Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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A Premier League showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City headlines another action-packed Sunday of soccer across Europe as all five major leagues are now underway.

Defending champions City pulled off an impressive comeback victory last week over Southampton, but they suddenly find themselves six points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, who have won their first three games. Liverpool, on the other hand, are looking to rebound after a disappointing opening-day loss to West Brom.

Elsewhere in England, Arsenal look to pick up their first win of the campaign when they travel to take on Stoke City. American international Geoff Cameron could be in action for Stoke, who also just signed another American in Maurice Edu.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are also in action in Spain as they travel to Getafe and Osasuna, respectively. Barcelona won their first game of the season last week, but Madrid could only muster a draw and are now very much in need of a win on Sunday.

If you're looking for some MLS action, you're in luck as the league's two most expensive teams both have games later tonight. The Los Angeles Galaxy will play host to FC Dallas, while the New York Red Bulls travel to face Sporting Kansas City.

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):

8 a.m. - beIN Sport - Montpellier vs. Marseille

8:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Stoke City vs. Arsenal

10:30 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Liverpool vs. Manchester City

10:30 a.m. - ESPN3.com - Groningen vs. PSV Eindhoven

11 a.m. - beIN Sport - Paris St.-Germain vs. Bordeaux

11:30 a.m. - GOLTV - Hannover 96 vs. Schalke

1 p.m. - beIN Sport - Osasuna vs. Barcelona

1 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul

1:30 p.m. - GOLTV - Cruz Azul Hidalgo vs. Estudiantes Tecos

3 p.m. - beIN Sport - Getafe vs. Real Madrid

3 p.m. - GOLTV - Corinthians vs. Sao Paulo

5 p.m. - beIN Sport - Valencia vs. Deportivo La Coruna

6 p.m. - Telemundo - Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Monterrey

6:15 p.m. - GOLTV - River Plate vs. San Lorenzo

6:30 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Atlante vs. Atlas

7 p.m. - NBC Sports Network - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Dallas

9 p.m. - ESPN2/ESPN3.com - Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls 

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129 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Illmatic74 says:

    Cameron gets his first start for Stoke against Arsenal today. He is starting in the midfield.

  2. Jon says:

    Wins the ball twice early with nice tackles. Gets some good applause.

  3. Mig22 says:

    Ok, Cameron’s first touches were quick moves for quality tackle/interceptions. Very pleasing start.

    And his long throw carries into the box easily.

  4. Jon says:

    Hah, and he’s their long throw specialist too.

  5. Dank says:

    I think Stoke gets a bit too much crap for their style, when they actually place some nice football at times. But every time I watch this fixture I can’t help but remember Shawcross’s horrific tackle on Aaron Ramsey.

  6. Mig22 says:

    Pulis is a bit of a nuisance with the pissing and moaning. I’m a neutral here and of course Wenger does his share of ref-baiting too, but Pulis is constant over there.

  7. Citronomics says:

    Podoloski looking lively. Enjoy watching Arsenal as a neutral but without the opportunity for RVP magic, they really need to be more incisive in the final third.

  8. Mig22 says:

    You know, that phrase is used a lot but I’m starting to believe that if a team is playing in two banks of defense at the back and keeps their shape, there is no incisiveness to it. It is merely a matter of continuing to pound the ball into the area and wait for the bounce, brilliance, or huge mistake.

    Just my two cents.

  9. Citronomics says:

    Fair point about Stoke’s tactical approach (are they playing a 4-4-1-1?). However, mostly aimless runs by Gervinho and preference for overly tricksy play around the goal box certainly aren’t helping create advantageous opportunities or miscues by Stoke. In this match Arsenal look most lively when Podolski has run at Stoke and Cazorla’s shot from distance.

    All that to say, think the commentators are right (so far).

  10. Mig22 says:

    Agreed, when Stoke loses the ball, Arsenal does turn it around nicely and Podolski is looking sharp running at them.

    Decent half of football.

  11. Lane says:

    Cameron made a nice start to the first half. The announcers on Sky are surprised with how well he’s taking to the pace of play.

  12. Tyler says:

    Great, just what we need… another CM… lol

  13. pd says:

    If AW was such an age-ist Eurosnob he could solve his problems with acquiring Demsey and Donovan.

  14. PD says:

    Other than Stoke Arsenal and PSG Bordeaux I think the most exciting matchup today is NY/SKC… Nice one, MLS!

  15. Mig22 says:

    Dempsey would add to this squad, agreed. Donovan’s talents are somewhat duplicated by Walcott, Ox, and even Gervinho. But Clint brings a skill set that Arsenal just doesn’t have: The Garbageman.

  16. Mig22 says:

    A small number of Stoke fans boo Ramsey. Damn, that’s rough.

  17. Dank says:

    Good for the Stoke City fans! That Aaron Ramsey was so classless for spilling little bits of bone onto their field, he really deserves to be booed.

  18. Illmatic74 says:

    Well Wenger usually likes to have a little more speed on the wings.

  19. TomG says:

    Big Geoff will go the full 90 in his first sniff at the EPL. That says a lot about how his form and his training and how his club regards him. I’m very impressed!

  20. Andy says:

    Announced on the loud speaker that Geoff Cameron is the Man of the Match! Good debut!

  21. TomG says:

    Disgraceful display of classless idiocy.

  22. Mig22 says:

    Playing vs Arsenal as a D-mid is not an easy task. Cameron was really sound in there and I will say that he looked very, very quick. Doing that in the Prem is is no joke.

    Good times.

  23. Tyler says:

    Man of the match as a DM against Arsenal in his first match with the club. Baller.

  24. TomG says:

    Great debut! I wouldn’t worry too much about him playing DM. There are many tremendous internationals that play different roles for their national teams than their clubs. The important thing is him getting used to the speed of play. That type of experience simply can’t be replicated.

    On a side note, one can’t help but notice that the Gooners sure could use a cut throat, physical, no nonsense finisher like Clint Dempsey right now. They are simply overloaded with a bunch of tricksy, showy strikers that have no desire to dive head first into the fray and creat a goal the way Deuce can.

  25. Eric says:

    Yup, clearly Arsenal has no need for someone like Clint up top…

    Arsenal’s problem is that they don’t have enough good runs up top for Carzola to latch passes onto. Clint makes good incisive runs that could have helped break down a team like Stoke today. Not sure why Arsenal wouldn’t be interested to be honest.

  26. Illmatic74 says:

    Stoke are built to stifle a team like Arsenal. They always struggle against them especially at Brattanica. So there should be no panic about the result. If there is one position they need to strengthen it is CM because Diaby was useless.

  27. Eric says:

    I’m not suggesting a panic buy. What I’m suggesting is that Clint brings certain attributes to the table that Arsenal is lacking in their attacking corps right now. If nothing else, he automatically becomes their most physical and scrappiest player on the field which is something Arsenal needs.

    Stoke may be built to stifle a team like Arsenal but that also means a lot of teams are going to try and do the same thing to them so if you’re Wenger you need to try and bring in a couple players who could be effective in breaking down teams that try to do that to you.

  28. Steve C says:

    Does anyone else’s audio go in & out while watching FSC? It’s been like this for me, what seems like months now. So annoying.

  29. Illmatic74 says:

    Giroud and Podolski are pretty scrappy and physical themselves. And they usually break down most sides just Stoke are always tough for them. Most of the big sides struggle with Stoke because they are absurdly physical and defensive.

  30. biff says:

    I only saw the first half but that is exactly what I was thinking, that Clint Dempsey would be a major improvement in the Arsenal attack, which seemed to me to be lacking grit and muscle. Or as Klinsmann would say, the Arsenal attack needs a bit more nastiness. Wenger was crying over RvP’s departure and Dempsey is only a few months older.

    I don’t know how Podolski looked in the 2nd half, but I was surprised at his strong first-half performance. He looked totally confident and moved well and, unlike some of his timid teammates, was not afraid to assert himself. I may have to (gladly) revise my previous prediction that Prince Poldi will be riding the bench by December.

  31. biff says:

    +1–as I noted above a minute ago.

  32. Eric says:

    I see you point. I’m just not sold on Giroud and Podolski in the EPL so far.

  33. Illmatic74 says:

    That is fine but, it would be poor management if Wenger lost faith in Giroud and Podolski after two matches.

  34. Citronomics says:

    Gotta feel for Lucas who is subbed off after just 5 mins. Really hoping he makes it back to full fitness soon. Liverpool starting Allen and Sterling today… Should be interesticom to see if Liverpool can play fluid, attacking soccer with this lineup (and having to contain Man City)

  35. Chupacabra says:

    Suarez, the Crazy Uruguayan Naco Trash, has already started the diving drama.

  36. Tyler says:

    What’s the best site to stream free Serie A games?

  37. Charles says:

    IF…IF you are looking for some MLS action, why do you always say IF. People who watch MLS do read this site.

    Seriously, you can quit catering, or whatever it is, to the Euro game, while insinuating the American game isn’t as worthy of your and my time.

  38. tom says:

    If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

  39. Tom says:

    I may not be paying as close attention as you, but it seems a little too sensitive. If you are looking for some la Liga action, if you are looking for some Serie a action, it’s not a put down.

  40. Citronomics says:

    Pow! That is how you crank a header. Power, precision. Skrtel.

  41. joe says:

    Anyone with Xfinity actually find the new network yet?

  42. TomG says:

    Stoke IS insanely big and physical.

  43. Charles says:

    But he didn’ t say IF you are looking for LaLiga nor do they ever, IMHO. So one case, yes to sensitive, many no.

    I dont think the media dirctly put down MLS…..Cameron, Donavan and others that move do waaay to well for that. Instead it is ESPN type comments like what can the league do to improve and comments like IF you watch MLS that make it seem like their fans are nitch fans and crazy to be watching the home league.

  44. Mig22 says:

    Well, you gotta be happy with the first half. I missed just about all of it (doing the lawn). As a Chelsea fan, I’m strangely comfortable with this scoreline. :)

  45. Mig22 says:

    How can Warren Barton be criticizing City’s marking on the Skrtel’s goal? He came on a run from just about the top of the box and met the ball at the apex of his jump. How do you defend that? Sometimes it’s just about good execution and not bad marking.

  46. Illmatic74 says:

    Someone’s making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  47. Citronomics says:

    Yeah. This lineup is playing fluid so far and showing a variety of build up. Sterling and Johnson are certainly keeping Citeh busy and, as of yet, Balotelli and Tevez not getting tons of chances.

  48. GD10 says:

    Did Terrence Boyd play today? I saw rapid had a game at 10 am. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Cameron at right back he has decent pace and good ball skills and has played out wide before for the dynamo and also his national team debut as a midfielder.

  49. Ryan says:

    Boyd went the full 90 and had some half chances late to equalize but Rapid fell 1-0 on the road.

  50. argh dude says:

    I missed the game but saw some highlights on FSC. Incredible that Cameron played so well and got the MotM award. I guess it’s safe to say he’s going to be our starting centerback with Goodson unless Boca gets a move to another club

  51. argh dude says:

    Bradley is set for his Roma debut in 2 hrs I believe

    any news on Dempsey? 5 days to go. Will he make the move to Liverpool or will Arsenal grab him? Should he try abroad like Italy or Spain or France?

  52. Large Butts says:

    Hope Parkhurst gets the call=up. His team has been on FIRE in Denmark and are in the CL this season.

  53. NE Matt says:

    Josh Gatt with a goal for Molde as they lead Chad Barrett and Valerenga 2-0 in the first half

  54. rjrkr44krnnenwni2po33 says:

    Yes Suarezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Reds 2 Man City 1.

  55. Citronomics says:

    Hell yeah. Suarez restores the lead for Liverpool. Superbly taken free kick. Com’mon Red Dragons!

  56. rjrkr44krnnenwni2po33 says:

    Awesome. Gatt is destined for a better league. I imagine sometime next year he’ll be headed to Holland or Germany.

  57. Mig22 says:

    Watched the whole thing and he was really solid. I think the MotM was more about it being his debut but then again, it was either going to be him or Whelan who also was a stud.

  58. Mig22 says:

    I don’t even know what to say about that play. Tie game again. Tevez was, dare I say, clinical.

  59. Citronomics says:

    Good grief. Early candidate for blunder of the season by Skrtel with a back pass gift to Tevez. Final 8 mins should lively. Still think the Reds can bag a winner.

  60. Mig22 says:

    Even so, good point for Liverpool.

    I’m out. Enjoy the day.

  61. Todd Marsch says:

    Pretty entertaining game between City and Pool. I think Dempsey could be an upgrade over Borini for Pool.

  62. hogatroge says:

    As a Dynamo fan, I’m obviously pumped about Cameron.

    I hope, however, he gets some time at CB for Stoke (during FA Cup matches, etc.) so he doesn’t get out of form at that position for the Nats.

  63. Ben says:

    Yeah, it is always funny when commentators blame defenders for every single goal. Sometimes the other guy just makes a really good play.

  64. hogatroge says:

    Looks like Jones is going to lose that bet on how many YCs he draws this year.

  65. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I don’t expect an answer on this, but fan psychology puzzles and fascinates me. Ream goes tot he EPL last year mid season, plays well, gets pressed into service as a D Mid. Some ups and downs, but some Man of the Match caliber performances too, notably in the final game where his header came within inches of saving Bolton from relegation.

    Yet when I read comments here and on Big Soccer, I can’t help but feel that some people seem to root against him. Cameron, on the other hand, seems to get none of that. (Ream, by the way, began playing in the EPL three and a half years younger than Cameron, which is a bit of evidence that his upside may be higher.)

    Even their mistakes are treated differently. Ream made an over aggressive bone head play in the Gold Cup that lead to a PK. Cameron scored an own goal for the Nats that was caused in part by being out of position on the play and losing his mark. Yet the 22/23 year old Ream was vocally vilified by many and Cameron…it’s hardly mentioned.

    This is not a case of rooting for Ream against Cameron. I happen to like both. I think what Ream could develop into a different kind of CB than the US had had before, someone that is a key part of the attack in the run of play. Doesn’t mean he’ll get there, but it’s intriguing. Cameron is more athletic, but he is also closer to his peak and is not likely to develop much more from a technical stand point (although tactically is another story).

    The point is that they are both terrific prospects for the Nats. Yet the treatment by at least some fans is vastly different and… I just don’t get it.

  66. biff says:

    ha-ha. true. No chance he will win that bet. But I still love the guy and he has the assist on the go-ahead goal.

  67. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    It astounds me that so many people around here still want to see Dempsey at Liverpool. Regardless, they didn’t buy the 21-year-old Borini for ten million pounds this summer just to “replace” him two games into the season.

  68. biff says:

    That was an excellent match, and made me for the first time a believer in Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool outplayed Man City and should have had the win except for the massive mistake by Skrtel. A shame that Liverpool did not get the three points. Rasheem Sterling was amazing. How can a 17-year-old kid be that good? Would love to see Clint playing for Liverpool, but after the game today, it would be very difficult for him to hold a starting slot, especially after the arrival of Nuri Sahin. I actually think now that Clint might be more likely to be regular starter for Arsenal.

    Anyway, a fresh news story out on Clint:

    Liverpool approaching £10million showdown over Fulham’s Clint Dempsey
    link to people.co.uk

  69. biff says:

    Hmmm. Well, it was the go-ahead goal. But Hannover scored an equalizer in the 80th minute. 2-2 now.

  70. hogatroge says:

    People get down on Ream because he followed such a stellar rookie season with a mediocre one. They feel as if they deserve compensation for overhyping him at that stage of his career. Personally, I don’t think it’s justified at all, and am excited to see how the rest of Ream’s year goes. The fact that his egregious error in the Panama game occurred during a meaningful competition didn’t help either.

    That said, Cameron is, AT PRESENT, a much more complete (and versatile) player than Ream. It’s also very hard to argue that his OG against Scotland was as bad as Ream’s RC, especially when he was solid for 90′ in a 5-1 W. Cameron also showed that the OG didn’t faze him, and Ream was completely unsettled in his situation against Panama.

    So, I guess my point is: The fan reaction to Ream is unjustified, but there’s no denying that Cameron’s star has risen much more than Ream’s over the last year. That doesn’t mean most rational fans don’t wish Ream well, though.

  71. Tony in Quakeland says:

    “Ream was completely unsettled in his situation against Panama.”

    Ream was much younger when he made his mistake and it was in a game that counted more. He’s not the first young player to go through something like that and the fact that he emerged from it should be counted as a positive in his development.

    “there’s no denying that Cameron’s star has risen much more than Ream’s over the last year.”

    Why? In the last year Ream went to Bolton mid-season and played very well. I don’t see why, up until he transferred, Cameron’s 2012 was on balance better than Ream’s.

    Again – I’m not making points for one against the other. It’s the perceptions I question.

  72. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Sorry – my post below was meant to be a reply to hogatroge.

  73. Todd Marsch says:

    I’m not crazy about Dempsey going to Liverpool. I just want him to improve his current situation, whether that means reconciling with Fulham, transferring to Liverpool, or transferring somewhere else currently off the radar. I was just watching the game today with an eye towards how/if Dempsey could fit at Liverpool. It seemed to me that the only semi-realistic option for Dempsey getting into Pool’s starting 11 would be as a replacement for Borini, who looked decent, but not spectacular.

  74. peter says:

    Barcelona losing at halftime.

    Ray Hudson might start crying on-air.

  75. rjrkr44krnnenwni2po33 says:

    People just love to criticize a player. Some still HATE on Donovan after all these years. They blame his “lack of ambition”.

    Ream is just the latest Edu type. Good player with good potential but for some reason is not as good as fans Hype them up to be. Ream is solid. He’s definitely a starter at Bolton, whether that is Championshop or Premier League is another thing. I don’t understand why he chose Bolton over some clubs in the Bundesliga

  76. Todd Marsch says:

    Wow. A lot more concrete info in that article that I’d seen before about the Dempsey affair. Is that usually a reliable source?

  77. jlm says:

    stoke basically plays cbs at cm. could be perfect for him as he will have to pick up his speed of play drastically, but will still have many of the same responsibilities as a cb

  78. WendellGee says:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to judge public opinion based on some comments on Internet message boards and comment sections. If you put all the negative comments about Ream from, for example, here and Bigsoccer, I think you’d find it’s a very small number of people, oftentimes posting over and over again.

  79. Ed says:

    No surprise, but via Roma’s twitter account, Bradley will be in the starting 11. Should be a proud day for all true USMNT supporters.

  80. jlm says:

    i am with you in that i think that ream gets tougher criticism than cameron. i think people might question ream’s toughness and tackling more so than they do cameron’s though. also, since they are in direct competition for the same position (even thought they could pair there) people will have the tendency to root for the one they think is better and not as much for the other just so they can be “right.”

    here’s to hoping they both do well and are solid top flight players by 2014…

  81. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Certainly comparing them is fair, and I think each has a few skills that are better than the others. Interestingly, Ream is in a more physical league this year, so it could help that part of his game.

  82. This Guy says:

    Even more impressive was the roar of the crowd when it was announced.

  83. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I understand that. But what on earth possesses a US soccer fan to root for one guy and against the other, whatever their opinion of their relative merits. Especially when logical observation does not really suggest one is that far ahead of the other (taking age into account, differing skill sets, etc.)

    On the subject of mysterious fan reactions… Bradley starting today for Roma is one of the most significant moments in the history of American field players in Europe. Yet I bet if we counted up bulletin board and blog comments, Cameron’s debut will have four to five times the comments.

  84. Yusef says:

    Bradley is in a starting midfield with Totti and De Rossi. One of the cooler things I’ve seen for a USMNT player.

  85. Matt says:

    Bradley gets his first yellow with a poor sliding tackle after losing the ball at midfield.. had some nifty footwork on the sideline before that though.

  86. This Guy says:

    Bradley with his first YC of the season on a stupid tackle from behind.

  87. Dank says:

    Bradley with a bad turnover, then immediately gets a yellow card trying to win the ball back. Settle down buddy :)

  88. Bob says:

    12 minutes in and MB90 is already on yellow!

  89. atd says:

    Looking much like the 22-year-old Bradley. I’m sure he’ll calm down as the game goes on.

  90. Wendell Gee says:

    Well, with regards to your second comment, yes that’s ridiculous. But alas, amongst USMNT fans, the Premiership is very often the be-all, end-all of pro soccer – to the exent that Roma can lose a face-off vs. Stoke City! I don’t think that will change any time soon, but I wish it would.

    With regards to Ream v Cameron, agreed. I haven’t really had favorite players in any sport since I was much MUCH younger. But back then sure, for whatever reason I would latch on to certain player and view other players playing a similar position as the competition. That can certainly color one’s opinions.

  91. Dank says:

    Is it just me, or was that Catania player miles offside?

  92. This Guy says:

    Ball deflected off of a Roma player meaning he was onside as long as he was onside for the original shot.

  93. Dank says:

    He was clearly offside when the original shot was taken, but may have gotten back onside by the time the deflection occurred. I’m pretty sure that would still be offsides. But none of the Roma players were complaining, so maybe I saw wrong. My stream is not HD.

  94. Tom says:

    There are fake US supporters? Why would they bother?

  95. Ted in MN says:

    Bradley’s looked pretty good to me overall. Getting well involved.

  96. TomG says:

    If he can stay healthy.

  97. TomG says:

    MB looks decent. Not quite able to connect Cleanly with that final pass or shot, but pretty clean and smart play in general. Man, Roma’s back line looks awful. Not only defensively, but also kicking the ball wildly upfield whenever they get possession. Does anyone know if this is atypical of them?

  98. Tyler says:

    How are you watching the game? What stream are you using to view Roma?

  99. Roy says:

    I agree with the nastiness part, but I’d add a greta sense of urgency. Arsenal is skilled enough to dominate as if great passing is the intended outcome, not victory. Gunners need a few guys who hate to lose so much they are aggressive and urgent.

  100. Shark says:

    Mike has look overall really good…looks like he belongs and that he earned the start…glad to see him with a big club and starting out good thus far…wish him all the best…:)

  101. This Guy says:

    Osvaldo! Wow!

  102. BCC says:

    Deep in my heart, Getafe will always be the Burger Kings.

    Higuain again shows that he was one of the most under-appreciated players on world football.

  103. Ted in MN says:

    Yo Ives! Must See Goal: Osvaldo

  104. TomG says:

    What a bike by Osvaldo!

  105. FulhamPete says:

    GO.
    LA.
    ZO.

    Osvaldo!

  106. Mike says:

    Lol

    What a crazy awesome goal.

  107. Eric says:

    Well I dont think Mikey will be losing his spot to Marquinho anytime soon. I’ve only seen him lose the ball and commit 3-4 fouls and get booked.

  108. TomG says:

    MB missed a great chance on a nicely timed run, laying it off to a teammate and turning it over in the middle of the box instead of taking the shot himself. He may be trying to play it a bit too fine in his debut instead of making the simple play. He’s also been caught over dribbling a couple times. He is going the full 90 though, which is impressive in and of itself.

  109. Ted in MN says:

    Bradley’s earned his pay today! what a strike

  110. Eric says:

    OOOOOOO Mikey with a beauty of an assist. 2-2 in stoppage time.

  111. TomG says:

    MB with the long ball assist at the death!!

  112. FulhamPete says:

    Another ridiculously sick golazo for Roma.

  113. Ted in MN says:

    beautiful pass and then the strike by Lopez

  114. TomG says:

    MB exhibiting tremendous vision and weight on that looping long ball up the left flank, putting in right on the foot.

  115. Shark says:

    Mike has had a really good debut for Roma…proud and happy for him….:)

    He can play…:)

  116. Ben says:

    Bradley played pretty well today, a couple turnovers, but that was among the least on Roma today, some nice passes and one brilliant on, solid d, and a couple nice interceptions. Roma’s backline looks like a complete mess though. And some players like Marquinho turned the ball over every time they touched it. Overall, not impressed by Roma.

  117. CplDaniel says:

    There was a Stoke defense 2-years-ago-or-so at Stamford Bridge that was F’n EPIC. IIRC Stoke got a lucky goal or equalizer and the las 20-25 minutes was just a massive assault on Stoke City, wave after wave. I think Chelsea finally managed to get one through right before the final whistle.
    For twenty-five or thirty minutes, Stokes scrappy bunkered defense was amazing.

    They were a lot less solid last year.

  118. BCC says:

    It’s a good thing Mike’s dad is the coach at Roma. Otherwise, he would not have been on the field.

  119. Drewbles says:

    Agreed, Marquinho was on the pitch for 18 minutes and it was 18 minutes too long.

  120. biff says:

    Gotta agree with that. Roma, in general, did not look good against a low mid-level team. Players seemed lifeless and don’t look happy and the coach looked like he was ready to blow a fuse. Maybe simply a case of first-game jitters under a new coach and will get better in coming weeks. But whereas before this game I would have been happy to see Clint Dempsey go to Roma, now it does not seem like it would be a good move for him.

  121. TomG says:

    Agreed. Their back line was shambolic. Anyone know if there is new blood there and how they performed last year? Is this an aberration?

    I was also intrigued by how often MB got forward. If he does well in a more advanced position on the pitch, this will give us options on the MNT level as well. I’ve always thought his ceiling was as a bigger Paul Scholes. Perhaps he could play a Scholes role for the MNT.

  122. TomG says:

    I’m glad to say that I think the MB hatred you reference seems to be dead or at least dormant. I think Jozy is the current unreasonably hated on whipping boy of choice, though he’s actually ,are it difficult with his excellent performance in the Eridivisie. Who’s next I wonder?

  123. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Fair enough, Todd. I’m with biff in thinking that Arsenal would be a better spot for Dempsey, although they haven’t shown any interest so I think it’s quite unlikely. As a Fulham supporter, I’m just disgusted with this whole episode, and just want it to end. Fulham may not have handled the situation perfectly, but Dempsey has been really disappointing (as has Liverpool, of course, claiming that they signed him without even putting in a bid). By this point I’m just hoping that Fulham can get ten million for Liverpool from him, and that Dempsey enjoys not playing in the Champions League (because ‘pool aren’t likely to qualify any time soon) while simultaneously playing for a much more demanding/critical fanbase.

    Am I bitter? Maybe just a little. But honestly, I think this is a huge mistake for Dempsey. Assuming he lands in Liverpool, he’ll score fewer goals, be under more pressure from a fanbase which isn’t particularly impressed by him (have you guys been reading any Liverpool message boards?), and be no closer to the CL (Fulham and Liverpool finished level last season, with ‘pool ahead on goal difference).

  124. BCC says:

    I hope you’re right.

    The problem, so it seemed to me, was that a lot of American fans (or fans of the USMNT) did not understand the game well enough to see MB’s value. Goals and assists are only a fraction of the overall picture.

  125. Brett says:

    There was definitely a point where MB was getting minutes with the nats and was not looking good. Also happened to be when he was not getting minutes at BMG or Aston Villa.

    I think any USA fan is happy to see Bradley playing regular minutes again, and the improvement shows in his national team performances.

  126. GW says:

    Well, you don’t really know if there were any real offers from Germany.

    If the current Dempsey soap opera has taught us anything, it should be that we get very few facts when it comes to actual business dealings between clubs and players.

    The short answer to your question though is Owen Coyle. He is fair to his players and he supports them. Look at how he dealt with Holden.

    This highlights one good rule all Yanks Abroad should try to follow which is try to get a manager who is not a f**king pr++ck.

  127. hogatroge says:

    Not to rain on your parade, but:

    Bolton was relegated, a few of the results they dropped late in the season were directly on Ream’s shoulders, and Tim hasn’t gotten off the bench this season.

    Meanwhile Cameron’s put in 4 increasingly solid 90′ performances for the USMNT this year while going the full 90′ in every game for Houston up until the transfer fever hit. The news seems to show he put in another solid 90′ today.

    I’m not ragging on Ream, and wish him well. I would love to see Bolton back in the Prem next year.

    The fact is, though, that one player’s stock has risen this year, while at best the other’s has stayed put. Let’s be rational while guessing which is which.

  128. To bad we will not see Luka Modric in the Premier League any more.