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Soccer Thursday: Your Running Commentary

AronJohannssonAZAlkmaar5 (Getty)

By RYAN TOLMICH

The Europa League is back in action Thursday with the second leg of the competition’s Round of 32.

Tottenham Hotspur  look to rebound from a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, as Spurs host the Ukrainian side at White Heart Lane. Toronto-bound Jermaine Defoe will be honored at half-time, despite not being able to play due to a hamstring strain.

American Aron Johannsson will lead AZ Alkmaar in their clash with Czech side FC Slovan Liberec. Johannsson has scored 20 goals in all competitions for the Dutch side, which enters the meeting having won the opening leg 1-0.

Four Italian teams will also be in action, including league-leaders Juventus, which take their 2-0 advantage to Turkey to face Trabzonspor. Lazio head to Bulgaria to take on Ludogorets down 1-0, while Fiorentina host Esbjerg with a 3-1 opening leg scoreline. Finally, Napoli take on Swansea after the two sides played to a scoreless draw in their first matchup.

Outside of Europe, the Copa Libertadores will resume with a pair of contests from Group 2 and Group 6. San Lorenzo will host Independiente del Valle, while Newell’s Old Boys take on Nacional.

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):

THURSDAY’S SOCCER ON TV

12:00pm – FK Rubin Kazan vs. Real Betis – Fox Soccer 2go

1:00pm – Eintracht Frankfurt vs. FC Porto – FOX Sports 2/ESPN3

1:00pm – FC Basel vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv – Fox Soccer 2go

1:00pm – Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Lazio – Fox Soccer Plus/ESPN3

1:00pm – Napoli vs. Swansea City – FOX Sports 1

1:00pm – Sevilla FC vs. NK Maribor – DirecTV 482/ESPN Deportes

1:00pm – Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Viktoria Pizen – DirecTV 483/ Fox Soccer 2go

1:00pm – SZ Salzburg vs. Ajax – ESPN3

3:05pm – AZ Alkmaar vs. Liberec – Fox Soccer 2go

3:05pm – Benfica vs. PAOK – DirecTV 483/Fox Soccer 2go

3:05pm – Fiorentina vs. Esbjurg – DirecTV 481/ESPN3

3:05pm – Lyon vs. Chornomorets – Fox Soccer Plus

3:05pm – Racing Genk vs. Anzhi Makhachkala – DirecTV 482/Fox Soccer 2go

3:05pm – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk – FOX Sports 1/ESPN3

3:05pm – Trabzonspor vs. Juventus – FOX Sports 2/ESPN3

3:05pm – Valencia vs. Dynamo Kiev – ESPN Deportes

5:30pm – San Lorenzo vs. Independiente del Valle – Fox Deportes

7:45pm- Newell’s Old Boys vs. Nacional – Fox Deportes

Comments

  1. Defoe got called up for England. Is it expected he will continue to play a role for them or is his best chance as a sub for the team in Brazil? Didn’t Beckham win like 20 caps all while playing for LA GALAXY?’

    MLS has changed. you can get international caps for the team teams if you play well here, it’s just too much bad press.

    Reply
    • Sure but those guys have a history. Now if a guy like Dom Dwyer or Giles Barnes could get a cap that would be a huge sign for the league. I don’t see it happening but still.

      Reply
  2. Ajax is getting owned again….That Salzburg team must be good….Maybe its Ajax backups but…. That same Ajax team beat Barsca this year.

    Reply
    • It looks like a lot of their starters…. I don’t understand….

      Wow another Goal. Ajax just can’t defend….I just started watching. Salzburg presses hard and when they got the ball Ajax midfield was pushed up too high and the defenders didn’t even try to close that wing down… and almost another just now. Ajax wants this game done.

      Reply
  3. STEVEN GERRARD. Best English footballer in years.

    sure some say Rooney, others say Lampard, some say what about Owen or Beckham or Shearer?

    but for me it’s Gerrard.

    Reply
  4. How is Aron’s goals/game compared to Jozy’s last season? I’d think at 20 goals across all competitions he’s probably just a couple goals short of where Jozy would have been at this point last season?

    Reply
    • agreed. Jozy finished with 31, 24 in the league and 7 in the cup competition, of which he scored the winning goal. He also had 3 hat tricks this season and quite a few assists. Had he been first choice PK taker, he’d nab a few more.

      In my opinion ARON has nothing on Jozy, just comparing their eredivisie career.

      Reply
      • So you’re saying that Aron would score less than Jozy in the EPL?

        Is it even possible to score less than Jozy in the EPL?

      • No, in fact he made it very clear he’s not saying that by saying “just comparing their eredivisie career.”

        And yes, he could score less than Jozy. He could have 0 goals and could have been quickly relegated to the bench, which has not happened to Jozy based on his overall stellar play for Sunderland goals notwithstanding.

        And since apparently we need to make things extra-special clear for you, I’m by no means saying that is what would happen to Aron in the EPL, I’m only answering your question.

      • Stellar goal-scoring notwithstanding….but yes, stellar is a stretch of a word. Very good, perhaps? Again, not referring to strike rate, but rather his overall play. Poyet has clearly recognized it, and let’s face it, it’s not Jozy’s fault his team is awful. Regardless, I was responding a little too aggressively to what I perceived as yet another out-of-place/misguided “Antiscore/Out-the-door” troll comment.

      • Silly me, when he said “Aron has nothing on Jozy” I took that to mean he was making some sort of comparison between the two despite whatever disclaimer he later used. I mean, if I were just comparing numbers I would do so without declaring someone has nothing on another person.

    • Just did a quick check: Jozy scored in 75% of his games, Aron’s scored in 62%.

      Also, Jozy played 33 league games (scoring 23 times), Aron has only played in 16 (scoring 10), but AZ only has 9 games left. Am I forgetting about an extended injury or something?

      Reply
      • Ya, I tried to post a follow-up comment clarifying that, as for some reason I went to wikipedia. I called myself an ldl0t for doing that, which made my post get moderated

      • This doesn’t matter that much when comparing the two. First, there was a different coach during jozys time there so different tactics. Second, several players have left the club so Aron is not getting the same support as Jozy. Finally, Aron already has more assist than Jozy.

    • had Jozy stayed at AZ and scored 20-25 goals

      it’d be the 3rd season straight that the same Yank had finish among the top 10 scorers in a top 8 european league.

      Reply
      • So if Jozy hypothetically scored 20 goals in the eredivisie it’s somehow different than the 20 league goals a Yank named Aron is on pace to score? He is currently tied for 3rd in goals scored in the eridivisie, fyi.

      • I said “Jozy”. he would have scored that 3 seasons in a row. that’s impressive and consistent which is something we don’t have much history with American strikers in europe.

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