Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Last season, both Tottenham and Newcastle had UEFA Champions League aspirations, and battled each other to the end of the season only to have Chelsea snatch away the spot they were chasing after by winning the Champions League Final.

Spurs and the Magpies kick off the new English Premier League season doing battle yet again, only with plenty of new faces in the mix. New Tottenham manager Andres Villas Boas will look to get his new job off to a winning start against a Newcastle side that will be hoping Pappis Demba Cisse can duplicate his goal-scoring heroics of last season.

The Newcastle-Tottenham match headlines the opening day of the English Premier League season, which will also feature Arsenal taking on Sunderland and West Brom facing Liverpool.

In Mexico, Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna take on UNAM Pumas while fellow Mexican powerhouse Monterrey faces Atlante.

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 TV Schedule is after the jump): 

TODAY'S SOCCER ON TV

9:30 a.m. - ESPN3.com - FC Oberneuland vs. Borussia Dortmund

9:50 a.m. - ESPN/ESPN3.com - Arsenal vs. Sunderland

9:50 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - West Ham vs. Aston Villa

9:50 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Reading vs. Stoke City

9:50 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Queens Park Rangers vs. Swansea City

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - West Brom vs. Liverpool

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Fulham vs. Norwich City

11 a.m. - Univision Deportes - Lyon vs. Troyes

12:30 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Newcastle vs. Tottenham

12:45 p.m. - ESPN3.com - PSV Eindhoven vs. Roda JC

1 p.m. - beIN Sport - Celta Vigo vs. Malaga

2 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Loreint vs. Montpellier

3 p.m. - beIN Sport - Sevilla vs. Getafe

4 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

4:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Toronto FC vs. Sporting Kansas City

5 p.m. - beIN Sport - Mallorca vs. Espanyol

5:30 p.m. - ESPN3.com - Fluminense vs. Sport Recife

6 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Queretaro vs. America

7 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Indiana University vs. Chivas de Guadalajara U-23s

7:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Montreal Impact vs. San Jose Earthquakes

8 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Monterrey vs. Atlante

8 p.m. - Telefutura - Santos Laguna vs. Pumas UNAM

8:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution

9 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA

9 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas

10 p.m. - Univision Deportes - San Luis vs. Chivas de Guadalajara

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78 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. ManicMessiah says:

    3 hours ’til kickoff. I’m very excited, though I guess I’ll put on the Arsenal game before then.

  2. Beckster says:

    Packwood starting for Birmingham and Spector has finally made it back to the bench after a very long time out for injury. Good for both of them!!!

  3. vik says:

    Given!!! aaaargh ::shakes fist::

  4. Jon says:

    Guzan and Lichaj both on the bench. Disappointed.

  5. USAmr says:

    MLS games rarely if ever.
    Now Barça and Real Madrid games almost never.
    And CONCACAF qualifying on channels I don’t get.

    I’m not liking this new model of soccer on tv.

  6. liz2 says:

    Oh I had forgotten how much I loved Macca’s commentary…and it’s great to see my sarcasm is in mid-season form as well :)

  7. biff says:

    Hoffenheim is down 0-4 after 60 minutes in the first round of the DFB Pokal against regional team Berliner AK 07. A total shock and an awful way to start the season after the coach a few days ago said the team goal this year is to qualify for the Europa League. Thankfully, Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Joe Gyau are not on today’s losing roster and will not have to shoulder any of the blame.

  8. Tyler says:

    It is unreal that Given is still starting. I don’t like conspiracy theories, but there is something very sketchy going on here. When Guzan has played, he has been better. Period.

  9. Jon says:

    Apparenty Yanks scoring off a bicycle kick on their debut is a thing now. Bedoya just did it, says Twitter.

    Looking forward to Cameron doing the same in a week. LOL.

  10. andrew in tally says:

    Gervinho is so frustrating to watch. For every good play there are five misplaced passes or runs to nowhere. Cazorla is going to be fun to watch but Podolski is going to be a long range project. Abu Diabi will never be Patrick Vierra. It’s going to take a miracle for Arsenal to be in the top 4 this season.

  11. Wiger Toods says:

    What’s the latest injury update on Holden?

  12. Chupacabra says:

    I don’t ever watch ESPN live because Fattie McPies insists on announcing every goal scored in other games. Some of us actually like to watch premier league matches on other channels that we’ve recorded on our DVRs and don’t appreciate the constant spoilers.

  13. Chupacabra says:

    Take off you Yanked-off blinders. Given is four times the keeper Guzan is.

  14. Chupacabra says:

    Ingrown toenail – out for six months.

  15. Chupacabra says:

    LOL at Bobby McMahon predicting at top four finish for Liverpool this season. Not with a start like today’s. Someone should tell Bobby it’s not the 80s any more.

  16. ACS says:

    Spector in for Packwood

  17. Tyler says:

    Arsenal fans already in fine form–booing everything that moves, including an opposing player’s injury.

    They are clearly not happy with what they see on the pitch. Granted I wouldn’t be either. Gervihno thinks he’s the only player on the pitch. Walcott… is Walcott. Podolski was invisible.

    Santi Cazorla–however–has been pure class. Scary to think he’s like 5th on the Spanish depth chart for CM.

  18. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    While I don’t agree with Chupacabra at all, your “conspiracy” idea is absurd. Given is one of the top keepers of the Premier League era. That said, he is in the twilight of his career, and will be passed by Guzan this season. There is nothing “sketchy” about a great player being gradually fazed out rather than dumped overnight.

  19. Tyler says:

    Wow how do you miss that? Horror show from Arsenal. Santi Cazorla tees up a free shot for Giroud center of the box, inside the penalty spot and he blasts it wide.

  20. Chupacabra says:

    Liverpool’s defense is more wide open than the buttcheeks of the analtattoo girl.

  21. Haydenjo says:

    That was terrible

  22. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    As a Fulham fan I’m happy to say it looks like we’ll get by just fine without Dempsey. 5-0 over Norwich in the eighty-ninth minute.

  23. Vic says:

    I predicted on this board an others last year after Liverpool’s first game that they wouldn’t finish in the top four. They got rid of good players and replaced them with overpriced young English players. I don’t see improvement this year. Allen and Borini aren’t the type of players that will help Liverpool compete for a Champion’s League spot. Liverpool needs to go after top players like other top clubs do.

  24. Spank says:

    That was a sick goal! He hit it perfectly.

  25. Ben says:

    So Clint wants to leave Fulham for Liverpool? I didn’t think Liverpool would make the Champions League before the season started and that was a dire performance today. I hope he tells us his side of the story soon because he is not looking great at the moment.

  26. Roy says:

    Dempsey has to be careful. A few more games like this and he will be making the domestic cup rosters only. Yes, it is only Norwich, but it can happen.

  27. Ben says:

    Don’t be surprised if Lichaj doesn’t get much playing time. It doesn’t seem that Lambert rates him more than a backup.

  28. Spank says:

    Liverpool lags on buying a 29 year old Dempsey and can’t even score a goal while Fulham goes on to win 5-0 without em. At this moment I’d be reevaluating my options if i were Dempsey. Not saying he should stay with Fulham but LIverpool looked horrible today.

  29. Tyler says:

    I don’t doubt what he’s done over his career. He is not that player and hasn’t been for a season or two at this point.

  30. Jeff says:

    Seems to me that if Dempsey wants to leave, today may have helped. Liverpool and Rodgers must know they need more help and Fulham may be more ready to let him go at a reasonable price. Even Arsenal may glance his way after today’s scoreless start.

  31. KC says:

    Fulham 5 Norwich 0 Dempsey who?

  32. Tyler says:

    Dempsey plays Santi Cazorla’s spot. To be frank man, not a chance he plays lol

  33. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    *phased

  34. Yusef says:

    That’s American sports in general, right? Constant score tickers on the bottom, NFL game breaks, etc.

  35. Dimidri says:

    As much as I want him to stay at Fulham, I think this proves that Dempsey should stick around til January, say goodbye to the fans in a manner conducive to how he’s acted his entire time there, and then hopefully get offers from places other than Liverpool, and if say Schalke, STuggart, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, and Roma were in the running, at midseason he’d have a better idea who has a chance at the CL next year. Oh and Fulham get’s money, win win.

    C’mon Clint, it’s half a season.

  36. Yusef says:

    Given also retired from international football recently, showing his, “commitment to club football”.

  37. biff says:

    yeah, I have read some of the comments on Liverpool fan forums and some are criticizing him for appearing to be only interested in going after former young players (sort of like a US U-23 coach last March), shelling out 25 million for Allen and Borini, with most of the criticism for 15 million for Allen. And then he starts them in the first game while Andy Carroll is on the bench. I only watched a few minutes in the second half, but the sick look on Rodgers’ face is what I would expect on a man preparing to walk the plank. He should have put in more effort in signing Dempsey.

  38. biff says:

    Everyone in Germany except his good buddy Jogi Low knows that Podolski reached his peak four years ago and has been mostly downhill since then. Cannot fathom why Wenger bought him.

  39. Yusef says:

    Diabi will be serviceable, but you are right that he is no Patrick Vierra? Yaya Toure, the type of player that would have played for Arsenal ten years ago, would have been ideal. We are long from the days when Arsenal could sign such a player. I think they did great in the transfer window this season, but I thought paying off the Emirates Stadium debt while qualifying for the CL was supposed to further open the wallet.

  40. biff says:

    I was thinking the same thing. But I was also thinking it would be great if he would get an offer from Germany or Italy. Cannot understand why a few USMNT fans here are so gleeful about this. My heart is aching for the guy. Yesterday was a rehearsed hatchet attack by Martin Jol, basically doing all he could to destroy Clint’s reputation before he goes and he did a great job. Clint has done nothing wrong during this whole saga, kept his mouth shut but refused to sign the contract extension offered to him and in so doing offended Jol and Fulham billionaire owner Mohamed Al-Fayed and now he has paid a heavy price. Fulham fans in a rage and even a few US fans.

  41. Yusef says:

    Dempsey can play upfront or on the wing. Didn’t Cazorla play CM?

  42. Jeff says:

    I’m not saying it’s likely, but it is possible. And both Dempsey and Cazorla are more versatile than you give them credit for. Cazorla can play on the left or the right. Dempsey can play a more central role if need be — it’s where he often drifts anyway. Dempsey was the highest-scoring midfielder in the league last year, by a wide margin. Just about anywhere he goes in the EPL he’ll get a chance to play. It would probably be Liverpool, but Arsenal is still a possibility. (lol)

  43. Jeff says:

    Yes, but my understanding is that they pressed him to give them just one more season last year, so the guy just wants what he’s been asking for for more than a year. He’s not getting any younger. This is his last chance to upgrade. And whether anyone here believes that Liverpool is better positioned to compete for Champions League, that’s what Clint believes. Thus his current stance.

  44. Jeff says:

    Oh, they’ll miss him soon enough.

  45. Vic says:

    Dempsey would be a decent signing on the wing. Many good players have already been transferred already. However, if I were Liverpool I would put in bids for Roberto Soldado, Jesus Navas, Hamsik and Cavani.

  46. Jeff says:

    From what I read, they are hoping for an October return.

  47. Kevin_amold says:

    Darke, who you refer to as Fattie McPies, tweeted out when they were going to mention other games.

  48. beachbum says:

    hoping today’s events help break this year’s logjam too, like you and Jeff said

    Clint has some freakin’ mountain to climb every new season for Fulham, this year no different just a different issue.

  49. PD says:

    Because buying an American is apparently unthinkable in his universe.

  50. Give him a year... says:

    har har…

  51. Ben says:

    Well if Clint goes to Arsenal, ok, but going to Liverpool is silly at this point. Fulham have as good a chance as making the top four as the ‘pul.

  52. Ben says:

    Then I have to question Clint’s perception. Liverpool were a mess last year and don’t look like they are solving the problem. It is not an upgrade.

  53. pd says:

    It’s Norwich you ponce.

  54. Ben says:

    No, it means that Fulham has a much stronger hand to play. The other teams are going to be desperate and Fulham will be quite comfortable as they don’t need to go and find their own transfers. The only potential thing today does is possibly send a team into panic spending on Dempsey.

  55. Tom says:

    Downhill equals 4th leading scorer in the Bundesliga despite missing time and playing for a bad team? Apparently you haven’t watched the Bundesliga in the last 2 years.

  56. TomG says:

    Gervinho is incredibly dangerous on the flank but has utter tunnel vision. He missed wide open runners over and over.

  57. TomG says:

    Let’s everyone relax a bit. There are always crazy results in the first few weeks of the season. Fulham isn’t nearly as good as they looked today and vice versa with regards to Liverpool

  58. Jeff says:

    Best first day? Swansea! 5 away goals, 3 points, one very nice new away kit.

  59. Ben says:

    Yeah, I don’t disagree that Liverpool will be better than today, but I don’t think they will be competing for a Champs League spot. They were a mid table team last year and could easily be one again.

  60. EvertonBrian says:

    +1. Thank you.

  61. VADCUfan says:

    Victory!!!!

  62. Andy in Atlanta says:

    I actually beg to differ… Fulham could have score 8… they looked like Arsenal light but finished their chances..

  63. Jeff says:

    Absolutely it means Fulham has a stronger hand to play. That’s what just might get this deal done.

  64. Jeff says:

    I guess I shouldn’t have said ‘reasonable price’. I didn’t mean at what’s currently being offered or less. I meant for a reasonable amount more.

  65. hogatroge says:

    Let’s not forget Arsenal started last year’s league play with an 8-2 thrashing by Man U.

    Now, West Brom is no Man U, but let’s not be hasty.

  66. Jeff says:

    I don’t love Liverpool, but I believe they are a better team than Fulham and will finish well above them this year, with or without Dempsey. I guess we’ll see who’s right.

  67. M says:

    it’s a long season the tide can turn quickly

  68. hogatroge says:

    Diagree. Fulham is excellent at doling out a beating one week to take an equally bad one on both of the next two.

    Plus they were playing Norwich.

    I predict another mid-table finish for them, with or without Dempsey.

  69. Brett says:

    I thought it was a bad move from the start for Dempsey to announce his desire to play for other clubs. It was very unprofessional and it looks as though Fulham are none too pleased about it. Now instead of being top dog on a mid-table club, he’s a bench jockey waiting for someone to pull him off the scrap heap.

    Logic would say that his value goes down the longer he stays off the pitch, so why would Fulham opt for that route unless it somehow became personal.

  70. Ben says:

    And Liverpool is no Arsenal. They were mid table last year; what signings did they make to give hope of Champions League this year? Plus, Rodgers will have to overhaul the system, meaning the players will take time to acclimate and cost them points.

  71. Ben says:

    could be, but if that is the case, with or without him, then I still don’t see why they would be pressured to sell.

  72. Ben says:

    Outside of Liverpool fans, I don’t see why people want Clint to go there. The last 3 seasons have been 7th, 6th, and 8th. This year, they have a new manager installing a new system, which will always take time to implement, costing the team some points, especially at the beginning of the season. They have an aging Gerrard, a misfiring Suarez, and a defense that I don’t really trust. Someone, please convince me why this team will be pushing for a Champions League spot. Don’t mistake me, I want Clint to go to a good team, to get a crack at Champions League, to have his dream fulfilled, but I’m having a lot of trouble seeing that happen at Liverpool.

  73. biff says:

    Bingo. Right on target. It became personal with Martin Jol and Fulham billionaire owner Mohamed Al-Fayed for one reason and one reason only: Clint Dempsey did not cave into their intense never-ending pressure to sign the gosh darn contract extension that they kept slapping him in the face with. And Martin Jol pulled out the brass knuckles yesterday and lied through his teeth to bloody up Dempsey and try to ruin his reputation.

    After the game today Jol oozed with false contriteness and fake pity for Clint, saying: “I don’t want to hear the fans were chanting against (Dempsey) because he was a terrific player for us. He was the most productive midfield player in the whole league last season.”

    And he continued: “Hopefully he will play for us again,” the Fulham boss added. “There is one season to go (on his contract) and no one has come in for him.” AND THIS IS THE KEY LINE: “To say he refused to play is probably a bit harsh but he wanted to move and if you want to move, you don’t want to take risks so you don’t want to play in case you get an injury. So for me that was a very awkward situation and it was for him as well.”

    In other word,s Jol’s comments yesterday were complete fricking lies. Jol actually was quoted over a week ago saying that Dempsey would not be playing for the home opener. Apparently, the trash talking and hard-ball tactics are standard operating procedure for Fulham. I looked at some of their fan Web sites and some posters — in between spewing their hate for Clint — mentioned that its happened in the past with Bullard/Steed/Davis/Schwarzer.

  74. beachbum says:

    would like to see Clint forever burn Fulham once he’s out of there, just torture them perpetually

  75. biff says:

    I’ll betcha $5 that Podolski is not starting by December. In reference to PD’s remark, no doubt in my mind that Clint Dempsey is a better all-round player than Prince Poldi and would make stronger offensive and defensive contributions at Arsenal. Just my opinion.

  76. Zubrowka says:

    This is just part of why Aston Villa is such a terrible mess.

  77. hogatroge says:

    I would say I can’t wait to see FFC get smoked over the next few weeks, but unfortunately they have a soft schedule. After they play Man U next week they have easy matches until the end of September.