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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Spector (Getty Images)

Between championship and playoff showdowns and other matchups with big implications, Sunday's slate has something for everybody.

Jonathan Spector's West Ham seeks a win against Wigan in a matchup of two desperate teams currently on the bottom of England's drop zone, while Liverpool and Tottenham meet in a match that will almost certainly decide which team qualifies for the UEFA Europa League next season. Elsewhere in Europe, Oguchi Onyewu can end his loan to FC Twente with a league title as his side travels to Amsterdam to take on Ajax in a de facto championship game on the final day of the Eredivisie season.

If you're more a fan of the Mexican and South American games, you won't want to miss the liguilla semifinals or the Sao Paulo state title game between Brazilian rivals Santos and Corinthians.

Those are just some of the highlights of an action-packed schedule. If you will be watching any of Sunday's games, please feel free to share any thoughts opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action (TV schedule is after the jump):


8:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes - Chelsea vs. Newcastle

8:30 a.m. - Deportes - Ajax vs. FC Twente

9 a.m. - - Parma vs. Juventus

9 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/ - Catania vs. AS Roma

9 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus - Chievo Verona vs. Udinese

11 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus - Arsenal vs. Aston Villa

11 a.m. - - Wigan Athletic vs. West Ham

11 a.m. - - Birmingham City vs. Fulham

11 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel/ Deportes - Liverpool vs. Tottenham

11 a.m. - - Arles vs. Toulouse

11 a.m. - - Caen vs. Montpellier

11 a.m. - - Monaco vs. Lens

11 a.m. - - Nancy vs. Nice

11 a.m. - - St. Etienne vs. Stade Rennes

11 a.m. - - Valenciennes vs. Auxerre

1 p.m. - Telemundo - Pumas UNAM vs. Chivas de Guadalajara (Mexican Liguilla semifinal)

2:45 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes/ - Napoli vs. Inter Milan

3 p.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/ - Lorient vs. Marseille

3 p.m. - Deportes - Barcelona vs. Deportivo La Coruna

3 p.m. - - Sevilla vs. Real Sociedad

3 p.m. - - Sporting Gijon vs. Racing Santander

3 p.m. - DirecTV - Valencia vs. Levante

3 p.m. - DirecTV - Atletico Madrid vs. Hercules

3 p.m. - DirecTV - Athletic Bilbao vs. Malaga

3 p.m. - GOLTV - Santos vs. Corinthians (Campeonato Paulista final)

5 p.m. - GOLTV - Villarreal vs. Real Madrid (delayed)

6 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Atlanta Beat vs. Philadelphia Independence

7 p.m. - Galavision - New York Red Bulls vs. Chivas USA

7 p.m. - GOLTV - Real Zaragoza vs. Espanyol (delayed)

9 p.m. - Azteca America - Morelia vs. Cruz Azul (Mexican Liguilla semifinal)


  1. Just for the record: Howard, Deuce, Stu, Chandler, and Boca are in the top half of their respective tables; Cherundolo landed just shy of a Champion’s League spot; Mo, Gooch, and Kljestan are all in the top two spots in their leagues and will all hopefully have a shot at Champion’s League; Friedel and Mike were never really in danger of relegation; and Jones has been safe from relegation for a week or two.

  2. Avram Grant has been fired by WHU, and Kevin Keen will take over for the last match vs sunderland next week. Apparently he was fired in the tunnel after the match. ouch.

  3. Getting knocked of group play of champions league, is a better experience then playing on a low to midlevel EPL squad.

  4. In my opinion, if an offer comes from an EPL team he should take it. Rangers are a solid squad who will perennially play in the Champions League, then Europa after they get knocked out, however, the SPL on a whole in very mediocre. I would like to see Edu get challenged on a weekly basis rather than in a handful of matches every season.

  5. Excellent point on Champs league play and experience for 2011-2012. I should’ve phrased it as what EPL (or other top Euro league) interest there will be in Mo Edu during the transfer window? I don’t follow Rangers but guessing they don’t want to sell a starter so will be interesting to see if any offers emerge.

  6. epic game in mexico. pumas vs chivas, pumas eliminates monterrey and know eliminates chivas guadalajara 3-1 aggregated. Cruz azul or morelia are next.

  7. The top 6 teams compete in the championship playoff. There’s also a relegation playoff and (I think) a playoff for mid-table teams.

    The points from the regular season are cut in half, and that carries over into the playoffs. Then you play each team twice.

    Anderlecht finished the regular season in first but has only won 3 of 9 playoff games and now sits in third.

    And some people think MLS is too complicated.

  8. Watching the interviews post-match
    with man u i found it interesting that Chicharito speaks better, more concise English than Rooney!

  9. Odds are pretty good that he will be moving, as his contract is up very soon. To where? Who knows, but it was definitely a great advertisement for him to have started and played relatively well for the past month or so.

  10. Does anyone understand the Belgian League playoffs?

    It looked like Anderlecht and Sasha K were doing well during the season, but I can’t tell what is going on now.

  11. Spector is out of contract with West Ham. He will either have to sign for less with West Ham to stay in the championship, where he could be a quality every game starter; or, he will have to sign for less to make the bench on an EPL team.

  12. West Ham relegated, but the last 20 minutes or so of that game was some of the most exciting soccer i’ve watched in a long, long time and about as good an advertisement for pro/rel as you’re gonna get. Two teams I could generally care less about, who’ve been at the bottom of the table all year and I was glued to my seat. Not that I’m saying MLS should do it (they shouldn’t), but it does make for some really tense, entertaining games. Anyway, end to end stuff, and really West Ham have no one to blame but themselves. I lost count of the number of chances they had to pull that one out.

  13. “Yup, that’s got to show some confidence in him to bring him in against Arsenal to protect a lead, right?”

    I believe you set your self up for Jack’s response. If AV held, then he helped. However, AV didn’t ‘hold’ the scoreline, so you can say he didn’t help.

    Either way, at least he got some playing time. Can’t take that away from him.

  14. Not MB’s fault. Aston Villa defended for large portions of the second half. MB played ok, no real mistakes (except fould 30 out). Set up Bent with a chance when he poked tackle a ball.

  15. With Van Persie beating Reo Coker and 2 other defenders to the ball in the box to knock it in. Sorry, I didn’t know that Bradley had to cover for Reo-Coker as well. I’m not flying Bradley’s flag, just saying that you shouldn’t pin that goal on him.

  16. Yup, that’s got to show some confidence in him to bring him in against Arsenal to protect a lead, right? The naysayers will say that the manager’s hand was forced by Petrov’s knock.

  17. Some good YA news. Ranges win the SPL title and Soccernet has Mo Edu playing the full 90. Wonder if he makes a move to the EPL during the summer transfer window?

  18. Wigan pulls even with West Ham. Hammers are throwing away more points as they forget how to play defense in the second half.

  19. Wigan pulls one back against West Ham, but Fulham goes 2 up on Birmingham. If results hold no one is relegated yet setting up an interesting final weekend.

  20. Yanks Abroad has a brief piece on Gooch, indicating that he has an abdominal injury (though not sure if it’s serious) and has been down in the coach’s selection recently due to the return of injured players and Gooch’s mediocre form.

    It definitely sucks that he was not even on the bench for the title tilt but hopefully he’s shown enough to stick w/ Twente or move to a Dutch or French side that requires centerback help.

  21. You think they’ll get rid of all of those guys? That would be shocking to me. I can see them selling Cesc. If his heart’s not here any more, then let’s take the money and run. I would like to see Nasri and Vermaelen stick around. RVP? Depends on the price.

    And if Buffon is the answer, then it must have been a really stupid question…

  22. Shot of Wenger looking eerily like his caricature on Special 1 TV…you almost expect him to start singing to himself.

  23. I understand – sorry if I misconstrued your comments. It is a curious decision by Wenger given the fact that there’s still quite a bit to play for..

  24. Agreed – that was a horrible stretch when those two guys were lost for the USMNT. I remember thinking we were going to be screwed for the World Cup without those two.

    Yeah, Gooch didn’t even dress for this game, or for the Cup Final last week. I’ve seen a couple of Twente’s Europa League matches this season and Gooch looked pretty slow at times. It’s possible his best days have passed…

  25. Gooch does not appear to even make the bench for Twente Enschede.

    Has there been a sadder three days for the USMNT than when CD09 was seriously injured in that terrible car crash and Gooch’s knee was twisted in the final qualifying game?

  26. I think you are correct. Birmingham gets a point today and both West Ham is relegated – Wigan too if they lose.

  27. I didn’t mean to imply that I was blaming the goals on him, I just meant that the scoreline was not what they were hoping for with their best defender returning from injury.

  28. Well what do you expect? It’s not like inept defending hasn’t been their calling card all season… might as well give him the time so he can up his price for the summer transfer window so he Nasri Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas can all get the hell outta dodge. A press rumor about Arsenal consdering Buffon as a keeper for next year isn’t going to solve anything and Wenger is not going to do anything, so thse folks should get while getting is good. If there isna’t a mjor signing for keeper and CB by July I think you’l see some major defections from the Emirates Stadium and AW will only have himself to blame.

  29. Dang it! Carroll muffs a header that would’ve tied the match. Liverpool playing aggressive so looking forward to a second half battle.

  30. I don’t disagree with you, although I don’t think he was responsible for the two goals. Squillaci was hanging back on the first and played Bent onside, and then Sagna did the same thing on the 2nd! Infuriating. If Arsenal don’t pull their heads out of their backsides, they’ll be overtaken by Man City for 3rd place.

  31. Looks like goal differential will be the deciding factor. One more goal by Fulham and West Ham will even up the GD for Birmingham and West Ham.

  32. Demba Ba with a brace! Am I correct in thinking that if West Ham wins and Birmingham loses (which they are currently doing) that there will still be no team mathematically relegated?

  33. The return of Thomas Vermaelen is not exactly going as planned for Arsenal. I sort of wonder why they decided to start him; he is of course not match sharp and there are only 2 games left– he’s not going to get that sharpness back this season.

  34. Incidentally, Pumas and Chivas go into the liguilla semifinal “first leg” tied 1-1(Chivas needs a win, any other result puts Pumas through), while Morelia enters the “first” game with Cruz Azul down 0-2 and needing at least a 2 goal win at home to advance. (And yes I know I’ll look bad when y’all correct the note on the TV schedule)

    For those who might care, Miguel Ponce has been doing a decent job at left back for Chivas.

    Expect horrible refereeing and the possibility of goalkeeper errors worthy of Memo Ochoa or Chris Seitz. I’ll be rooting for Pumas anyway.


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