Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

BradGuzanVWestHam (Getty)

By MICHAEL KLINE

Reading and Aston Villa are both in danger of being relegated, and their showdown today is vital for both team’s chances of avoiding a fate neither team wants to suffer.

The match between The Villans and The Royals will have huge relegation implications, with a win taking either side out of the bottom three. Paul Lambert will try to prevent becoming the first Aston Villa manager to get relegated since the inception of the Premier League, and a win against Reading will give his squad a morale boost for the last nine matches of the season.

The FA Cup will also be in action on Saturday, when Everton welcome Wigan Athletic to Goodison Park. The task got harder for David Moyes’ squad, however, when it was revealed that American goalkeeper Tim Howard would be sidelined for several weeks due to broken bones in his back.

The sixth round of the FA Cup will continue later on Saturday, with Barnsley having the tough task of facing Manchester City at The Emirates.

If you will be watching today 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

7:45am – Fox Soccer Channel – Everton vs. Wigan Athletic

9:30am – GolTV – Bayern Munich vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

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

10am – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Queens Park Rangers vs. Sunderland

10am – Fox Soccer Channel – Reading vs. Aston Villa

10am – Fox Deportes/FoxSoccer2Go.com – West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City

11am – Univision Deportes – Paris Saint-Germain vs. AS Nancy

12:30pm – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester City vs. Barnsley

1:30pm – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Toronto FC vs. Sporting Kansas City

6pm – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Colorado Rapids vs. Philadelphia Union

6pm – ESPN3.com – Cruz Azul vs. Jaguares

7pm – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake

7:30pm – NBC Sports Network – Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution

7:30pm – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew

8pm – Univision Deportes – Tijuana vs. Querétaro

10pm – Univision Deportes – San Luis vs. Tigres UANL

10:30pm – MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live – Portland Timbers vs. Montreal Impact

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60 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. ACS says:

    So Everton didn’t do so hot without Mr. Howard.

  2. Nate Dollars says:

    um, espn doesn’t have fabian in the 18. not injured, i hope?

  3. sly says:

    Wigan got upset at the beatdown Liverpool gave them last week. Everton had to pay.

    • Mig says:

      That’s funny.

      But I’m happy for them. Semi-finals no joke and it was a quality win. Martinez….good times.

      • sly says:

        I wouldn’t be mad if Wigan went to the Europa league by winning this cup. They play beautiful if not terribly effective football. Hopefully the funds they get more quality signings will come.

  4. knife fight says:

    for all the talk over Howard’s bad season, looks like Mucha is so much worse

    • biff says:

      If the back-ups are that bad, makes me think the door might open for one of the young MLS goalkeepers to make a move to Everton.

      • Citronomics says:

        Biff – to your point. Wonder which of our US goalkeeping talents is best positioned or most likely to make the jump to a major Euro club. I suppose Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid are the obvious candidates and curious if there are others in the pipeline (in MLS or Euro clubs) that are getting noticed…

        • Clyde Frog says:

          Depends on whether the club in question is thinking about the long term or thinking about the right now. If it’s the latter, I think Dan Kennedy would be a better choice than Hamid or Johnson.

      • WG says:

        Lack of international caps at the senior level probably has something to do with our younger keepers not getting sniffs from EPL/Championship teams. I know the Brits are pretty strict when it comes to work permits. Does anyone know if other European countries have the same requirements?

  5. knife fight says:

    really hope both Jozy and Herculez score today. A brace would be lovely

  6. WG says:

    West Brom – Swansea match is very entertaining. Sweet header from Luke Moore, and a nice finish by Lukaku against the run of play means it’s 1-1, HT. Swansea are holding possession, but West Brom are creating chances. It’s getting a bit chippy, so I’m looking forward to the second half.

  7. petedx says:

    That Aston Villa own goal has to be the worst of the year.

  8. Herschel Skywalker says:

    Is Lichaj injured?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      if he is, it’s probably irrelevant: he’s been relegated to spot duty recently.

      also, great alias.

    • petedx says:

      I think he’s been out of favor for some time now, not really sure why given Villas defensive record. Solid performance from Guzan though.

      • alonzo says:

        exactly. he’s been inconsistent this season but so has everyone else been. he’s not that worse from his competition. Lichaj at least is good going forward

  9. cj says:

    This Villa/Reading game has to be a top five worst of the year. My lord I have not seen so many errant passes. Also, if Lichaj cannot play in this backline just Joe bad is he?

  10. alonzo says:

    in the past 20 years of the Premier League the USA has had Keller, Friedel, Howard, Hahnemann and now Guzan. Arguably Friedel is 1 of the top 5 keepers to ever play in the PL while Howard/Keller might make the top 30. Hahnemann has had bad luck in being a NT regular with the strong play of Keller/Friedel and then the rise of Howard.

    how are guys like Hamid, Johnson, MacMath, Cropper coming along? will they be joining the PL in the next 2-5years?

    • KEEP says:

      Within 2 years, there will be 4 American keepers starting in the Prem..IMO

      • alonzo says:

        who will that be as Friedel contract with Spurs ends summer 2014

      • GW says:

        The permit requirement situation may keep that from happening.
        Which makes me think either Johnson or Hamid will start all the Gold Cup games.

        • ex_sweeper says:

          Hahnemann has a EU passport, which is why he could make the leap without USMNT caps. Monopolization of the GK position by Howard will prevent any U.S. GK from moving to the EPL for quite a few years.

    • wiger toods says:

      Cropper’s hairline looks like he will be going bald sooner than later. So I suspect he’ll be a stellar PL keeper.

      Go Bald Eagles!

    • Yusef says:

      Don’t forget American keeper Jeurgen Sommer also played in EPL.

  11. cj says:

    How bad is Lichaj that he cannot play in that backline?

  12. Steve says:

    Friedel arguably top 5 keeper to ever play in PL? Won’t out and out dismiss that, but go ahead and back it up with some facts and an argument. What exactly is his legacy? An interesting question.

    • alonzo says:

      Yes.

      Schmeichel, Seaman, Cech, Van der Sar, Friedel, Reina, Given, Hart, James,

      Friedel is arguably a top 5

      • Arkie says:

        Though I don’t rate him higher, many would argue WC and Champions League winner Barthez would be higher than Friedel. Though your list seems pretty complete. Julio Cesar isn’t a slouch either but this is his first year in the prem on a disastrous team. And Hart will likely overtake Friedel’s legacy considering how young he is. Friedel has been a tremendous keeper though, look back at the 02 world cup for proof of that. Only better keeper was the one who won the golden ball, and they don’t make them much better than Olly Kahn.

      • Good Jeremy says:

        lol. You said Seaman.

  13. WG says:

    West Brom 2-1 Swansea, final.

    Tale of two halfs. Swans dominate in first half, West Brom in the second. de Guzman with an own goal off the back of his head on a clearance. Swans denied a tie on a bad offside call by the linesman, otherwise Lamah would have had his first EPL goal.

    Romelu Lukaku is a beast. He made Gary Monk look old, and Ashley Williams look merely good. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s in the starting XI for Chelsea next year.

    Pablo Hernandez either looks great, or awful. No middle with him. He was awful today.

    Swans look almost ordinary without Leon Britten and Chico Flores in the line-up.

    A fun match, too bad the linesman blew the call.

  14. ... says:

    Bolton just won their 5th in a row to move up to 8th in the table, 3 points out of the last promotion playoff spot. Holden was on the bench but didn’t play, Ream didn’t dress.

  15. crocajun1003 says:

    What time does AZ Altidore play?

  16. mad max says:

    *cross fingers that Jozy scores today*

  17. mad max says:

    Wondolowski should be playing in Europe. A league like Turkey, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland

    • ATX_Colin says:

      At his age and playing style, that move wouldnt make sense. Hes a great MLS player, which is not an insult, its just what he is.

    • sly says:

      Wondo is fine. Making DP money a star in the MLS comfortable sorrounds. He’s a success by any measure.

    • Brett says:

      He’d be a middling forward in even mediocre Euro leagues. Might as well stay in MLS where he can actually be an impact player.

  18. Todd Marsch says:

    Guzan didn’t have all that much to do, but he looked pretty sharp when called upon for Villa. I’m not too worried about him playing in the upcoming qualifiers.

    On a different note, after watching the U-20s this past week, it seemed to me that Cropper’s hairline was already receding. I couldn’t quite tell, but if so, I feel good about his USMNT prospects.

  19. lpo says:

    heck even Troy Perkins was a success in Norway. He spent 2 seasons there. Our boys need to move on from MLS

  20. Max says:

    Bradley not in the starting 11 or on the bench. Anyone know if he’s hurt?

  21. Edwin in LA says:

    Wow I’m really worried that Fabian Johnson is not in the 18 and some people above said some news outlets reported a hip or muscle problem….we CANNOT be without him for the qualifiers…already lost Castillo who was in form and looked great to maybe play out in Left Mid allowing Fabian to go forward from time to time but not losing his defensive presence in the back….now this? I swear we have the worst luck…if he does miss any of the 2 games in 2 weeks…guess Chandler AND Parkhurst will play….wonder who else gets the call as a back up???

    Also was really hoping Norwich would beat Southampton….that way Aston Villa would be so much closer to them and Wigan as well…I want Aston Villa to stay up for obvious USMNT reasons in Lichaj and Guzan, but I like Wigan’s coach and his style, plus Espinoza is an MLS talent who can prove he belongs in the EPL next season with a full season and preseason…plus I can see Wigan going after more MLS players which could mean more USMNT pool players…

  22. Yusef says:

    Boyd scored in a 2-2 draw for Rapid Vienna today.