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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea manager Andres Villas Boas is feeling the heat as his squad has delivered some disappointing results this season, and if the Blues are going to turn things around, they'll have to win in one of the tougher stadiums to visit in the English Premier League.

Newcastle has been one of the surprises of the season, and the Magpies won't be looking to do Villas Boas any favors as they try to stay in the Top Four mix. With only a one-point lead on Chelsea heading into today's match, Newcastle will be looking to hold serve at St. James' Park.

Manchester United is also struggling in recent weeks, and must also hit the road to try and straighten things out, with Aston Villa looking to pull the upset.

If you are having MLS withdrawal, and don't mind waking up early, you can see the Los Angeles Galaxy's latest stop on their Asia Pacific Tour, with the Philippines National Team providing the opposition today.

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):


6:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Philippines national team vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

7:45 a.m. - ESPN2/ - Newcastle vs. Chelsea

9:30 a.m. - ESPN Deportes - Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen

9:30 a.m. - GOLTV - Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Manchester City vs. Norwich City

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/ - Wigan Athletic vs. Arsenal

10 a.m. - - Blackburn vs. Swansea City

10 a.m. - - Queens Park Rangers vs. West Brom

10 a.m. - - Tottenham vs. Bolton

12 p.m. - GOLTV - Racing Santander vs. Villarreal

12 p.m. - ESPN Deportes - Sporting Gijon vs. Real Madrid

12:20 p.m. - - Bristol City vs. Middlesbrough

12:30 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

1 p.m. - - Ajaccio vs. Lille 

1 p.m. - - Brest vs. St. Etienne

1 p.m. - - Dijon vs. Sochaux

1 p.m. - - Evian Thonon Gaillard vs. Valenciennes

1 p.m. - - Montpellier vs. Lorient

2 p.m. - GOLTV - Barcelona vs. Levante

2:45 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Inter Milan vs. Udinese

3 p.m. - - Nice vs. Stade Rennes

4 p.m. - ESPN Deportes - Valencia vs. Espanyol

5:10 p.m. - GOLTV - Boca Unidos vs. River Plate

8 p.m. - Galavision - Santos Laguna vs. Morelia



  1. The group based Liguilla would be overkill with the Apertura/Clausura format, since they wanted the group stage to be a home-and-home round robin, that’s 6 games per team, and then I don’t remember if it was going to be the top team in each group goes on to the 2-legged final or if there was another stage in between, but either way it was a LOT of playoff games for a season that’s only 17 games long.

    I think that the rules should be the same for the whole Liguilla, if each stage is a two-legged tie, then each stage needs to have the same rules (higher seed advances, away goals, or straight aggregate with extra time as needed). Having the higher seed win in the case of an aggregate tie in the final is clearly ridiculous, which is why they don’t do that, but then why do they do it in the quarters and semis? That’s really the only problem I have with the whole thing, although I hadn’t considered it from the perspective of coach turnover. There’s certainly a lot of that; I don’t remember which team, but someone this Apertura fired their coach, hired someone else, then fired the 2nd coach and hired the 1st one back. Madness!

  2. The problem I see with torneos cortos is it makes even easier to pull the trigger early on coaches, so especially the lower table teams suffer a lack of continuity.

    I didn’t much like the idea of doing a groups based liguilla, I like the current format.

    But I’ll give you that doing something like away goals in the 1st 2 rounds and keeping extra time in the finals would probably better.

  3. I know that, but it still annoys me. I guess I feel like if the higher “better” seed can’t beat the lower “worse” seed over a two game series, they don’t deserve to advance.

    I distinctly remember being really annoyed in the Apertura 2010 with Monterrey; they drew both legs of their quarterfinal, 1-1 and 3-3, so obviously the aggregate was also tied, but they advanced. Then they drew the first leg of their semifinal 0-0. And then they almost drew the 2nd leg 0-0 (they scored in the 88th and 90th minutes). So they got to the final, and won that, after only winning 1 out of 4 games in the quarters and semis. That just really bothered me.

    I do agree that the single table is better than the 3 groups, although I don’t really mind the torneos cortos.

    Along with going from groups to a single table, they were also going to change the Liguilla structure for this torneo, but then they scrapped it at the last minute. Baby steps, I guess.

  4. It does kill the drama, but it also rewards the team that did better in the regular season.

    At least they went to single table to qualify for the liguilla–Pumas 2nd win of their bicampeonato they were 9th in the table but 2nd in their group. Still wish they would go to a single season(torneo largo) and not the 2 semester version of 2 seasons, 2 playoffs, 2 champions every year.

  5. I really dislike the rule in the Mexican Liguilla that if the aggregate score is tied, the higher seed advances.

    I like just straight aggregate and then extra time/penalties, but I would take the away goal rule over the Liguilla nonsense.

    Tonight, for example.Morelia won the first leg 2-1. Then in the second leg, Huiqui was redcarded early and a penalty was awarded–the red was probably the right call, but the point of impact was outside the box. Santos scored the penalty and went on to take a 3-0 lead in the game. Morelia made it 3-2, the 2nd was a beautiful bicycle kick executed while the player was being fouled. That tied the aggregate 4-4 in the 85th minute. The game should have gone to extra time. But instead it just ended and Santos advances because they were the higher seed. No me gusta.

    And it’s especially annoying because it means, in theory, a team could get all the way to the final without scoring a single goal, if the 1st seed gets 0-0 draws in all its games, it would just keep advancing.

    Also, the final is 2 legs, and in the final if the aggregate is tied, it goes go to extra time and penalties. So why not in the quarter and semi finales?

  6. Nothing went right for Newcastle, and considering everything that happened, I was happy enough with how they played. As soon as Coloccini got injured I figured we were in trouble, and we played better than I thought we would.

    I’m worried about the injuries, though. Both centerbacks went off injured, and we only have one healty one, and I wouldn’t want to count on him in a bunch of games in a row.

  7. I would never wish injury on a player, but I also recognize that the injury has implications, not all of which are bad for the USMNT, the one team I truly support.

  8. Dainja is probably a Mexican fan projecting his own classlessness on Americans. Seriously do US fans even say negative things about Chica, much less wish harm upon him?

  9. Ehhh I can’t honestly say that I never wished injury on Marquez or Oswaldo Sanchez. But Chicharito does seem like a likeable guy. Shame he got injured.

  10. I’m a patriotic american…who likes watching Chicharito buzz around the field and has pride that someone in CONCACAF is having such an impact.. noone should rejoice in his injury. the only positive outcome is if it turns out to be a twist or a minor sprain, and he’s back in action in a few weeks.

  11. If chicharito were to be robbed by transvestite hookers and the media caught wind of it = Joy

    Major injury that could jeopardize a young career = Sympathies.

    I don’t wish anyone major injury, except …MAYBE De Jong

  12. WTF? I don’t think Mexico haters wish injury on Mexican players, not even Marquez. Where have US fans wished injury upon Chicharito?? Heck I think most probably like him on a personal level even if they want to beat Mex at every opportunity.

  13. MEXICO HATERS REJOICE…Chicharito just went down in a heap. and its NON-CONTACT, so that means its a major one. They put a boot on him too, so either a broken leg or Achilles tear.

  14. That was an AWESOME win for chelsea in terms of effort. Luiz was a nightmare, but everyone else did very well. Those defending players clearing the ball off the line? That’s good effort, the kind you can build on.

    No such thing as a bad win against a top seven opponent.

  15. Chelsea got LUCKY, that was not a good win for them in terms of effort yes Sturridge had a close calls and I believe hit the post once, but the score doesn’t reflect how close the game was and the fact that Newcsstle were within 1 of tying it and hit the post 3 times plus had a few goals saved on the line by both Cech and defending players like the one Terry stopped on goal line almost.

    More important was that David Luiz should of been ejected and Chelsea of played with 10 for 75+ minutes. I’m not sure they score 3 let alone 1 if they had 10 men they way they it should have been

  16. If he went ot MOntreal that would be GREAT, possible sellouts all year long and nice large crowds in the 1st few early home games at Olympic Stadium if they can get him and if say NY & LA or Toronto play at the big Olympic Stadium.

    It just makes tons of sense, he can make good money as Saputo can pay him a DP salary, he’s French and MOntreal would be a great fit for him and fans probably would embrace him, close enough to NY so can get his US lifestyle fixing of a big city..

    I hope it happens. It be funny if both him AND Drogba along with a guy like Del Piero or Totti or even Lampard ends up in MLS as well?

  17. Isn’t Gale Boss withe the same Eintracht Frankfurt team? But I think Gale is on the reserves or something?

    Clark needs to get tha hell out of there, unless he is injured there’s no reason why he’s not even making the bench of list of dressed players.

    I wonder if he will try to secure a spot on a European club or maybe come back to MLS?

  18. Good win for Chelsea and Tottenham is winning. I think five teams are realistically competing for the top four spots: Manu, Mancity, Chelsea, Totenham and Arsenal. Newcastle has fallen out of the top four now and I don’t think they have the squad to finish in the top four. Liverpool aren’t as good and got even worse with the Lucas injury. Arsenal has a shot as long as Van Persie stays healthy.

  19. That mightof been the worst/softest red card given to Gary Cahill, the tottenham coach looked like he said “that was F’d up” to his assistant.

  20. hes like maverick after goose dies, sturridge is playing out of his mind though, hes always going to be a beast for the net 6-7 years

  21. hasn’t been the same since that injury in april 2010. It really messed him up. Ruined his WC and his form for Liverpool and Chelsea afterwards.

  22. Well they were short of some CB’s and had him playing as 1 parts of last season and he had an injury and they got relegated and basically he’s had a hard time making the bench and supposedly some French team was after him.

  23. Galaxy win 6-1 in what was quite an entertaining game as there wasn’t much full-effort defense being played by either side. Beckham with the first goal, and he gave his jersey to Manny Pacquiao in the stands as he came off!


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