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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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The Serie A season’s second battle between traditional powerhouses Juventus and Inter Milan, the Derby d’Italia, highlights a jam-packed Sunday of soccer from all around the world.

The two northern Italian clubs will face off at Juventus Stadium in Turin on Sunday with more than just the usual bragging rights on the line. First-place Juve have gone two weeks without a victory following their Coppa Italia loss to AS Roma and league draw at Lazio, while Inter are desperate to hold onto their European qualifying spot in a crowded top-half of the Serie A table. To make matters even more intriguing, the two rivals were recently close to swapping Fredy Guarin and Marko Vucinic, but the deal was called off at the last moment.

In Spain, all eyes will be on the two Madrid clubs after Saturday’s upset of first-place Barcelona by Valencia at Camp Nou. Atletico Madrid lead Real Madrid by one point in the race for the top, so Diego Simeone’s side would move into sole possession of first place with a home victory today against Real Sociedad. Real Madrid will wrap up the day’s action at Athletic Bilbao, hoping to become the first team in La Liga to defeat Los Leones at the new San Mames Stadium.

Sunday’s action will kick off in England, where Arsenal could reclaim the top spot in the English Premier League for at least a temporary basis with a home victory against Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, Liverpool will look to move four points clear of rivals Everton in the race for fourth place with a road win at West Bromwich Albion.

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 schedule is after the jump):

8:30am – West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool – NBC Sports Network

9am – AS Roma vs. Parma – beIN Sports USA

9am – Atalanta vs. Napoli – beIN Sports en Español

11am – Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Network

11am – Rennes vs. Lyon – beIN Sports USA

11am – Real Betis vs. Espanyol – beIN Sports en Español

11:30am – Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt – GolTV USA

1pm – Atletico Madrid vs. Real Sociedad – beIN Sports en Español

1pm – Pumas UNAM vs. Club Tijuana – Univision

2pm – Palmeiras vs. Sao Paulo – GolTV USA

2:45pm – Juventus vs. Inter Milan – beIN Sports USA

3pm – Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid – beIN Sports en Español


      • Lordy, that was silly. So little actually happened. So much diving and acting. The ref should have more or less done nothing. Or sent off 1 from each team. I don’t know how he determined that Chrissy was the one who deserved it.

      • should’ve been two red cards. one for the hair pull/face shove, one for the headbutt. ronaldo can have no complaints for getting sent off, but yeah, the other guy’s reaction was worse–linesman must’ve missed it.

        so stupid from both teams.

  1. Arriola with an assist but it’s called back for offsides. 3-0 Pumas still, stoppage time now. Garza played today off the bench.

    • What happened to Corona? After his showing in the Gold Cup, it looked like he would make a serious push to be on the WC roster, but it seems like he fell off the face of the earth.

      • He has played for Tijuana and the last time he played, about 3 games ago, he looked really good and then got hurt around the 65th or 70th minute and was taken off. I checked his tweets a week ago and googled Joe Corona injury and nothing said he was still injured, but maybe he is.

  2. This is my first time getting to watch Arrieola, and i’m excited. It looks like he’s playing forward, when he usually plays out wide, yes?

  3. What’s with all these ridiculous question?


    Your guess is as good as anyone’s.
    No, and no– but AJ’s costing them less money.
    What makes you think he had offers from sides in those countries? Because he had an offer there. A scorer in top form, with his club side and the national team.
    If he’s playing in the EPL, he can’t score in Brazil.

    EJ did try his luck in Mexico and was rejected. Unless you mean this winter, and then the answer is MLS offered Seattle a better deal. He had an MLS contract. Why would he return to Greece? He got himself on to the USMNT and is going to get a very significant raise from DCU.
    What makes you think that Wondo had interest in Holland or even Denmark? He got a sweet deal from MLS…and has a shot at going to the World Cup.

  4. honestly I think Jozy is ideal for the French and Italian league. Maybe a small club in France like Nantes or Bastia or Cagliari or Bologna.

    i’d say a consistent 8-12 goals a season for him for several years would be a success. He just needs to find 1 club and stay there for a while.

    EJ should have tried his luck in Mexico or returned to Greece. He did well there. Why didn’t Wondo ever try going abroad? To Holland or Denmark?

  5. why isn’t Jozy scoring?

    Should he have stayed at AZ? They got an offer for $11 million, so they had to sell him or did they?

    Should he have gone to Italy or France or Germany? why did he choose Sunderland? what did they see in him?

    Is there anyway he can score in Brazil if he’s not scoring in the PL?

  6. I’d give anything for Liverpool to finish in 3rd or 4th to qualify for the CL.

    i’d give up anything. whatever you want GOD. just text me

  7. Lichaj should be brought to Brazil as a back-up for either LB or RB.

    Cherundolo most likely won’t make it to Brazil. He’s done his duty for us. Let him retire with grace. I don’t wanna see Parkhurst or Evans in Brazil. They are gonna FLOP hard.

    Wondo won’t score against non Concacaf or B squads (from elsewhere)

    It should be Jozy, AJ and 3rd striker should be chosen between EJ/Boyd/Agudelo.

    • I’m going with Agudelo for that last spot if he can stay health. The natural talent is there he just has to stay on the field. EJ doesn’t bring anything to the field that we will sorely miss in his absence and he disappears against tough competition & Agudelo has always been ahead of Boyd since the U-23 days, Poor club situations and injuries just held him back, people forget that he was getting serious minutes at the 2011 Gold Cup when he was 18 and performed really well too! He would have been at last years Gold cup and padded his goals total against that weak competition we face if he wasn’t hurt.

      • “Agudelo has always been ahead of Boyd since the U-23 days,”

        Confusing logic. Both had 2 U23 appearances and both scored twice. Since that time Agudelo has been called into the USA senior side once — a friendly. Boyd was called into actual qualifiers. Whatever you think, I don’t think you can say that Klinsmann has Agudelo ahead of Boyd.

      • Boyd is definitely ahead of Agudelo right now, as he has been scoring a lot and playing at Rapid, while Agudelo has been trying to get his club deal worked out and has not yet scored at Utrecht. Agudelo’s situation is likely to change, but Boyd is ahead now.

  8. In addition to Wondow, another thing we learned yesterday is that the CB situation is shaky. Starting CBs (Besler and Gonzo) were not impressive, to put it gently. Very worrisome, and makes it all the more important that Jermaine Jones can regain his form and be in top shape for Brazil to help protect the back line. Admit it, JJ haters: Jones is by far the best defensive midfielder in the US player pool. The USMNT needs his nastiness.

    Rookie John Anthony Brooks, who even before his most recent injury was not able to get playing time at Hertha, is NOT the answer. Orozco needs to be under consideration. He has usually shown well for the USMNT, plus he can score goals on set pieces and is very good on the ball and at joining the attack from the back when opportunity arises. He plays 90 minutes every week for Puebla. Has anyone seen his club performances? I have not. I saw one story that makes it appear Puebla plays a three man back line with Orozco on the right, meaning he would be gaining combined CB and RB time. Is this correct?

    • I would add a caveat before agreeing with your statement: an IN FORM Jones is the best DM we have on the team, but I haven’t seen much out of him to really convince me lately that he is superior to Beckerman. I think what we saw yesterday was the exposure of our backline when we don’t have two holding midfielders like we usually do in a 4-2-3-1. It didn’t help that our outside defense was poor, either. Basically, I’m loath to make bold statements about our backline based on yesterday’s game. Also, I don’t rate Orozco as highly as you, not even close. Besler and Gonzo are both set piece threats as well.

    • Cool down its just a January game. We’ve got guys in Europe and Mexico and we’ll still have a priliminary roster before the actual roster. Our defense is actually pretty deep Onyewu, Ream, Cameron, Lichaj, Chandler, Johnson (if needed), Beasley (if needed), Edu (if needed).

      And if no one has notice Danny Williams has been playing really well for Reading so competition is really heating up this year.

    • I thought the play by the fullbacks was more worrisome than the cb play. I lost count of the number of times a Korean player was able to turn the corner and put in a dangerous ball.

    • Wait, were we watching the same game? I thought Gonzalez in particular was excellent defensively dealing with the big number 9, and Besler had a pretty sweet covering block after Evans got brushed off the ball just outside the 18. Gonzo even had a pretty decent longball that put Zusi or Wondo into space, too. I think the more pressing need is at RB, as along with his defensive frailty, most of Evans’s overlap attempts were too slow and easily read by the defenders.

      • I agree I thought they dealt with the presure they were put under by the fullbacks and guys like Davis missing tackles pretty well.

      • and also the DMs not showing for the ball for much of the first half; if we’re going to lay out of the back those 2 have to want to lead us out and the entire team has to bust a$$ and show for the ball. better at it in the first 10 minutes seconds half, looks like Coach made note of it in his halftime

      • Great point, I like Beckerman for the most part but it must get frustrating when he just plays it straight back to you everytime. People were hard on Gil but I thought his drive to recieve the ball and move forward was impressive.

    • “another thing we learned yesterday is that the CB situation is shaky”

      You just learned that?

      This game was a typical Cup Cupcake production. A cluster with a bunch of guys who had never played a game together all trying to impress.

      My guess is JK doesn’t want to start Cameron at right back because he prefers him to Gonzo at center back. My guess is the team would play better and go much more fluidly into attack from defense that way.

      • I think Klinsmann didn’t want to use Cameron at right back because he got caught out against Belgium ball watching on the first goal. The switch was then made the next match against Germany.

    • I think Gooch is going to Brazil if he keeps playing. He will replace Goodson probably and even start a game probably (like Ghana) where the striker(s) are big guys. He almost scored again this weekend and his team beat Shea’s. Also, Will Packwood is doing well lately in the Championship, though he is sometimes left off of SBI’s reviews. If you want to talk about a young center back with lots of potential and size, he’s a great candidate. He has had a strong year, first on loan in English League 1 and now having returned to Birmingham in January, he has been starting lately, after a MOTM performance as a starter a few weeks ago. Maybe we ought to take a look at him now, especially if Brooks is not playing or injured. Our future could be Packwood/Brooks as a CB pairing.

    • finally saw the entire first half for the first time just now

      the CBs were hung out to dry by the CMs and wide players; no one was moving ot the ball or getting open, looked like no one wanted to the ball, and those long passing lanes with no receiver running to receive it…watching

      about 35-38th minute Mix starts to drop to receive the ball, everything changed, spacing better. Gonzo connected on some long balls that were there vs. a defense not playing them honest; looked like Korea read the quotes too pregame from Klinnsamn that we were gong to play the ball out of the back etc.

      2nd half to come

    • Barring injury, I don’t think we see anyone other than Besler and Omar at CB in Brazil. Obviously their game was less than perfect, but they were tested an awful lot being left exposed by some pretty bad turnovers and both outside defenders being beaten cleanly quite a few times. That always reeks havoc in the middle as it pulls a CB to the outside and creates quite a bit of space. Both Gonzalez and Besler did a pretty good job of scrambling to pick up runners at the last minute, handling crosses in the air which is less than ideal, but all you can do in this circumstance.

      Perhaps I am wrong and Klinsman sees things differently, but I honestly don’t see how we don’t end up with Cameron at LB and FJ at RB and much more solid protection out wide.

      I am right with you regarding JJ. His game isn’t always pretty, but he has been a steady, tough, workhorse throughout qualifying. Hoping he gets it going in Turkey as we absolutely need him to be sharp to do well in our group. Just don’t see our other defensive mids as having the tools to do so.

  9. Wondow, folks, is now a serious candidate for a plane ticket to Brazil and I am soooo sick and tired of hearing the Wondow haters whining: BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE INTERNATIONAL QUALITIES AND HIS GOALS ARE ALL LUCK AND ONLY AGAINST BAD TEAMS. Well, you guys remember when Jozy didn’t score in a US shirt for, what was it, 16 games? Anyone who would choose loose cannon Terrence Boyd for the World Cup over Wondow (at current form levels) has to be absolutely crazy.

    Wondow’s performance yesterday was excellent and both Landy-Cakes and Zeus agree. His work up top in heavy traffic with Donovan and others was impressive. What surprised me was that Wondow was coming out and doing some hold up on the wings and he had a great pass into the box that unfortunately just escaped Donovan’s out-stretched foot. Hey. Almost forgot. He also scored two goals, both nice efforts, especially the second.

    IMO yesterday’s game signals the end of Eddie. At this point in time, do not see him making the cut. A big question mark that remains is Magee, whether he showed well enough in camp to get another call-up. Strange that only he would end up with food poisoning. Wouldn’t all team members be eating the same meals?

    • Biff – agree Wondo is now a legit candidate for the WC squad. I made the point in yesterday’s “running commentary” that JK values players that take advantage of their opportunities fully and IMO that player, based on recent body of work, is Wondo.

      I still think EJ makes the cut (not saying he should or shouldn’t) as Klinsi has played him as a wing forward, and Wondo is now equal or slightly ahead of Herc. Just my musings here.


    • Given that he was never in January camps or the 2013 Gold Cup, Jozy nevet got the chance to pad his goal totals against Belize, Cuba, and South Korea’s B-Team.

      Your comment about the “end of EJ” is hilarious. Klinsmann brought him in to take Wondo’s spot once the squad faced slightly better competition in the GC knockouts last summer. And he’s given him shots in WCQ where Eddie has delivered (Jamaica 2012, Panama, Mexico)

      • Yeah I don’t get why some are so ready to push out a player that has come through when needed for the US, as much as EJ has. Maybe its his personality but being a like able person doesn’t win matches.

      • I’ll take Herculez over Wondo. Frankly, I’ll take Boyd over Wondo because if Wondo sees the field, the US is in huge trouble. Atleast you could argue a Boyd call up would be a look to the future.

    • I don’t understand why people just can’t make there case for a player without trying to knock down others. Terrence Boyd isn’t out of form, his season just doesn’t start back up until next Saturday. EJ has had some huge goals for the US over the last year. Wondo took his chance and performed well. I hope he continues to do so because we are going to need every weapon we can get.

      • You make a good point John, but making the WC final squad means someone else stays home. If Biff doesn’t exclude some others, posters will ask him, who doesn’t go if Wondo does.

        However, I don’t understand the “loose cannon” statement on Boyd. Last year he was a darling forward for the future. Why is he out?

      • Yes, midwest ref, that is my point. There are some USMNT fans on SBI calling for Boyd and makes no sense to me. First of all, he has not done anything yet in a US shirt to indicate he deserves a call-up. As my my loose cannon comment, every time he comes in late for the USMNT he runs around like a bull in a china shop and either makes silly fouls or, like in the game last summer, silly shots. Do you remember Clint had to give him a talking to after that game. Plus, he got a red card a month or two ago for Rapid Wien, let an opposing player get to him and did a head butt. although if I remember correctly, the player he butted put on an Oscar winning performance.

        As for Eddie Johnson, I have supported him in the past but his most recent appearance have not been convincing. If Wondo, is included, someone else has to be excluded and at the current time it seems to me that Eddie is expendable. No ill feelings meant.

      • To be honest, though, most of Eddie’s recent appearances have been on the wing. And he shouldn’t be on the wing.

      • Oh yeah Boyd didnt also trap a long ball with a great first touch and then, after dribbling to create space from his defender, put Johannson in on goal to win the game against Panama… Lets just leave out those good parts when we argue our case…

      • EJ is Jozy’s immediate sub i.e. the big, fast, dangerous, physical presence,

        It should be Boyd but as you pointed out he has been crap in a USMNT shirt all year.

        Dump EJ and there is no other obvious replacement for the Jozy sub role.

    • I just don’t think Wondo is our 3rd best forward. I think its Jozy, AJ, and Eddie. I don’t think we will take more than 3 proper strikers because Clint and Donovan fulfill that secondary/wing roll and they are both definitely coming.

      • Increase,

        Best US forwards all around?

        Jozy,Deuce, Donovan, EJ, Herc, in order

        Assuming all are healthy and in form.

        AJ has proved he can replicate Jozy’s performance in a defensively challenged league that most SBI posters belittle.

        Unless you think an AJ goal in Holland is worth more than a Jozy goal in Holland.

        Nice hair though.

        Juan and Terrance need to get it together and prove they are more than potential.

      • Why? Lighten up, bro’. I love the guy and support 1000% that he will be in Brazil and am hoping he plays well and I was very happy to see that he and Klinsmann have now truly kissed and made up and JK named him captain. Which is another big event from yesterday and is highly significant. Probably Clint was real happy with that news as he freezes over in London playing for the 20th placed team in the PL and having to endure Lewis Holtby yet again.

    • Klinsi loves the Euro guys so that means Altidore, Agudelo, Johnasson, Boyd and Gomez (Mex) and every name I mentioned is above Wondo!

    • I had been pretty firmly committed to the opinion that Wondo just can’t cut it at the international level, but I’m coming around to at least putting him in that group challenging for the 3rd (and 4th?) forward spots. If the US needs a goal late, I could see throwing Wondo on.

      I’m not sure where I stand on EJ. He wasn’t good yesterday, and generally, I don’t think he has a good touch or good soccer sense. However, given the other likely attacking players on the WC roster, you could make a case that the US could use someone with pace. Of course, that’s how we ended up with Findley in 2010.

      • Is Wondo the current version of Jason Kreis when he was playing? Both are/were excellent and a clear step above regular MLS competition, where they both thrive(d) as goal scorers, but they just lack that last step or a bit of quickness of feet or mind to make it to the national team.

      • Maybe regarding MLS production, but Wondo has been way more productive for the NATS, even if it was against lighter competition.

    • There are arguments that could be made for Eddie, Herc, Wondo, Boyd, and even Agudelo, and I think Wondo has done well with the chances given to him. But I don’t think he makes the plane to Brazil. Jozy and AJ will get the bulk of the minutes, and almost nothing will change that. So then you have to ask who on the bench can come into a match and get a goal when we need it most. Wondo is not going to be the one to do that.

      So then from another angle, what if Jozy goes down 10 minutes into the Ghana match. Eddie and Herc are our best longterm replacments.

      For me, Wondo is alot like Becks. A really useful player, against Concacaf and similar teams, but not very good against the best teams.

      • First of all, an experienced man with the nose for a goal like Wondow willing to lay his body and head on the line is exactly who I would want to enter the game in alate must score situation.

        Anyway, I like Herc Gomez a lot and feel that in the first stage of WCQ games he was one of the outstanding contributors to the cause. But with the injury his form has nose-dived, like this game, where apparently he missed several golden opportunities…

        Nothing would make me happier than for Gomez to return to good form. The guy plays with heart and has a very good free kick. But at the current time Wondo is higher on the depth chart.

        btw, Tijuana plays in a few minutes. Let’s hope Herc can score.

      • Nice post, biff.

        I don’t want to be considered a Wondo hater, as I am not, inspite of what I am about to say.

        Adding Wondo in the 80th min, against Ghana, doesn’t give us a spark, or anything extra to try and rally the troops. Yes, if Landy cakes and Zusi are creating chances, and Jozy and Deuce are hammering shots on goal, then Wondo would be a great canidate for “Johny on the spot.” I just don’t think we will see that scenario. What I want is a striker who comes on to the field and believes he can, and will, create and score a goal, maybe against the run of play, or without any real service to speak of. And yes, you can point to Wondo’s MLS game winners last year, but I don’t think that translates to the World Cup.

      • And for me, if we bring 4 stikers, the last spot should go to either Agudelo, or Boyd, as I think they are young and dumb enough to really believe they can filch that goal against Germany, so we get out of the group on goal difference (for example)

      • That’s a good way of thinking about it. Wondo might be good in a situation like the Slovenia or Algeria games from 2010–lots of US pressure and need for a poacher to poke in a garbage goal. It is difficult, however, to imagine that sort of scenario in any group game this time around. Someone like Agudelo, who might be less polished right in front of goal, but more likely to create something out of nothing, might be a better pick.

      • Brad,

        1. Becks never played in CONCACAF.

        2. Wondo is a good enough to play for the US. However, the USMNT is not really set up to use him. Wondo is not a good fit for the one man up top the way Jozy plays it, which is the way the US is now set up.

        3. Wondo is in direct competition with Clint. As long as Dempsey is around, there is no real place for Wondo.

      • 1. Wow, GW. Really? David Beckham is not a yank? Think about it, dude.

        You must not have even read my posts, as I never said in any scenario, that Wondo was on the plane to brazil.

      • Brad,

        “For me, Wondo is alot like Becks. A really useful player, against Concacaf and similar teams, but not very good against the best teams.”

        You said it, not me.

      • Really GW?

        Wondo, Dolo. Herc, Duece, Timmy, Landycakes, Bacon, Gonzo, Mix, Boca, Paco, Jozy……And it’s Becks that throws you?

      • Well, my house was in Denver for the last 2 years of Becks playing for the Rapids, and it was also a bit of a big deal when he left and came back to town in a RSL. And I have heard him called that, for what it’s worth.

    • You just love stirring the pot, right biff? My criticism of Wondo is that he is completely reliant on services to be effective. While you could say that about Jozy, he can provide problems for centerbacks because of his size while Wondo is more of a poacher. I would have an IN-FORM: Jozy, Aron, and Juan before Wondo. After that its EJ, Herc, fighting with Wondo. If Wondo stays in his top form, he has a shot. If EJ and Herc are at all close I take either of them because of their positional versatility. A fourth forward needs to play more than more spot in a pinch. EJ’s athleticism and aerial ability gives him the tiebreaker.

      • “My criticism of Wondo is that he is completely reliant on services to be effective”

        Mr. Troll,

        All forwards are “reliant on service to be effective.”

        When was the last time the US had a forward take the ball off of an opponent in the US half and dribble the ball all the way down to the opposing end and score? And then do that on a regular basis?

        That’s what it means to be NOT be “reliant on services to be effective” and the US do not have a guy like that.

        If Clint Dempsey did not exist Wondo would be playing his spot and that is why Wondo is not likely to be in Brazil.

      • “My criticism of Wondo is that he is completely reliant on services to be effective”

        SBI troll,

        All forwards are “reliant on service to be effective.”
        When was the last time the US had a forward take the ball off of an opponent in the US half and dribble the ball all the way down to the opposing end and score? And then do that on a regular basis?
        Now that is a player who is NOT “reliant on services to be effective” and the US do not have a guy like that.
        If Clint Dempsey did not exist Wondo would be playing in his spot and that is why Wondo is not likely to be in Brazil.

      • “My criticism of Wondo is that he is completely reliant on services to be effective”

        All forwards are “reliant on service to be effective.”

        Is there a US forward who regularly takes the ball off of an opponent and then goes in on goal and scores on a regular basis. Without ever passing the ball to another US player?

        Now that is a player who is NOT “reliant on services to be effective”.

        If Clint Dempsey did not exist Wondo would be playing in his spot and that is why Wondo is not likely to be in Brazil.

      • I agree with SBI Troll and as for GW Aron and Juan take the ball off opponents and go in on goal regularly. Agudelo gets lost in everyones hype but people forget that he was hurt most of the time last season and scored 9 goals & 2 assists in 20 games (15 Starts)

  10. Agudelo goes 90 for Utrecht against Ajax in a 1-1 draw. Has a flick on header the sets up goal. Looked strong in the air and bringing it down off his chest but wasn’t great on the ball.


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