC story on Rangers win today described Beasley as the “World Cup-bound winger.” Do they know something we don’t?

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  17. A five-man midfield is not a viable option for the US. Bradley has tried this, and it has been horrible. For some teams this can work, but not for us, and definitely not with Altidore up top.

    Bradley needs to start Donovan up top with Altidore. This isn’t a great solution, but it’s the only one that gives us a chance of doing well in SA. I know people will say that Bradley should start Dempsey up top with Altidore, but Dempsey and Altidore are too similar. We need someone with speed to balance out Altidore, draw out defenses, and counterattack, and Donovan’s the only one who can do that.

    Admittedly, our midfield / playmaking is hurt considerably when Donovan moves up top, and we risk losing Donovan completely when he’s not getting good enough service. But we have to play him up top and hope that the combination of Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Feilhaber can pull together well enough to make this work.

    I don’t think this is a great solution, but I think this is the only one that gives us a chance of doing well.

    (Of course, whether Bradley will actually do it is another thing entirely.)

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  18. personally i don’t know why everybody keeps insisting we need two strikers. if you are going to pick 6 us players to be in front of the defence i sure as heck don’t want one of them to be casey/ching and i am not even sure i love the idea of one of them being altidore but i am afraid there is no choice.

    i say bradley forget 2 strikers and play altidore/donovan/dempsey/holden/bradley/jones as the 6 in front of the defence in whatever formation. those are our six best players (all healthy) so put them on the darn field.

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  19. Hmm I’d rather be depressed that our scoring threat is down to a 20-year-old with 0 goals in his league and several decrepit MLSers! 😉 (This is assuming Davies does not get fit in time…)

    I’d also caution against counting on qualifying for the next 20 consecutive World Cups. As we all know, no WC qualification is a given, and our region is improving! For all we know this could be Jozy’s one and only WC. (Unlikely I know, but our focus should be on doing every freaking thing possible to advance as far as we can NOW, not in 2014.)

    Go USA.

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  20. Jozy needs to start scoring. Granted he’s playing for a bad team in Hull where he’s probably not getting quality service. But it’s going to look bad for him when it shows he has close to 20 league appearances and 0 goals as a striker.

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  21. To be honest, the last red card we saw the guy get was BS, the yellow he got in Costa Rica was borderline, and one of his two yellows at the Olympics was baffling.

    Either way, he’s 22; there are still parts of his game and parts of THE game he’s learning to do better with. He’ll grow up to be one of the best American players ever.

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  22. I would rather have ching than casey. At least ching has proved that he can hold up the ball. Was crucial in the 2007 Gold Cup. Casey has bounced from club to club and needs to be this consistent for at least the beginning of the next season.

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  23. So Scholes came out today and said he is considering retiring at the end of this season, then goes ahead and blasts a left footed volley through Robert Green’s hand at Upton Park.

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  24. it does suck our leading striker is 20 years old. But you could also look at it in a good light as he is only 20, has at least two more world cups in him, and is so young and a key figure on the MNT.

    Cheer up:)

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  25. haha when have they not had goalie issues? FIFA should install trading between national teams.

    We’ll give England Timmy and take Rooney.

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  26. It didn’t help he was left alone most of the game. Giggs running at you 90 minutes isn’t the ideal way to spend your day defending. West Ham with terrible focus again, giving up 3 goals in 10 minutes, all of which I missed while out on a quick food run.

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