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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal and Yaya Toure of Manchester City chase the ball

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Chelsea may be leading the English Premier League at the moment, but two teams planning to challenge the Blues for the top spot face off in one of Saturday’s marquee matches.

Arsenal faces Manchester City at the Emirates in an early-morning showdown. Arsenal topped City in the Community Shield last month, but City should be a tougher team this time around.

In Spain, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid renew their rivalry. Atletico got the better of their big-spending rivals in the Spanish Super Cup, but the Merengues will look to ride the excellent form of Gareth Bale to victory.

In MLS, the Philadelphia Union take on the New York Red Bulls in a key MLS clash at PPL Park. The Union are riding high lately and will look to put a dent into the Red Bulls’ playoff hopes while also building some momentum before Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup Final.

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 soccer TV schedule is after the jump):


7:15am — beIN Sports USA — Birmingham City vs. Leeds United

7:45am — NBC Sports — Arsenal vs. Manchester City

7:45am — Fox Soccer Plus — Celtic vs. Aberdeen

9:30am — GOLTV USA — Bayern Munich vs. VfB Stuttgart

10am — NBC Sports — Chelsea vs. Swansea City

10am — NBC Sports Live Extra — Crystal Palace vs. Burnley

10am — NBC Sports Live Extra — Southampton vs. Newcastle United

10am — NBC Sports Live Extra — Stoke City vs. Leicester City

10am — NBC Sports Live Extra — Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur

10am — NBC Sports Live Extra — West Bromwich Albion vs. Everton

10am — beIN Sports Connect — Charlton Athletic vs. Watford

10am — beIN Sports USA — Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao

10:45am — beIN Sports Connect — Rennes vs. Paris Saint-Germain

12pm — beIN Sports USA — Empoli vs. Roma

12pm — beIN Sports en Español — Málaga vs. Levante

12:30pm — NBC — Liverpool vs. Aston Villa

12:30pm — GOLTV USA — Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Schalke 04

2pm — beIN Sports USA — Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid

2:30pm — beIN Sports Connect — Juventus vs. Udinese

3pm — NBC Sports — Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

3:15pm — Univision Deportes — Sporting CP vs Belenenses

4pm — beIN Sports en Español — Celta de Vigo vs. Real Sociedad

5:30pm — GOLTV USA — Fluminense vs. Palmeiras

6pm — Univision Deportes — Cruz Azul vs Toluca

6:30pm — — U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico

7pm — One World Sports — New York Cosmos vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

7pm — ESPN3 — Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (men’s soccer)

7:30pm — ESPN3 — Carolina RailHawks vs. San Antonio Scorpions

7:30pm — MLS Live — New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact

8pm — Univision Deportes — Monterrey vs. Guadalajara

8:30pm — MLS Live — Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew

8:30pm — MLS Live — FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

8:30pm — MLS Live — Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC

9pm — MLS Live — Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers

9pm — Telemundo — Pachuca vs. Tijuana

10pm — Univision Deportes — Universidad Guadalajara vs Club America

10pm — Univision Deportes 2 — Chiapas vs. Morelia


    • it looks like Johnson started at left mid and moved to right back at halftime, at which point gladbach went on to score three goals.

      • That man is cursed by his own flexibility. Still, right back means he was linking up with Hahn(plays right wing I think.) and Hahn has two goals.

      • He was certainly not innocent on that goal, and his failure to score on the breakaway was bad, but there was a reason he got a standing ovation. He isn’t going anywhere.

  1. I’m assuming Fulham’s manager gets sacked tomorrow – from the premier league to last in Championship in a matter of months. What happened?

    • Well you more or less answered your own question… Felix Magath happened, a strange man who used to be a decent coach in the Bundesliga and won a few titles when the league was not so good. Now he is entirely worthless and pretty insufferable to even look at in a photograph. When starts talking it’s all over.

      As for whether he’ll be gone… who knows, Shad Khan is trying pretty hard god bless him but his sports teams do not win much.

      • Btw interesting username – Diego Maradona’s brother actually ran a bakery in West Palm Beach that I used to frequent. Empanadas more than Doughnuts, but the point still stands.

    • on a side note, Poyet said last year they had a bunch of crushing results due to unlucky OGs, today they benefited from an opposing OG, maybe this is THE SEASON!!!! The OG Curse is no more!!

    • it’s gotten to the point where i don’t mind if he doesn’t play, because then i don’t feel compelled to watch one more game of that awful awful team.

      • id say they’re slightly better than last year (for what that’s worth). a few of the new additions give a nice breath of fresh air. Buckley is fearless, Von A is good LB both ways, etc. Rodwell looks at the very least equal to Colback/Ki/etc; but yea they’re still a lower table team for now. My hope is that as the season goes on, jozy gets some of wickhams minutes, he loses his touch later in the game and could use a swap yet Poyet usually gives him a full 90′; just my thought

      • that’s good to hear; i haven’t watched them much this season.

        my problem with them really wasn’t that they were horrible–i watch english championship teams regularly–it’s that they’re style of play is just horrid for their level of competition.

        and poyet doesn’t seem to know how to play without a target striker, which is why i really *really* wanted jozy to move on this summer: he just doesn’t fit into this team.

      • they are slowly showing the ability to not shoot within the first 3 seconds of passing the half field line. Id like to see jozy have a modest season off the bench, get 5-8 goals and then perhaps start the next season with better chemistry after a full year of no critics naggin etc. but this year it shouldnt be expected to start. maybe during the end of the year he can break back in but until then just build chemistry with the 9 new players and gel as a team. Sunderland still is searching for their real identity but glimpses are there.

  2. Devante Parker on the bench for Mainz today, too. Klinsi said they were working on Shawn and Devante, so here’s hoping they can make them the next dual nationals to commit. Devante is nine months younger than Julian Green, so that would be another great hope for the future.

      • united states soccer, as in USSF without the F, as in referring to the general talent pool of…… UNITED STATES SOCCER……i can keep going if you need….

        ps- also as in a sarcastic twist to a realistic hope. the point is, Drake Davis is a top 10 CFB recruit at WR (he’s 6’5″, alleged 4.35 40-time) and decided to quit football to play…. futbol. this is a good sign for…….. USS………… seriously, i can keep going if you need…….

    • I’m not a fan of Pep. People love him too much. The media was talking about how he had a big influence on the German nation team.

      He did but it was a negative one. He gave Lahm the idea he should play in Midfield and Germany struggled when he was there because while it sorta works. It’s stupid to take the best fullback(Close enough) in the world and play him and a fairly good Midfielder.
      Tiny Philip Lahm vs Ghana? Mega dumb.

      • I agree it makes no sense for Pep to play him in the midfield, but I think Jurgee was playing him there in the early games of the WC to give Bastian and Khedira more time to get fully fit for the later games…just speculation, but that’s kinda how it played out

      • Now that is true. The temporary right back Mustafi also got injured. I guess I really shouldn’t blame Pep as Lowe is perfectly capable of doing wierd stuff on his own.

      • Mega dumb?

        I noticed that Germany won the World Cup in spite of being so stupid.

        Did they lose any games because Lahm was in midfield?

        There is an argument that Lahm was Germany’s best, most intelligent player. Khedira was hurt and my impression is Lahm was asked to fill the gap.

        At full back a player’s influence is limited. Moving to midfield increases that influence. If you want one of your players to see more of the ball and the action, Lahm is not a bad choice.

      • I specifically mentioned the Ghana game because they almost lost it. Mustafi getting injured fixed most of Germanys defensive of which they had and still have many. They need Lahm in the back because they had no true fullbacks playing it showed until he moved.

        I dont see why Kramer is good enough for the final but not good enough for Ghana. Lowe has a history of hubris.

      • Lowe won the World Cup. That is one more win than the vast majority of the people who have ever coached a soccer team at any level anywhere.

        So if he’s full of hubris big f++king deal

        Ghana did not beat Germany. Almost does not count in soccer.

        You don’t know how good Kramer is because he barely played before being concussed.

        99.9 percent of the teams in the world would be happy to have Germany’s “fullback problems” if they could also win the World Cup.

      • Calm down?

        Who is excited?

        I am merely pointing out the obvious, that your criticisms are nit picking in extremis.

        Lowe just won a title that is arguably the single most difficult title in the game for a manager to win and certainly one of the most desirable.

        Yet you seem to think anyone should care if he is full of hubris?

        At least he does not kill people while driving drunk or beat women or children ( as far as we know).

  3. Can we agree that rooting for Chelsea is Un-American and evil?

    1) John Terry cheated on the pregnant GF of an English National teammate on the eve of the World Cup and yet the other guy had to leave the team

    2) Frank Lampard (amongst others) got trashed on 9/11 and started berating Americans stranded at the London Airport

    3) Jose Mourinho is the most arrogant manager in all of football

    4) Their owner is Russian

    Is there ANY reason to cheer for them? Any? Loving watching Swansea taking it to them right now. Just beautiful.

    • for me, it all depends on who they’re playing against, but i’ll take a stab at these.

      1) terry didn’t cheat on anybody–he wasn’t dating wayne bridge. Actually, no one cheated, because bridge and the girl were no longer together. was it wise? hell no. but certainly not nearly as despicable as what ryan giggs did, who’s always been held up as a model citizen. and really, if you had to get rid of a defender, would you seriously keep wayne bridge?

      2) lampard owned up to what he did and expressed remorse for his drunken actions (and i’m sure there were a lot of americans getting trashed that night as well), and isn’t really a repeat offender. i would hate for someone to hold against me the things that i did when i was drunk ten years ago.

      3) probably all managers are arrogant to a degree; some more than others, but at least mourinho is entertaining about it.

      4) russian? who cares? his business practices, however, deserve criticism–but like these other points, there are plenty of other, just as bad, examples in sports.

      reasons to cheer for chelsea? hazard, oscar, schurrle, willian, matic, and fabregas are fun to watch. mourinho is taking to heart his boss’s desire for attacking soccer. and i don’t care what they say, i like costa. he’s feisty.

      that said, i hope swansea kicks their @ss.

    • He gets it on the wing and fakes right to touch the ball left, opening up a lane and fires a hard pass to Thomas on the left side of mid box, right past the defender whose back was turned. Great first touch by Thomas to deaden the ball, then top corner it past the keeper. Very nice play by the big bird.

      • At least he’s getting a lot of action over there. The Blues are focusing on attacking on his side. He’s done a decent job with the ball at his feet, one and two touch possession, but hasn’t really looked dangerous. He just had the ball 1v1 on a break out but couldn’t beat his man, settling for drawing a throw in. He looks a bit gassed already. Ooops, turnover by Shea there. He’s working pretty hard. His face is beet red.

      • yeah, they’re definitely going to have to use a sub on him. they must really be desperate for wingers to start him this early.

        and yeah, he’s done pretty well; not linking up all that well, but that’s to be expected at this point.

      • Odd play there. He has a chance to head the ball on net but flicks it back in the box to open teammate who bungles it. Not sure if that was a good play or bad.

      • Very nice backtracking by Shea there to brek up an attack. Like I said, he’s working very hard and obviously did enough in training to earn the start. Maybe he’s finally gotten a wake up call and is beginning to take his craft seriously

      • i’m going to disagree with the last sentence, because i never felt that shea didn’t take his profession seriously.

        his problem was usually extracurricular (instagram, fighting with fans, etc.). hopefully he’s learned to be boring; the video posted recently on this site was promising.

      • Crazily enough, although his extracurriculars seemed to indicate an interesting personality, Brek has always been the most epically boring interview on the planet, to the point where I’ve heard hosts openly mock him afterwards. To me, if you’re consistently having problems with your manager and not earning your way on the pitch in training, I think it’s fair to question his commitment to his craft. Bad training habits = a lack of commitment or at least it opens up the question.

      • ha, did not know that about his interviews.

        i really hadn’t heard about bad training habits. who’s said that? i just thought he wasn’t good/healthy enough to get minutes for stoke.

      • If Shea is such a disaster at Stoke, why are they so reluctant to release him outright?

        I haven’t known too many EPL clubs or managers who are reluctant to cut someone loose if they don’t have what it takes.

      • i’m actually up this early anyway (kids), but i usually make them watch an early game with me. thought it would be arsenal-city today; was not expecting brek to be playing already.

      • That is just plain cruel to force children to watch Brek Shea mangle the game of football, Nate. I’m calling Child Protective Services.

      • hey, when they start paying for food, clothes, and internet, they can watch whatever goddamn game they want. and they’re young enough not to know the difference anyway.

      • Hey, when your kids start walking around with giant faux hawks, collecting guns, creating bad art and pissing off their soccer coaches, you’ll only have yourself to blame.

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