UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

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Reigning champions Chelsea will begin their defense of the UEFA Champions League title today in one of the best match-ups of the group stage as they play host to Italian champions Juventus.

The Blues have gotten off to a strong start to the season in England and will look to halt a Juve side coming off an unbeaten season in Serie A last season. Juventus is playing without suspended manager Antonio Conte, who is serving a suspension for his alleged role in a match-fixing scandal (his role being to have alledgedly failed to inform authorities of being offered a bribe to fix a match). Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard should put on a good battle of ageless midfield stars.

Manchester United will be looking to erase the bad memories of last year's failed Champions League run when they open their new campaign at home against Turkish giant Galatasaray. Returning Champions League finalists also faces a tough opening match, with a home date against Spanish side Valencia.

U.S. national team defender Michael Parkhurst and Danish champions Norsdjaelland face a difficult opening group match against high-flying Shakhtar Donetsk. It is a match-up that should test Parkhurst's defensive skills and allow him to showcase his recent impressive form.

If you will be watching today's UEFA Champions League action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's UEFA Champions League schedule is after the jump):

TODAY'S UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SCHEDULE

2:45pm-Fox Soccer Channel- Chelsea vs. Juventus

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Manchester United vs. Galatasaray

2:45pm- MSG Plus- Barcelona vs. Spartak Moscow

2:45pm- DirecTV- Bayern Munich vs. Valencia

2:45pm- DirecTV- Braga vs. CFR Cluj

2:45pm- DirecTV- Celtic vs. Benfica

2:45pm- DirecTV- Lille vs. BATE Borisov

2:45pm- DirecTV- Shakhtar Donetsk vs. FC Nordsjaelland

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48 Responses to UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary

  1. Xerxexs says:

    It’s amazing that McBride and Wynalda are commentating together now. Didn’t they compete in 98 WC for playing time and McBride took his spot soon after?

    Has me wondering, which was the better striker for the NT and their clubs?

  2. soccerhorn says:

    Donovan.

  3. Mig22 says:

    I am a Chelsea fan and I would say the odds are absolutely against them repeating as European Champions again. But that statement holds for every single team in the UCL including Barca, the Manchesters, Madrid, and Bayern. Of course it’s against the odds because there are 5-7 teams than can beat each other on any given day.

    The analysts entirely dismiss Chelsea’s chances but who makes the bet that any one team will win without getting tasty odds?

  4. Mig22 says:

    Personally, I think Wynalda was generally better for the Nats and McBride was better for the duration of his club career. But that choice for the better USMNT player is razor thin. It was harder to be a US striker when Wynalda played because we had a pretty awful team. Our MF started to get better during McBride’s later career so it was a *little* easier. Just some thoughts.

  5. sea dragon says:

    Jozy. Our best striker yet. Wait to the 2014 WC. I’m predicting 4 goals and a move to a CL club

  6. MASS says:

    why didn’t Clint Dempsey give some of the French or German or Turkish CL teams a sniff. They’d pay him some good money and i’m sure he could fight a way to a starting role for any of those clubs

    I wanna see that kid in the CL

  7. pete says:

    Lovely, fox soccer commentary ahead of action

  8. Mig22 says:

    yeah, mine too. sigh.

  9. pete says:

    I expect nothing else from fox soccer.

  10. Mig22 says:

    actually further ahead than I’ve ever heard. Have to actually mute it.

  11. MASS says:

    some report saying that AV is tracking Jozy

  12. Mig22 says:

    Sideshow Bob might be crazy but he has ridiculous skills for a big defender.

  13. Francois says:

    Where did you see that?

  14. Ted in MN says:

    Parkhurst is down. Took a cross right in the face.

  15. Mig22 says:

    THAT one wasn’t deflected!

  16. Citronomics says:

    Damn. What a nasty touch, turn and shot by Oscar. Good on ya lad.

  17. Fifawitz1313 says:

    Ridiculous goal by Oscar for Chelsea! That one deserves the must-see caption.

  18. Illmatic74 says:

    Fox soccer have the british commentary ahead of the broadcast which is completely ruining the game for me.

  19. Mig22 says:

    yup. I never know if it is the Channel feed or the Cable Provider at fault. #NoTechKnowHow

  20. Citronomics says:

    It’s not a bad thing when Terry gets nutmegged for a goal. :-) How does Chelsea give a hobbling Vidal space to fire a shot off?

  21. Ted in MN says:

    Nords finally down. You could see that coming. Give up the ball up again under pressure, Shaktar goes down to the byline, crosses back, goal.

  22. Adrian says:

    Did Mourinho put bounties on Barcelona players through Spartak? Some of these tackles are just ridiculous.

  23. Mig22 says:

    you know, as I sit here in a Chelsea t-shirt I asked myself that same question. Mine was phrased using a lot of profanity, however.

    Terry getting schooled made it bearable though.

  24. Ted in MN says:

    Nords has never seen an outlet pass that it actually liked. Its like they’ve decided “screw it, I’m gonna pass back no matter what the situation. going forward’s for dingbats.”

  25. Ted in MN says:

    Movement off the ball by Nordsjaelland is terrible.

  26. Kodi says:

    ha…nice goal for Alves!

  27. Ted in MN says:

    The more I watch Parkhurst, the less I’ve been rating him. His sense of urgency and his willingness to move into open space are absolutely nil. You’re down 1 and Shaktar defends in waves of high pressure. What the hell are you doing waiting till you’re surrounded by 3 orange jerseys?

  28. Ted in MN says:

    To be honest, the only person on Nords making a good account of themselves is the goalkeeper.

  29. Ted in MN says:

    2-0 Shaktar. They do what Nords has been failing to do all day. A rapid counter results in a goal.

  30. MASS says:

    Is Clint starting tomorrow for Tottenham?

  31. I'm 4 days late you guys says:

    Congrats to Brad Guzan. Starting goalkeeper for AV. Got a cleansheet this past weekend

  32. you decide says:

    McBride or Wynalda or Jozy or EJ or Mathis?

  33. you decide says:

    will Fernando Torres ever be the same? Perhaps if Falcao heads to Chelsea, perhaps he can head home back to ATLETICO

  34. qrgha says:

    come on did you guys honestly think Parkhurst and his team would not be getting beaten in the CL?

  35. Ted in MN says:

    Oh no. I heartily expect them to get crushed by both Juventus and Chelsea. Heck, after watching this, I’d be surprised if they spend more than 10 minutes playing outside their own half.

  36. Ted in MN says:

    In Parkhurst’s defense, he and the leftback are trying to advance up but both centerbacks and the holding midfielder Adu have look frankly disinterested in distributing the ball anywhere but in a triangle between the three of em.

  37. Ted in MN says:

    just got the epitome of what i’m talking about. trying to play out of the back with a forward between them, Okore chips it to Stokholm. He heads it back, then its back to Stokholm again. When Stokholm tries to head it back AGAIN, the forward reads the pass, steals it off Okore and almost gets a goal. During all of this, if Stokholm or Okore had passed it wide or taken the ball down and played it off their feet, they would have had a chance to get out of their own half. It was kinda pathetic.

  38. The Imperative Voice says:

    Donovan, Dempsey, McBride, then Wynalda, in that order.

    Jozy needs to start scoring goals in serious Hex or World Cup type games before he even enters the discussion. Everybody on that list has gotten the job done at least once (and usually more) in those circumstances.

  39. GW says:

    That is not accurate.

    Wynalda did play for the 1990 teams which were college teams but after Bora showed up it got better.

    He played with Tab Ramos who remains the best “#10″ the US ever had,Reyna included, Earnie Stewart and Tom Dooley. Not only that for most of his time Eric played with Lalas and Balboa at center back and, as bad as they are on TV, that is how good they were on the field. I saw them play and they were very impressive coming forward. All of the players I mentioned would be regulars in JK’s team today.

    Tom Dooley, the orginal version of Jermaine Jones,won the Bundesliga and the UEFA cup ( now the Europa league) during his time and you never hear about that now. I don’t know of another USMNT player who has done that.

    Wynalda played during the Bora and Sampson eras. They did a credible job in the 1994 World Cup and were looking really good leading up to the 1998 World Cup until Sampson got weird made some interesting changes( not just with Harkes). Sampson basically screwed up a potentially interesting team, which had previously done very well in the Copa America.

    They went down in flames in the 98 World Cup. They played awful there but don’t tell me they were an awful team.

    McBride,who was three years younger,and Arena took over after that. Bake played for the 2002 team which was arguably our best World Cup team ever.

    The biggest difference between Eric and McBride is that Eric was not comfortable with his back to the goal.

  40. GW says:

    For one game, one tournament,one season or an entire career? Club or country?

  41. Donald Tuck says:

    The best player I have ever seen with his back to the goal was an Italian with New York Cosmos, Giorgio Chinaglia.

  42. Good Jeremy says:

    Mathis before his injury, if that specifiation is an option.

  43. GW says:

    I agree with you. A very under-rated player; if you had asked Giorgio he would have told you that himself.

  44. Mig22 says:

    Well, I don’t quite agree with your assessment of the quality of the players but EVEN if I did think the talents that Wynalda played with were the equal of that of McBride, I absolutely stand by the fact that Wynalda had far less service, had to create far more himself.

    Different outlook, that’s all. I’m a big McBride fan but he played on seriously good US teams and benefited from that. I do think the actual soccer played by the US in 94 and 98 was pretty horrible if very occasionally effective.

    Cheers,

  45. GW says:

    Re Wynalda,it is not a different outlook.

    Wynalda had a different style of play from Bake all together, He was a different player period, playing for a team with a different style. In the 2002 World Cup McBride was an old fashioned center forward in the English mode with Donovan as his partner in a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2 (Mexico game).

    How much of Sampson’s teams did you see play? This was after the 94 World Cup and the team that went to the Copa America and beat Chile 2-1 and Argentina 3-0, were the most seriously attacking oriented US teams I’ve ever seen. Dooley and Stewart were the keys to that and were better than you give them credit for. I’ve never forgiven Sampson for screwing them up for the 98 World Cup.

    They lined up in a 3-6-1 with Wynalda nominally alone up top but that “6″ sent a lot of players forward.

    Comparing Wynalda and McBride is a futile excercise because really the only thing they had in common was the title USMNT striker, a job they both performed with equal distinction.

    Besides the stylistic differences I already mentioned probably the biggest difference was McBride was stronger and more durable than Eric.

  46. Mig22 says:

    I saw a fair fraction of the Sampson teams (I’m 48) and was very encouraged by them for a time (like everybody).

    But you’re writing a lot of words protesting statements I didn’t make. I initially said that Wynalda was the better striker for the USMNT team by a razor thin margin because he played on weaker teams over the course of his career than did McBride. I stand by that based on tournament results but I DO grant your point that during that time the US sometimes fielded a successful (counter)attacking side. They were attacking well for for a very, very brief time in Wynalda’s career.

    And yeah, they are very different players but it’s still worthwhile discussing relative merits. I think we’ve beaten this one to death.

  47. GW says:

    “Wynalda … played on weaker teams over the course of his career than did McBride. I stand by that based on tournament results but I DO grant your point that during that time the US sometimes fielded a successful (counter)attacking side. They were attacking well for for a very, very brief time in Wynalda’s career.”

    We can agree to disagree but one point I wanted to make. You are very dismissive of that team and they did stink up the 1998 World Cup.

    However,that 1995 team Wynalda played on in Copa America won their Group ( 0-1 vs. Bolivia, 2-1 vs Chile and 3-0 vs. Chile) they then beat Mexico on penalties aand were beaten 1-0 by Brazil in the semifinals. They lost 4-1 in the third place game.

    You can argue that is the third best finish by the US in a major tournament behind the 2002 World Cup team and the 2009 Confederations Cup team.

    There are a number of highlights on You tube that I invite anyone who doubts their quality to watch and judge for themselves.