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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Garethbalevslyon1 (getty)


A pair of London Derby clashes headline Sunday’s soccer action on TV, with Tottenham playing host to Fulham to White Hart Lane and West Ham heading to West London to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

American forward Clint Dempsey will be available to face his former team after missing a couple of weeks due to a calf injury. If Dempsey sees action today it will likely be off of the bench, with Andre Villas-Boas being more inclined to slowly ease the playmaker back to full fitness.

In Italy, AC Milan will look to get over their UEFA Champions League disappointment by posting a victory against Palermo. A win could help Milan leapfrog Napoli into second place in Serie A if Atalante can knock off Edinson Cavani and Co.

In the Netherlands, Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar take on Ajax in a key Eredivisie clash. Altidore enjoyed a standout showing against Ajax in AZ’s recent Dutch Cup victory, and will look to keep his recent scoring streak going as he heads into World Cup qualfying.

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):


9:30am – Fox Soccer Channel – Sunderland vs. Norwich City

9:30am- AZ Alkmaar vs. Ajax Amsterdam

10am – beIN Sport en Español – Napoli vs. Atalanta

10am – beIN Sport – AC Milan vs. Palermo

10:30am – GolTV – Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Stuttgart

11am – Fox Soccer Plus/ – Tottenham vs. Fulham

12pm – Fox Soccer Channel – Chelsea vs. West Ham United

12pm – – Wigan Athletic vs. Newcastle United

12pm – beIN Sport – Toulouse vs. Bordeaux 

12pm – beIN Sport en Español – Sevilla vs. Real Zaragoza

12:30pm – GolTV – Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Hannover 96

1pm – ESPN2/ Live – FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo 

2pm – beIN Sport – Osasuna vs. Atlético Madrid

2pm – Univision – Pumas UNAM vs. León

4pm – beIN Sport – Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano

4:30pm – – Vitória Guimarães vs. Benfica

5pm – UniMás/MLS Live – Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chivas USA

8pm – Univision Deportes – Atlante vs. Cruz Azul


  1. My word, Salazar carded the wrong player. That player had a yellow already and was ejected.

    The post game is going to be good.

    • After all the smoke has settled it turns out the problem was even worse. Salazar was trying to straight red card Velasquez and accidentally brought out a yellow first.

      Don’t even think that was a foul.

  2. After reading the Clint Dempsey comments above…

    …let’s get one thing straight–Tottenham did not get humiliated by Fulham because of a bad game from Clint Dempsey. Basically the whole team, with the exceptions of the defenders, ranged today from weak to dreadful, including Gareth Bale. Tottenham played 120 minutes Thursday night at Inter Milan and they were drained today. Scott Parker threw the ball away several times, Siggurdson was a shadow of himself and Dembele also was far from his best and were yanked early in the second half. Adebeyor and Assou-Ekotto were useless and the kid Thomas Carroll after being subbed in during the second half although showing tons of promise, could not connect with his attempts for the killer pass that were ending up in black holes.

    As for Clint, yes, he looked rusty and lacking confidence. But in the big picture he was no worse and in some cases was better than his teammates. It was a bad day all around for Tottenham at the office today. Today is not the day to judge Clint’s future at Tottenham. I, for one, am glad Clint got some playing time before Costa Rica.

    • I don’t think anyone (except maybe 1 *ahem, cough, Mr Hyperbole*) was attacking Deuce today, not based on his performance today. I think only two issues were reasonably discussed today concerning Deuce: one, is he fit/in form enough right now to warrant a start for USMNT; two, Deuce and Spurs do not seem like a good mix, no matter how they try and work it out, regardless of who is at fault or to blame (probably no one party in particular, just an unlucky mix of players, playing style and chances etc).

      At least that’s how I read today’s comments. I don’t think anyone is particularly Deuce-bashing today.

      • You’re right.

        I don’t think you can really make an argument against anything A has said.

        This site overrates and glosses over all usmnt players. If you think anything A has said is bad you should read actual Tottenhan media reporters and fan sites.

        A good portion of tottenham fans don’t think Dempsey is even good enough to make the bench. They expect more than an occasional goal mixed in with poor passing and turnovers and slowing down the game.

  3. The caption for the picture at the top should be “Gareth Bale waits for Jürgen Klinsmann to release the names of his provisional squad for the United States Men’s National Football Team for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico”

    • with JK it seems like the night before the Costa Rica match lol, Our best bet is to follow twitter and check for reports on the migration of our top players like we had to for the Honduras match.

    • I’m not even sure it matters who shows up. I have a terrible feeling about the next two games. The team just seems like a mess right now.

    • In terms of JK’s pattern, the players already know if they are on the 30 man provisional but the official 22-25 will be this evening or tomorrow, likely after the Sunday games are done and injuries/bad days can be assessed.

      I am amused that we get to see US-Mexico because ESPN is carrying Mexican qualis, as opposed to the other way around.

    • Hassli took of a fan’s face in his first home outing. He was still apologizing even after the throw-in…probably knocked a Frisco kid out of his chair.

  4. Did anyone else catch the highlights from the Wigan v Newcastle game? Mcmanaman of Wigan basically removed a Newcastle guys leg and didn’t even get a yellow, should have been a straight red and multiple game suspension. The studs hit above the knee, also a Newcastle assistant coach went at him after half time.

    • What’s the rule in England? Only retroactive punishment for players that weren’t booked during the game right (so as not to dent their referee’s precious egos, I believe)? Mr. McMan is a prime candidate, right?

      • my understanding is that if a ref saw it but chose not to do anything the FA will not do anything, but if the ref admits he didnt see the incident then they can act

    • In a nutshell why Kinnear drives me nuts, puts Driver in pushes to a 352 and gets back in the game, then once it’s 2-2, backs off, pushes Boniek to right back in a bunker 442, lets a Dallas team that had been flustered get back into the game, bam, 3rd goal. Definition of foot off the gas. Sometimes your best defense is a good offense.

    • Right, we should start the flavor of the month mls guy instead of one of our proven goalscorers. Probably sit Bradley too, since he’s been used as a sub. Probably not game fit. Can’t start jozy since he can’t score for us either…

      Gimme a break, not start Dempsey. Of course he starts.

      • And this attitude is why we’re not good.

        Did you just watch that match? “Proven goal scorer” means nothing. His form is awful. And current form is the only form that matters.

        Fernando Torres is a “proven goal scorer.”

      • But is there a real argument that any other player in the USMNT pool is better than Dempsey, either as a wide midfielder or supporting a striker from a playmaker position in the midfield?

        If we are Spain – sure, sit him down. I just think the evidence has been that there is a huge drop off in ability from our best XI to the next main in line.

      • Nobody’s doubting Deuce’s skill, but form has been too long overlooked for the USMNT.

        Deuce in poor form is just a hindrance to the team regardless of his actual skill.

        If he isn’t sharp with his passing and working well with teammates for a club match where the pressure and speed is less than that of an international match than I don’t see how you can play him for the national squad.

        A player with less overall ability in better form is a better fit.

      • We have several hot strikers that are “in form” for their clubs. Gomez, Altidore, Boyd, maybe even Eddie Johnson and Agudelo. Gomez has experience playing out wide.

        Are any of them as good as Deuce at his best? Nope. But if Clint is as rusty as it sounds (didnt see Spurs match) then maybe he’s better used as a 60 minute sub against Costa Rica.

      • But Gomez, Johnson, and Agudelo don’t play the same position as Deuce. JK tried Eddie twice in a wide forward position. It worked once, it didn’t work the other. . . but wasn’t Dempsey on the field at the same time.

        The way JK lines the team up you get either Gomez or Alitdore.

        And there is no way that Boyd plays a meaningful qualifier as a starting striker without prior games. I mean, is there?

      • Leaving the Deuce argument aside, I think JK has to get Altidore and Gomez on the field together. They are the hottest players we have right now and it shouldnt take much tweaking to make it happen. Gomez plays wide midfield for Santos regularly.

      • I think you are thinking of Depmsey in top form, not the current form. The question should be “Is Dempsey’s bad form still better than the current subs in good form?”

      • Really? The attitude that we don’t judge our best player on a substitute cameo after being out with a calf strain for two weeks? That’s why the USMNT is bad? Here all along I thought it was because we haven’t played enough players out wide, or even produced enough options to begin doing so. But our team is not as good as we think they should be because “his form” in 30 minutes of soccer” shows he will be bad…next week? I have always thought that there is a reason that this logic is applied mostly to one sport but that’s a different topic. The bottom line is this, the US doesn’t have 4 or 4 other Clint Dempseys that can’t even make the 23 man roster because they are loaded. We only have one Clint Dempsey, and sad as that may be WE NEED CLINT DEMPSEY. Save your form talk for players who aren’t Clint and maybe we have a discussion. He is going to get an opportunity to show AVB that he is healthy and back in form when he plays Costa Rica and Mexico. But maybe we shouldn’t play him because he looked rusty in 30 minutes of BPL football…seriously

      • A,

        “proven goal scorer.” For who?

        Going back to June 2012 Dempsey has played in 7 USMNT games . He has six goals in those games.

        So yes maybe he looked bad for Spurs today but looking at how he is playing for the USMNT lately he’s not hot, he’s smoking.

        If the US had a good alternative, say Landon, available then you could drop Clint and say that he needs more time to get back into form. But the US does not have that luxury.

        Jozy and Wondo have not been able to translate their form and Gomez is simply not as good as Clint, even if he is a little off.

        This game is a lot more pragmatic than people on this list would have you believe.

        “And this attitude is why we’re not good”

        No, we’re not good because we’re not good. Take a chance you say? Take a risk? Well frankly for this set of games this team is past the point of experimentation. I just look at this latest Spurs game as Clint shaking off more rust so he will be ready for Denver.

      • wait a minute. Dempsey is not playing great for USMNT or is smoking hot. He IS scoring which is different than playing well. Every game that he has played for the past 6 months or so, he has scored in the first 20 minutes or so and then disappear for the rest of the game, his defense leaves lots to be desired, I won’t call that smoking hot or any thing close to it.

      • Well I guess it’s all in how you look at it.

        Would you prefer he had a better all around game, whatever that means, but scored only half as much?

        How well do Messi and C Ronaldo play defense?.

        There is a reason people pay so much for goalscorers.

        Dempsey is where he is today because of his ability to score.

        If he couldn’t score he wouldn’t be at Spurs, or Fulham or in England.

        Maybe he’d still be at New England or maybe he’d be out of the game.Dempsey has his flaws but Bradley put him out there to score goals. Same with JK.. Forget what he says JK will forgive him his defensive flaws and you should at least consider it because without his goals the US would be in deep deep Kimchee.

      • I would say one more thing about “A”‘s comments. Tottenham does not run well unless two of the three of Lennon, Dafoe and Bale are playing well. But, clearly
        Deuce has not found his way into the team.

        Early on you could argue it was because he lacked practice. Midway through the season you could argue that the team was not playing well regardless of who played. Now, I am concerned for Clint’s club status that he is not fitting in at Spurs.

        But, because he is not a good fit at Spurs, I do not think that his form at his club team necessarily means that he is not playing well enough for the USMNT.

      • Flavor of the month MLS guy? Jozy, Gomez, Boyd, and EJ are ALL in form right now, scoring goals left and right. Obviously Dempsey starts, because he’s Dempsey, but if he struggles, it would not surprise me at all to see him get the hook in the second half in favor of any of those guys that don’t start.

      • I don’t understand these comments that apparently say that Jozy is a replacement for Dempsey. They don’t play the same position even in JK’s lineup.

        Jozy is in form in Holland and he should be starting for the USMNT, but he is part of the starting XI, not a replacement for Deuce.

      • That’s exactly the problem. JK is trying to adapt personnel to system instead of system to personnel. Whether it’s Dempsey or JJ or EJ or Bradley and more, he loves to put players in a position they have no business playing

      • baropbop,

        “JK is trying to adapt personnel to system instead of system to personnel. Whether it’s Dempsey or JJ or EJ or Bradley and more, he loves to put players in a position they have no business playing”

        It’s more likely that he was trying to learn more out about his players.

        National team player pools are by definition limited so versatility is a requirement. Even a program as deep as the German national team shifts midfielders to fullback for example. JK doesn’t really have a system per se. He has a number of characteristics, such as extreme fitness, that he wants his players to have but I don’t think that is the same thing you are talking about.

        A fundamentally good soccer player should be able to play a variety of positions w/o great difficulty. Landon Donovan could do a credible job or better at any of the 10 outfield positions. Having a player play a different position tells you a great deal about a player very quickly.

        The players you mentioned have all played a variety of positions over the years.

        Trying to get Clint to play a more creative role since LD has been gone makes sense. It hasn’t worked out but they had to find out. JJ and MB90 certainly have played all over in their careers. As a modern striker EJ should expect to find himself out on the wing at times. Besides, he’s reasonably big, tough, strong, quick, fast, athletic and is better on the ball than he used to be. All these traits help him play a variety of roles.

        It would be nice if the USMNT were three deep in every position with international class players but that is not the reality. And the US is hardly alone in that.

      • I didn’t say that Jozy was a replacement for Dempsey. The US doesn’t have any players quite like Dempsey. My point was that if Dempsey starts and struggles, we’re likely to have a very in form attacking option on the bench, not a “flavor of the month MLS guy”.

  5. Game. Over. Spurs need Lennon back IMO. They need his width creativity and ability to take some of the attention off Bale.

    Deuce looking hella rusty as expected. Don’t think he should start for USMNT either but can’t count him out altogether either. Definitely not as a sub and maybe not even as a starter.

    Deuce also showin that he just looks awkward at Tottenham sometimes. Him. Them. The system. Who knows why, but it seems clunky and disjointed.

    • I’d say Tottenham just look awkward, period. Regardless of who’s in there. Bale’s brilliance papers over an otherwise middling attack.

      • Agree — the whole system just doesn’t make any sense. Dempsey’s on a different page from everyone else and is working his way back from injury. Adebayor is on a different page from everyone else and just flat isn’t playing well. Bale is brilliant in an open game and on set pieces, but he’s often asked to do things his skill set doesn’t allow him to do. Scott Parker’s thought process is molasses-slow….

    • He was pure class.

      This was my favorite save–

      • I watched the game and I am 100% confident that Guzan will fill in and we will not miss much if any in Tim Howard being out. I agree with ATD he MIGHT have been able to do better on one of the goals but it did take a deflection. But the reason Aston Villa won IMO is because Guzan made multiple key saves. Guzan is going to be great this week, I love Tim Howard and am fine with him starting for the rest of this World Cup cycle but I am really excited about Guzan going forward Internationally and on the club level. I am sure Aston Villa will pay him what he wants to stay but I hope he can continue his form and move up to a bigger club in the next couple years. I wouldn’t be stunned if Guzan ended up starting this World Cup but I believe he will be our keeper for the ,18,22 World Cups.

      • I think Guzan might actually be the slightly better shot stopper right now. Howard is immaculate with his organization of the defense and his distribution though, and that’s where he’ll be missed. Guzan still has a lot to learn in those regards. He’ll get there, he just needs more experience. His skill wasn’t affected by sitting on the bench for so long, but he lost a lot of development time for those other aspects of his game.

    • according to’s play by play, they said it was a carbon copy of the Nani challenge…hardly DeJong…which is it?

      • on purpose like DeJong, or by accident like nani…yoo’re Mr. Hyperbole, probably the worst play by play guy on this site. Always agenda with you. I wish there was an ignore feature on this site

        go ahead and say something snarky in reply, I don’t care

      • Agenda?

        De Jong put his boot through a players chest. Nani put his boot through a players chest. Dempsey put his boot through a players chest.

        And if you want to get nit-picky–further replays showed that Nani extended his legs out after making contact and had looking up to see Arbeloa before going for the ball.

        You’re dissecting comments for some nefarious meaning and undercurrent of whatever goes against your thoughts.


      • Not that I’m surprised but if you think the de jong challenge and the nani challenge are the same you’ve gone full retard

      • Hardly carbon copy at all. Neither deuce or reither are running, deuce’s leg is high an studs out but his knee is bent and not straight and the impact was at like a million mph slower lol. Deuce rightly yellowed for dangerous play but he wasn looking at player only at ball and it was a super slow-mo version lol

      • Are y’all sure that isn’t Fulham fans? Spurs fans are quiet and not singing (have y’all heard that when the spurs song go marching in song once in the second half) all the songs I’ve heard so far are Fulham songs and the way Deuxe left the club (regardless if it was his fault like that or not) don’t you expect FFC fans to give him the treatment?

      • As a Fulham fan, I can assure you that our traveling fans are always very few in number, even in London. If you could hear booing, it was coming from Spurs supporters. It really isn’t Dempsey’s fault – while he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with Tottenham, he was a signing that their fans never wanted, and they never gave him a chance.

      • I distinctly heard Fulham songs being sung loud and clear today; even twitter people were commenting on how quiet white heart lane was, and I know I heard some Fulham chants (having followed them for like 15 years and being pretty familiar with their repertoire of songs).

        So it’s not implausible that they could be heard booing Deuce.

        I’m not saying they definitely were. But I’m not going to concede it was definitely Spurs fans either.

  6. As Arsenal, NE Revs and USMNT fan this game is tough. So if Fulham could score and then Dempsey strike back that would be great!

  7. Deuce, what are you doing?! Learn to play in the system–you aren’t at Fulham anymore. You don’t have free reign to take 35 yard shots whenever you’d like.

  8. You know who seems to the biggest miss for Spurs? Aaron Lennon. They look a lot less creative and idealess without his energy and runs out there.

    • You’re absolutely right. With Bale playing centrally now, and with none of Gylfi/Holtby/Dempsey really being classic wide players, they have no width without Lennon. His marauding runs down the right are really a critical counterpoint to whatever Bale does. Without Lennon, the team has a lot of trouble creating anything.

      • AVB’s? Or everyone’s in general?

        I was referring to the fact that at 0-0 at home AVB took off a defender and brought on Deuce, a midfielder forward, or midforward. Didn’t understand the logic behind that one at all.

  9. Fulham and USMNT fan here: Tottenham v Fulham makes me feel conflicted. I definitely wanna see Deuce in CL next season; three points goes a long way in helping Tottenham achieve their goal. However, I definitely don’t want my Cottagers to have to think about the relegation zone. Three points would certainly make them a little more comfortable.

    Furthermore, if Deuce does see the field, it could get somewhat interesting and I don’t know how I’d feel if he were to get into it with any Fulham players.

    • Whaddaya mean by “it could get somewhat interesting and I don’t know how I’d feel if he were to get into it with any Fulham players”?

      • Well deuce is a feisty fella and not known to back down from confrontation. These are his old teammates tho. So I don’t know what would happen.

      • But, MemRook, Clint already played against them at Fulham last November and there were no problems. I am sure Clint’s old Fulham teammates hold no grudges against Clint, plus they know what a dishonest jerk Martin Jowl is and have already seen more than half a dozen players leave the team, not to mention the fact that Hangeland up to this point also has not signed an extension and appears to be the next to jump ship.

      • Yeah maybe concerning Jol (Jowl, lol, if that was on purpose kudos, cuz that description perfectly describes him). He’s really messed up what I like to think of as the “charm” of that club. Sure they’re in 10th and that’s nothing to sneeze at, but I just plain don’t like him.

        In regards to Dempsey, I just couldn’t put it past him to pull out a “Deuce face” like moment with anyone, especially at home, especially with the frustration he surely feels being injured and coming back to fitness etc and maybe being down the depth chart now. Regardless. Nothing happened except when he accidently booted a player but nothing came out of it. I was wrong. There you go.

  10. fulham fans have not forgiven Dempsey but is there more to the story than simply

    Dempsey forcing a transfer to Liverpool by refusing to play for Liverpool and thus being finrd by the club. Dempsey never stated if that was trur or Not

    • Jozy and Adam Maher will be sold this summer, regardless of whether AZ stays up, or goes down. I think Roy Beerens will be gone, too.

      • I’m not disputing what you say because I don’t follow the Eredevisie closely but your statement is pretty absolute: Jozy “will be sold this summer”. Is this certainty based on something the team has said or something that is consistent with AZ?

      • hmm. they are in 14th place and closer to relegation than European tournaments. Unless I’m missing your point?

      • Yep, if they win the Dutch cup. They get the slot. It’s PSV who might be distracted from that game by the fact that they are second place in the League.

      • I think they are in the final of the Dutch cup. If they win (I thin it’s against Ajax?) then they will get Europa.

      • The final is against PSV. An AZ win, and they’re in Europa. If PSV wins, and qualifies for the Champions League or Europa League through league position, then AZ will still go to Europa.

      • Ernie Stewart has mentioned multiple times that AZ has rejected bids for both Jozy and Adam Maher(5 million Euro offer from PSV, Maher threw a fit, Verbeek said he should go to Arsenal, and ES said Maher is a 10 million Euro player). They have a 17k capacity stadium, and have signed a bunch of really young players. As others have stated, AZ sells their top players, it’s what they do. So, no, I can’t say absolutely that anybody will sold, I’m just going by reports and AZ’s recent history.

      • makes perfect sense. It’s a strong likelihood that one or both go
        On a separate note, I’m always skeptical about the truthfulness of coaches and executives that are ‘chatty’ about bids received, etc.

      • Oh, no doubt about that. Verbeek doesn’t talk about money, his statement about Maher would be a better fit at Arsenal was in response to the hissy that Adam Maher threw after AZ rejected PSV’s bid. Maher then stopped talking about it, and signed an extended deal with AZ, which can be looked at as enhancing his sale price. Ernie Stewart’s job is to get the most money he can for sales, so he may be chumming the water.

  11. AZ’s defense is laughable. Effing pathetic. Jozy needs to get out of there soon. I don’t care if its to another Dutch team, that’d be just fine with me. But I can’t imagine he likes trying to score loads of goals only for his team to work harder to give up more goals.

      • Yeah maybe so. But as an American and USMNT fan and him being a US player, I gotta feel extra bad for him dealing with such a crappy D.

      • The average goal scoring in the Dutch League is not out of the norm in European soccer. It is 1.54 goals per game per team. It’s actually only .13/per team-game > than England or Spain. That translates to one extra goal allowed (or scored) per 7 games. Not really as free-wheeling as the image.

    • It’s been very much like that since Moisander transferred to Ajax. Fwiw, AZ average age is 23 with today’s staring XI. I don’t know if it’s on Ernie Stewart or Verbeek, but somebody really misjudged the quality of their defenders’ pool, especially the CBs.

  12. Texas Derby today could be like a wild west shootout. The goal mouth action should be intense, with all the big guys battling it out.

      • I was thinking about that kind of upset today too. Early season blues for Houston, I think. Also, complete speculation on my part with little evidence.

      • It would be typical of Houston to play poorly this time of the year, but they don’t usually like to lose to Dallas. I’m going to call it 2-2.

      • That said, yesterday proved that “rivalry” games produce games with very few goals and maybe it’s a coincidence or a result of not wanting to lose in a derby; here’s hoping to the law of averages kicks into effect today and we enjoy a couple goal-fests.

      • Well I’ll be! I wasn’t far off at all. Glad we got some goals this time around.

        For the LA game lets go 4-1

    • I stopped predicting my team’s games back in ’09. Sucks being at home and not the bus to Dallas. May the best team keep the cannon.

    • 3 things:
      Sarkodie is in the bottom of Jackson’s pocket,
      Cooper looks slow going forward (but has been defending well), and
      Zach Loyd is unstoppable today.


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