Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

EduCeltic (Reuters Pictures)

Almost a year to the day that Maurice Edu scored the game-winning goal for Rangers against rival Celtic to etch his name in Old Firm history, another edition of the storied derby takes place in Scotland (7:30 a.m., untelevised). With a win, Rangers could move even closer to first place in the Scottish Premier League, as Edu's side currently trails Celtic by five points with two games in hand.

Two other Americans enjoying fabulous seasons abroad go head-to-head, as Stuart Holden's Bolton and Clint Dempsey's Fulham do battle at Craven Cottage with a spot in the FA Cup quarterfinals on the line.

As for some of Sunday's other major matches, Arsenal and Manchester City will look to keep their FA Cup hopes alive against Leyton Orient and Notts County, respectively, and FC Barcelona will look to start another winning streak when it faces upstart Athletic Bilbao.

If you will be watching any of Sunday's games, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action (TV schedule is after the jump).

SUNDAY'S SOCCER ON TV/INTERNET

6:30 a.m. – FoxSoccer.tv/ESPN3.com – Lecce vs. Juventus

7 a.m. – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv – West Brom vs. Wolverhampton

9 a.m. – ESPN3.com – Lazio vs. Bari

9 a.m. – Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes/ESPN3.com – Chievo Verona vs. AC Milan

9 a.m. – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv – Manchester City vs. Notts County (FA Cup)

9:30 a.m. – GOLTV – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Stuttgart

10 a.m. – FoxSoccer.tv – Fulham vs. Bolton (FA Cup)

10:30 a.m. – ESPN3.com – PSV Eindhoven vs. NAC Breda

11 a.m. – ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes – Getafe vs. Racing Santander

11 a.m. – DirecTV – Villarreal vs. Malaga

11 a.m. – DirecTV – Osasuna vs. Espanyol

11 a.m. – FoxSoccer.tv – Montpellier vs. Lille

11 a.m. – FoxSoccer.tv – Nice vs. Paris-St. Germain

11:30 a.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – Leyton Orient vs. Arsenal (FA Cup)

1 p.m. – GOLTV – Sevilla vs. Hercules

1 p.m. – Fox Deportes/Azteca America – Puebla vs. Jaguares

1 p.m. – Telemundo – Toluca vs. Necaxa

2:45 p.m. – Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes/ESPN3.com – Napoli vs. Catania

3 p.m. – GOLTV – Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao

3 p.m. – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv – Toulouse vs. Stade Rennes

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80 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. montana matt says:

    going to be in the front row, behind the goal in the hammersmith end at craven cottage today for bolton v fulham. heading out the door of my buddy’s flat right now. be jealous.

  2. Quinn says:

    For anyone that’s awake, West Ham vs Wolves has bern a very entertaining match. Both teams are attacking and going for the win.

  3. Matt says:

    bolton fulham game streams?

  4. Pete says:

    Question for anyone who has registered for foxsoccertv’s free trial – Why do I have to provide credit card info if it is a free trial?

  5. K-Town says:

    Because your free trial rolls into an actual subscription automatically unless you decide to decline. Pretty standard for most internet free trials that i have seen.

  6. Tim M. says:

    pretty standard for any sort of “free” trial of any kind

  7. Ben says:

    sounds incredible! enjoy!

  8. Smirking Kitten says:

    COYW! (Fulham, not Bolton).

  9. Smirking Kitten says:

    If you do not want to deal with foxsoccer.tv screwing up every ten seconds, I would try link to atdhenet.tv

  10. Hutskizzle says:

    Freddy Adu started and played 84 minutes in Rizespor’s 3-0 win over Orduspor earlier today

  11. Kyle says:

    Thanks for the update. Good news for him.

  12. Brian S says:

    Are you sure? I read that he came on in the 84th minute. Either way, it’s good that he’s back from injury and can start getting some playing time

  13. Jose S. says:

    and he assisted in the first two goals.

  14. Brian S says:

    There aren’t many people watching any games this morning. Must be outside enjoying the nice weather

  15. Brian S says:

    So he did start? That’s great to hear.

  16. Kol says:

    “Bolton are off to a dream start in their FA Cup fifth round tie against Fulham FC, going ahead at Craven Cottage after just 19 minutes. Ivan Klasnic, who has seen his playing time in a Bolton shirt reduced this season by Johan Elmander’s surprising goal scoring record, is the man who put Bolton in front.

    The goal came after a very long and odd build-up that included a lot of pretty play combined with a lot of scrambling by the Bolton defense. Stuart Holden, Lee Chung-Yong, and Kevin Davies played a great combination resulting in a blocked shot that eventually resulted in Bolton getting the ball back on their right flank. Fabrice Muamba took the ball and swung in a cross that resulted in a clearance, but Klasnic jumped on that clearance and blasted the ball into the back of the net to put Bolton 1-0 ahead.

    Both teams have looked very lively to start the match, and it seems unlikely that this goal will be the last one of the match. Both Adam Bogdan and Mark Schwarzer are being brought into the game early.”

    Thats first half

    This is looking like a really good game, i didnt wake up until right now which is the start of the 2nd half

    Its lookin good

    I have to watch German Streams though

  17. Brian S says:

    I get the feeling that Dembele just doesn’t like Dempsey. He never passes the ball to him. He will turn and play a negative pass or just take a wild, ill advised shot instead of making the easy pass to Dempsey

  18. Kol says:

    Wow

    Holden is playing crazy good right now, he’s anticipating and stealing a lot of passes

  19. Kol says:

    Holden is stealing and anticipating like i’ve never seen… wow

  20. AD says:

    I said this last week and people jumped ALL over me.

    Dembele is ridiculously selfish.

  21. ericJ says:

    What a save by the Fulham keeper on that volley….

  22. ericJ says:

    What a horrible challenge from Davies…could have easily gotten the ball but completely misses. Kind of funny actually.

  23. AD says:

    Freddy. Come back to the USA for a DP contract with the Fire. Please.

  24. Predicto says:

    Fun to watch holden v dempsey. Holden has the upperhand so far, but Bolton is ahead and defending….

  25. K-Town says:

    I have had the same problem. I will be unsubscribing from my “free” trial. It was horrible. Why does paying for something get you a worse product than when you steal it?

  26. Predicto says:

    Ha – Holden yellow for pulling dempsey’s shirt!

  27. AD says:

    Is there any question in anybody’s mind at this point that Holden NEEDS to be starting for the red, white, and blue?

    Week after week we see that gelled-to-perfection-frosted-flakes boy running rampant over EPL midfields.

  28. ACS says:

    That was a pretty good move considering Dempsey had him beat and an open field ahead of him.

  29. Brian S says:

    I completely agree. He and Bradley in the middle could be dominant especially with Jones in there with them

  30. Jeff says:

    Murphy gets on my nerves too. That attempt at a shot surrounded by blue shirts with two of his men wide open to his left and right in the box 1:30 into added time seems typical. I also recall a game a little while back when he tried (unsuccessfully) to step in for the penalty after Dempsey had clearly earned it. Not much for team play over there. No wonder they sit near the bottom.

  31. AD says:

    I can see it now…

    Frosted Flakes drops back to receive a pass from the Golden Dome… hits a long ball… Onto the feet of… GOLLLLL I like that BOON BOO REE!

  32. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    His tackle on Johnson was clutch.

  33. Jack says:

    People tend to play differently at their club than at their NT, but if the way he took control of the field during the October friendlies is any indication, I can’t really see him not starting.

    What a starting midfield we could have, too. Jones, Bradley, and Holden in the center (if Bradley works his way into regular PT at AV, that’d be all three of them at good mid-sized EPL clubs), with Dempsey and Donovan out on the wings? The prospect of Dempsey, Holden, and Donovan working together on the attack is pretty awesome. I’m excited–I hope that they’re all called up for Argentina so we can get some sort of preview (and so that I can scream my head off in excitement at the Meadowlands).

  34. This Guy says:

    I’d rather have Pappa and Nyarko than Adu.

  35. AD says:

    Adu plays centrally, we can have all of them.

  36. zomc says:

    Dempsey played well especially in the 2nd half. Several headers he had weren’t too far off the mark. Dembele should have passed more to him. Murphy had a weak shot toward the end of the match, when he could just as easily passed to Dempsey to get a good shot off.

    I’m telling you guys, Dempsey is now the best player at Fulham and should consider moving up to a bigger club ala Everton, Aston Villa or Blackburn.

  37. WK says:

    Tough loss for Deuce as he’s desperate to win some silverware. But great win for Stu! Still alive in th FA cup, and an ouside chance at Europe.

    How about that egg ‘gers and Mo laid today. They needed to win that game to make up ground on Celtic.

  38. FulhamNick says:

    You have no idea what your talking about…the core of this team has taken Fulham to 7th two seasons ago and to the Europa League final last season. Not much for team play? Please…

    And Murphy is the captain and he takes the penalties…that’s it, end of conversation. Doesn’t matter who earns it or who deserves it…most teams have this set up

  39. Kol says:

    it will be

    —–Altidore—-Dempsey——

    LD—Bradley–Jones—Holden

    Dempsey needs to be a striker in a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1

    Holden is a better winger than Dempsey because of crossing, Dempsey is a better player inside the box than anyone else on the nats.

    I’m tired of the USMNT always having to have someone be a hero or get goals off random corners. We need to create and manufacture chances/goals.

  40. AD says:

    This is unprecedented in my honest opinion.

    Dempsey is clearly the best player on Fulham.
    Holden is arguably the most valuable play for Bolton.
    Howard is Everton’s best player.
    Jones is on his way to being Blackburn’s best player.

  41. AD says:

    For someone with the namesake, you clearly haven’t watched them play this year.

    Team play? Ha.

  42. FulhamNick says:

    Let’s pull the Red, White and Blue glasses off for a second…

    Dempsey has no doubt kept Fulham’s head above water this season but best player on the team? Yea not sure about that. Dembele easily has the most technical ability, Hangeland is literally a brick wall and probably in the top 5 central defenders in the league, and Zamora (who just played his first minutes since breaking his ankle) already looked ready to start scoring goals again.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Dempsey a lot but he is exactly where he should be at Fulham.

    Plus I’ll say some of the people on these boards need to go back and watch some past Fulham matches. You will find tons of times where Dempsey bypassed the smart pass to shoot.

  43. FulhamNick says:

    I’ve watched nearly every match…sorry that I don’t stay locked in and focused on Dempsey the entire game like most people here and just complain when his team mates don’t pass him the ball

  44. Powderhorn Pops says:

    I just checked out the rest of the comments. Even though we are all biased I have to agree that Dempsey was left hanging on a few well timed runs in favor of long distance low percentage shots. I wonder if his penchant for doing the same thing works against him. Although today he nearly connected on a few very nice through passes. It seems his goals come mostly from rebounds, set plays or his own creation.

  45. Powderhorn Pops says:

    And we can soon add Micheal Bradley to this list.

  46. Kol says:

    How about we just put all these guys in the top 3-4 players on their team shall we?

    Because if you’re saying Howard is the best player on Everton over Tim Cahill ur insane

    Howard’s season overall hasn’t been that great

  47. jig says:

    how do you figure howard is evertons best player? silly.

  48. ANM says:

    “Hangeland is literally a brick wall.”

    You would think that most referees would spot it and asked that it be removed. Hangeland must be cunningly disguised.

  49. RedLine55 says:

    ahh, west BROM you mean, ha, I know it’s early, but I was very confused for a moment there!

  50. GW says:

    Holden is not a winger. He is a central midfielder.

    If you play him on the wing he will come inside and clog things up. If you want a winger play someone who will play the position.

  51. GW says:

    “I wonder if his penchant for doing the same thing works against him.”

    He is having his best year. Whatever he is doing, it seems to be working.

  52. Brent McD says:

    f*ck me, typical Arsenal. Almunia just sucks. I predict they win exactly nothing this year

  53. hudson says:

    Is it just me or has Murphy dropped a notch from last season? Dembele and Dempsey now seem to share running the attack in the middle while also trying to score. Murphy just doesn’t seem to be much of a factor in ball distribution and that may be one reason why Fulham has too many long shots on goal. Better tight passing in the box is the reason why Bolton won this game.

  54. mbw says:

    To try to compare Howard’s value to the team with Baines’s is pointless, but come on — did you watch the Chelsea match yesterday?

  55. Jeff says:

    I made the comment basically as an observation of a casual Fulham watcher to see what other people who might know more about the team think about it. I don’t watch Fulham as much as you clearly do, but they clearly have some team cohesion issues. Maybe the bottom of the table remark was a cheap shot, didn’t mean it mean-spiritedly. I wish them success. I know they were successful last year, which makes where they sit this year a bit mysterious to me. Do you have a better explanation for their fall?

    And, though people on these boards do often unrealistically hope to see American players be focal points of their teams’ offense, it’s pretty clear that Dempsey should be that at Fulham. Three times as many goals in league competition as anyone else on the squad.

    As far as the penalties go, sure the captain or the most reliable might take just about every one at most teams, but you have to admit, when someone really works for a goal and gets taken down, especially the team’s leading scorer, he is usually rewarded the chance to finish the job. What I’ve seen anyway. And Clint seemed frustrated both by Murphy almost taking the penalty that day and by Murphy’s shot today. That, if nothing else, speaks of a bit of a problem.

  56. Jeff says:

    A fair point. But the man still appears to me to be their most valuable player up to this point. He has scored one-third of Fulham’s league goals. He is tied for second on the team in assists. Give the man some credit, that’s huge.

    Dembele may be more talented, but talent doesn’t make one MVP, and Zamora may be the second-half MVP but that is yet to be determined. Hangeland may have a case, but it seems to me a team with one of the lowest goals-for totals in The league might be in greater need of a finisher than a stopper.

  57. Sean says:

    Right, so you play LD on the left, and Holden in the role that Feilhaber played in the WC, tucking inside. This way either Dolo, Spector, or Lichaj can overlap and attack. Also would help decrease the vulnerability in LB that we have.

  58. Sean says:

    Murphy has missed like 2 penalties his entire professional career, seriously, lose the Dempsey bias. It’s a team sport.

  59. ciscokid says:

    Who he is the color guy on the GOLTV broadcast of FCB? God. he’s awful. Takes him 237 words to say what most can say in 25 words of less, talks over the action. If it weren’t for the thick accent, I’d say he was an ESPN color analyst

  60. ciscokid says:

    Oh, and goal by Villa in 3rd min. 1-0 FCB and they are dominating so far

  61. GW says:

    “I know they were successful last year, which makes where they sit this year a bit mysterious to me. Do you have a better explanation for their fall?”

    The EPL is insanely competitive. They did okay last year?

    Fine. This is a new year. Adjusting to a new manager cost them points. Injuries to significant players (Zamora)cost them. Maybe you are right about team cohesion but in the EPL if you aren’t improving a lot in the offseason, you can drop behind real fast.

    There is no such thing as staying the same. You either get better or you get a lot worse. Fast.

  62. typical hyperbolic SBI commenter says:

    isn’t that ray hudson? everyone loves him.

  63. NK says:

    I don’t think that he doesn’t like Dempsey, per se, it’s more that he’s, as we say in America a “ball hog”. He doesn’t seem to like passing it to anybody. Same with John Paintsil.

  64. CroCajun1003 says:

    And Dempsey is not a true forward.

    We need LD and Demps to be on the wings where they are most effective. When Deuce moves up top he loses some impact.

    Right now we have the perfect group of players for the 4-2-3-1

  65. NK says:

    It’s gotta either be Hangeland or Dempsey. I’d probably give the nod to Hangeland, but even with his missed penalty last week, Dempsey has given Fulham what-10-15 points based on his scores and assists? I’d say he’s hands-down the most valuable offensive player and certainly their biggest threat. Will Zamora be the same player? We’ll see.

  66. Brian says:

    I also heard he killed a guy. He should probably lay low for a while.

  67. NK says:

    Bit premature with Jones, I would say. What about Nelsen, or Santa Cruz, or Gamst Pedersen-all much more talented, and proven with Blackburn.

  68. Brian says:

    What was Dempsey’s reaction? Did it get heated? Joking and laughing?

  69. ciscokid says:

    Yeah I guess it is RH. Well, I’m in the minority. Grating presence.

    Meanwhile, this game is starting to look like the Aresnal v FCB game of a few days ago. Athetico is coming strong i 2nd half. 1-1 in 57th min

  70. patrick says:

    as is the case with MANY teams, there is a designated PK taker, and its murphy. As we saw last week, its not dempsey’s cup of tea…

  71. Sean says:

    I think that if you strip Dempsey from some defensive duties, that he becomes more valuable in the final third. He is arguably our best option there, with his ability to hold the ball, strike from distance, and create a chance out of nothing.

    I’ve personally never thought of Dempsey as a winger.

  72. zomc says:

    Good point. I’d say Dempsey is for sure the best with Hangeland 2nd and Schwarzer 3rd and 4th Dembele and 5th being Hughes.

    Zamora is a decent striker at best. Last season he scored 8 league goals. Not exactly a Star Striker. But he did score 6 or 7 in the Europa League I believe it. But the season before he only scored 2 league goals in like 32 matches. Zamora is inconsistent. Dempsey is way better.

  73. CrispyST3 says:

    he played left mid alot for Aris. Idk what risezpor has him deployed at

  74. BCC says:

    After watching FCB today, I am wondering why everyone felt the need to crown them the best team in history before they actually won anything. They are extremely fortunate to have earned a victory.

  75. GW says:

    Howard is a keeper.

    Keepers help you keep leads or help you maintain ties. They rarely

    win games for you because they don’t normally score. It’s the nature of the beast.

    If Howard was the best keeper who ever lived, Everton’s outfield players might be much more confident going forward but you can only take that so far.

    And Howard is nowhere near the best keeper, even in the EPL. Important? Very. But he isn’t Everton’s best player.

  76. timothy says:

    I love Ray Hudson! He’s a ticking time-bomb of hilarity

  77. Warren says:

    right but Howard had a good day yesterday, didn’t he? : )

  78. Pro trainer says:

    Effective soccer training for youth players starts with lots of touches on the ball and developing a genuine love of the game for them. How? By making sure they get tons of touches, they get the love they need to learn the skills right, and by shoowing them how they can get better throw repetitive action to build muscle memory.

    My two cents

    Kevin

  79. GW says:

    Lots of touches means they get lots of touches. If they do that why should they love the game? You can achieve that by locking the kid in a room with the ball and not letting him out until he kicks it against the wall a thousand times.

    You have to make it fun for them otherwise your lots of touches is about as exciting as writing “I will not bring guns to school” a thousand times on the blackboard.