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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Yaya Toure of Manchester City chases down Jonas Gutierrez of Newcastle United


Manchester City can return to the top of the English Premier League for at least a temporary basis Sunday with a victory on the road against Newcastle United.

With Arsenal facing Aston Villa on Monday, Man City can leap both the Gunners and new first-place club Chelsea with three points today from their trip to St. James Park. The high-scoring Citizens have won eight of their last nine matches, and they will look to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches against a sliding Newcastle squad. Newcastle have been shutout in their last two league matches, a streak they will need to end against a Man City team that has scored 16 in their last five matches.

Liverpool will try to get back into the Top-4 in the second EPL match of the day, a trip to Britannia Stadium to face USMNT defender Geoff Cameron and Stoke City. The Reds ended their two-match losing streak on New Year’s Day with a win against Hull City, and Luis Suarez will hope to start another long scoring run in EPL play.

In other matches from around the world, Serie A leaders Juventus and second-place AS Roma will kick off the day’s major European action. Elsewhere, Real Madrid will try to take advantage of rival Barcelona and Atletico Madrid’s Saturday draw with a victory against Espanyol.

Enjoy the action. (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

9am – Cagliari vs. Juventus – beIN Sport USA

9am – AS Roma vs. Genoa – beIN Sport en Español

9:05am – Newcastle United vs. Manchester City – NBC Sports Network

11am – Evian TG vs. Olympique Marseille – beIN Sport USA

11am – Real Betis vs. Osasuna – beIN Sport en Español

11:10am – Stoke City vs. Liverpool – NBC Sports Network

1pm – Espanyol vs. Real Madrid – beIN Sport USA/beIN Sport en Español

1pm – Puebla vs. Monterrey – ESPN Deportes/Azteca America

1pm – Toluca vs. Morelia – Univision

2:45pm – Sassuolo vs. AC Milan – beIN Sport USA

3pm – Lille vs. Reims – Univision Deportes

3pm – Levante vs. Malaga – beIN Sport en Español

6pm – Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Chiapas – UniMas


  1. Sweet one-time on Suarez’ second goal. But, 3 Stoke defenders went to ball and none covered Suarez wide. Happens when you’re chasing a game.

    • I think he has to be mentioned when considering the issue. Messi is a better passer and dribbler, Ronaldo is better in the air and has speed and is dynamite when running at people and Ibra is big, strong and amazingly athletic for his size and scores some unbelievable goals. But when it comes to scoring in the box with his feet, I think Suarez is as good as anybody right now.

  2. UK Daily Mail mentioned something the other day about Stoke trying to sort out its signing of “America striker John Agudelo.”

    • LFC is the second team to win this season at Stoke. LFC has never won at Stoke in BPL history. It’s a tough place. Despite the weak PK, I think that LFC was going to win this one.

      • The only way to see the handball was by slow-mo replay which referees are not privy to. The hip check was a foul, but still weak, I’ll concede that. I don’t think it changed the game as much as some would like to think. Both sides played attacking football, and both sides were pushing for a win.

        The disallowed Tiote goal was just a plain old bad call. The referee had a moment to ponder it, and made the wrong call. This is a call that I’ve seen a few times before, and it’s harsh.

      • on the Tiote goal, it was the AR who made the call and the ref acknowledged it I thought, right?

        re. the had ball, yes, the ref and his AR both not in position and missed it unfortunately. I do think that play changed the game tho like biff

      • The AR has to put the flag up, but the referee in the center has to make the final decision, I think. The referee has the final say. He probably got it wrong, but I can see why they thought it was offsides. Tough call in any case.

      • I agree that Altidore went down with minimal contact, after leaping into the air LOL. But the difference to me was that Sterling could have continued on with the ball quite easily. He had a 1/2 step on the defender. In Jozy’s case, I think he would have been slowed by the contact and not able to get off his shot, with the second defender so close. But that’s conjecture, and I’m on Jozy’s side.

        I wish Senderos had not fouled him, and Jozy had just buried the ball in the net, because he made a really good move. Senderos was toast!

    • bummer, you’re missing a fun one

      what did you think of Jozy’s 25 minutes yesterday? did you see him in the middle of 2 goals to help finish that game off? Cool huh?

      • I am concerned that most of Jozy’s highlights come from him holding the ball or passing it around 35 meters from goal. I would be much happier if more of his highlights happen in or around the penalty area, like the pk he earned.

        Funny, did you hear the announcers claiming he dived? guy cannot catch a break.

      • I didn’t, I mute them, but I did hear them praise his one touch pass to spring them for the third goal on a highlight show so that’ s something I guess

        of course I want to see him score too! But, having watched most of their games this year, he’s their best guy in that role of midfield one-touch passing, unfortunately. Ever since Poyet started having him drop to pick up the ball instead of squished up high against the backline by himself (Chelsea game think?) it’s made a difference for his team imo

      • it was a good 1-2 with Kim, and they did give him credit.

        I agree that he is working back to get the ball, but I am afraid that falls under the guise of “damming with faint praise”

      • is your point that it wasn’t a PK? Just asking. Senderos knew it was a PK, not a peep of protest out of him

      • Man, I only saw Jozy’s part in the first goal. He really does the give-in-goes well, doesn’t he? His passing has always impressed me.

        I miss the part where he drew the foul in the box but I saw the highlight. He is also VERY GOOD at drawing fouls. He really knows how to sell it every time.

        All in all, I am happy with Jozy’s performances but still think he needs to step it up. He can do better and should. He is big, fast and strong but at times it seems like he gets pushed around to easily.

        He just needs to go into beast mode and score. He is a striker and all his passing and winning fouls won’t mean much at the end of the day (although it did this time) if he doesn’t score.

        What are your thoughts?

      • thanks for the thoughtful post 🙂

        I think he needs service and that Sunderland truly struggle mightily to deliver that, especially when they play their 4 2 3 1.

        what did you think of his celebration after that third goal? As excited as I’ve ever seen him. He’s a part of that team and what they are doing, you can tell he feels a part of it now more than ever on that team imo

      • No problem man! I enjoy talking to those on here who are cool and have a sense of football and sports in general. So many on here don’t…

        Well, I get this feeling that Poyet is now really making the shift in the team. Less “route one” ball.

        Ki is playing the play maker role to a T (is that how you spell that expression?). Looks like Jozy can really get in on that as in plays to his strengths. Borini also impresses within this new system. All in all I like what I am seeing.

        Honestly though, I missed his celebration. I have this bad habit of watching a little bit, then going to the kitchen, the getting up to stretch, then coming on here, then play with my dogs for a few minutes, etc. I only really focus when Jozy starts and the team really needs a win. I lost interested yesterday after the third goal.

        I did see his Twitter post. He does seem to be happier. I hope that is because Fletcher is on the way out and Jozy becomes the unquestioned #1 striker.

      • aside from a couple of posters who cannot see what’s happening and only post to support their positions (the folks who post anti-Jozy at all costs, you know who they are), this board is a breath of fresh air with regards to soccer smarts and especially as it pertains to American soccer and American soccer players imo

      • @ Rufus, get one yourself my friend, unless you really like living under that rock you just crawled out from 🙂

      • I don’t think I am a jozy-hater, but:

        His flicks and one-touch plays are too often unsuccessful. When they are, it results in nice opportunities for his teammates, but they are too often unsuccessful – at least when I get to watch Sunderland

        his touch has not been good in the games I have seen and he seems out of synch with his teammates

        I hope he uses his”midfield” role (see beachbum) and he plays well, but he is too inconsistent at this point for success in the EPL and I don’t want my striker playing midfield . . . I want him to score – or at least be dangerous

      • lets hope that our observations on the postive and negative of his recent play help him and his team improve

      • if you are a ref, why would you be talking about what you would want “your” striker to do. 🙂 forwards generally have to do some work in the midfield in the modern game.

        jozy can and will be better, but his checking and play with his back to goal in general have been pretty good.

      • sorry Euro – I have typical American mentality of wanting more goals!

        important disclosure the T&T v. Sweden 0-0 tie was one of my favorite games in WC2006

      • His match was pretty bad. In about 30 minutes, he made only 2/5 passes won only 2/5 headers, and made 0/2 take-ons.

    • Yeah, big Geoff is playing a strong game defensively against an excellent team with world-class attackers and also doing well in joining the Stoke attack. Cameron is now one of the top three or four most immportant players on the USMNT and the experience he is getting each week in the PL will be valuable this summer in Brazil.

      This is a great game and Suarez has to be the best in the world in the box when people are scrambling for the ball. He is wild man and unstoppable.

      • +1 Cameron is all class.

        Why do people still challenge and question the reality I wonder?

        I hope to God JK sees it NOW and makes him the permanent RB for the USMNT.

      • who is questioning it besides JK at this point? seriously, I think US fans know what Cameron is doing and wonder when he finally will start at RB

      • Many on here are questioning it.

        If I hear one more person on here mentioned Chandler I think I am going to scream!

      • Re: Naming Cameron the starting RB

        Supposedly, JK and his staff have a depth chart somewhere where they list the #1, #2 and so on for each position. I have never seen it unveiled to the public. I assume it is dynamic in nature. So maybe Geoff is already the startng RB but the fans don’t know.

        There is still time for players to get hurt, lose form, recover from injury or loss of form or get offered 6.5 million dollars to move to Canada. Holden or Gatt for example may make a miraculous comebacks and that would change things considerably. Julian Green may break into Bayern’s first team, prove himself to be a big deal and then decide to play for the US. Charlie Davies may make a miraculous comeback with the Revolution.

        I see no reason why JK needs to name starters today or any time soon when he can wait until the end of the euro season and the results of his January camps and subsequent friendly games.

        The current uncertainty means every USMNT candidate feels they still have a chance and will act accordingly. Name your starters now and you remove that motivation. And JK is big on motivation.

      • sure, maybe he is already. we’ll see. interesting if JK wasn’t questioning it why he hasn’t played him there more and why he seems to say he’s a CB, not a RB

      • he’s playing well. Like any player he was imperfect, did get beat on one play that led to a dangerous cross into the box, and he had two clearances out of the back, one an attempted pass, that instead turned over to Liverpool in the middle of the field about 35-40 yards out from goal but luckily Liverpool did not capitalize. Otherwise another good performance

        totally agree on Suarez. That goal he scored had him intimidate two players who both flubbed under his pressure imo, just awesomeness

      • Does every player have 100% passing ratio every game. Also does every player win 100% of one-on-one’s? Just a thought.

      • Check out the stats here:

        Only Whelan and Nzonzi (both CM) made more passes than Cameron (41/49). His opposite, Peters stayed back 75% of the time, made 24 passes, and 3 crosses. Cameron stayed back 44% of the time, and had 7 crosses.

        He still needs to work on his crossing (1/7) and winning headers (0/3), but he showed himself to be a key player on the team, as their main wide attacking outlet.

  3. Wow, Stoke is back in it. Great first half. Can’t believe this is the 5th premier league game I’ve watched this weekend. Crazy times.

  4. how long until we have a Yank managing a club in the PL? would it be easier if they managed a League 1/Championship club that got promoted? or would say a PL club that recently fired its manager, would they hire a Yank?

    and how long until we have a Yank being a consistent goal scorer at a mid-table or better club in a top 4 league. say 10-15 goals a season for multiple years/leagues.

      • Even if you include friendly and all domestic cup matches that isn’t true.

        With the exception of his two really good years at Fulham from 2010 to 2012, Clint Dempsey has never scored more than 7 goals in the EPL.

        If you include cup, league cup, and international cup matches in a season–of which they play a ton–Dempsey has still only broken 10 for a season 3 times.

      • Ok sorry.He scored 10 or more 3 times.Thats still as the other poster said “multiple seasons of 10-15 goals for a mid table club in a top four league”. The other season I was reffrencing he scored 9 in all comps.

  5. honestly I had hoped Dempsey would have stayed at Spurs. Bet he could have proven his worth during their horrible start to the season or maybe he could have moved to the Bundesliga or Serie A or La Liga.

    too many Yanks drawn to England. The English know we can play. Let’s prove this to the Italians/Spanish.

    and Bradley. You come home for 6.5 million to Toronto? why not to Chicago? or New York?

    You were “The General”, now you'[re demoted to “Colonel”. You were showing the Italians that Americans had style and play. why leave?

    • Why do people continue to ask stupid questions about MB90’s transfer? There was only ONE team offering a $6.5 million contract. You may as well ask why he didn’t go to Barcelona for $25 million per year and a $300,000,000 transfer fee. Bradley earned his right to have a big payday. He would be stupid not to go to Toronto for 5 times his current salary.

      • For many of this site, that doesn’t even compute.

        Bradley went for stability and money, not his career as a player, the USMNT or the reputation of Americans overseas, which he was in large part carrying on his shoulders whether anyone on here likes it or not.

        The move is great for
        1) the MLS and future prospects
        2) Mikey’s family and pocketbook
        3) TFC

        It’s bad for
        1) the USMNT
        2) Bradley’s growth as a player
        3) the reputation of American footballers

        Since it’s done, there is no more reason to worry about it. The proof will be on the field in Brazil this June and in the MLS over the next 5 months.

        Let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worse.

      • Mikey’s personal life is none of your business.

        Y’all ought to re-consider all this whining , weeping and gnashing of teeth. It’s singularly unattractive.

        MB30’s move ultimately will have little to do with how well the USMNT does in Brazil.

        If this team’s showing revolves entirely around the ups and downs of MB30’s form it would not have done well anyway.

        The reason he is so highly regarded for the USMNT is that he is so consistent. If that goes away, it means the other US players who are capable of carrying the US for a game or two, guys like Dempsey, Donovan, Jones, and whoever else, or better yet all of them, will just need to suck it up, put on their big boy pants and raise their level for a run of games.

        If they can’t do that then f==k them, JK and his players are a fraud and they don’t deserve the honor of playing for the US.

      • your list of bad is very debatable.

        1. it probably has no effect on the national team
        2. bradley has a lot of experience in europe. who’s to say that moving to ANOTHER team would do him good at this point in his career? don’t you think he should be LEADING a team rather than just being another player in Europe?
        3. each individual player has to develop his own reputation. although there is a tiny bit of truth to the stereotypes that each nationality carries, players are scouted individually and must prove themselves based on their own merit. of course, a league’s standing has a lot to do with scouting. so, maybe with Bradley moving back and making MLS stronger, he might actually be helping the reputation of American footballers in the long term if he can be a part of improving the perception of MLS

      • I hear what you are saying.

        I agree with your last point actually. That is something to think about. Hopefully that is what will happen.

        Still, he should have gone to my Timbers!!!

      • haha. yes, hopefully. i’m generally an optimist, and i try to keep a big picture perspective. definitely no guarantees, but plenty to be excited about, imo

      • Cool. Then quit everything that makes you money, learn to play soccer half as well as any second tier MLSer, spend 8 years in Europe, and then do exactly what you’re asking him to do. I mean, c’mon, life is about more than $. It’s all about living for some internet schmuck’s vicarious amusement.

      • Who turns down a job offer paying 6 times your current salary,especially when your work life carrer is short as an athlete? Heck I bet even Didier Drogba and Nicholas Anelka would move to china for that kind of crazy money. . . wait a second,

      • Cute.

        I mentioned the money. Clearly. You need to neither improving your reading skills or cut out the nonsense.

      • I suggest that people upset with Bradley read what Defoe said about going to Toronto. Defoe is a much bigger star internationally than Bradley and he still has a couple of good years left in him, as witnessed by his score yesterday and play in the Europa League. Defoe was at Spurs 9 years, which is an eternity in football, but he went for the long term contract and the stability that brings him and his family. This is what most people want, unless they are hopeless narcissists, to secure their family’s future. I don’t understand why people don’t get this.

    • Remember: On this site, people don’t think that way.

      I total see your point. Most others will not.

      It was Bradley’s choice. Now the USMNT and it’s fan will have to deal with it.

      I bet JK is not so happy. Someone is going to have some explaining to do…

      • what do you think of MB having to become the leader of a moribund franchise and accept that role of leading them out of darkness? does that mean anything in your calculations? I’m being serious, you never mention that part of the equation in his move but simply say the move is bad for his development, period.

      • Man, you know what, you make an excellent point that I haven’t thought about before.

        Thanks for bringing up. That does in fact change things in my mind about this move.

      • we’ll have to see what happens, it’s not the same challenges he would face at Roma or elsewhere in Europe for sure. Tough challenge tho, we’ll see how he does with it, but there is still lots of opportunity for growth

      • When Mikey is done playing he will most likely come home to America. Or at least New Jersey.

        What I have not seen mentioned much is this TFC business seems to allow him pretty big role in being an important part of a pretty big deal in his home continent,something that might last past his own lifetime.

        That seems worth sacrificing a few personal goals.

      • Chris, stop the trolling.

        JK specifically told the players to go overseas and play at higher levels. Bradley did the exact opposite.

        I know you love to response to every one of my posts in an attempt to ape me but the reality is what it is, whether you like it or not.

        So, if you would like to discuss things, great. If not, take the hate somewhere else, alright?

  6. Bob Bradley is now managing a small club in Norway

    is there any chance that he can parlay this move into a future managing job in England or Germany or Holland in 2-3 years. Or is his best shot “Championship/2 Bundesliga” even if he wins the title in Norway or gets his team deep in the Europa League?

    • Mr. u say,

      There is no “managerial ladder” in England per se.

      In other words it’s not like the clubs go, “This guy worked his way up and is successful in the Championship so now he is ready for the next step up”.

      Wenger, Pellegrini, Mourinho, Sherwood, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer etc., etc. never managed in the Championship. It does not necessarily hurt but it doesn’t necessarily help either.

      If BB turns Stabaek into some kind of lower level powerhouse and some EPL ownership group takes notice and likes him then he won’t need to manage in the Championship.

      Solsjkaer went straight from Molde, another Norwegian team by the way, to the EPL’s Cardiff. He did well with Molde but he also was a beloved Man U and Spurs striker and was one of one SAF’s boys so he obviously will be able to handle the high intensity of the EPL. Or at least Cardiff hopes so. BB’s experience with the USMNT and Egypt will help him in this regard.

      • coaching gigs are all about connections. if you know the right people (based on your playing days or your asst. coaching experience), you will have opportunities. Bob Bradley will extend his connections vastly as he coaches in Norway. In that sense, this is very much a step toward a bigger job. The more success he has, the more people he will impress, and the more likely it is that he gets a shot with bigger teams.

      • Stabaek is so small though. Can barely afford 100K/yr salaries for its best players, apparently. Fans donating money so they can pay their players. It will be hard for Bradley to prove that he can step up to the big time in such a situation.

      • If I have to come crawling to some place that will pay me 6.5 million per year guranteed for four years, I’m getting my kneepads ready right now.

        Where do I sign up?

  7. BTW, what is up with those new US kits? Seriously? Really? Do we really have to be stuck with the ugliest kits in the whole World Cup?

    Soccer mom clothes should be for soccer moms.

    • Agreed.
      I know so many people disagree, but I am not certain why the FA doesn’t adopt a policy similar to the NFL in which all goals are subject to replay. At least, they could do it for the BPL and cup games.

      • It was an unfortunately poor call and the refs will kick themselves once they review it in replay. The NFL instant replay rule works because the game is made for stoppages. Soccer is played as a continuous game where stoppages should be short. I would not want to see the game stopped for 30-60 seconds to have a call reviewed. Pro soccer refs make the right call the vast majority of the time. I don’t want to see the game changed just to fix the small number of bad calls.

      • there is almost always a ‘stoppage’ of at least 30 seconds after any goal (or disallowed goal). they could easily review it in that time; if, even after review, the call is still in doubt, the original call stands.

      • this is the biggest challenge this summer too…having the heart and will to overcome the inevitable BS calls that we will surely face at the WC, again. Unless JK’s pedigree brings with it more respect from the refs, can we overcome the BS? Last WC, two honest US goals were disallowed in group play but the squad overcame that to win the group. I’d bet we’ll have to do the same IF moments like that arrive.

      • Good point BB. I will be quite surprised if the US doesn’t find itself down to at least 10 men when playing CR and Portugal.

      • It seems to happen too often with the USMNT.

        In 2002, it was against Poland and Germany.

        In 2006, it was against Italy, not to mention that BS penalty given to Ghana.

        In 2010, it was against Slovenia and Algeria.

        I see a trend.

  8. what Yank has accomplished more in Europe

    Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey or Oguchi Onyewu?


    Claudio Reyna, John Harkes, Eric Wynalda?

  9. Roma vs Genoa just getting underway without Michael Bradley. He didn’t even make the bench today. Anyone know what’s up? Yellow card accumulation or something?

    • He had “Landon Donovan” disease

      Had to run back to MLS because he didn’t want to compete against world class players for a chance to play in the Champions League

      or wait did he leave MLS for the $$$$$$

      or did he leave because he wanted to play a role in the continued growth of US soccer

      pick a reason but he’s gone

      • So, I guess Geoff Cameron is our best European player then.

        Check out the stats here:
        link to

        Only Whelan and Nzonzi (both CM) made more passes than Cameron (41/49). His opposite, Peters stayed back 75% of the time, made 24 passes, and 3 crosses. Cameron stayed back 44% of the time, and had 7 crosses.

        He still needs to work on his crossing (1/7) and winning headers (0/3), but he showed himself to be a key player on the team, as their main wide attacking outlet.

      • So it was okay for Beckham to come to the MLS with a couple more years of prime (he was starting for Real Madrid when his contract ended), but it is not okay for MB90, who is getting moved down the midfield bench at Roma where he is making more money for more years?

      • Becks was in fact a different case.

        He was HUGE in the footballing world for years. When he came over, it did in fact draw attention to a league that, at the time, desperately needed it. Plus, he was very talented (he isn’t anymore just because of time, age.)

        Look, if you go Huffington Post, the mention the Defoe move in the sports section. No mention of Bradley. It’s just one example, but it is main stream media.

        In other words, Bradley’s move is nowhere near the level of Becks move. Plus Beck when to the biggest team in the league, not one of the bottom feeders.

      • Becks got the non-soccer fan interested in MLS. Bradley will get the non-MLS fan interested in MLS.

        Guys that watched every game Bradley played at Roma, will you be inclined to watch Bradley at TFC?

      • I like your thinking.

        That very well may happen.

        Those who watch football from England, Italy, etc. may start watching the MLS, if they don’t already do that.

      • well, i didn’t watch *every* game at roma, but no, i won’t be inclined to watch toronto, unless they’re playing dc united.

        i watched roma play because it was a chance to see one of our guys playing at a very competitive level, and watch the struggle with hope of success.

        toronto (and seattle, for dempsey) doesn’t offer that. if bradley plays well–well yeah, he better; if he doesn’t–well that just sucks.

      • i know it’s hard to believe, but i just don’t have the time to watch every soccer game that’s played. i have to pick and choose, based on my interest level.

      • plus beckham was heading into retirement. people accepted him going to a less competitive environment to pick up a pre-retirement paycheck.

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