The defending champions of each of the world's two best leagues open their seasons today, but other top contenders to the English and Spanish crowns will be in action as well as part of an action-packed Sunday of soccer.
In England, Manchester City begins their defense of the Premier League title with a home opener against newly promoted Southampton, a week after beating Chelsea in the FA Community Shield. But the Blues, who won last year's Champions League, will look to take the title away from City and their season begins as well as they take on Wigan Athletic.
Meanwhile, defending La Liga champions Real Madrid open their domestic campaign with an early test against Valencia, who many see as the third-best team in Spain. Madrid's top competition and fiercest rivals, Barcelona, also begin their 2012-13 season as they host Real Sociedad.
If you're craving some MLS action, DC United will look to solidify their place in the Eastern Conference standings when they take on desperate I-95 rivals Philadelphia Union at RFK Stadium. Other matches on Sunday include the New York Red Bulls against the Portland Timbers, and the Houston Dynamo against the Columbus Crew.
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):
7:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Dundee United vs. Dundee FC
8 a.m. - beIN Sport - Marseille vs. Sochaux
8:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Wigan Athletic vs. Chelsea
10:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Manchester City vs. Southampton
1 p.m. - beIN Sport - Real Madrid vs. Valencia
1 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Toluca vs. Pachuca
1 p.m. - GOLTV - Neza vs. Pumas Morelos
3 p.m. - beIN Sport - Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad
3 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Ajaccio vs. Paris St.-Germain
3 p.m. - GOLTV - Santos vs. Corinthians
3 p.m. - ESPN3.com - AC Milan vs. Juventus (Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi)
5 p.m. - NBC Sports Network - D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union
5 p.m. - beIN Sport - Levante vs. Atletico Madrid
5:30 p.m. - ESPN3.com - Flamengo vs. Vasco de Gama
6:10 p.m. - GOLTV - Tigre vs. River Plate
7 p.m. - Galavision - New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers
9 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew
Barca 4-1 RSociedad at the half, 4 goals scored in the first quarter hour! Mess1 almost with a hat trick in that span but settles for the first half brace
Sociedad tried to come out and stand toe to toe and pushed numbers into the attack and had chances for more and they are fun to watch vs. Barca because of this, but the build up play for Messi and co., interconnecting seemingly at will right thru the heart of the defense many times, and with the always clinical finishin–just a different class tho Castro’s goal was beautiful
transition from Guardiola appears seemless
Good call. I think the pass Jozy laid off for his teammate on his first goal caused the defender to hold off in anticipation of the pass. Jozy’s showing more variety to his game, and that makes it harder for defenders to assume he’s just going to run at them. That second goal is exactly what playing with more sophistication gets you.
Oh, give it a rest. City spent big for three seasons to catch up to the Top Four. It has normalized now. They’ve spent less than all their major rivals in the last 12 months.
Sad day.. 3-2 for Money City.
2 subs for Southhampton, and both score second half goals
2-1 Southhampton 70th minute…wow
Southampton…the new darlings of the Prem. They are countering like champs and given two chances to shoot, both were taken very, very well. 2-1 in the 71st.
I love Silva, but he has been a huge liability today.
“defenses aren’t exactly stout and nasty in Holland”.
I often hear this rationale. It seems like an oversimplification and I don’t know that I buy it.
Let’s say Beitashour and/or Besler wind up at Ajax tomorrow.
Assuming they play, I have a hard time thinking they would not improve as football players. And that certainly makes for better defenders. They would certainly have to face quite a few top flight attacking players.
Earnie Stewart gave a very interesting interview when he first signed Jozy. It was pretty involved but the main thing was he spoke of how he knew Jozy could score but that that wasn’t enough. He knew Jozy was raw and unschooled but he signed him to educate him and make him better and a more complete player.
And then, presumably, make a tidy profit a few years down the road.
I have no problem with any young US defender going to a club in Holland as long as that club has the same attitude and commitment to the development of the player that Stewart, who certainly should understand US players, seems to have. It is pretty much a case by case basis.
Wonder how serious aguero’s injury is.
Impressed by Southampton in the first half. They seem to genuinely want to play the ball out, even when it is a better idea to just kick it away somewhere.
It’s not the worst penalty I’ve ever seen, but it’s one of the worst I’ve ever seen put on goal. Just about the middle of the goal, hit at quarter speed.
I’d much rather see Joe Hart line up for a penalty than Silva. He is quite possibly City’s weakest foot. Fantastic player, not much of a sharpshooter.
Ives – Jozy brace links/post please.
30 might not be out of the question if he maintains his form and stays healthy.
Jozy has 4 goals in 2 matches. Impressive.
can he reach 20 goals this season or 25?
If anybody wants to see the final minutes of a fun match, wanna-be Germany international Timothy Chander and his FC Nurnberg’s is getting pushed around by puny fourth league team TSV Havelse in the first-round of the DFB Pokal. The game ended 2-2 in regulation, so 30 minutes of overtime, with Havelse now up 3-2 in the 105rd minutes. Lot of links to the game in the usual places.
More Americans need to go to Holland.
BREK SHEA. go to Holland
Nice investigative work, Biff! Thanks for that.
For a scouser, you’re ok. 😉
ya that looks like a fun stadium. the fans are loud as hell the whole game.
Re: the goal. a nice individual effort but the defenders looked asleep.
Watching it on one monitor while doing other work on the other-it’s easy to switch 😛
Seriously though, the boy becomes a man becomes a man-beast, top scorer in a league known for its goal-scorers.
Goooooooaaalllllll Joooooooozyyyy! Rewards his manager for leaving him in the full 90. He dribbles the ball down the field on a 2v2 counter, his defender shades him just a bit left to prevent a pass and Jozy uses his power to blast a shot far post across the goal mouth. He is able to generate so much power, so quickly, with so little wind up. Guy has some sick natural gifts. Even Verbeek went nuts over that one. Very rare to get a big reaction from him.
The layoff from Jozy is IMO the outstanding part of the goal. Nicely weighted and delivered into space where his teammate can set up to deliver the cross. And of course, Jozy made no mistake in burying the chance but the build up is what made the sequence fun to watch.
Another brace for Jozy. Love how they play born in the USA when he scores.
G? you’re fast! I thought I would be the one to break the news. Go Jozy!
Finishes the game off!!
Four on the season in two games!
Producing more talented players domestically would be a good start. Let’s not act like this was some scrub showing up at AZ. Jozy was our most lauded product coming out of MLS before landing in Spain and then England.
I prefer the Dutch route to the Scandinavian route, so I’m all for getting more of our young talent into the Eredivisie, but they’ve gotta earn it. It’s a tough league to guage players in though, defenses aren’t exactly stout and nasty in Holland.
I am not sure how he did the rest of the game, but the new coach, Jos Luhukay, apparently usually a laid back dude, went ape-stuff after the game and accused the whole team of not trying and initially threatened not to let John Anthony Brooks und Nico Schulz leave the club to participate in a Germany U-20 match Wednesday. I am learning this right now, found a story with a photo of the two lads, or should I say, Jungs. So appears the guys were left out of the roster today at least partially due to national team duty. And I see Morales was subbed in in the 46th minute.
As long as our defenders stay away… I wouldn’t want the next wave of defenders learning from the Three Stooges School of Dutch Defense.
Wonder what it would take to get a few more Americans in that pipeline…
Man, this AZ team passes the ball so beautifully. They are so much fun to watch. With a year of maturity under their belt they might make some noise this year in Europe. They were on their way to big things last year and seemed to hit the wall.
Jozy, remember 25 league goals for this season or you don’t get any dessert
Video of Jozy’s latest…
Nice run to get it started, good pass for his teammate, earned himself an easy finish.
That mistake WAS horrible but was he benched for one mistake or did he have a rough go the whole game? I only watched the link of that one play.
John Anthony Brooks did not dress for Hertha Berlin today after his big mistake last week. But Alfredo Morales has at least made the bench for the first time under the new coach.
AZ Goal, Jozy helped with a simple layoff in the buildup. Classy goal, walked into the net. AZ looking gooood right now…
And yeah, I was never really a critic, just since he’s such a young’un that some inconsistency is to be expected, especially as an early twenties american living overseas, but I was starting to worry when he was mired on the bench at Villareal.
The big dude is ballin right now. Love to see it as I have been an occasional critic.
Yeah…seems he and Mata might interchange there. Dangerous.
GOAL JOZY!! Sets up teammate on a run, teammate centers back to Jozy, taps it in!
Jozy chips from the corner of the 16 yd box, just wide of goal… Aagh!
Yeah, it’s just Wigan but he looks so confident when he’s on the ball in the center.
Hazard having a huge impact already.
Ok, Hazard turns so well.
Two minutes in, Chelsea 1-0 on a fast break.