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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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Leicester City will be without Jamie Vardy on Sunday, but the English Premier League leader will press on without him.

The Foxes host Swansea City at King Power Stadium to headline action in the English Premier League, while Crystal Palace and Watford will battle it out at Wembley Stadium for the chance to progress to the English FA Cup final.

Across the Atlantic, New York Red Bulls-Orlando City SC, FC Edmonton-Ottawa Fury, and Puebla-Chiapas are all matchups to keep an eye on.

If you will be watching today’s soccer, 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 below):

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

3:30 p.m. — ESPN/ESPN Deportes/MLS Live — San Jose Earthquakes vs. Sporting Kansas City

7:30 p.m. — Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports Go/Fox Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go — New York Red Bulls vs. Orlando City SC

NASL

4 p.m. — WatchESPN/ESPN3/NASL Live — FC Edmonton vs. Ottawa Fury

ENGLISH PREMIER LEGUE

9:05 a.m. — NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra/Telemundo — Sunderland vs. Arsenal

11:15 a.m. — NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra/Telemundo — Leicester City vs. Swansea City

ENGLISH FA CUP

11 a.m. — Fox Sports 2/Fox Sports Go/Fox Deportes/Fox Soccer 2Go — Crystal Palace vs. Watford

SPANISH LA LIGA

6 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Levante vs. Athletic Bilbao

10 a.m. — beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español/beIN Sports Connect — Sevilla vs. Real Betis

12:15 p.m. — beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español/beIN Sports Connect — Getafe vs. Valencia

2:30 p.m. — beIN Sports en Español/beIN Sports Connect — Villarreal vs. Real Sociedad

ITALIAN SERIE A

6:30 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Frosinone vs. Palermo

9 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Atalanta vs. Chievo Verona

9 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Bologna vs. Genoa

9 a.m. — beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports Connect — Sampdoria vs. Lazio

9 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Torino vs. Sassuolo

2:45 p.m. — beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports Connect — Fiorentina vs. Juventus

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

9:30 a.m. — Fox Soccer 2Go — Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Hoffenheim

11:30 a.m. — Fox Soccer 2Go — Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Mainz 05

FRENCH LIGUE 1

8 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Marseille vs. Nantes

11 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Saint-Étienne vs. Lorient

11 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Gazélec Ajaccio vs. Bastia

11 a.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Guingamp vs. Caen

3 p.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Stade Rennes vs. AS Monaco

PORTUGUESE PRIMEIRA LIGA

3:30 p.m. — Univision Deportes — Rio Ave vs. Benfica

MEXICAN LIGA MX

6 p.m. — Univision Deportes/Univision — Puebla vs. Chiapas

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE

7:30 a.m. — Fox Soccer 2Go — Inverness CT vs. Kilmarnock

Comments

  1. I know people will say, oh there are bad calls in the BPL too, but it seems like its almost every match this year has controversy in MLS. I am not sure we can handle expanding to more teams purely because there won’t be enough referees.

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  2. OC scored there because Lawrence strayed so far inside he was actually on the right side of the field. That is an incredible lack of discipline.

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      • Wow slow…. Really?

        my joke was merely speaking to her preference for ‘pure blooded’ Americans. She didn’t really clarify what her prerequisites were. Others then imposed their beliefs about ‘passport American”. My joke was pointing out that I was picking a player who was “more American” while ignoring the fact that they’re both American. The point IS that there are no “passport. Americans.” If I fight in the armed services for my country and have a child, I’ll be darntootin if you’re gonna deny my child the right to claim his American heritage. Go tell a military man right now that his child with foreign spouse is not American. Tell him that you won’t accept him playing for the usmnt because “he’s not American enough”. Let me know how that works out.

        It’s ok to not understand the joke. I don’t expect more fr you. Had I mentioned the phrase ‘passport American’ or claimed him to be then sure you would have gotten me…. But…..

    • I guess I need to remind people once again that Villafana, whom I have always liked, has not yet played even on senior international game. He played a couple of games for the U-20’s, but that’s about it. A year or two ago a lot of posters here were sure that Greg Garza was going to be our LB for years to come. Now he hardly plays for Tijuana. Let’s see how Villafana does against internationals before we anoint him the starter for the next couple of years. Also, how about CCV? I thought he was even better than Miazga when they both played for the youth international teams.

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      • I know Gary. It’s an opinion – but I look at Jorge’s body of work and his path – and I see him head and shoulders over the other LB options. (assuming FabJ plays in midfield).

        Jorge’s path is self-made and hard fought in the vein of most of our other best nats historically He’s proven himself at every step.

        He was arguably MLS cup MVP. He waltzed into Santos and locked down LB. He’s much more proven than Garza has ever been, and his game is just way better than Garza’s.

      • Agreed Villafana can’t just be anointed the starting LB but he should get a shot given our general weakness at that position. Fabian can play there of course but I think having him in midfield is better for the USMNT.

  3. If yedlin goes 90 mins every week and plays like he has been the past month I don’t see why he can’t challenge for Spurs, at worst another loan to a better team than sunderland

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    • I love Yedlin as much as the next guy, but he’s got a tough road ahead to start playing for Spurs. He’s certainly proven he is a premier league quality player in the last 3 months, but that doesn’t mean he’s proven he should play for the best defense in the league.

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  4. Yedlin has been really solid at right back the last few games, which is why he’s starting and going 90 minutes every game. His positioning is good, he’s had a number of very important interceptions and blocks, his ball skills have significantly improved, and he still has his speed and quickness. I’d like to see him get forward more, but he probably has Sam’s instructions.

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      • It’s funny that they are barely above Aston villa (deadpan…), Newcastle (deadpan…) and Norwich city (deadpan…..) is that really an accomplishment?

        Would finishing in MLS above Chivas USA and Toronto FC (circa 2012) really be that much of an accomplishment?

      • So me being negative to a positive result doesn’t make sense to you? Perhaps you’re finally seeing my point ….

        Disregarding facts to be unnecessarily negative makes no sense. Please remember that next time u want to mock Someone after having a good positive game…..

        Faith my friends. It’s taken 1.5 years to get Bryan to understand how silly he looks when he makes fun of our players unwarranted

      • To spell it out…. So when a player traps a long pass, holds up the ball well, plays a nice lay off pass for his striking partner who scores the game winning or tying goal, then it is silly to only point out “a missed header”. Then when he does a similar thing the following game and you only point out “a missed shot”–which actually was blocked for a corner– it is equally as laughable and silly.

        But keep up the good work. I love a good chuckle at others’ lack of intelligence

      • You didn’t answer my question :-(. Did you really need to waste time dissecting the art of hold up play in an effort to deflect? At least when Jozy was playing in the Dutch league we could talk about goals.

      • Bryan, can you be more dense? You asked what I was laughing about and I answered. What’s not to understand. My “Sunderland lol” is a double entendre of sorts: both laughing at them when they lose for being so bad. And when they win then it’s a sarcastic laughter directed at people like you that are negative regardless of the result….

        All of which i explained clearly today…

      • Bryan, never was…. For the umpteenth time.

        I’ve long said he had a poor time at Sunderland-that’s a fact, I like facts. But I’ve also long said other things like,

        he wasn’t solely to blame (I.e. Sunderland were not a well oiled machine that fell apart when he arrived).

        He isn’t terrible (I.e. “Terrible” wouldn’t hold the record for goals scored in Europe top league by an America ).

        His career isn’t over with (I.e. He’s only 25(26? Possibly).

        All of which are also facts, facts that you refuse to admit.

        Is Jozy terrible in your eyes?

        Is he not better (Check the stats) than 90% of the striker pool?

        When he creates the game winning/drawing goal 3 weeks in a row and you only point out an outlying bad moment, do you not look like a nitpicking critic?……

      • I long for the day in American soccer when we don’t have to discuss players like Jozy. He’s just a guy. Talking about our top striker’s hold up play every week is embarrassing. He’s not even that good at. Back to goal and in the air he is only average in his best moments. For such a big oaf he wins few headers. He had two good years at Alkmarr. He sucked at Hull and Villareal. He can do whatever in MLS that doesn’t really matter but he does seem to leave a lot of production out on the pitch every week. He’s playing next to the best player in the league you think he’d produce more than he does.
        Whatever the case you’re obsession with defending his honor is just…sad.

      • Yes it’d be great if the US had a striker playing well in a top 4 league. Bobby Wood getting a move is perhaps the only real hope of that happening I see in the next couple years. So Jozys probably going to be in the discussion for awhile.

      • Firstly, Bryan, “Whatever the case you’re obsession with…”

        Am I? I am obsession? lol…………………….

        And jack, I agree wholeheartedly.

        Personally my “agenda” has never been to prove that Jozy is world class. But guess what people, relative to our player pool (aka on a bell curve) he actually might be ‘relative world class’; if only statistically. But I just find it so funny when others negatively hyperbolize and then assume anyone pointing out a logical fair counter-point MUST an ldiotic apologist.

        Let’s say Jozy was from like Algeria, Senegal, Egypt, or the such, and let’s even say he played for the same clubs. He began his pro career ‘over in the states’, bounced around Europe with no luck during his early career (18-22), at 23 he broke through in his first two seasons at AZ setting his nations record in the process. Then he had two bad EPL seasons and returned to the states and had 13 goals his first season back there. So, would that country’s fans spew hatred balls of fire at him or be happy for what he’s done for the country? Would they pointlessly pick out every single mistake and glance over the good plays? Would they use any chance they could get to twist a topic and make it about how bad he is? Probably not. Would be necessarily play for their team? I don’t know but that depends on the talent level on the team. And if he produced the 3rd most goals ever by age 25, that nation probably wouldn’t be quick to hate. Just my opinion but it’s so funny to watch people throw away a player just because he’s not Henry or drogba–especially when NO ONE in our pool(past or present) is anywhere close to that, not Landon, not pulisic, not Charlie Davies, not Boyd, not agudelo, not Morris, not any of them. Just because some one isn’t brilliantly amazing doesn’t mean they are whatever the opposite would be. Jozys not great, cool bro. Who’s arguing that? Not me… But he’s also not terrible and one missed header or blocked shot won’t make him terrible. Imagine if u treated his matches like everyone else’s. You’d read the next morning in your laptop at Starbucks that “‘player X’ got another assist today” and you’d think ‘man that makes me happy he’s doing a positive job’…..

        Utopia…

      • I have to agree with Bryan on Altidore. He’s an okay player but his time at Sunderland proved he’s not a top class player, and despite his relative youth, he’s not going to get any better by playing at Toronto, where his starting job is guaranteed.

        I also agree that he’s not particularly good at hold up play, and that the fact that he’s still in the conversation as a USMNT starter is sad reflection on our lack of depth. Other countries would have moved on by now.

      • Socceroo, but the point is you don’t HAVE TO like ANY player, but that doesn’t mean they are terrible and shouldnt get call ups. Facts are facts, a 25 yea of striker in 3rd place for goals all time has proven their stake at being on the field. Regardless of whether human A or Human B likes that player. Some people don’t like Clint. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be their. But they’ll say “he’s old. Can’t do it anymore” ignoring the fact he scored 9(?) last year for country. Those people sound just as silly as someone saying things such as ‘Jozy doesn’t deserve call ups, he’s terrible’. Why? Because they ignore facts; not because our firm says so….

  5. He looked pretty good. Not much was asked of him, but his positioning is miles above where it was at the start of the season. He had a nice block against Sanchez who tried to cut inside of Yedlin, but Yedlin stayed tight, and a few good interceptions. He needs to work on his crossing though. Seems like some days he can place them inch perfect, but others his crosses are completely ineffective.

    It’ll be interesting to see where he goes next year. I just can’t see him breaking into Spurs back line. Grant it, Spurs will be playing a lot of games next season but Spurs effectively use there outside backs as wingers with Dier dropping in as a third CB. And both Walker and Tripier have looked pretty good this season. But here’s to hoping Yedlin steps up like he did this season and takes Walker’s spot from him.

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    • If Sunderland stays up, maybe Yedlin will be loaned out to them again. Might actually be the best scenario for all parties.

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    • One of the problems with watching so many games and being old, sometimes I don’t remember the details. Anyway, not long ago I was watching a game where a well known player, known for his dead ball prowess, kept hitting one bad corner kick after another. My point is, not even the best players make good crosses all the time. So, if Yedlin makes even a decent cross half the time, that’s probably pretty good. Also, he is still pretty young and has a lot of soccer ahead of him.Thing about soccer is, sometimes you can make a great cross, striker makes a great shot, and then the ball is saved anyway by the GK. . Another time it might be a lousy cross, missing the intended target, rolls to a late arriving midfielder who scuffs the ball and it rolls into the net. Here’s something from a game a while ago that is interesting on that point. Zardes was playing up top and a cross came in that was too low to be a header, too high to get a boot on. He stopped it with his stomach and knocked it down to his right foot and in one motion shot as the ball was coming down. The shot was headed for the corner on the near post, but a defender got a thigh to partially deflect it where it went right into the face of the GK and bounced over the bar without the GK knowing even what was going on. In short, a great play by Zardes that resulted in nothing. Then last night he mishandled a pass in the box and it fell right to the feet of Magee who passed it into the box, giving Zardes an assist.. Cobi Jones said during the broadcast, “at the end of the season, nobody looks at how you got them (goals or assists), just how many.”

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      • No, it was just within the last couple of weeks and I think it might have been somebody like Iniesta for Barcelona.

      • Last add about Zardes. For those who didn’t see the game last night vs. RSL, he had a real good goal where he ran at defenders, changed pace, made space for himself and then shot into the upper corner of the far post from about 20 yards out. I know it’s popular here to criticize him, but I keep telling you, the kid, while still inconsistent, is good and will be on the team in Moscow and probably starting somewhere.

    • And there it is. Big point for Sunderland. And Yedlin logs 90 more scoreless minutes against a bunch of Arsenal’s Euro internationals on a back line at RB. (Not right wing). I wonder if he’s any good at defending?

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      • A non-topical JK slight? Nice and original.

        But to answer your question, if you’d ask yedlin he’d say he’s not good at defending. Said big Sam has helped him get better this year. And considering he’s a converted winger playing fullback it’s not that wild for a national team coach to utilize his speed at winger while he learns to defend at his club in his young career (only his 3rd or 4th season as a pro…) yedlin has not been played out of position

      • Wow – no end to the spin? Yedlin is a right back and that’s where he should be playing for the USMNT. Not out of position in midfield.

      • Did I say anything nonfactual?…. Yedlin said he was t great at defending: fact. He said big Sam has helped him improve this year: fact. He was a winger his whole amateur career: fact. Helps transitioning to RB: fact. His national team coach used him at both rw/and RB while he was learning to defend better: fact.

        So where’s the problem? How am I stickin up for Jk? It could have been any coach. Facts are facts. Yedlin has not played cam, cam, cb, or gk. those would be “out of position”. Rw/RB are similar positions depending on formation and usage. He’s being transitioned to a RB and with his added experience (this season, not prior) he will most likely only play RB moving forward. Thus silly slights at a coach (any coach) for playing him there are unwarranted

      • Taken from an article on the fundamental positions in soccer. Is it the end all be all? No but it does showcase my point. Being mad at playing a striker-turned-wingback at winger is odd.

        Wingbacks vs. Fullbacks:

        “And here’s the crux of the conversation. Asking whether the difference is if wingbacks are really midfielders and fullbacks defenders entirely misses the point, as they are essentially the same player, the difference being the freedom they have to attack based upon who is in the middle of defense and who they have in front of them on the other team. ”

        Ashley young, Valencia, Daley blind, dani alves, Jordi alba, Jorden Allen, winger or full back? Or sort of both?…..
        My only point is, sure get mad at a coach for playing a striker at cb. Or a gk at lw. Or a cb at cam. But there are certain positions that naturally have a secondary position that translates well for that skillset. Are you really fast, fearless and willing to pass? You will most likely not be a CB. U will most likely be a winger or wingback. So if a player is transitioning from one to the other it’s not uncommon to get minutes at both while transitioning.

        Is this really hard to understand? Lol…..

        Bryan’s comprehension skills…….L…….O…….L…….

      • Personally I don’t fault JK to much for some of the things he tried. Yedlin coming off the bench as a right winger actually worked very well a few times. However when he starts there, the fact he doesn’t know the position starts to show. He has pretty much no off the ball movement, and tends to just stand out wide. He doesn’t know how to create space for himself or others. He doesn’t understand when to press the line and look to get in behind. That quickly neutralizes his speed making the biggest part of his game ineffective.

        These are things he could probably learn of coarse but not in the few days of a national team camp. Again I don’t think its a huge deal, hopefully we are learning and this all ends up in a great 2018 WC.

      • Jack, I concur. I just feel he’s currently in the process of transitioning to defender. So, as you said, as a winger sub it makes sense. As a winger starter it makes less but the point being, he’s still in the process of learning to defend and he’s not “out of position” as a winger.

      • This is utterly ridiculous. Right back and wing back are interchangeable positions and often the same thing (perfect examples are the fullbacks for Barcelona and Real Madrid who are essentially all wingbacks because they play forward so much – eg Dani Alves or Marcelo). Yedlin still has major issues defensively but he has clearly improved. That being said, there is nothing wrong playing Jim further up the field with a more sit at home full behind him. That happens quite frequently in football /soccer. Anyone saying otherwise is either new to the game, naive about tactics or plain disingenuous.

        As such I no issue with JK playing Yedlin at wing especially when he wants to use his speed to go against the opponent in a tired 2nd half, wants more defensive work form his wing against better opponents or has a better defender at RB.

        I also find it funny that someone who slighted Yedlin’s tactical and positional awareness on this very blog (Slow) is now arguing for him in that positon to slight JK.

      • I always thought a fullback was a wide defender in a 4-4-2 while a wingback was the wide midfield players in a 3-5-2. Wingback is closer to a traditional winger/wide midfielder but with more defensive responsibilities.

        Yedlin was playing as a midfielder (i.e. out of position or not his best position) with the national team, not as a “wingback”. In other words he was playing the position that Zardes or Zusi have played recently. That’s a winger/wide midfielder. It’s not a defensive position at all.

        Now we are defining positions and essentially saying winger is the same as fullback all in the name of defending JK. The fact that some wingers can also play fullback or vice versa does not mean they are the same position.

      • Slow, right, I agree. We’re gettin a little detailed haha. But I only meant that Yedlin is a wingback, he’s not really a fullback, nowadays wingbacks are played at fullback (I.e. In a 4 back line). And thus a lot of players play wingback (3-5-2) AND winger (433/4231) over their career. So using a person that has played winger growing up, at winger for a national team (at age 20-21, in his 3rd pro season at RB, still learning the position, and oh yea, btw, he’s really fast) isn’t that weird at all.

        That’s not me sticking up for a coach, it could be Bruce or bob and I wouldn’t have a problem with a young kid getting subbed in at winger or starting at winger sometimes when speed was lacking. Sure after he has a couple seasons learning in the EPL at RB then of course he will Surely settle into a RB spot for the NT. since we are currently in the middle of his maturing it’s not that wild for a coach to experiment. ESPEEESSSCIALLY with a speedy guy

      • Agreed that the “played out of position” thing is overdone, but thinking that wingback and right midfielder and winger (i.e. wing forward) are interchangeable terms is the true lol of this conversation.

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