Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

TimReam (Getty Images)

There are stacked days of mid-week soccer, and then there is a day like today. Between a bevy of Americans in action overseas and races for league titles and places in Europe reaching their peak, it's a good day to be by your television and computer.

In terms of Americans, Tim Ream's relegation-threatened Bolton is in action against Brad Friedel's Tottenham, and Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya take aim at Dundee United while hoping to hold onto second place in Scotland. Not televised in the USA is Jozy Altidore's AZ Alkmaar facing NEC, needing three points to stay alive in the UEFA Champions League hunt.

In England, races for Champions League places are tense, as Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham jockey for position. The Blues might not need to finish in the top four if they can win the Champions League, but their match against Newcastle is must-see nonetheless. At the Bolton-Tottenham encounter, Fabrice Muamba will be in attendance just weeks after going into cardiac arrest and nearly dying at an FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

In Italy, the ongoing AC Milan-Juventus feud atop the table continues. Juventus doesn't figure to have their undefeated season tested by relegation-threatened Lecce, and Milan hopes to keep pace at home against Atalanta. And in Spain, coming off a 7-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona returns to action against Champions League-hopeful Malaga, while Real Madrid can clinch their La Liga title with three points on the road at Europa League finalist Athletic Bilbao.

If you will be watching any of Wednesday'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).

WEDNESDAY'S SOCCER ON TV

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go – Ajaccio vs. Sochaux

1 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Bordeaux vs. Stade Rennes

1 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Brest vs. Toulouse

1 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Caen vs. Lorient

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go – Dijon vs. Auxerre

1 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Lyon vs. Valenciennes

1 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go - Marseille vs. Nancy

1 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go - Nice vs. Lille

2 p.m. – ESPN2/ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes – Barcelona vs. Malaga

2 p.m. - DirecTV – Real Zaragoza vs. Levante

2 p.m. – DirecTV – Mallorca vs. Rayo Vallecano

2 p.m. – GOLTV – Sevilla vs. Real Betis

2 p.m. – ESPN3.com – Ajax vs. VVV Venlo

2:45 p.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – Chelsea vs. Newcastle

2:45 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go/ESPN3.com – AC Milan vs. Atalanta  

2:45 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go/ESPN3.com – Juventus vs. Lecce 

2:45 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go – Rangers vs. Dundee United

2:45 p.m. – ESPN3.com – Parma vs. Inter Milan

3 p.m. – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Bolton vs. Tottenham

3 p.m. – FoxSoccer2Go – Paris-St. Germain vs. St. Etienne

4 p.m. - GOLTV – Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid

4 p.m. – DirecTV – Valencia vs. Osasuna 

6:30 p.m. – Fox Deportes – Boca Juniors vs. Union Espanola

8 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – New England Revolution vs. Colorado Rapids

8 p.m. – Rogers Sportsnet - Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC

8:30 p.m. - Fox Deportes – Emelec vs. Corinthians

9:30 p.m. – Telefutura - Pachuca vs. America

10 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

10 p.m. – Rogers Sportsnet - FC Edmonton vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

10:30 p.m. – MLS Live/Direct Kick – San Jose Earthquakes vs. D.C. United

11:30 p.m. – Azteca America – Tijuana vs. Monterrey

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83 Responses to Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

  1. GSScasual says:

    Ream with relegation saving goal off a set piece.

  2. TomG says:

    nice!

  3. TomG says:

    Except he never scores goals. He doesn’t head it well enough to score off of set pieces :(

  4. Brain Guy says:

    “There are stacked days of mid-week soccer, and then there’s days like today.”

    Plural (days) ==> there are

    Right on the first, wrong on the second.

    Sorry, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.

  5. Bryanffox says:

    Better: He misses his mark several times in Ream-ish ways leading to clear scoring chances by Tottenham early in the game. The game scoreless in stoppage time he launches a beautiful pass from just outside his own penalty area, splitting the defense for Kevin Davies at a full sprint. Friedel charges out but leveled by his own defender allowing an easy Davies tap in.

  6. wildchild says:

    zzzzzzzz

  7. GSScasual says:

    specific.

  8. AC says:

    Charlie! Nice to see him on a game day roster again…Hope he can contribute…

  9. Illmatic74 says:

    Lately while watching soccer and boxing on ESPN I have noticed half the commercials are in Spanish. Now today they are airing the ESPN Deportes feed of Barcelona/Malaga on ESPN2. This shows that ESPN are having a better understanding of their market.

  10. Illmatic74 says:

    Oh yeah good goal by Puyol.

  11. malkin says:

    One minute after Sochaux scores to go up 1-0, a midfielder takes a red card….

    Somethin’ tells me CD isn’t seeing the pitch today.

  12. Dimidri says:

    wtf….link to blogs.soccernet.com

    oh and Jozy won’t be plyaing CL football next year. sad.

  13. Chicago Josh says:

    Sochaux now down two men. Ruh roh…

  14. huhe888 says:

    For your amusement, search “ESPN2 Spanish” on Twitter and read the tweets.

  15. huhe888 says:

    Much easier for the sales people to go to a Spanish-language advertiser and offer additional exposure on ESPN2 (or ESPN) for the same ad at 2x the ad rate than for the sales people to convince skeptical English-language advertisers to try soccer on less than 1 week notice.

    This is all making as much money as possible with has little effort as possible.

    State Farm started all this last September by experimenting with Spanish-language ads on NBC, E!, and Style. ESPN, Inc. has caught up.

  16. Charles says:

    Let me finish the article:

    ………..Oh yeah, there are MLS games too.

  17. bryan says:

    for those wondering. Barca is up 2-1 at halftime. as it stands now, Madrid still need to win to clinch…which, by the way, the will!!!

  18. NateinSF says:

    Did Altidore get injured?

  19. bryan says:

    what happened to Jozy? subbed off in the 34th minute…

  20. NE Matt says:

    yea wth happened there?

  21. huhe888 says:

    From @TVSportsRatings via Twitter:

    Among Male College Students living away from home, Man City vs Man Utd on ESPN Monday afternoon drew 10.15%, MLS on NBC Sports Network on Saturday drew 0.28%.

    Median age of U.S. viewers of MLS on NBC Sports Network on Saturday: 46

    Median age of U.S. viewers of Man City vs Man Utd on ESPN on Monday: 28

    The young 18-34 crowd want to consume the big GLOBAL BRANDS.

  22. Illmatic74 says:

    Or they want to see the best play.

  23. bryan says:

    the 10.15% vs 0.28% is god awful. people need to start watching MLS if they want it to get better.

    however, the median age doesn’t surprise me that much. i think a lot of college kids probably watched Mondays game whereas a lot of people around 46 were at work. but still…

  24. Edwin in LA says:

    I’m very worried about Jozy, anyone have an update on how serious this is, we DO NOT need our only forward outside of Deuce who play and starts in Europe hurt…

  25. NE Matt says:

    UPDATE ON THE JOZY INJURY:

    From a live blog following the game (translated from Dutch using Google Translate)

    “20:45 CET

    Jozy Altidore was just knocked out when, after a push of a billboard fell against Conboy. The American striker with a head wound of the field gone and replaced by Ruud Boymans.”

  26. Jamie says:

    To be fair, I have ESPN at my dorm but don’t have NBC Sports and thus streamed the MLS game…

  27. Polo says:

    Hat trick for Messi.

    What’s his goal count right now??

  28. Polo says:

    ESPN is basic cable. NBC sports is not. Keep that in mind.

  29. Polo says:

    Is that the record? MESSI DID IT!!!!!!! All time goal scoring record in history!!!!!

  30. bryan says:

    not for Fios, at least not in Herndon, VA or Fairfax County. if you have ESPN you also have NBC Sports. Both are included in the first tier of cable. FSC, GolTV, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Classic, etc. require the next step up, at least.

  31. Polo says:

    Well you can just hand Messi the WPOY trophy right now, nobody else should even be considered.

  32. bryan says:

    great. wonderful. right before our friendlies and qualifying. i hope he is ok. for once, i would love to have an injury free camp.

  33. Sgc says:

    Or it was a Monday afternoon, male college kids, and your choices were live soccer, soap operas, or yet another “He’s not the father” episode of Maury.

    Dumbest.
    Demo.
    Definition.
    EVAR.

    (Seriously, I thought it was satire when I first read it.)

  34. Sgc says:

    Cristiano Ronaldo could still get:
    a) the scoring record back
    b) the Spanish Liga title
    c) something at Euro 2012

    Don’t mail the award out yet.

  35. NK says:

    That’s just a brilliant goal by Modric…

  36. NE Matt says:

    my thoughts exactly dude. i can’t even remember when we were at full strength last (Stu and Gooch being the guys that keep us from full strength status most frequently)

  37. malkin says:

    Unfortunate for Bolton. Wouldn’t have had the opportunity had that handball been called.

  38. TomG says:

    I could see that happening.

  39. TomG says:

    Um… so a billboard fell on his head and knocked him out? Really? Am I reading that translation wrong?

  40. TomG says:

    A dang commercial popped up on my feed just as they scored. Was Ream at fault at all?

  41. Polo says:

    Messi is 3 goals ahead of him now in the La Liga scoring race, so we’ll see.

    But regardless of what Ronaldo does, Messi just broke the most hallowed scoring record in football. It’s like breaking the MLB home run record… but much more prestigious.

  42. Polo says:

    I’m guessing it means that he was pushed head first into a sideline/endline billboard… maybe chasing down a ball?

  43. NK says:

    No one was at fault for that one…corner straight to Modric, who’s outside of the box and blasts on a volley into the top corner…can’t blame anyone for that-just a great play

  44. Polo says:

    Nobody’s fault. Nothing anyone could do with an upper 90 volley off a corner kick from outside the box. Nasty stuff.

  45. jones says:

    Stu!! In the house!

  46. TomG says:

    Thank you both.

  47. Eric says:

    Well it was Ream’s awkward challenge that popped the ball up into Sandro’s hand that didnt get called. It was then cleared for a corner where Modric did his magic.

  48. Kosh says:

    Something tells me that Ream’s involvement could have been 10 plays ago and someone would find a way to link him to the goal. Just sayin’.

  49. huhe888 says:

    From @TVSportsRatings via Twitter:

    Audience of Man City vs Man Utd on ESPN U.S. was 20% non-white (which implies 80% white).

    Usual audience of ESPN U.S. is 31% non-white.

    ==

    So much for the old wisdom that “only immigrants watch soccer”.

  50. Eddie says:

    Without a doubt. It was old several months ago and still is. His crime is not being George John or Omar Gonzalez.

  51. tom says:

    He can get the league scoring record back, but Messi just broke a 40 year all-time European top flight scoring record.

    He’s also about to become (unless Gomez scores a hat-trick in the final) the first player in history to be CL/European Cup top scorer 4 seasons in a row.

  52. Brian S. says:

    I have Dish and I don’t get NBC Sports. I would love to be able to watch MLS but it’s not an option. That’s why the numbers are so bad

  53. Brian S. says:

    Not saying that I would make a difference in the numbers but I’m sure many people that would otherwise watch are running into that same problem

  54. NE Matt says:

    Yea i interpreted it the same way. without a further update it was the best i could find

  55. Edwin in LA says:

    I think Polo is right, and this sounds A LOT LESS severe than a muscular type of injury, he probably hit his head pretty hard and could have a concussion which in month he could have more than enough time to get back, although from the translated description it could just been a nasty cut that needed stitches and they couldn’t really “stitch him up” quickly enough to get him back in the game….

    Either way it’s not a pulled or torn harmstring or calf or anything of that sort or an ankle which is a nagging little injury

  56. Ted in MN says:

    YESS Bolton

  57. In their stats, is there a separate category for hispanics? I think this game was also on in Spanish so the ESPN numbers might not include that.

    Second, most western Europeans would count in the “white” category.

    So, this stat probably just says not a lot of African Americans tuned in compared to other ESPN programming.
    link to amazon.com

  58. Dinho says:

    guess what, you can be an immigrant and still be white.

  59. NE Matt says:

    Nigel Reo-Coker wants to play Prem ball next season!!!

  60. NE Matt says:

    Amen Edwin!

  61. Edwin in LA says:

    I think Eric clearly made the point that while Ream was involved in the play considering he caused the play to lead up to the corner, he was NOT at fault because after Ream’s challenge Sandro got away with handling the ball and THEN there was a corner awarded….

    I’d be willing to be Eric is just trying to point out Tottenham got a bit of help with the non-call rather than trying to blame Ream for the play that next lead to a corner, off of which Modric scored a scorching outside the box shot…..

    Hard to cover everyone outside the box really so not sure why you think Eric is really banging on Ream, who btw no matter what you Kosh OR Eddie say….Ream earned every bit of criticism he got after the Gold Cup, the friendly vs Honduras in October and the horrible form he showed with New York from about May to October….

  62. josh says:

    Sigh…Tim just Reamed it up.

  63. NE Matt says:

    welp, so much for that

  64. Dinho says:

    what did he do (or not do)?

  65. Brain Guy says:

    But Avi did change it in response.

    Thanks.

  66. Eddie says:

    I don’t disagree that he earned criticism from his play with both RBNY and the Nats, but it’s over the top. I see plenty of “world class” center backs get torched for goals. It’s part of being the last line of defense. Ream makes his share of mistakes, but it seems to me that people really want him to fail.

  67. jones says:

    That’s it, I’m getting on with my day. Can’t watch this anymore. Let’s hope the points add up and they can stay in the Prem – though it’s not looking good.

  68. josh says:

    Missed his marker on the second goal..didn;t see the 3rd or 4th though.

  69. ManicMessiah says:

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! Everyone will want to see Cisse’s second goal for Newcastle. Just STUNNING!

    He scores when he wants, indeed.

  70. bryan says:

    2-0 Madrid!!!!

  71. Kosh says:

    Context isn’t everything but sure is important. Not knocking on Eric or anyone else for that matter. But if you read his post (which is a response to Polo’s) within the context of the discussion it would appear that he’s going out of his way to associate Ream to the corner. No biggie just saying that’s how I read it and it is quite clear that you had your read into it as well (though while I see where you are coming from, I don’t see how you get there from that response alone but it’s all good).

    Anyway thanks for your laudry list of Ream’s past follies. I was looking at the past 10 plays but your history book on the “messups of Ream” really hammer home the point.

  72. away goals says:

    So for a newcastle fan, how optimistic are you of a top four finish? Seems like city are being handed the trophy despite a trip to st jameses’s still on the calendar.

  73. Kosh says:

    I am hoping, praying that NC can help us, ‘cos Lord knows we can’t win this thing on our own (Man United that is). To be honest at this point I don’t think we deserve to win the title and if it were any other club I would not mind so much (well scratch that, if it were Liverpool I would mind BIG time) but this is City winning one. Man that’s gonna burn something hot for a while.

  74. Cisse is absolutely insane.

  75. ManicMessiah says:

    I’m trying very hard not to get to attached to the idea, to be honest. After watching the Cisse goal though, its hard not to get carried away.

    Winning the next two games is a big ask, though I think its feasible. Howard Webb is reffing the game against Manchester City after all.

  76. I can’t believe he put that in. Then again, neither could his manager or most of his team. Absolute insanity.

  77. SilverRey says:

    First goal – goal of the month!

    Second goal – Goal of the Year!!!!!

  78. boosted335 says:

    Im confused…the scoresheet says nothing about Ream scoring!?

  79. MiamiAl says:

    Any further updates on Jozy?

  80. biff says:

    Big news out of Germany for Fabian Johnson and Company. Bremen Goalkeeper Tim Wiese has signed for Hoffenheim. This has been rumored for the past day or two, but nonetheless is a major surprise and is very good news for the young Hoffenheim team to bring an experienced crazy competitive maniac like Wiese.

  81. marco says:

    It wasn’t awkward at all. Ream’s CB partner got caught out and turned, Ream raced back to block Sandro off a spinning rebound. Sandro handled in front of both the ref and linesman. The resulting corner got Spurs an undeserved goal, though the Bolton midfielder (not Ream) gave Modric too much time and spaced. Ream has his own problems, no need to make stuff up.

  82. GW says:

    So is heading the ball the only way to score off of set pieces?

  83. GW says:

    Okay, so getting your head smashed into a bill board and maybe having a severe concussion is less of a concern that hammie or an ankle injury? Ever hear the expression brain bruise?

    Are we talking long term or short term here?

    Interesting priorities.