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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

JozyAltidoreSunderland4-Chelsea (AP)


The Fourth Round of the FA Cup continues Saturday with a large slate of matches involving some of the English Premier League’s top teams and some potential Cinderella stories in the sport’s longest-running tournament.

The day’s action starts with Championship side AFC Bournemouth’s home match against Liverpool, who are currently hanging onto fourth place in the EPL. Bournemouth have lost just one of their last seven matches, so they will look to keep that form going against one of England’s highest-scoring sides. After a disappointing draw with Aston Villa last weekend, a victory Saturday could give Liverpool the momentum they need heading into next week’s derby match against Everton.

Sunderland’s match against non-league Kidderminster Harriers highlights the mid-day matches in the FA Cup. Jozy Altidore and the Black Cats are coming off a penalty kick shootout victory against Manchester United that put them into the Capital One Cup final — can they avoid a disappointing upset against the underdog Harriers?

In matches outside of England, first-place Juventus visit Stadio Olimpico to face Lazio in an important Serie A fixture. Later, second-place Cruz Azul’s matchup with fifth-place Veracruz will kick off a night of action from Liga MX.

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):

7:45am – AFC Bournemouth vs. Liverpool – Fox Sports 1

9:30am – SC Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen – GolTV USA

10am – Real Madrid vs. Granada – beIN Sports USA

10am – Sunderland vs. Kidderminster – Fox Sports 1

10am – Bolton vs. Cardiff City – Fox Sports 2

10am – Southend United vs. Hull City – Fox Soccer Plus

11am – Guingamp vs. Paris Saint-Germain – Univision Deportes

12pm – Napoli vs. Chievo – beIN Sports USA

12pm – Real Valladolid vs. Villarreal – beIN Sports en Español

12:30pm – Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Hertha Berlin – GolTV USA

12:30pm – Stevenage vs. Everton – Fox Soccer Plus

2pm – Valencia vs. Espanyol – beIN Sports en Español

2pm – Ajaccio vs. Sochaux – Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Lazio vs. Juventus – beIN Sport USA

2:45pm – PSV Eindhoven vs. AZ Alkmaar – GolTV USA

4pm – Sevilla vs. Levante – beIN Sport en Español

6pm – Cruz Azul vs. Veracruz – UniMás/Univision Deportes

6pm – Corinthians vs. São Bernardo FC – ESPN3

7:50pm – Costa Rica vs. South Korea – ESPN Deportes

8pm – Tigres UANL vs. Pumas UNAM – UniMás/Univision Deportes

9:05pm – Club León vs. Pachuca – Telemundo

10pm – Atlas vs. Club America – Univision Deportes


  1. The U.S. U-17s defeated Turkey, 2-1, to win the Aegean Cup. From highlights and reports, it seems that Wright, Gallardo, de la Torre, and the two Pusilics were the stars of the squad. Congrats to the squad for a good tournament performance.

  2. Is Jozy’s hold up game that much better than AJ’s? I haven’t seen too many AZ games, but the ones I have he seems to be comfortable with his back towards goal,his distribution has been on point, and his touch is substantially better than Jozy’s. I have watched the majority of the Black Cats games this year hoping to see Jozy come into his own and I can no longer tell if he is just receiving no service, out of form, or just not a great loan striker on a weaker team. He has been getting chances on goal, but when they are there he scoffs most or is just unlucky with an unfavorable bounce or a great save. His passing has been ok at best, and would have more assists this year if his teammates could hit the broad side of a barn. In the USMNT 4231 I think I want the striker who can change a game on his own through creativity, speed and shot placement over a strong presence in the air and awful first touch vs quality teams. Verses CONCACAF I might feel different, but right now, for this world cup, I think AJ is our guy.

    • If you look at most of Jozy’s goals over the summer, outside of the Bosnia match, they came from service from wide positions. Sunderland just has no one who can cross or center a pass in any form. Honestly I think all 4 strikers could come into camp on pretty equal footing and its going to be up to JK to figure out what works.

      • Not necessarily.
        JK prefers a lone striker. Which means there will be more responsibilities than just scoring goals.

        It is too early for roster speculation. There are four months left ; still plenty of time for the inevitable injuries to come and shape the roster.

  3. The PSV vs AZ game has pretty exciting. End to end, quality passing and sub-par defending make for a very entertaining soccer. Aron has looked good and has been showing his footwork and first touch skills time and time again. I also had no idea Bryan Ruiz was loaned to PSV. He hasn’t looked half bad either. I know he has not been playing a ton for the Cottagers, but when he plays well he is quite talented.

    • Maher isn’t as good as he was last year. It seems like he isnt getting away with the same runs and passes. Last year he looked amazing. This year with PSV not so much.

  4. One thing not to forget is the fact that BPL soccer has to do with a lot of betting. Who knows who paid whom not to play well? The Secret Footballer talked about that in his book.

    • I’ve already heard enough conspiracy theories on this site. This doesn’t quite surpass the one about Klinsmann’s anti-Lichaj bias stemming from a Polish background, but regardless, let’s keep pointless comments with no factual evidence to a minimum please.

    • From the article:

      “I do think that the more ‘vocal’ people, who go out of their way to dismantle a players’ confidence, take it too far. I can’t imagine how taking to the internet to personally criticise somebody is going to fix anything. Neither will focusing all of your abuse on one man, when there are ten others on the pitch trying to win a game for Sunderland.”

      Some of you would do well to take note.

  5. my dream world cup starting 11 aron j, Julian greeen
    dempsey adu, donovan
    jones Bradley
    FJ,Gooch,Cameron, Chandler
    Howard Bench:Beasley,altidore,Gonzalez, dolo,mixx, edu

  6. Sunderland is absolutely dreadful. I’m not sure I can watch another game from them even though I so want to see our precious few Americans in EPL play. Jozy’s challenge is to handle the frustration of playing with such a crappy team. For my part, I’m not worried about him performing at the World Cup. I think he will do well, score a couple goals, and if the team catches a few breaks, maybe have a breakout tourney. At club level, his biggest mistake was joining another team like Sunderland. Hopefully he and his agent will be more thorough when it comes time for his next transfer.

    • Not true, the original jb. Yes, Sunderland, although winning today, was dreadful today [Dislaimer: I did not see the full game, but a chunk of the first half and another chunk of the second half after my BVB Dortmund was humiliated by Augsburg and Sunderland did not look good.] But, pleez keep in mind, Sunderland today was playing mostly second-team players with a few first-teamers sprinkled in. Anyone who saw Sunderland beat Man U last week or has seen Sunderland fight in PL games since Poyet took over would not call this team dreadful. They are actually playing a nice brand of soccer with a huge will to win and a never say die attitude. Since Poyet took over I think they have lost only one game. Sunderland will survive and remain in the PL.

    • If your frustration stems from watching this Kidderminster game you should remember that while Sunderland’s first team is playing better they are not that deep.

      Ki was not there and he is the straw that stirs their drink. Kidderminster parked the bus as they say and Ki was probably the only Sunderland player who could have unlocked their defense.

    • Ok guys, I appreciate your comments. I will give Sunderland another chance and try to keep an open mind about it. I will of course always support our Yanks. It’s good to hear some optimism on here!

  7. Has anyone even noticed that Chandler and Gooch scored today? I could only stomach the first 25 comments about Altidore, then I skipped to the bottom.

  8. Is this a fair summary of the comments:

    1) Sunderland is not a good team
    2) our american forward is playing at the same level as his team
    3) we want Jozy to lead his team to higher levels of skill and results, but he doesn’t seem capable of doing so, either based on his skill level or his leadership level
    4) Jozy seems to be singled out for criticism, either on SBI because he is the focal point of our American viewpoint or by the myopic English announcers who refuse to criticize their english players
    5) Observer’s attempts at humor fall on deaf ears
    6) life goes on, except for Chris and USAALLTHEWAY who are alwys followed by grey clouds (chuckle)

    • The comments not about the weather or USAALLTHEWAY’s Jozy-hate are by this Chris. There is more than one Chris on here.

      Also, +1.

      • I will respectfully start posting under this name, so as to not drag your name through the mud Chris.

        I’m actually quite up to speed everything soccer and enjoy a good conversation, but an obvious troll deserves to be trolled back harder ;D

    • @MidWest Ref (and other SBI regulars): I have no problem with usaalltheway or others who use the same user name each time they attack Jozy or express any other opinions I might disagree with. It is great to have robust debate about the game we all love. What I find irritating are the gutless passies who switch to a new user name each time they swoop in for attack. Perhaps SBI should consider requiring user registration to make it more difficult for the trall-la-las to keep switching names. It would be interesting to know how many pussters on this single thread have used multiple user names and how many of the Jozy bashers today were bashing him yesterday or the day before with a different user name.

      And you all know the saying, don’t feed the trall-la-las. Is best just to ignore posts under new user names that will be used only one time. A lot posts today by new names that will never be used again and those posters will be back tomorrow under different names. Maybe SBI should consider requiring user registration.

      • Hey Biff. I hope everyone realizes that I appreciate your comments and those of Usaalltheway. I may not always agree, but in my opinion you express them fairly.

        Neither of you resort to the “you must not have played” or “when was the last time you watched. . .” bs that too many trolls use.

        I think that if people didn’t watch the games, they wouldn’t take the time posting their opinions,right?

        sometimes our posts give the appearance that people are upset . . . I think that this is the anonymity of the internet. . . for good or bad. sometimes a little humor and a little point that people are too serious is necessary

      • I hope everyone realizes that I appreciate your comments and those of Usaalltheway. I may not always agree, but in my opinion you express them fairly

      • agree with you again biff.

        usaalltheway and I have some robust disagreements all the time but civil. I respect he’s not a spineless coward like the others you illuminated in your post

      • Using the same name very time is a sign of courage?
        You really are delusional biff. Sticks and stones.
        It’s not the name it is the content of the post .
        Your conspiracy theory bent and anti Bradley family bias would be recognizable under any name.

    • Regarding point four, American fans read far too much into American players being criticized. American fans have to realize that the English don’t look at nationality in soccer the same way we do. Consider the NBA – do basketball commentators overly criticize foreign players? Are they hesitant to criticize American players? The answer to both questions is obviously no. We tend to take criticism of Jozy or Dempsey or whoever more personally than we should, simply because there are so few of us playing overseas and so those who are over there sort of represent us as a soccer nation. We hear Jozy being criticized and take it as a slight against American soccer as a whole. It’s silly, but we do it.

      Also, there are only a few English players on Sunderland’s roster, so it’s insane to suggest that Jozy is being picked on for being a foreigner.

      For the record, I like Jozy and believe in his talent. But we are far past the point of blaming his poor production on his team or his needing time to adjust. Yes, Sunderland are awful, but Jozy’s lack of goals is simply stunning. Phil Bardsley (a defender, for crying out loud) has scored twice as many goals as Jozy this season. In fact, six players on that woeful squad have scored more goals than our man. He has proven his quality at the international level, but we may have to accept that Jozy just isn’t suited for the English game.

      • I agree with your post to an extent but can’t help but note that… when speaking of European players in the NBA, particularly post players, there is almost always an underlying implication that they are “soft”.

      • no matter how it is spun, he does not get served the ball. it’s beyond obvious, and whatever the reason Sunderland pathetically suck at that, Jozy needs that. It’s astounding that Jozy still leads that team in assists over all comps and revealing imo

  9. Not to beat a dead horse, but Jozy’s confidence is completely gone. A move away from Sunderland now would be ideal but it’s not going to happen until the summer at earliest. Klinsmann has to be concerned that his top two strikers are way out of form at this point. It looks to me more and more like F. Johnson and Johannson will figure as key players in the World Cup if the attack is to have an bite.

      • Bob Knight, who would beat a dead horse, revive it, beat it dead again and then talk to reporters about it like it was still alive, had the same problem. His wife use to tell him when she had enough with a short phrase that “the horse is dead.”

    • I’m confused by your post. Are you counting Dempsey as one of our top two strikers? If you are, okay. But he isn’t really a striker, and with the emergence of Johannsson it seems very unlikely that Dempsey will ever see substantial minutes as a pure striker with the US again (which is a good thing for everyone).

      • “the emergence of Johannsson”

        There is no evidence that AJ is better than Deuce

        He’s only scored one goal for the US and that came after the Panamanian defenders, as AJ himself noted, had stopped playing.

        For his club team he’s doing what Jozy already did. And Jozy did it two years in a row and most of you devalued both years because it was in Holland where no one plays defense.

        Or has everyone forgotten that? And Deuce has always been a better scorer than Jozy.

        AJ is great and is very promising but to suggest he has proven himself a better alternative than Dempsey for the USMNT is a bit much.

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