Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

The Barclays Premier League 2013 trophy decked in the colours of Manchester United

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After what has felt like three long months for many fans, the English Premier League is back in action with seven matches on this first Saturday of the season.

Liverpool and Stoke City will kick the 2013-14 schedule off with an early match at historic Anfield. Reds manager Brendan Rodgers will still be without star striker Luis Suarez, but he still will have several quality attacking options to choose from, including Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and new signing Iago Aspas. His opposition, manager Mark Hughes, will look to start his Stoke tenure off with a quality result away from home.

A battle between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium highlights the second round of Saturday EPL matches. A banged-up Arsenal squad will try to defend their home turf against an Aston Villa side that is led by breakout striker Christian Benteke.

The first EPL Saturday will close with Manchester United’s road trip to Swansea City, which will be nationally televised on NBC here in the States. It is the start of a new era for the defending league champions, who will be under the direction of David Moyes after the retirement of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

In matches outside of England, Bayern Munich hit the road to face an Eintracht Frankfurt squad that is still stinging from last weekend’s 6-1 loss to Hertha Berlin in Bundesliga play. Meanwhile, two clubs that narrowly missed Champions League qualification, Valencia and Malaga, help kick off the La Liga calendar with a match at the Mestalla.

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):

7:45am – NBC Sports Network – Liverpool vs Stoke City

9:30am – GolTV – Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern München

10am – NBC Sports Network – Arsenal vs Aston Villa

12:30pm – NBC – Swansea City vs Manchester United

12:30pm – GolTV – Borussia M’gladbach vs Hannover 96

1pm – beIN Sport en Español – Real Sociedad vs Getafe

2pm – Univision Deportes – Nice vs Rennes

2pm – beIN Sport – Toulouse vs Bordeaux

3pm – beIN Sport en Español – Real Valladolid vs Athletic Bilbao

5pm – beIN Sport en Español – Valencia vs Málaga

5:30pm – ESPN Deportes – Cruzeiro vs Vitória

6pm – Univision Deportes – Veracruz vs Querétaro

6pm – Univision – Cruz Azul vs Atlante

7pm – MLS Direct Kick – Montreal Impact vs DC United

7:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – New England vs Chicago Fire

7:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC

8pm – NBC Sports Network – New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union

8pm – UniMás – Monterrey vs Tijuana

8pm – Univision Deportes – Pachuca vs América

9pm – MLS Direct Kick – Houston Dynamo vs Seattle Sounders

9:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Colorado Rapids vs Vancouver Whitecaps

10pm – Univision Deportes – Chiapas vs Toluca

10:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Los Angeles Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

11pm – MLS Direct Kick – Portland Timbers vs FC Dallas

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

239 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Adrian says:

    Heres to Sunderland, Stoke, whatever team Suarez is on and our yanks abroad!!!

  2. THomas says:

    COYW!!!! Up the Fulham!!!! Sorry Jozy, two games a year you can’t score on. Fulham home and Fulham away. Um ooon Ful um!!!

    • biff says:

      With all due respect, have not yet forgotten Martin Jol’s untruths concerning Clint last year and the way the Fulahm fans treated Clint and hoping that Jozy’s give payback for the USMNT captain and Sunderland takes three points. I will take great pleasure each time Fulham loses this season as long as Jol is coach.

  3. biff says:

    Interesting article about Di Canio’s rules at Sunderland.

    link to telegraph.co.uk

  4. biff says:

    Anyone know where Cameron started for Stoke vs Liverpool?

    • Joe+G says:

      Right back

    • Fan Futbol says:

      Watching the match. Looks like RB, but Cameron has overlapped a fair bit with Stoke RM. Cameron looks pretty good at RB today. Liverpool looks fast and technical but weak on set pieces. I support Liverpool (after the USMNT, of course).

      • Bean says:

        He has been pretty good at fullback. I just wish that he wasn’t so tentative dribbling forward. A couple of times he could’ve dribbled right into the LFC’s 18 yard box and might’ve made something happen. Though I understand it is the first match of the season. Defensively he has been good.

      • Matt says:

        seems to be very steady so far. He has made a couple of nice takcles and has been an outlet at times for Stoke. If he gets regular time at RB, that could be a nice turn of events for the NATS. (although Evans really acquitted himself pretty well the other night)

        • Bean says:

          Cameron could have another solid season in tackles. He makes tackling look easy at times. He is comfortable at this level, and When Stoke met Liverpool last season, when he was green to Barclays, he handled defending Sterling, and Suarez with relative ease. It looks like he is starting off good again. I think that when he is in form, the RB spot could be his, if he continues to play that position in the top flight. The thing that I really like about Cameron is that he can comfortably slide into the midfield as well.

  5. Joe+G says:

    Terrence Boyd is out with a separated shoulder. Should miss about 3 weeks:

    link to facebook.com

    • biff says:

      Hmmmm. Interesting. The message says he was injured while on USMNT duty. Was this reported by US Soccer and how did it happen? Was Terrence on the bench for the Bosnia-H game?

      • jones says:

        I thought I remember seeing him warming up during the second half, so this is strange news.

        • Joe+G says:

          True. He was tweeting out pics and a video yesterday. He sent out a pic with Jozy from after the match…

          No sling, no brace. It could have been minor and aggravated when he got home, but you’re right that it seems odd.

  6. Zztoppppp says:

    West ham over Cardiff
    Sunderland over Fulham
    Everton over Norwich
    West Brom over Southhampton
    Arsenal DRAW Aston Villa
    Manchester United over Swansea
    Liverpool over Stoke City

    Tomorrow:
    Tottenham over Crystal Palace
    Chelsea over Hull City

    Monday:
    Manchester City DRAW Newcastle

  7. Brian S. says:

    This NBC Sports app is pretty cool. It’s certainly better than Fox2go. I think NBC is gonna be leaps and bounds above what Fox was doing. I really wish they would’ve gotten the future World Cups

    • Chupacabra says:

      It already is. On Directv I can watch any match I want live in HD (extra matches are in the 490 channels). No more waiting until 5PM for delayed SD broadcasts on Fox Soccer Plus for $15/month.

  8. ed - houston says:

    come on stoke tie it up

  9. arguably2nd place says:

    best striker of the past decade?

    choose between
    world
    Ibrahimovic? Rooney? RvP? Villa? Van Nistlerooy? Torres? Eto’o? Drogba? Falcao? Cavani? Suarez? Forlan? McBride?

  10. Aero says:

    Ok, if posting the most RECENT comment on top of the thread makes sense, why isn’t the “Leave a Reply” box the very first thing we see on the comment thread? No, you have to scroll to the very bottom, away from the most recent comments in order to leave the comment.

    If posting the most recent comment at the top of a thread makes sense, why aren’t the replies to a comment posted ABOVE the comment? The replies all fall UNDER the original comment with the most recent reply on the BOTTOM. Please return to what makes sense and put the most recent comments at the bottom, just like all the replies to a comment fall to the bottom. At the very least give us a choice like many websites do, I know I always prefer most recent on bottom…

  11. xlt says:

    what about Jozy’s hat trick against Bosnia on wednesday

    20 goals in 61 matches for the NT and he’s only 23. Plus he has 5 assists. Not bad lads

    He should hit 25 goals by seasons end and perhaps be on 30 goals after the WC. He is gonna be our top scorer for the NT. you betting against him?

  12. xlt says:

    I love Liverpool but waking up at 4:45 to catch a game is really draining on me

  13. xlt says:

    so the older comments are lower on the page? Kinda weird. to see newer comments at the top

    what channel is the Sunderland/Fulham match on?

    • Chupacabra says:

      If you have Directv it’s on 492 in HD, with another three live HD broadcasts in the 490s. I’m liking the new NBC deal more and more.

  14. 242edq says:

    Boyd was injured without even playing for the NT? That dude won’t be in Brazil. remember when people claimed he was a “great striker”

  15. hey where is the general says:

    Dear GOD please let Jozy score a brace. Once he scores he can get the pressure/monkey off his back. we need him to score 15 league goals this season

  16. hey where is the general says:

    O/T but what shows are you guys fans of

    Game of Thrones? Boardwalk Empire? The Wire? True Blood? Community? It’s always sunny in philadelphia? Homeland? Mad Men? The Walking Dead? The Killing? The Bridge?

    • andy says:

      Game of Thrones. Breaking Bad. I have a soft spot for Adventure Time because of my nieces and nephews, plus the fact that I’m a kid at heart. At the top of my personal list is The Americans. Loved the first season!

  17. Brian S. says:

    Jozy starting today. Hopefully he can open his account and keep his form going

  18. Bean says:

    What a save!

  19. Vic says:

    So BBC just showed Joe Walters last five penalty kicks went to the right side. Who would have thought that his sixth shot would go to the right side? Regardless, nice save by the Liverpool goalie.

  20. Citronomics says:

    What the hell was Agger doing, thinking? And how about Mignolet coming up huge on the penalty kick save.

  21. Adrian says:

    Jeez Luis how do you miss that penalty Cameron should have taken it.

  22. Bean says:

    Mignolet did his job, thankfully.

  23. Matt says:

    Fabian Johnson starts and Hoffenheim up 1-0 early against Hamburg

    • biff says:

      Fabian starting today his strongest position. No, not left midfield and got the assist on the goal. Folks, Fabian is a left back.

      (USMNT player Michael Parkhurst for the second week in a row has not made the game-day roster.)

  24. Chupacabra says:

    Jozy sighting!

  25. john.q says:

    if you’re in NYC and have time warner Jozy is on 391

    • Atletico Man says:

      and got a nice early shot off, winning the corner.

    • malkin says:

      oh, nice. Thanks!

      I actually cancelled Time Warner and am switching to Verizon starting tomorrow (earliest I could get Verizon here) because Time Warner doesn’t support live extra for some reason. Didn’t realize they’d still have other channels on cable (but I do still want live extra for streaming through apple tv)

  26. biff says:

    Geoff Cameron generally looked very good today as right back for Stoke. IMO, if he locks down RB for Stoke then this should be his preferred position for the USMNT.

    Stoke looked decent today under Hughes against tough Liverpool. I might be able to start to like this team.

    • biff says:

      And I am basing that on his play in the 2nd half. did not see the 1st half.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      He looked good in the second half. In the first half? Not so much.

      • Fan Futbol says:

        I don’t agree. I watched the whole game. Cameron looked good as RB in both halves against Liverpool. In form he’s a very solid defensive RB. He’s just not aggressive in the attack. But he’s faster, stronger, and a better tackler than say, Brad Evans.

        • GW says:

          The right back under JK is more of a withdrawn winger. Cameron can do a serviceable job there but Evans is better at what JK wants to accomplish with the position.

          Geoff would be great if you were going to put ten men behind the ball and go all out defensive. And that may happen. JK is no stranger to using four center backs at the same time.

          But JK’s current preferred posture is offensive not defensive.

          You all asked for an offensive team so you will have to give up some defense to get more offense.

  27. MLSsnob says:

    So far Jozy’s not getting service.

    • Atletico Man says:

      31:42 Jozy got near post service and wiffed.

      • TomG says:

        Wouldn’t describe it as a whiff at all. Ball was about chest high off the bounce. Jozy flung his leg at a full run but it was out of his reach.

      • Benny says:

        I would not call that a wiff at all. He just could not each it; maybe if his legs were a foot longer. Jozy did very well today.

  28. Tom_in_So_IL says:

    Jozy wins a free kick.

  29. john.q says:

    from a distance SUN v FUL kits look like Revs vs ChivasUSA

  30. SanFran415 says:

    Wow…

    Where to start with that?

    First off–immediate penalty and red card. That’s not debatable. Second off–you cannot let the other Villa player shoot and then award the penalty after he misses. That’s not how playing advantage works.

    So to play advantage and let the Villa player miss an open net, and then go back and give only a yellow card and then award the penalty on top?

    Atrocious officiating.

  31. manicmessiah says:

    I’ve seen that header rebound from a penalty on fifa like a hundred times, and every time I think about how unrealistic it is. I guess I was wrong.

  32. Hush says:

    Any hints where to watch Suderland gm?

  33. TomG says:

    Sunderland dominating, but not able to get the ball to Jozy at all so far.

    • Atletico Man says:

      Jozy got a near-post ball at 31:30 but couldn’t finish. In his defense, there were two guys on him.

      • Rabbit says:

        That was NOT a clear cut scoring opportunity. Hangeland was draped all over him and impeded his access to the ball

  34. SanFran415 says:

    lol how in the world is that a yellow on the Villa player? Chamberlain gets beat to the ball, goes to ground and studs the Villa defender in the mid section while sliding… and the Villa player get carded.

    Mind boggling decisions from this guy so far.

  35. M says:

    The other forward with Jozy..Cabral? Is not a god fit, this guy shoots every time he gets the ball.imo they need a player like Clint who is both a playmaker and a scorer.

  36. SanFran415 says:

    Jozy’s not getting good service or involvement.

  37. greenerpitch says:

    Sunderland knows there isn’t a three point line in football, right?

  38. SanFran415 says:

    It’s like nobody at Sunderland watched Jozy at AZ or for the US Squad. Quit playing him up as a target forward.

  39. psv says:

    I’m pretty sure that is Cabral’s fourth shot outside the box.

  40. Francois says:

    Jozy has honestly been Sunderland’s best player today. Held the ball up and brought teammates into the attack beautiful, drawing fouls. Now if he could just get a goal, it would cap a nice debut for him.

    • KC says:

      While Jozy has played well, I think objectively Johnson has been the best player for Sunderland, he has been all over the place offensively and defensively.

      • Ben says:

        That isn’t what objectively means.

        • bryan says:

          in his context, it works. since we are American, we are biased towards Jozy. but objectively, KC is saying Johnson has been the best…not Jozy. subjectively, Jozy.

    • psv says:

      Jozy’s passing is so much better nowadays.

      And he almost gets a goal. Maybe his teammates will see that he can create opportunities if they get him the ball.

      Another good pass and wins a corner.

    • Increase says:

      He has been really good. Jozy just can’t get a break. That ball just bounced away from him. He was onside right where he needed to be.

  41. Scott says:

    Oh what the heck is this. Awful decision. Benteke buries it

  42. Atletico Man says:

    64′ Jozy just misses!

  43. SanFran415 says:

    Wow.

    This referee has completely destroyed this match. Awful decision.

  44. Mikebsiu says:

    Terrible officiating…. It’s like this game is fixed

  45. SanFran415 says:

    WOW!

    THIS REFEREE!!!!

  46. Scott says:

    Anthony Taylor doing an excellent job of ruining the start of my weekend. Good god he’s been awful.

  47. Tom H says:

    Hahaha Arsenal, I love the look on Wenger’s face. Go Villa!

  48. Mike E. says:

    Loaded accusation here, but this Arsenal match looks fixed. It’s one sided officiating to a point of unbelievable decisions.

    He should be disciplined for that first half decision of playing advantage and then allowing another player to shoot on the empty net and then awarding a penalty after the miss.

  49. Tom H says:

    Great stop by Guzan and Benteke is a beast!

  50. BOYD says:

    Not a fan of either team but this referee is going to make sure Villa wins this game.
    He makes MLS referees look competent.

  51. Travis says:

    Ref in the Arsenal game is awful. On the second penalty Koscielny clearly got ball and was given a yellow. Then like 2 mins later gave a second yellow when Koscielny doesn’t even touch the player, Villa being gifted this game with 2 PKs, although first was clearly deserved.

    • SanFran415 says:

      First one was definitely deserved. But it should never have been given after the official played advantage and the other Villa player got a free shot on an empty net that he inexplicably missed.

      To go back and give the penalty after that was a clear indication of bias.

      • Travis says:

        Agree with the first part of your statement, not so much the second. I just think was incompetence by the ref more than anything.

  52. Scott says:

    Rosicky so close again. A Podolski sighting would be nice about now

  53. Mikebsiu says:

    Ill give villa credit though, they look good, and remember Delph did hit the inside of the post.

  54. Increase says:

    AZ was better at cross than Sunderland… like a lot better. Almost all of them have too much power on them.

  55. psv says:

    Sunderland are kind of awful on offense.

  56. SanFran415 says:

    What just happened?

    Did Guzan enter the Matrix?

  57. Mikebsiu says:

    Well there’s the save of the weekend from guzan

  58. Scott says:

    Ridiculous save from Guzan. Amazing

  59. Tom H says:

    Guzan is playing out of his mind. I think he is better than Howard.

    • Dudester says:

      Your not the only one.Howard has dropped off from where he was 2 seasons ago.

    • SanFran415 says:

      Agreed.

      He has been for awhile too. But America has a hard-on for TIm Howard.

      • Ben says:

        Maybe since some point during last season, but not “awhile” if that is supposed to mean longer than a season.

      • fischy says:

        To be fair, I think Guzan has not been especially impressive in his few chances in the USA kit. It’s about nerves vs. comfort. With all his experience — and his #1 status — Howard is more comfortable when he’s in the pipes for the USA. Guzan’s time will come…but, barring an injury to Howard, it will be after this Cup cycle.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Yup. I’ve been saying that for a while, but apparently doubting Howard is blasphemy.

      • GW says:

        Re Howard vs Guzan

        What matters is that the US always gets a great game from the keeper regardless of who it is. The US needs a great keeper performance to have a the kind of World Cup JK wants to have.

        Howard was erratic in the 2010 World Cup. In my view it was because he had no competition and became inconsistent.

        Guzan’s emergence helps correct this. Howard usually responds well to a challenge. My theory is he has been playing well for the US lately in some part because he is under pressure from Brad.

        I suspect JK named Timmy number 1 because I suspect Timmy would deal badly with being a backup, while Guzan is used to it.

        So barring injury and an unforeseen loss of form, Howard will probably be #1 all the way through the World Cup.

        Then Brad Guzan will take over.

  60. Sony says:

    The referee asked the Villa players if he can take the next pk. That’s the only thing he hasn’t done for them.

  61. Rami says:

    Sunderland need to realize that are not going to beat Fulham in the air, all these crosses are routine for Hangeland

    • Herschel Skywalker says:

      Wish we could get Hangelabd to file one time switch. Can’t believe fellow Texan Dempsey wasn’t able to convince him to go American when they played together.

      • Dudester says:

        By the time Hangeland went to Fulham he was already cap tied to Norway.

        • apw40 says:

          And Bruce Arena was in charge when he was rising to International level, and he only wants real Americans. I’m just kidding, but yeah he made his debut while still in the Norwegian league, probably would have been very unlikely to consider USA if the option was there, but who knows! What if Hangeland did though? Just a thought.

  62. Scott says:

    I’m gonna need a padded room to calm down in after this game.

  63. Ben James says:

    Sunderland is really frustrating to watch. For as much possession as they’ve had, very little has been dangerous. So many very poor long balls and the service into the box has also not been good. Jozy has looked solid but he’s had to create virtually everything himself.

  64. Tom H says:

    GOAL VILLA–without help….

    • Travis says:

      Without help? Everything that happens after the red was helped due to his terrible officiating.

      • Reality says:

        You are in for a long and stressful season. Arsenal was outplayed and you need to take a long hard look at the mediocrity that is your team and quit whining.

        • Travis says:

          Do not really think they were outplayed at all but it will be a long and stressful season, anyone with a brain could have said that. They have done nothing to improve. Also any fan would whine after their team was robbed by officiating, stop targeting

        • Anthony says:

          I’m a fan of good football/soccer, with no major stock in this game. One would have to BLIND to think that Arsenal was completely outplayed. However, I do agree that it will be a nail-biting season. The officiating was HORRIBLE. Neither penalty should have been given nor the 2 yellows. Arsenal still had 60/65% possession.

          Additionally, although Arsenal scored more goals that anyone at home in the EPL (47), they should get another forward (I’m not sold on Giroud). Anzhi is having a fire sale and Eto’o is available and wants to leave.

  65. Travis says:

    Id like to thank the ref for robbing us of the chance to watch a fair game. Completely ruined the game and basically gave it to Villa, good job.

    • Tom H says:

      yes, officiating was suspect, but you must hand it to Villa (especially Guzan) for playing a great game. And Arsenal simply did not get it done in the transfer market yet. Would make me angry too if I were an Arsenal fan.

      • Travis says:

        Officiating was suspect? The 2nd penalty simply was not a foul and the second yellow for Kos wasnt a foul either. To call it suspect is to undermine just how awful it was. Also if you want to get real technical the first PK shouldn’t have been given either, the ref let a Villa player shoot then called it back which shouldn’t happen. You either call it the moment the foul happens or if you let the guy shoot the play is over.

        I do think Villa is going to be a decent side this year but they were given this game on a silver platter.

  66. The Imperative Voice says:

    Fulham may win the battle but have a bigger struggle on their hands if Stekelenburg is out.

    • apw40 says:

      Stockdale is a capable back-up, he has done well in the past, probably could start on some EPL teams

  67. Mikebsiu says:

    And that’s how you break your neck…….

  68. Tensnake says:

    Have you guys seen Guzan today?? He’s a beast.

    • biff says:

      i saw one of his saves at the 75th minute that incredible. Guzan, IMO, is as good now as Tim Howard. We are in good (goalkeeping) hands…

      • Colin says:

        Howard had a piss poor season for Everton last year (I am an Everton fan and watched every game), but I think the arrival Robles and the pressure on him from Guzan have helped him lift his game again. He was brilliant in all our preseason fixtures this summer and solid today against Norwich.

  69. SanFran415 says:

    Well, looks like most of us were on the spot about this.

    Jozy will get little service.

    It’s sink or swim for him. He will either turn into Drogba or Hull-City-Jozy. Let’s hope for the former.

    • Rami says:

      Or he will have a good season by sunderland standars? Has to be some inbetween

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      Yeah…I don’t know about those extremes. Can’t he just get double digit goals and keep Sunderland in the middle of the table?

    • Ben says:

      Way to draw a conlcusion from one game. You could be right, but it’s a little premature to crown yourself a prophet after 90 minutes.

    • UMF89 says:

      Jozy will not be Drogba(Does not have the supporting cast) nor will he be Hull City Jozy(he is so much more a complete player than he was at Hull). That said, Stephen Fletcher (sp?) Sunderland’s top scorer last year is out injured, when he returns Di Canio will put him up top with Jozy and Segsson (sp?) who played as a withdraw forward will move back into central midfield where he belongs. If Sunderland can get some consistent wing play from Adams and their other winger (cannot remember his name) then Jozy will get the service…i.e 10-15 goals…..I do not know what Fletcher’s injury is but I hope he comes back soon!!!!!

  70. biff says:

    Was not impressed with Sunderland’s attack today. Let’s hope it’s simply because of a lot of new players have come in and need some time working together.

  71. Hush says:

    Managed to catch the 2nd half with a good feed given by someone on this board. Thanks for the Sweden feed!

    Well, it blows Suderland lost. Jozy imo had a great game overall. Created chances on his own and passed accordingly to the situation. With that said, Suderland blows offensively! Good possession but can’t seem to establish any danger inside the box. Crosses were horrible and a little tiki taka passing was nowhere to be seen.. Suderland midfielders are lacking offensive skills imo

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      They got a couple of new players including Jozy. Hopefully they figure it out. Seems like Jozy realized at the end of the game that if he was going to score he’d have to do it himself and started looking for his own shot.

      His hold up play in this game was masterful, drawing lots of applause from the Sunderland fans.

      • Benny says:

        I agree. He was fantastic. Even if Jozy does not get that much service, he will get his goal this year. If the team can jell well, he will get a lot more.

    • Tensnake says:

      Crosses weren’t that bad..You can’t expect much from them with Hagneland running around in there.

    • bottlcaps says:

      Di Canio has Sunderland playing a 4-4–1-1 with Altidore alone up top. Apparently he has not been watching the USMNT or AZ Alkmaar tapes as, as, discussed before, again and again; JA best play comes when he is paired with another striker, or better two others strikers. JA has not yet mastered the art of the lone forward and the EPL is not the place to learn it. AZ only played him at that position when the wanted extra defenders at the back or midfield to hold up a game.

      I feel it’s going to be a long season and not as productive as people think should Di Canio hold on to that formation.

      It took Klinsmann more than a few games to discover this and it helped not only Jozy, but the whole USMN team.

      Coaches hold on to the lone forward as its a security blanket. Let’s hope Di Canio grows a pair and puts another forward up top with Jozy

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        I disagree. Jozy played as lone forward almost exclusively for AZ and played it well. Just as he did today, he was responsible for winning balls at the top and laying them off to the wide players.

        I wouldn’t make a sweeping generalization about Sunderland’s system after one game. They didn’t get the bounces and Hangerland dominated the air. Give them some time to figure it out.

        • bottlcaps says:

          Verbeeck was quoted in the Dutch press that ; to paraphrase’ “He was never a fan of a single forward and uses it only on certain occasions” About 70 percent of the time AZ used a 2 or even three player front line, and JA enjoyed his most productive run in this formation. Yes he did play up top alone on occasions and he did score, but it was NO comparison when he is paired, he is way more effective.. One only needs to look at the Bosnia Game to see this. JA played essentially alone up top in the first half. Result: 0 goals. Klinsmann moves Johnson up top with Altidore, Result; 3 goals, i assist

          This observation was made countless times in the Dutch Press, luckily, I can read some Flemish and Dutch. But yes, I am criticizing after the first game because Di Canio, believes. Like Klinsmann does, that Altidore has all the attributes to play upfront alone. He’s big fast, technical and strong. But he also likes to run with his face to goal, and scored most of his goals in the Eredivisie this way. The difference here is that Klinsmann was astute enough to figure out JA is a better player with players around him, to pass and give and go, rather than hold up and distribute. Let’s see how long Di Canio take to realize this.

    • Ben says:

      A good game. It would have been great if he had scored, but I though he was one of Sunderland’s best players.

  72. g? says:

    Fabian Johnson played LB for Hoffenheim in their 5:1 win. Assist on the first goal.

    If he gets more time back there, maybe we can indeed shift him back.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      ‘if he gets more time back there’?

      that’s where he’s played the vast majority of his professional career. he IS a left back; he’s been playing out of position for the usmnt.

      • Paul says:

        Good thing it didn’t show. He helped spark Jozy’s goal scoring run with the service he provided down the left side.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          yep, he’s been doing alright at left mid. it’s just funny how he provides just as much service when he’s playing left back.

      • Hogatroge says:

        He finished out last season on the left wing.. at least 5 games IIRC.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          yes, he has played some in mid (on the right as well). incidentally, he was awful in those games last season.

  73. ACS says:

    Eric Lichaj played 90′ at right back and got an assist in Nottingham Forrest 3-0 win over Bolton.

  74. Ted in MN says:

    Good game for Jozy if not for anyone else. Tim didn’t have much chance on either Norwich goal.

  75. Bearded Soccer says:

    Jozy better get used to the lack of service. If’s he’s going to succeed at Sunderland, he will have to convert more often than not on the 1-2 chances he’ll get per game.

    If Howard ever gets injured he can forget about his #1 spot on the USMNT. Guzan is better at this point and Klinsmann needs to rethink his position. BTW great crotch save by Gooz today.

  76. CroCajun1003 says:

    Swansea is such a fun team to watch. Putting a lot of pressure on ManU. Anxious to see if Bony gets some PT.

  77. Pace says:

    Well that escalated quickly…

  78. Joe B NYC says:

    I saw the Sunderland game. Joey looked good, but he needs service. Wether it’s a 4-4-1-1, a 4-3-3 or even a (more preferred) 4-4-2, somebody need to get the ball to him. On the other hand Fulham played a great defensive game.

  79. Robert Asher says:

    I am going switch from Time Warner to Att Uverse because they apparently have the Extra Time channels for NBC Sports Network so all games can be seen. First no Padre Games and now no Extra Time EPL. Bye Bye Time Warner

  80. Dudester says:

    Watching the Hannover-Gladbach game.Have to say Han’s Japanese RB Hiroki Sakai doesn’t look the most explosive going forward but he’s solid defensively.Plus hes only 23, I wonder if Dolo will get his place back.I know he’s the cap but still a good run of form from a younger back might knock him to the bench.

  81. turgid jacobian says:

    Sky didn’t love Jozy’s performance. Gave him a 6. bbc sport was much more complimentary.

    • J.A.B. says:

      A 6 is alright, but Sunderland’s problems weren’t on Jozy. A slew of terrible crosses and too many long balls. Jozy drew fouls, played some great passes, held up play, and made a few great runs without the ball. I think Jozy is setting himself up for a big year.

      You could really tell that Sunderland is full of a ton of new players. It didn’t seem like they had much chemistry or identity.

      • jones says:

        Missed it today.

        Good to hear about that last part, since chemistry can be developed. The worst would be if they end up unable to create anything for him. Of course, matured Jozy is much better at creating things for himself/others these days, but he can’t do all the heavy lifting by himself. Hope to tune in for his next one.

      • TomG says:

        Seemed like Jozy was the only truly dangerous player for Sunderland. Very possibly MOTM for them. Black Cats dominated the ball while Cottagers packed the middle, leaving wingers Johnson and Giaccherini miles of space And time on the ball. Unfortunately, they had no ability to make anything of that space, consistently being out maneuvered 1v1 on the outside. Black Cars were also pretty deliberate on the ball, moving it too slowly and allowing Fulham to regroup. That’s not so surprising considering all the new players who will need time to gel. I was v disappointed with the wingers, though. If your wingers can’t deliver service with loads of time and space, that doesn’t bode well for the future.

      • Turgid Jacobian says:

        Sky loved Johnson and sessegnon. Had a bit of a hard on for Johnsons long shots.

        Not to say I believe them, and I didn’t watch, so… But as I said BBC reviewed jozy well, saying he was continually dangerous and a handful for the defense.

        • Ben says:

          Sess was terrible. Didn’t do a thing. Lots of English fans still rate player for running around a lot even if they don’t do anything.

        • Turgid Jacobian says:

          Correction: it was Cabral they liked with all his big kicks, not Sessegnon.

    • TomG says:

      MOTM from the big Suderland blog, The Roker Report:

      “Man Of The Match – Jozy Altidore

      He could have quite easily taken a huff having had no help at all from his supposed striker partner, but he did really, really well. A beast when on the ball and hard to shake off, he also did very well winning the ball up field with tackles and interceptions. Sure to be more to come, and a bright light on a dull day.”

  82. J.A.B. says:

    Swansea plays some pretty football. Too bad they can’t put it together at the end.

    Another thing…I don’t see how Chicharito gets much PT for ManU this season. I know he is injured now, but I just don’t see him playing a big part in their plans.

  83. Tensnake says:

    Johannsson with a goal 4 minutes into the game.

  84. J.A.B. says:

    Van Persie is ridiculous!

  85. YO says:

    Sunderland needs a creative mid fielder player to come in in order to get going. The long balls to Altidore will only work once in a while, Man City released Johnson because he is not consistant and waste too many chances himself. My two cents!

    • Ben James says:

      Agreed. Service from the wings wasn’t great, but I think what really let down Sunderland was the total lack of creativity in the central midfield. It doesn’t help when Cabral blasts 4 shots from 35 yards out and every other pass is a hopeful long ball. Watching this game, I realized Sunderland could really use a stronger presence at CM…too bad the deal for Huddlestone didn’t go through.

      I think when Fletcher comes back, they could pair him with Jozy and have Sessegnon be more of a creator and less of a target. We’ll see what happens.

      • Robert Asher says:

        I agree. Josy was not getting much in the way of service. He was terrific at holding up ball and feeding team mates.

  86. MLSguy says:

    enjoy your euro football you euro snobs. Real American soccer is coming on soon. #MLSownsBPL

    • Zztoppppp says:

      I support MLS wholeheartedly but I also get excited for the start of the EPL season. As a true fan of the sport you should be excited for all of it.

      • MLSguy says:

        the EPL should follow the NFL. They need divisions with playoffs and wild cards. The NFL is the most successful sports league for a reason.

  87. biff says:

    Klinsmann was in a private box today in Stuttgart vs Bayer Leverkusen watching with none other than Jogi Low. Wonder if John Brooks was discussed?

  88. MiamiAl says:

    Aron Johansson scored for AZ in the 4th min.

  89. ACS says:

    Sunderland blogger liked Jozy…
    link to rokerreport.com

  90. Kevin says:

    Summary of Sunderland’s tactics today: Long ball forward / shoot off target from 30 yards
    Hopefully PDC can change the team’s mindset. All that said, I thought Jozy’s performance was very positive when he found the ball. Held the ball up well, drew fouls in dangerous areas, challenged the defense and keeper on a couple of different occasions. Solid debut for him.

    • Thomas says:

      I felt the long ball approach came as the game wore on. At least in the beginning it seemed Sunderland had a possession mindset that fell apart maybe due to frustration at the lack of chances. The team had 10 new starters on the field so you couldnt expect much since they clearly need some more time to play together. I dont think theres a reason to think Sunderland will rely on the long ball going forward. However like you said, solid outing for Jozy he definitely stood out while a lot of his teammates looked sloppy at times.

  91. J.A.B. says:

    Here’s a video of Johannsson’s goal.

    link to 101greatgoals.com

  92. Kelly says:

    Arriola just scored to level against Monterrey at the death

  93. Chupacabra says:

    Now I know why Dempsey chose Seattle – legal weed.