Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

The top teams in three of the top leagues in Europe will look to extend their double-digit leads on Saturday.

Bayern Munich kicks off the day with a home match against Werder Bremen. The runaway Bundesliga leaders host an 11th-place Bremen side that has failed to secure a single point against the league’s top four teams this season. After a midweek Champions League win at Arsenal and a major domestic cup quarterfinal against Dortmund in the coming days, it will be interesting to see how Bayern handles their opponents today.

Manchester United will kick off at Loftus Road a half-hour after the start of Bayern-Bremen. The EPL leaders hold a 12-point advantage over local rivals Manchester City heading into today’s match at QPR. The hosts only have 12 games left to fight out of last place and stay in the top flight, and a shock result against the league’s top team could go a long way in securing their spot for next season.

Barcelona hosts Sevilla later in the day, and the La Liga leaders could definitely use a win before their next two matches against rival Real Madrid. Many will be interested in seeing how the Catalans bounce back after Wednesday’s 2-0 first leg loss at AC Milan.

Matches from North America will round out this busy day in the world of soccer. MLS’s Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders will close their preseason campaigns in the Desert Diamond Cup Final at 8 p.m. Eastern. In Mexican action, league-leading Tigres travel to face Cruz Azul in the spotlight match of the evening.

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):

Saturday’s TV Schedule

7:45am – ESPN2, ESPN3.com – Fulham vs. Stoke City

9:30am – GolTV – Bayern München vs. Werder Bremen

10am – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Arsenal vs. Aston Villa

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Norwich City vs. Everton

10am – Fox Soccer Channel – Queens Park Rangers vs. Manchester United

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Reading vs. Wigan Athletic

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – West Bromwich Albion vs. Sunderland

10am – beIN Sport en Español – Mallorca vs. Getafe

12pm – beIN Sport – Real Zaragoza vs. Valencia

12:30pm – GolTV – Schalke 04 vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

2pm – beIN Sport – Deportivo La Coruña vs. Real Madrid

2:45pm – Sky Calcio 1 – Palermo vs. Genoa

4pm – beIN Sport – Barcelona vs. Sevilla

6pm – ESPN Deportes – Cruz Azul vs. Tigres UANL

6pm – Univision Deportes – Querétaro vs. Atlas

8pm- NBC Sports- Desert Diamond Classic (Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake)

8pm – UniMás – Monterrey vs. Puebla

10pm – Univision Deportes – San Luis vs. Pumas UNAM

10pm – Galavision – Tijuana vs. Atlante

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96 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Nate Dollars says:

    shea on the bench

  2. Caz2070 says:

    What’s up with Cameron playing in an offensive role for Stoke? I thought he played centerback typically? Has he played up before?

  3. Caz2070 says:

    Shea is warming up on the sidelines for Stoke

  4. john.q says:

    Shea looks like he’s coming on soon!

  5. john.q says:

    Shea is on. few USA chants.

  6. Caz2070 says:

    Shea is in at the 24 minute mark.

  7. jones says:

    Shea looks horrid so far. But then again, Stoke doesn’t look great in general.

  8. Arkie says:

    Shea looks like he needs to settle. If he does he could be a spark. But stoke definitely playing for the draw. Stoke are ugly, but you have to admire them for devising a way to assure top flight footy for so long. Who knows, maybe after a few more seasons they’ll be consistently pushing for Europa League.

  9. Swifty says:

    Keep the shea comments coming pls. Pumped that hes in but want him to do well too.
    Why did he come on so early?

  10. Smacking says:

    Halftime Stoke down 1-0 on a beautiful goal. Not much from Shea, but hard to be to be overly critical when Stoke has so little going up front.

  11. Darwin says:

    Fulham’s offense will be skipping around Shea all morning.

  12. WG says:

    Cameron, playing MF today, subbed off for another attacker at 50th minute,

  13. Jeb says:

    shea draws a penalty!!!!

  14. jones says:

    Shea had a pretty nice shot a minute ago

    • Sandtrout says:

      I admitted I did some fast-forwarding through the game, but I thought Shea looked quite comfortable in the second half. Involved in what were probably their best two chances — the penalty he won and his missed shot. Decent passing and movement.

  15. Seriously? says:

    I know they have Americans, but it’s stuff like that sneaky, off the ball elbow by Huth on Senderos they just showed and the punch to the face of Ruiz by N’Zonzi earlier which makes it very difficult for me to root for Stoke. I’ll root for the players to do well, but not the team.

    • jones says:

      yeah, I’m not into their style of play overall. I hope they remain in the PL, but otherwise I don’t really care whether they win or lose.

    • WG says:

      I agree. The 10-1 formation they usually run doesn’t endear them to me, either.

    • JG13 says:

      For anyone who didn’t watch this match, there was no “punch” on Ruiz. It was a stupid shove to the face that should’ve seen red but calling it a punch is completely untrue,

      • Seriously? says:

        heh, completely untrue? If you’re being that much of a semantic stickler, then calling it a shove is also “completely untrue”. I’d say a shove would imply that the hands start close to whatever they are shoving, and it implies more pushing than striking in the action. He didn’t just push his face away, he extended his arm and struck Ruiz in the face with his hand. Yes, his fist wasn’t closed, but I’d say it was closer to a punch than a shove, and I don’t think punch is a gross mischaracterization.

      • GW says:

        Call it anything you want, it should have been a red.card.

  16. tryst says:

    So Fulham could offer Berbatov 100K a week in wages yet they were unsure with giving Dempsey 50-60K?

    • Seriously? says:

      Not if Dempsey didn’t want to stay.

    • Clemsonuee says:

      Fulham is only paying half of Bernard salary, and they offered Dempsey more than that. Dempsey just didn’t want to stay. He wanted a shot at the Champions League.

    • A says:

      Berbatov is better than Dempsey, so I’m not sure what the issue is? We love Deuce, but that doesn’t mean he deserves equal wages to everyone else.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        pretty sure tryst isn’t advocating for everyone to get paid the same amount, he’s just questioning why fulham would pay berbatov twice what they were paying dempsey. it’s been pointed out that they’re not.

        and the splitting of berbatov’s salary is a great reminder that, just because someone’s salary is higher, it doesn’t mean they’re better.

        • A says:

          Given the situation he laid out, he sort of was advocating for equal wages (read that he implied he believed Berbatov shouldn’t be making more than Dempsey when the simple truth would have been that they rate Berbatov higher than Dempsey, who they probably rate around 60-80K a week or whatever it is that he was actually making.

          Now, in reality Berbatov is still better than Deuce, but as you said wage situations can be like a funhouse mirror.

          • tryst says:

            No. What I was statins is that Fulham were hesitant on making Dempsey their clubs top earner at 60 K (wage structure and all) and yet grabbed Berbatov for 100 K. Great signing yes but his wages still eclipse the rest of the team by double. Dempsey left for the CL yes but im sure getting paid just 30-40 K a week was frustrating when u know u would almost certaintly earn more at any bigger club.

            • Seriously? says:

              Dempsey wanted to move to a CL level club, it had nothing to do with money. I don’t understand where this Dempsey left because of the money came from.

      • sly says:

        As a Liverpool fan its hard to say but if his name was berbinho he’d be playing for Madrid. Silkiest touch in the premier league past 5 years.

        Ive rarely seen a European player like him much less a Bulgarian. A seminal talent. I don’t think Bulgaria could make him again if they tried.

        • biff says:

          Agree. Two things:

          1. Why in the world didn’t Sir Alex play Berbatov?

          2. Why didn’t Berbatov end up going to a weak team like Fulham? Does he have a bad repuation of something that better teams want nothing to do with him?

          • Monty says:

            His wife wanted to stay in England. He had some good offers from Italy including one from Juventus.

          • A says:

            Wife didn’t want to leave the UK.

          • TomG says:

            Berbatov is not a young guy anymore and he’s never been quick. He has zero versatility and can’t play any other positions. He doesn’t contribute much to the hold up game, either so he doesn’t produce any real value outside of goal scoring which he hadn’t done much of late with the Manx before his transfer.

            • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

              Hard to score when you don’t play. The year before he was tied for the Golden boot at 20 goals playing only Half Time.

              He’s 32. Should be a target for Philly, DC United, or any other team needing a striker. I wish one of the TX teams would be he will run even less in the TX heat.

  17. NE Matt says:

    Fabian Johnson and Timothy Chandler starting for their teams. Danny Williams on the bench and Michael Parkhurst not dressed. Why the hell did they buy Parkhurst if they aren’t even going to let him dress when the man ahead of him suffered a serious injury. That bewilders me.

    • away goals says:

      Surprised by the parkhurst omission and wonder if there’s an explanation besides form. He looked assured in the starting role last week, though his final ball was consistently poor.

      And I guess he was partially at fault for one of the goals conceded. So maybe it was form.

    • TomG says:

      I guess he hasn’t impressed in training. Too bad.

  18. MikeG says:

    I am not one for playing a player out of a position, but in this case a player has put time in: What about Brek Shea playing up as a forward for the USMNT? Possibly in a 4-3-3? This would put Fabian Johnson in the LW spot. We already have enough Back’s to cover LB. Fabian Johnson could unleash his offensive game on the LW. Shea could use his height, 1 VS 1 skill, speed, and shooting more openly in a offensive way. I know it probably would not happen, but it would be interesting to see in a friendly. Off to the next game Augsburg and Hoffenheim…so nice to use Rojadirecta.me to view nearly ALL sports in the U.S. and internationally.

    • NE Matt says:

      The forward in a 433 needs to have a hold up game. Shea would need to bulk up a lot for that to work.

    • Flacotex says:

      FCD tried Shea up top with horrible results.

    • biff says:

      @MG: Fabian had a good game as LW against Slovenia, but that was 16 months ago and since then he has only played left back. Plus, he has not been as strong this season at left back as last year. I think it would be a mistake to play him as winger for the USMNT. We have other options, including Shea, who put on a solid 1st performance for Stoke today, Beasley, who is hot for Puebla, Brad Davis, who many fans are clamoring for.

      • MikeG says:

        Most of the 2011-2012 season Fabian Johnson played ACM, LW, RW. He was only put into the LB spot out of necessity from injuries to Hoffenheim. Midfield is his natural position. Fabian Johnson was starting for Germany in the final of the European Under-21 Championship alongside Mesut Oezil, Sami Khedira. Here is a quote from JK himself, “Fabian is interesting,” Klinsmann said. “He has a special vision. He can play a killer ball, which is rare. He’s a player who can do most everything on the ball. I see him as a connecting forward, but he has the ability to help on the right side of midfield or in the back, which is a nice thing to have.” So, I point out Fabian Johnson as the best place on the USMNT based on the player himself and how he has developed and not just one game against Slovenia. I pointed out the Slovenia game in reference to those fans who think Fabian Johnson should ONLY play LB because they have not seen what he as done for the German Youth side and Hoffenheim. Klinnsman has and he knows better…now he has a great chance to do better for Fabian and the USMNT (that is what I am pointing out).

      • MikeG says:

        Beasley or Shea on LW..Fabian Johnson or even Gatt on RW. RW or LW for Fabian Johnson is a definite upgrade for the USMNT

  19. away goals says:

    Holden not in the 18 man squad today.

  20. MikeG says:

    Augsburg playing with 3 in the back. I guess parkhurst does not have the speed to play in a 3 back system. Perhaps he got a knock in practice. Hoping to see him play. Disappointed.

  21. Seriously? says:

    wow, the announcers in the early match were going on about how great Berbatov’s goal was, but it will be at most 2nd best today, that was a great strike by Rafael.

  22. tryst says:

    I thought Parkhurst was the only rightback the club had and they guaranteed him PT. Get on yo job man or u will be in 2 Bundesliga soon

    • biff says:

      Silly comment, tryst. Parkhurst didn’t make the bench after a good performance last week, meaning he is injured or sick with the flu or something.

      • bayern_kaiser says:

        Biff, the name fits you . Do you REALLY follow football, specifically the Bundesliga? Kicker Magazine, one of the most respected football magazines in the world, gave Parkhurt a 5 note (1 = best, 5 = worst) , and I would agree after seeing his performance.

        • biff says:

          Oh, wow. The bayern_kaiser looks at Kicker and thinks he is Herr Bundesliga Expert. What a guy! Then you know that Augsburg was in 17th place last week and playing away from home against Bayer Leverkusen, one of the top teams in the Bundesliga. Parkhurst put in a solid performance facing Andre Schurle, one of the best left wingers in the Europe and a member of the German National Team and wanted by such clubs as Chelsea. And, by the way, Herr Bundesliga “Genius” Expert, Kicker rated Schurle with a 4 for that game. Parkhust must have done something right.

          You know, bayern_kaiser, you’re not as smart as you think you are. You seem to be suffering delusions of (kaiser) grandeur. You should pull your head out and get some fresh air.

          Oh yeah, news story published after the game says Michael Park was, indeed, suffering from the flu. :-)

          link to augsburger-allgemeine.de

          • bayern_kaiser says:

            Biff – And where does it say he played a “good” game? You’re a blind US footy fan lemming.

  23. biff says:

    I only saw a few first half minutes before Shea was inserted in the Fulham-Stoke game, but saw the second half and thought Shea looked solid in his first PL game. Nice skills to draw the penalty and a decent attempt at goal and generally nice touch and passes, with a few exception. Exciting stuff, and I betcha Shea gets called up for Costa Rica and Mexico.

    And for the people above complaining about Stoke’s physicality, I agree fully with that. But during the few first-half minutes I saw Berbatov threw a vicious elbow that had one of the Stoke players down bleeding around the eye. I did not see the beginning of the game, so don’t know whether that was payback for a previous Stoke attack.

  24. MikeG says:

    Timothy Chandler with a cheeky assist. Nice pass TC!

  25. u4u44hh33 says:

    $23 says both Jozy and Clint scores a brace in their next game

  26. The Voice of Reason? says:

    Bocanegra will not be coming to the WC with us. Let him help us through qualifying and through him a final match in Feb 2014. But Gonzalez/Cameron/Besler/Goodson can handle the centerback role. I’m unsure on whether Cherundolo has seen his end as well or whether Lichaj/Parkhurst can take his spot.

  27. Jon says:

    Kei Kamara scored a 84th minute equalizer for Norwich. Grant Holt then won it in stoppage time.

  28. MemRook says:

    Bad day to be an American keeper in the BPL. Poor defending by Villarton.

  29. The Voice of Reason? says:

    Amazing. Kamara with his first goal. 2nd appearance I believe. Who said MLS strikers couldn’t hack it in the PL?

  30. WG says:

    Jermaine Jones with a nice header from the far post across the goal mouth off a free kick for an assist. Schalke04 1-0 Dusseldorf, ht.

    • bayern_kaiser says:

      WG, Aside from his yellow, JJ had another great match in the MF. He is in very good of late. Let’s hope it continues against CR in the WCQ.

      • t says:

        he had no choice but to take that yellow, he stopped a fast break after a bad giveaway from his teammate. jones was excellent all game, very mobile and most buildups went through him.

  31. SilverRey says:

    Does anyone know if the DC United/Union game is streaming anywhere? They’ve been doing a good job of showing the preseason games so far, but I can’t find any mention of the DCUvU or Impact v Crew games this afternoon.

  32. MikeG says:

    I’ve been watching Quilmes AC, River Plate, and Valez Sarsfield in the Argentine League. I noticed Argentina and Germany, in general, play a similar style: they look for the penetrating pass or through ball whenever they see it and go for it. Good tactical build up from the back. This league does not get the ratings it deserves. Darn good league!!!!! Hey, since I am here Klinnsman has been looking at a couple of players in Argentina: Jurgen #Klismann llamo a Rogelio Funes Mori (#River) y Michael Hoyos (#EDP) y les pregunto si aceptarian ser convocados para USA .#USMNT. link to mlssoccer.com

    Good Good eye Klinnsman

  33. RPM says:

    Article is wrong. In my opinion, the spotlight game in Liga MX is Queretaro vs Atlas. This is pretty much a championship game. Queretaro is in the relegation spot and Atlas is next in line. If Atlas can win, they will be nine points ahead of Queretato…nearly impossible for Queretaro to catch up based on the opponents they have in the following weeks. However, if Queretaro wins, they are still in the race and Atlas will still be looking behind its back in case Queretaro catches up. This is it for both teams … do or die time.

  34. bryan says:

    Jamaica getting dominated. They look awful.