Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

After a torrid start to the Premier League season, Chelsea has slowed down in the past few weeks, which has resulted inthe Blues conceding the top spot in the standings to Manchester United. Now the Blues will now look to right the ship against the Reds at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, Liverpool will be looking for anything positive in hopes of turning their 2012 season around.

Another prime matchup in England will pit Manchester City and Tottenham together at Ethiad Stadium, as both clubs sit in the top six of the league standings. After tallying a goal against Manchester United earlier this season, Clint Dempsey will be looking for his second, as Deuce will be looking for the deuce against the other club from Manchester.

In Italy, the latest installment of the Rome Derby will see Lazio take on Roma in Michael Bradley’s first apperance in the historic rivalry. The intense affair almost always produces high drama, and this morning’s showdown should be no different.

Following a surprising loss to Celtic earlier this week in Champions’ League play, Barcelona will be looking to rebound from the defeat against Mallorca. Despite a club record 28 points in their opening ten matches, Barcelona sits only three points ahead of second-place Athletico Madrid, who will take on Getafe shortly after.

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:

6:30am- ESPN Deportes- Vitesse vs. Twente

7:45am- Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com- Hibernian vs. Dundee United

8am- Univision- Marseille vs. Nice

8:30am- ESPN Deportes- Zwolle vs. Ajax

8:30am- Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes- Manchester City vs. Tottenham

9am- BeIN Sport en Espanol- Genoa vs. Napoli

9am- BeIN Sport- Lazio vs. Roma

9:30am- GolTV- Wolfsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen

10am- Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com- Newcastle United vs. West Ham United

10:30am- ESPN Deportes/ESPN3- PSV vs. Heerenveen

11am- Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes- Chelsea vs. Liverpool

11:30am- GoLTV- Stuttgart vs. Hannover

11:50am- BeIN Sport/BeIN Sport en Espanol- Mallorca vs. Barcelona

Noon- CBS Sports- Notre Dame vs. Georgetown (Big East Final)

Noon- ESPNU- Maryland vs. North Carolina (ACC Final)

1pm- ESPN3- Porto vs. Academica

1:45pm- BeIN Sport en Espanol- Atletico Madrid vs. Getafe

2:45pm- BeIN Sport- Atalanta vs. Inter Milan

3:15pm- ESPN3- Sporting CP vs. Braga

4pm- NBC Sports Network- Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United

5pm- BeIN Sport- AC Milan vs. Fiorentina (Delayed)

5:30pm- BeIN Sport en Espanol- Atalanta vs. Inter Milan (Delayed)

7pm- BeIN Sport- Montpellier vs. PSG (Delayed)

9pm- ESPN/ESPN Deportes- Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

9:30pm- BeIN Sport en Espanol- Lazio vs. Roma (Delayed)

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72 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. biff says:

    I’ll be gosh darned, Dempsey starting for Tottenham against Man City. That was unexpected. And Defoe on the bench with Adebayor starting up top against a team he will be seeking revenge against. This could be interesting.

  2. Soccer Guy says:

    Yes, Dempsey starting is a surprise. Dempsey needs to get it together because he will not be gifted starts for much longer. Defoe must be either nursing a minor injury or needs a rest. No coach would have any reason to start Dempsey in front of Defoe based on play.

    • TomG says:

      Simple matter of fresh legs. 2 strikers of similar ability. One played 80 minutes midweek while the other played 10. It’s the logical move.

  3. Apdirtybird says:

    And Tottenham with, maybe, 2 minutes of useful possession in the first 20 minutes.

  4. Tony says:

    So do you think from what we’ve seen so far Dempsey leaving Fulham for Spurs was good for his USMNT development? Will Villas-Boas’ style match jurgeen’s better than Jol’s?

    • TomG says:

      Deuce is almost 30. He’s a big boy. I don’t think development is really an issue with him. As long as he’s playing against and with good players it doesn’t really matter what system he’s playing in. No system is really going to help or hinder his play with USMNT.

  5. elgringorico says:

    City dominating possession early but let one slip in! Joe Hart really should have stopped it. Dempsey with minimal touches so far.

  6. Soccer Guy says:

    It’s so hard just to find Dempsey on the field when he plays. I think he is going to be looking at an extended stay on the bench and a disaster of a season if he doesn’t make a significant contribution soon.

    • TomG says:

      While I’d love to see him racking up goals, personally, I’m not too worried. If there is anyone who knows how to fight his way into a lineup, it’s Deuce.

    • TomG says:

      But hopefully, by this time, he should be recovered from missing the beginning of the season and training. Let’s hope he bounces back to form soon.

  7. Citronomics says:

    Poor pass by Deuce that leads to a Man City break (shot saved by Friedel). To be fair, the idea was good but the ball played was weak.

  8. TomG says:

    Where is Lennon going?

  9. Soccer Guy says:

    Mancini is Niggled? Is this an English word?

  10. deepvalue says:

    Friedel is so solid. Did the commentator really just suggest that the City players “count to ten” and play on.

  11. Michael R. says:

    Bradley involved well for Roma. Got a yellow in the 27th.

    Raining hard in Roma. Pitch starting to look like a CONCACAF island pitch.

  12. kev says:

    Damn Dempsey dude. u have to score

  13. Michael R. says:

    Well, I guess there will be minutes for MB the next few weeks. DDR sent off.

  14. deepvalue says:

    “The tall Tongan over to Vertonghen.” Great line by the commentator.

    • GW says:

      Tonga is in the Pacific.

      Its major sporting contribution is a number of fairly nasty NFL defenders.

      Togo, which is where Adebayor is from, is in Africa.

      There is a very big difference.

  15. Citronomics says:

    Friedel with a superb kick save!

  16. Citronomics says:

    Love it… from the commentator “Ah Mr Balotelli, are you asleep? you cannot possibly be”.

  17. deepvalue says:

    Spurs haven’t completed one pass on the right side. Everything is kicked out of bounds.

  18. deepvalue says:

    Dzeko is a fantasy mystery. Scores every time he touches the ball but doesn’t play that much.

  19. kev says:

    2months after the move of Dempsey and Gooch. what do you think? Gooch has played 3 games all of which was in the past 2-3weeks. 2 starts and a 1min cameo. Flop? will he get more time with injuries? What about Dempsey? 2 goals, 1assist in like 12 matches most of which were starts. Should he have stayed at Fulham?

    • Dimidri says:

      With regards to Gooch, despite leading his team in scoring (as a defender!) at the time he got injured last year and all around playing pretty well and starting almost every game when healthy, seemed like the new manager wouldn’t play him, so if you’re only going to be in the 18 why not do it at a champion’s league club?

    • atd says:

      To be fair, Dempsey’s not being asked to score. He’s being asked to make good runs into the box which in order to draw defenders while Bale takes stupid shots from impossible angles.

      • biff says:

        IMO, atd, smartest comment yet on Dempsey’s performances at Tottenham, Bale taking stupid shots. He had at least two golden chances to pass to an open Dempsey in dangerous scoring positions and took stupid shots.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        +1

    • Matt says:

      Gooch is playing on a team that qualified for the Champions League from what has been the best league the past two years. He was not brought in to be a starter. He will continue to get some minutes as the first CB back up, as cards accumulate and injuries occur. Frankly, I don’t think that can be construed as a failure.

  20. Soccer Guy says:

    Well, I think Dempsey will finally be coming off the bench to get playing time for a while. No one can say he wasn’t given a chance. I can’t stand watching him anymore. He just roams around the pitch like he really doesn’t care. The irony is I think he will eventually end up with a team lower in the table than Fulham.

    • biff says:

      Please enlighten us, Soccer Guy. What exactly do you think Dempsey did wrong today?

      • Citronomics says:

        My read of Soccer Guy’s comment, and I think that re: today’s match it’s fair, is that Deuce really didn’t do much at all. Very little link up play, coughed the ball up one time directly leading to a Man City break and shot, and didn’t create anything on his own.

        Certainly tactics come into play and the Tottenham squad really weren’t incisive or threatening (and that’s not Deuce’s fault per se) yet today’s performance was meh. Having said that, I’m mot extrapolating to his body of work so far.

        My two cents. Cheers

        • beachbum says:

          I’d bet he was only targeted half a dozen tiems the whole match, maybe.

          • elgringorico says:

            Yes, it’s true, but if you consider that Adebayor, who was playing further up, was getting the pull 3-5x as much as Dempsey, it doesn’t bode well for him. It was almost as if Adebayor was playing Demsey’s role because he wasn’t getting open or making enough space for himself. That, or the other players trust Adebayor more with the ball. I actually thought dempsey did OK/good with the few touches he had.

            • beachbum says:

              that Spurs tried to play thru Adebayor and essentially failed at it was more revealing than Dempsey being devoid of service or opportunity seems to me, on top of their midfield never showing up. Clint tracked and pursued on D but very little opportunities; that one Bale run to the touchline found him in good position but the pass didn’t find him.

              and with all the problems the team had it’s hard for me to judge the Dempsey/Adeybayor pairing

              Spurs should have lost by 5+ goals today they played that poorly and alowed that many excellent chances. They sucked

        • Todd Marsch says:

          That’s about my read too. I only saw the 2nd half, but I would say Dempsey was OK. A couple decent passes, a couple giveaways, some defensive, but really nothing game-changing. When Spurs needed someone to hold the ball up top and make City worried about a counter, Dempsey couldn’t really provide anything (of course, Bale and Lennon didn’t do much in this regard either). At the end of the game, you could see Bale really was trying to elevate his game and produce an equalizer, but you just didn’t get that same sense from Dempsey.

        • GW says:

          These concerns over Clint are a little premature which is typical.

          Spurs are 11 games or a little less than a third into their season.

          Clint could be doing better but he is pretty low on the list in terms of what is wrong with Spurs. They still miss Modric. Deuce was never going to make up for him in any way so he needs to score more.

          If you consider Deuce, Defoe and Adebayor to be the strike force then all three , in career terms, are pretty similar except that Clint has spent more time at midfield.

          Adebayor is a better “big” target man than Defoe or Deuce so assuming it comes down to Defoe or Dempsey, right now Defoe is playing better. However, Clint has generally been more consistent over the course of the season. It also helps Clint that the Icelander has yet to impress.

          What will tell you what you need to know is who does AVB, assuming he is around, buy in January?

          • biff says:

            I don’t know whether you saw the game or not, GW. But Dempsey put in a solid performance and, contrary to some of the insinuations above, he was quite active and several times was open in the box but his teammates never want to seem to pass off to him. As atd mentions above, Bale would rather take stupid shots. Bale is a great player, I am not saying he is not, but he had at least two chances today for easy passes to Clint that he ignored. And Clint was very pesky on defense and an asset. AVB needs to start utilizing Dempsey’s skills better.

        • biff says:

          Citronomics: But I was asking Soccer Guy, not you. I wanna know what Soccer Guy thinks Dempsey was doing wrong.

      • Soccer Guy says:

        You are definitely in need of some enlightening, Biff. Is it possible you are an ex boxer and took a few too many blows to the head? You must be the only person in the world who was impressed by Dempsey’s play today. Did YOU watch the game? When you have to play a game of “Where’s Waldo?” just to find Dempsey in the game it’s not indicative of a good game. You thought he played good defense? Seriously? Is it possible you are a member of the Dempsey family?

  21. A says:

    I am putting the odds on Deuce being traded or cut in the January transfer window at 50/50.

    • Eric says:

      First of all, I do love how us US fans tend to immediately go to the wildest possible extremes when making predictions. Deuce didn’t score but he did fine. His passing was good and so was his hold up play and offball movement. Goals aren’t the only indication of playing well in this system of play.

      Second, really, traded? You think he has a 50/50 chance of being traded in the EPL? Trades aren’t really that common over there.

      • A says:

        Yes, I know trades aren’t common.

        You know what else isn’t common? Transfers for 30 year old players with large salary burdens. His best bet would be to find another team willing to swap players.

        This isn’t one game. He’s been bad in every game. He does not fit in this team, and that’s very clear.

    • GD10 says:

      Your an idiot and its called a transfer secondly they would never cut him, he’s making like 7 mill a year and he just signed this past summer, geez ppl need to have a little more faith in Clint. Plus Dembele has been out and he is the engine of this tottenham team he keeps the ball moving.

      • A says:

        Clearly I am aware that there are transfers, hence calling it the TRANSFER WINDOW.

        Nobody wants that salary burden. Hence his only option would be a player swap or cut.

      • A says:

        And if you’re going to insult someone, use the correct words.

        “Your an idiot.” Really?

        YOU ARE = YOU’RE

      • Benny says:

        Calling people an idiot because they do not agree with you, really?

  22. Michael R. says:

    Twitter says that Jozy is back in the USMNT squad.

  23. Dank says:

    Great diagonal by Bradley almost allows Roma to snatch a late equalizer.

    • beachbum says:

      beautiful ball, at the death, two Roma players there for it, and they fight each other and squander the chance. brutal

  24. Pete says:

    I hate to be reactionary and all. And I realize it’s incredibly early to try to judge a manager. However, the way in which Tottenham concedes late in games (a 3 month long pattern now) is incredibly concerning. They play with a lack of decisiveness and confidence and only seem to become positive in their play when they are down a goal. There’s absolutely no flow to their team this year; their play seems forced. A good chunk of the blame has to fall on the manager here for not playing to his team’s strength, and for me that’s their blinding pace down the wings and overlapping runs. They clearly lack a creative midfielder like Modric (not blaming anyone here), and the goals that used to be sparked from the center of the pitch are going to be few and far between. AVB’s style will not translate to a top 4 finish unless he adapts. Perhaps things will improve with the return of Dembele and Kaboul (Gallas is a useful sub, but not starting quality), but for now I’m less than impressed by their play.

    • beachbum says:

      they miss Dembele sometheing fierce. No midfiled play whatsoe ver from Spurs and defensively they are soft, no other word for it. Lucky not to have conceded 5 goals or more today, seriously.

      • TomG says:

        Yes, Huddelstone and Sandro were absurdly bad in the middle of the pitch. Spurs defenders didn’t help with possession either. Vertonghen attempted to join the attack several times and turned it over disgracefully each time, missing wide open teammates.

    • GW says:

      Dembele is the closest thing they have to a replacement for Modric. And he knows how to play with Dempsey.

      And they do need someone to replace Gallas who is prone to losing his mind at inopportune times.
      Someone to organize the midfield.
      Someone to organize the defense.

      Until this happens I would say AVB has not really had his transfers integrated into the team.Not that they will give him more time if things keep getting worse.

      And those of you who keep complaining that AVB isn’t using Dempsey properly?
      AVB’s priority isn’t making sure Dempsey shines to his best advantage.
      His priority is to get Spurs going.

      Dempsey probably has some security because, if he fails at Spurs, he does not have a lot of resale value so I would think Spurs want to get their money’s worth out of him.

  25. Dank says:

    Ugly looking clash leaves Terry on the ground. Looks like it could be a torn acl to me.

    • Dank says:

      Wasn’t malicious – Suarez got bumped from behind and fell right onto Terry’s knee as the latter was making a challenge from in front. But still looks like a serious injury.

  26. deepvalue says:

    Like him or not, that’s a big loss. Chelsea player pushed Suarez right into Terry.

  27. David M says:

    It just seems that Tottenham’s offensive scheme completely ignores Dempsey. He never gets the ball unless it’s a result of some weird bounce. He’s just taking up space, doing nothing offensively.

    • biff says:

      He was open several times today in good positions in the box but teammates are not passing to him there, only upfield…

  28. Citronomics says:

    Suarez! How easy was that?

  29. kev says:

    Suarez is such a sweet striker

  30. Hogatroge says:

    Ugh… USMNT roster release delayed ’til Monday, even though the interwebs seem to indicate Gatt did get the call up.

    What’s the point in releasing a roster 2 days early anyway? Not much time to build up excitement (positive or negative) for players. Might as well surprise everyone on game day.

    As a fan, I feel justified in my disappointment, though I couldn’t really make an argument for why we fans are owed the roster early.

    • GW says:

      When do you feel the fans “deserve” a roster?

      If JK released it at the same time as the Russians the final roster would have been unrecognizable what with all the probable changes from the MLS playoffs.

      In the most American sports the lineup is pretty much a game time decision.

      What exactly do you feel US soccer fans deserve? Or is your interest primarily gambling related?

  31. Lil' Zeke says:

    My wife says Houston look like a bunch of candy corn out there