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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

As far as international fixture dates go, today will offer up a stacked and unique variety of matches for American fans looking to get their soccer-viewing fix.

The CONCACAF Hexagonal Round of World Cup qualifying kicks off today, not only with the United States taking on Honduras, but with Mexico facing Jamaica and Panama taking on Costa Rica tonight. Mexico will be favored to take three points from the ‘Reggae Boyz’ but the Panama-Costa Rica clash will be an important one for setting the tone between two Central American rivals who are likely to be each other’s biggest challenge for one of the final spots in CONCACAF qualifying.

In Africa, the African Cup of Nations continues with semifinals featuring Mali taking on Nigeria and Ghana meeting underdog side Burkina Faso.

If you love high-profile friendlies, Wednesday has those too with England encountering Brazil, Germany meeting France and Netherlands meeting Italy.

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):



10am- Mali vs. Nigeria

1pm- beinSport- Spain vs. Uruguay

1:30pm- Burkina Faso vs. Ghana

2:30pm- Fox Soccer Channel- England vs. Brazil

2:30pm- Netherlands vs. Italy

2:30pm- GolTV- Sweden vs. Argentina

2:45pm- GolTV- Ireland vs. Poland

3pm- ESPN2- France vs. Germany

4pm- beIN Sport- Honduras vs. USA

9pm- beIN Sport- Panama vs. Costa Rica

9:30pm- ESPN2/UniMas- Mexico vs. Jamaica


    • Two criminal mistakes by the England D in the space of 2 minutes and Brazil equalized and hit the woodwork! They should be up 2-1.

  1. Official Lineup is out (per US Soccer):
    Howard (c); Chandler, Gonzalez, Cameron, F. Johnson; Williams, Jones, Bradley, E. Johnson; Dempsey, Altidore

    I like it.

    • I’m definitely excited that Omar got the start, but the EJ call is puzzling. However, who else plays in that spot? Look for Herc to come in as his replacement.

    • 1. Chandler is one of ours now
      2. Jozy finally earned back Klinsy trust
      3. Herc and Zus on the bench can add spark if needed in 70th minute or so

    • I like it except for Williams. The guy has played approximately 14 mintues in the last 3 months for club and country. Zusi has played more than Williams has. Watch Williams. If he does badly, this one is seriously on JK.

  2. Another site says:
    Chandler Cameron Boca Johnson
    Williams Jones Bradley
    Zusi Dempsey
    Gomez (Maybe Dempsey playing wide left and Gomez in the middle of a 4-3-3.

    • Please noooo.

      This please

      • It’s three cmids.Depending on the tactics it could be one smidgen with two going forward.I hope d-will is allied to sit back and allow Jones/Bradley to get forward.I also hope The two behind the stk are allowed to get wide and not pinch in.Finally Hope Jozy starts as the 1 at the top of the formation.

  3. Iniesta unsurprisingly the best player on the pitch the first half.Hes pulled off 3 or 4 insane skills.Cavani frustrated by his lack of touch and close control.

  4. I just figured out what it is. The Egypt team under Bob Bradley can counter-attack and the USMNT under Jurgen Klinsmann up to this point is very, very weak in counter attacking. And I have felt for many months now that Klinsmann needs to do more to develop USMNT counter-attacking options.

      • That was an enjoyable first half. Chile came on a bit the last 15-20mins or so but Egypt still had their chances. Switching over to Spain v Uruguay now, but hope Egypt and BB pull out a win or draw.

      • Agree that Donovan is a superb counter-attacker, but I still think we have players who could pull it off and am baffled why Klinsmann has avoided that part of his game. I am a lover of a good counter-attacks, nothing quite as pretty as watching teams like Real Madrid and Dortmund run-and-gun.

      • we agree on this one biff

        perhaps EJ can supply a little but the midfiled needs to make that happen, if it’s the 3 pack of MB, JJ and Williams, along with Zusi and Clint out there, not much personnel to get it done, you know?

        JKs’s team looks to possess at all costs so far seems to me when they do win the ball…not looking to burst forward. that idea could change but probably need the players to do it on the field too

      • on Donovan, it’s one reason I believe he will have an extended role with the USMNT for years to come, the supersub counter attacker. also believe it’s a role he’ll relish and that JK and the team will respond to positively. Yes, I assume LD is returning sooner than later

      • During the game, fans around me and I were flabbergasted at the lack of counter attacking play. There was frequently space that could have been taken advantage of. The team never showed any desire to counter except for a few long balls to EJ that he couldn’t get to. I have a question for folks. I don’t know enough tactically to compare but I have always enjoyed Portugal’s style of play. The have skilled, technical players, but frequently rely on counter play to score. Of course having Ronaldo to kick the ball to helps. I guess my question is why can’t JK focus on possession but still utilize our athleticism and speed on counters.

      • he still might. in fact, in the first 15-20 minutes of today’s match with Honduras, a strong counter attack or 2 to push/scare Honduras back a bit might be just what the Dr. ordered, that is if Honduras comes out trying to blaze in the opening

    • Funny how the grass is always greener. Under Bradley the US was a defend-and-counter attack team (preferably with speed on the wings), but so many fans wanted the US to be an exciting team that controlled the ball with a bunch of possession and slick passing…

    • Our counterattacking suffered a big blow when Charlie Davies went down and guys like Findley couldn’t replace him. It suffered an even bigger blow when Donovan who is the king of open field counterattacks, became a question mark. Part of it is that Klinsmann doesn’t know what he’s doing and has played a handful of central midfielders and defensive midfielders on the right: Bradley, Danny Williams, Torres, etc. but even the guys who actually belong out there are just not on the same level as Donovan (Zusi, Gatt, etc.).

  5. Dumb question: is Egypt wearing white or is Chile? Neither team has names on the jerseys and ethnically it’s pretty much a wash, at least on my dodgy feed.

  6. HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just noticed that Egypt is playing Chile in Madrid. Game started at 2 p.m. ET and is now in the opening minutes, still 0-0. Why was that not publicized?

    • Egypt is playing some very attractive soccer right now… really pressing Chile… Bradley could always get his players motivated to work but playing very nicely too. Enjoyable to watch.

      • Egypt is looking strong, tenacious as heck, those guys are. Still 0-0, but they easily be up 2-0–one shot hit the bar and one chance missed in the box.

      • Serious Egypt is bossing this game just had a clear cut 1v1 that was saved and another rattle the bar…..this match should be 2-0 Egypt, Chile is living a charmed life right now……

      • And I might add, no way will Klinsmann be crazy enough to schedule an (un)friendly against Egypt and risk getting whupped by a Bob Bradly-coached team 🙂

  7. If we cant get throigh qualifying without Donovan, than we dont deserve entry to the WC. Hes been messed up for a year. Though it all started during the Gold Cup. Aging star thag I respect but we hve Zusi, Shea and others to takr his spot and contribute

    • My recollection is that the rights to the US away games is controlled by the host country. BeIN TV outbid the other networks for those rights.

      So what happens with the away game v. Mexico? ESPN just bought all the American rights to Mexico games. I think we get to see the Mexico game through the mexico broadcast with ESPN. That kind of dilutes the price for the BeIN broadcast if you ask me.

    • It wasn’t that ESPN was to cheap, just that beIN offered more.

      As for Mexico, ESPN announced last week they had reached a deal to televise Mexico games in English in the US through to the World Cup. Generally, I think this is a good development. More for us to watch!

  8. Lot of interesting stories coming out of Honduras. Grant Wahl wrote (and you can make your own interpretation) :

    • The U.S. player selected to join Klinsmann at the formal press conference was Bradley, who sounds more and more like a future captain every day.

    • The rest of the U.S. players had the chance to speak to media in a mixed zone before Tuesday’s training session at the stadium, but Dempsey decided not to speak. Not sure why.

    And Brian Straus wrote about Landon Donovan’s absence (appears Landon is not the most popular guy among USMNT members):

    “Right now, he’s not here. We have no problem with that,” Klinsmann said Tuesday. “We have a team full of talent, a team full of players that know how to get jobs done and when one player’s not there, another one jumps in. It’s a huge opportunity for whoever fills in that spot and does really well and we have so many good leaders within the group. It’s absolutely no problem for us.”

    “I wouldn’t necessarily agree with you that Landon was the king and the leader,” Howard said when asked how the U.S. would cope without Donovan. “We have a bunch. He was the winning cap leader, of course. But we have a lot of guys in there who have gained a lot of respect from the guys.”

    • The way Donovan handled this “break” is strange He’s invited drama onto himself with announcing it the way he did, and I could see why other players are tired of him. He could have handled it so much better by just keeping his mouth shut, and it seems ironic to invite attention to himself when the point of his break is to get away from the attention. Granted, taking a break from soccer during the off season is expected and people wouldn’t fault him for that. There wouldn’t be expectations that he be selected for the USMNT either if he’s not fully fit and out of form, ya know, a player in off season.

      The LA Galaxy could have handled all communication for him, and simply stated their player needed an extended break to recoup his body and get rid of niggling injuries. He is the wrong side of 30 after all so it wouldn’t be surprising. But the situation was manged poorly, and seemed to feed the Donovan’s ego. Even when he’s gone, he’s made sure we have to talk about him.

      • I don’t see it this way. Landon Donovan isn’t out there running to the media to talk about his absence, the media is running to the other players. Donovan isn’t making this about him at all, he’s out there living his life (went to the Super Bowl, etc). He’s not giving interviews or sending his agent out to drum up interest… dude is laying low. It’s not his fault the media wants to talk about him and we want to read about him.

      • Ripped him, but trying to say we can win without him, others are strong too ?

        sounds like you have a bias against ?

      • pretty sure A was being sarcastic; it’s not really ripping landon to say that he wasn’t ‘the king’.

      • No, he really didn’t.
        And he was objectively not the leader, as Boca has been the captain for a long time now. But beyond that, every team says that about guys who are out: we will manage without him. What else are they supposed to say?
        OMG we’re doomed Landon is the whole team the rest of these guys are scrubs!!1!

  9. I can totally see Jozy scoring 25goals and moving this summer to a big club but another year in Holland cant hurt plus a decent WC can get him perhaps a move to a CL type club. thoughts?

    • A top club in which league?

      When was the last time the top scorer in Holland moved to a “top club” in a top four league other than Luis Suarez?

      • great question. since kuyt (05) to liverpool, there’s been:

        -huntelaar (08) to madrid
        -el hamdaoui (09) to fiorentina
        -suarez (10) to liverpool
        -bas dost (12) to wolfsburg

        not all ‘top’ clubs (especially wolfsburg right now), but it’s not like there’s no examples there.

  10. I feel so bad for young Dutch strikers like Luuk de Jong, Bas Dost, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and more. RVP’s amazing form and Huntelaar’s top class for the NT means those young guns will never get many caps for years to come

    • What kind of fan doesn’t know what time the game is until the day of the game?
      I put this in my phone’s calendar like two months ago…

      • Huge fan here too… I had somehow assumed it would be on at night. I actually had to go through about five articles about the game today to find the actual time so I can see how it happens (what angered me the most was two of those same articles mentioned the Mexico games start time–ugh!).

  11. uSA need a friendly with Ghana before the WC. They knocked us out of consecutive World Cups. Thats a rivalry we need to get on the top of. How about we set the game in Washington DC? Large Ghanian/African population or just play it in Accra

    also how come we dont do friendlies with Japan or S Korea or Phillipines? Those would sell out overseas and proceeds can go to the troops

    • I doubt that the Phillipines has a national team.

      Now Japan and/or S. Korea could be good games.

      I would like to see the US compete against the top African and Asian nations. It would be good for our Nats, and possibly good for CONCACAF as many Euros(nobs) think that Asia and Africa are better than CONCACAF. I think the US and Mex are just as good as any two other Asian or African teams – not to say that the drop off after US and Mex is not more steep than the 3rd and 4th Asian or African team

  12. If I do not have beIN Sport (i.e. cannot DVR the game) and will be sitting in my office between 3 and 5 CT today, does nayone know of a way that I can watch the US-Honduras game? Or, as I suspect, I am SOL?

    • Ok….I’ll bite. Steve Cherundolo’s career. Long-serving and loved player and captain at Hannover. McBride might be in top 5. Wynalda and Altidore? No, and not yet.

      • I guess he meant strikers. But if its overall players than Id say Cherundolo, Friedel and Dempsey. Honorable mention to Gooch/Keller

      • heh, “Better club career in Europe? Wynalda? McBride? Altidore?”, and you say Cherundolo? If we’re bringing in random people not mentioned in the question, then I’ll have to go with Michael Jordan, his career in the NBA was definitely the best.

        Of the 3 forward mentioned in the question, it could be argued that each is best in different ways. Assuming no major injury cutting it short, Altidore will most likely have the best career in terms of stats and all. But so far, McBride proved himself for multiple seasons in a better league. Props have to go to Wynalda for being an American Pioneer, who faced different problems those after him did not.

    • Thus far – Waldo. McBride was great for Everton and Fulham, but Waldo spent a lot of time in Germany. Altidore could surpass, but that remains to be seen.

      • Then we should also mention Franz Beckenbauer, he had a great career, and he once played a World Cup match with a separated shoulder.

        (I’m baffled why people have so much trouble just reading and understanding what is written, especially when it’s so simple, and needs no interpretation)

    • Statistically it isn’t Wynalda, but he gets points as a pioneer. Kind of silly to throw Jozy in there now, he’s barely getting started and has achieved more than the other two guys had when they were 23. McBride wins on “most beloved by his club fans” and “has best bar named after him”.

    • McBride was definitely the tops of the three. Plus he did it at later age so it’s actually a little more impressive so far. Wynalda had attitude problems, but Altidore is just starting to shine so he may be the brightest one in the bunch.


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