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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

JackWilshereArsenal1-Fulham (Getty)


On this Soccer Saturday, another English Premier League giant will make a visit to Cardiff City Stadium, a place where it has been tough to get three points so far this season.

First-place Arsenal’s trip to Cardiff City highlights Saturday’s slate of EPL matches. Cardiff City defeated Manchester City at their home stadium earlier this season, and they are fresh off last weekend’s thrilling draw against Manchester United. Arsenal rebounded from their loss to Man United with back-to-back shutout wins against Southampton and Marseille and will look to keep the momentum going after their trip to Wales.

Another Saturday EPL match that fans in the United States will want to keep an eye on is Everton’s home meeting with Stoke City at Goodison Park. USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard and the Toffees are coming off a 3-3 draw with city rivals Liverpool, while Geoff Cameron and the visiting Potters hope to end their poor run of form away from home in their visit to Merseyside.

The day’s action will kick off in Germany, where Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich aim to keep their impressive unbeaten run in league play against last-place Eintracht Braunschweig at the Allianz Arena. Elsewhere, the high-powered offense of Real Madrid will take on Real Valladolid at the Bernabeu. Saturday’s action will wrap up in Mexico with the second leg of the Liga MX Apetura playoff quarterfinals.

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 – Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Braunschweig – GolTV USA

10am – Cardiff City vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Network

10am – Everton vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Aston Villa vs. Sunderland – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Norwich City vs. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – West Ham United vs. Fulham – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Elche vs. Atletico Madrid – beIN Sport en Español

10am – Huddersfield Town vs. Burnley – beIN Sport USA

12pm – Parma vs. Bologna – beIN Sport USA

12pm – Celta Vigo vs. Almeria – beIN Sport en Español

12:30pm – Newcastle vs. West Bromwich Albion – NBC

2pm – Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid – beIN Sport USA/beIN Sport en Español

3pm – Juventud vs. Peñarol (Uruguay) – GolTV

4pm – Espanyol vs. Real Sociedad – beIN Sport en Español

6pm – Cruz Azul vs. Toluca – Univision

9pm – Club Leon vs. Morelia – Telemundo


  1. I don’t blame Sunderland for going after Jozy but I do blame Jozy for going to Sunderland. I’m not sure how Jozy and his people didn’t see this coming.

  2. Well, today was fun lads.

    Jozy is screwed, Stoke got smashed, Aston Villa plays as always, and looks like Arsenal played up to their reputation. Did I miss anything?

    I am checking out. It’s nap time after all those beers.

    As always, I love the back and forth. It’s a great forum for sharing ideas and even a verbal sword fight or two! 🙂

    Have a great weekend guys!

    USA ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • He didn’t play well but the level of hate he is getting is kind of funny. Stoke fans seem like they want to ignore that it was 3-0 before he ever stepped on. They’re not a good side and will be lucky to stay up. Why everyone seems more worried about the guy with a funny hair cut coming off the bench, then the 11 who lost the match is kind of confusing.

      • I think because so many fans have being calling for Shea to get a chance to play and once he does and doesn’t do well, the same people say ” well, no one else did well “. This is as bad as parent denial at your local soccer tournament.

      • I think most fans gave up on him playing at Stoke awhile ago now and just want to see him find a loan. He hasn’t played regular matches in probably a year and a half now. He isn’t going to be good for awhile but he has to start somewhere. I understand there’s going to be little patience at a club fighting relegation and thats why he can’t stay at Stoke.
        I just think for some reason Shea is very polarizing to some people.

  3. Crazy how Wales doesn’t have a better national team with several individual great players.

    Not looking good for Jozy.

    Even though a loss, Shea getting playing time which is good.

    • You can debate Jozy’s play since getting to Sunderland, but his (or his agent’s) decision to go there in the first place is somewhat puzzling. The side is trash and seems to be mismanaged. The style of play doesn’t really benefit Jozy; all he has done there is perform hold-up duty and get the crap beat out of him physically. I am never a big fan of midseason transfers or loans, but if he can secure one, it would seem beneficial. Apparently he has possibly been scapegoated, but it is not like the squad is lighting up the scoreboard since he was relegated to the bench.

      • I think that Jozy bought into PDC, who can be a very charismatic and convincing guy. PDC planned on playing a very attacking style with two forwards. It was a big gamble and he lost.

  4. Fletcher doesn’t seem to present any threat whatsoever. Nor is his holdup play as good as Jozy’s. Why he went 90 minutes — beyond me.

    • It’s anti-America bias. That is the only explanation at this point.

      Jozy needs to bail on this team. Why support those that won’t support you?

      • it’s a well know fact: 9 out of 10 EPL coaches would rather get relegated or fired that to play an American. Even “great ones”
        Same thing happened with Stoke and Villarreal.

      • It’s not a matter of support. Sunderland haven’t turned their back on jozy, poyet just doesn’t think he’s the right player to lead the line. There’s no overwhelming evidence in favor of either striker at this point.

        I do hope jozy gets scooped up by a team that plays a little more attractive soccer. Plenty of those teams will need replacements when their talent is inevitably poached: southampton, everton (lukaku), swansea, west brom.

      • next game at home, next 2 actually. we’ll see what the formation is this Wednesday vs. Chelsea and if Jozy is paired up top with Fletcher, or even next weekend vs. Tottenham. Hope so, think so, we’ll see.

      • Fletcher is a 15 mil pound transfer, Jozy is about half that. Also, Fletcher is the type that does nothing all match only to nick a goal at the death. Neither s scoring right now but Fletcher has a PL track record.

      • Debatable. Most BPL supporters and pundits would prefer Fletcher, I think. I like what Jozy gives you in hold up lay, but I think BPL is a tough league for him since the lower teams rely on set pieces and long balls to score and he’s not that kind of player. His heading isn’t as good as his feet right now.

      • +1

        BPL is tough for Jozy because of the style of play, which doesn’t suit him…not because he doesn’t have the talent….

      • I would guess that most BPL watchers and even commentators know next to nothing about Jozy, his record in Holland, his scoring for the USMNT including his hat trick against Bosnia. What they do know is that he didn’t do much for a horrible Hull team about 4 years ago. They know about guys like Fletcher and even Borini who has been in the league a while.

  5. It was fun while it lasted but it was bound to happen.
    I said it from the beginning, Altidore is not EPL material. He just doesn’t have the work ethic necessary to make it in a top league where you have to fight and improve on a daily basis to keep a spot.

    • The ol “work ethic” chestnut, eh?

      It couldnt be that fletcher is an established commodity in the epl and managers tend to be conservative when their job is on the line?

      Remember michael bradley’s aston villa stint?

    • The evidence doesn’t back that statement up.

      Jozy has been MOTM twice; once against Fulham and again against Newcastle. He scored a goal but it was called off. Fletcher has only goal this season. Why is it he is seen as better?

      On top of that, he is regularly their best player on the field when he plays.

      He isn’t doing well because Sunderland is awful, not because of his work ethic. He is a great player on a terrible, bottom-feeder team. He shouldn’t have gone there in the first place.

      • Call it what you want but the facts do back the statement up. A “Great Player” don’t sit on the bench for a crappy team. Crappy/lazy players do.
        No coach in the world will keep great players on the bench because of their nationality. Especially on a team on their way to relegation.
        No goals this season is about all you need to know as far as facts go.

      • and considering that Sunderland’s owner is american I doubt any coach would even dare to bench him for that reason.

    • Oh please. He had to fight for a spot at AZ when he got stuck behind Benschop. Don’t be ridiculous. anyone with eyes can see he’s working like crazy to win possession. He’s working WAY harder than Fletcher. jK wouldn’t play anyone without a strong work ethic, so your statement is clearly absurd. Jozy isn’t playing because Fletcher is a fifteen million pound transfer who is a proven PL scorer and is better at nicking goals in the air against the run of play.m Jozy is much better at playing with the ball and combining with wings, but since Sunderland isnt likely to have the ball much, Fletcher is probably a better choice. Fletcher is a great striker for a terrible side like the Black Cats.

  6. I’ve missed something: Which Sunderland’s their sterling strikers has demonstrated the form sufficient to root Jozy to the bench? Poyet sounds like he was setting him up with all those compliments.

    Relegation awaits.

    • That is an astute observation.

      I do to Sunderland boards sometimes and they truly believe that Fletcher is better than Jozy, despite his poor performances this season.

      Jozy is simply their best player. Whenever he is on the field, they play better. However, due to anti-American sentiments, Jozy is hated on and underrated.

      Jozy went their due to DiCanio. He is gone, so Jozy is in major trouble.

      • Unbelievable that the probably the best US forward can’t start for a relegated bound team like Sunderland, and to think the US finished ahead of England in group play last WC and IMO would finish ahead of them again if paired In the same group.

        I try to be rational and objective with US players going to England but Jozy’s situation makes me buy into the whole bias against US players conspiracy.

      • I agree about the anti-American bias. It’s real. Just go to any Sunderland board and talk about Jozy. They have their heads in dark, stinky places.

        The rest of the world, especially the junior partner (England) can’t stand that we are catching up, while all they still have is football.

      • And Rugby and cricket… you know soccer and cricket are the two most popular sports by a long shot?

        Get a global view or shut up.

      • I dunno, basketball is getting pretty big globally and I would wager has surpassed cricket. Besides Australia, India, Pakistan, and a few Caribbean counties nobody cares about cricket outside of England. Basketball is firmly entrenched throughout Europe (eastern and western), Brazil, and is picking up steam in China thanks to recent Asian stars. So please take a global view rather than a colonialist view

      • @David…yeah, India has a lot of people (as does Pakistan), but with China and Brazil (also very large countries) I think that on a total population basis basketball would have more fans, if that’s what you’re trying to imply. Point still stands that a “global” perspective doesn’t equal a “British” perspective that trumpets their sporting prowess b/c they are competitive in cricket!

      • “Get a global view or shut up”

        Way to stay classy.

        And for the record, I speak three languages, live in South America and am a dual nation. If that isn’t global enough for you, I don’t know what is.

        You sir, need to be more respectful. You are taking things WAY too personally.

      • the only reason why the US finished ahead of England in South Africa was because that unbelievable fail from Green.

      • The only reason ? Really, the goalie is an important position and that England does not have a good one is not a reason. Ironically Jozy has a great chance to win the game outright, but missed a shot that he should have put away.

      • I will say that we didn’t deserve to score that goal, but at the same time that happens to England at almost every world cup. Call it curse, call it tradition, but their keeper always allows one HOWLER in an important game.

      • And the US had two clear goals disallowed in group play for reasons that still aren’t clear. They should have had more points than they ended up with if you take away that cheap goal and give them the two that weren’t allowed.

      • IDK why people are surprised? He’s a forward that rarely scores anywhere and doesn’t deserve minutes. Hasn’t this been the same story every time he tries to play for a bigger club?

        The problem on these boards is that people want to believe Jozy is the second coming while his club fans don’t have that same belief. Is that bias or reality? If he was actually scoring they’d like him fast enough.

        Jozy needs to find a club where he can play and produce. One like the one he left for Sunderland. As Clint Eastwood once said, “a man has to know his limitations.”

    • I’ve been more patient than anyone about this Sunderland move, but even I have lost all patience. I wanted to wait until things had settled in before making a judgement, but I, done. He’s GOT to get out in the January window. Does anyone know if Verbeek needs a forward at Nurnberg?

      • He isn’t going anywhere in January. Fletcher is always injured, so even if they continue with 1 striker and prefer Fletcher, Jozy will still end up playing plenty. It’s better for him in a way to not be starting every game while Poyet organizes the team, at least he won’t be unfairly criticized for not scoring in those games. They were a mess under PDC, and fixing that was always going to take some time. Regardless of whether they manage to escape relegation or not, Jozy will end up having at the very least an educational season and be fine for Brazil and next club season.

      • I strongly disagree. It’s Good for Jozy to be not playing on a terrible side? How does that make any sense? Players in their early twenties need to play games.

      • The sky is not falling. Jozy has started 7 PL games and been a sub in 4. He’s getting playing time. I said it’s better for him, in a way, to not start every game while Poyet organizes the team. Today for example, clearly Poyet decided that an away point would be sufficient, so he was going to play one striker the whole game and more than likely draw 0-0. If he played Jozy 90′ it becomes very easy for both fans and media in England to scapegoat Jozy as the reason they can’t score, which does nothing but make his life harder down the road. So yes, it’s fine that he’s not starting and playing 90′ every week in this moment. This is not me saying that it would be fine if he never got any games for the rest of the season (which, despite what some on SBI would have you believe, is not the case right now).

      • So you think ten minutes a week for a bad team who cant get him the ball anyway is enough for a 23 year old striker in a world cup year? You don’t think that will slow his development? I disagree.

      • It all comes down to opinions, but I’d like to understand the reasoning behind the opinion. I was in the same camp as David JS while Jozy was playing or it at least seemed as if Poyet hadn’t settled on a lineup but it seems clear now that Jozy isn’t going to play much at all for Gus, right? Jozy is still one of the more expensive players on the side. He’s young and marketable so I would think Gus would be amenable to a transfer so he make enough money to bring his own guys in, no? Yes, Fletcher is fragile, but I would think Jozy’s more valuable as a transfer than as an insurance policy. You can probably get an older player cheap or a loan for insurance, I would think.

      • Sunderland have only played 2 home games since Poyet took charge, against Newcastle and Man City. Fletcher and Jozy started together in the win vs Newcastle (Jozy played great and set up Borini’s winner) and vs MCFC Gus went with one striker (Fletcher). They’ve played 4 away games under Poyet (Swansea, Hull, Stoke, Villa). At Swansea they played one up top (Fletcher), at Hull Fletcher and Jozy were paired together until they got 2 red cards, and Fletcher was alone up top at Stoke and today at Villa. So clearly, Fletcher is preferred as a lone striker right now, but it’s not like Poyet is freezing Jozy out. Gus took over a team that was rock bottom, so he is in the process of reorganizing the team and pragmatically getting some results to try to creep up the table. Sunderland may still end up having a sh!t season, but I still feel fine about Jozy. As long as you believe: 1) Jozy is good enough for Sunderland, and 2) Poyet does not irrationally dislike Jozy, both of which I believe are true, then there is no reason to think Jozy’s situation is the end of the world just yet.

      • I am still of the opinion that Jozy is getting unfairly blamed for the team’s lack of success.

        They simply play better when Jozy is on the field.

        The English have something against Americans. It’s a reality. Jozy needs to go to Italy. Their style of play fits him like a glove.

      • usa-
        I don’t disagree on the whole, but the English really have something against most foreigners. And they always need a scapegoat. Those are also realities. I’d agree that what I’ve seen online of Sunderland fans, they are prematurely negative on Jozy. But I also think they’re prematurely negative on most of their players.

        I agree they’re better with him on the field. But I also think if he’s the 2nd choice as a long striker, there are a lot of games where he won’t be starting because Sunderland are too open with 2 up top especially away from home.

        And yeah, there are plenty of places I’d rather see Jozy than Sunderland, but I also am still confident that Jozy will end up either succeeding there or holding his own for a season then moving on to another better situation once they are relegated. You’re free to disagree of course, opinions by nature aren’t meant to be a consensus.

      • Gus didn’t play two forwards at all with Brighton and has the reputation of being overly committed to this formation so you’re banking on Gus completely changing his spots, a Fletcher injury, or benching his 15 million pound striker for his striker worth half that figure. I don’t like those odds. I think he’s better off with a fresh start.

      • I agree. I, too, have been hesitant to jump on the Jozy must leave bandwagon, but it’s clear he has no part in Poyet’s plans. Even returning to Holland would be better than sitting on the bench for Sunderland.

      • I never thought Stoke were that bad.

        Their brand of soccer is by nature a little bit boring but they hold their own and make fun things happen from time to time.

        Plus, watching Cameron shine every time he steps on the field is great, especially to shut the haters up.

      • JK has said that cameron needs to “kick out” one of stoke’s center backs.

        For all we know hughes rates cameron ahead of huth or shawcross, but thinks he’s too valuable at right back. Unlikely but possible.

        Huth actually just had surgery and hughes is playing a backup centerback and keeping cameron wide.

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