Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

AaronRamseyFulham1 (Getty)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A handful of intriguing English Premier League matchups and the opening two fixtures in the new Serie A season highlight a long Soccer Saturday lineup.

The day will start in London, where city rivals Fulham and Arsenal will square off at Craven Cottage. Fulham pulled out a grinding 1-0 victory last weekend at Sunderland, and the Cottagers return home to face an Arsenal squad looking to bounce back in the league. After their 3-1 loss at home on opening day, the shorthanded Gunners posted an impressive road shutout of Turkish side Fenerbahce in a crucial first leg of their Champions League playoff.

The side that beat Arsenal to kick off their EPL season, Aston Villa, will wrap up the English action with a home match against Liverpool. The Villans were not able to make it two-for-two on the road to start the year, falling to Chelsea during the midweek. Liverpool will look to take advantage of any tiredness from their hosts, who are led by striker Christian Benteke.

Also on Saturday, Mario Balotelli and AC Milan will host newly promoted Hellas Verona in the season’s first Serie A match. Milan are also coming off a first playoff leg in the Champions League, but they were not able to grab a road victory like Arsenal did on Wednesday. The Rossoneri’s match will be followed up by an interesting fixture for rivals Juventus. The defending champions will travel to face Sampdoria, a side that beat them in both league meetings last season.

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/mun2 – Fulham vs. Arsenal

9:30am – GolTV – Bayern Munich vs. FC Nurnberg

10am – NBC Sports Network – Southampton vs. Sunderland

11am – Univision Deportes – Valenciennes vs. Olympique Marseille

12pm – beIN Sport USA – Hellas Verona vs. AC Milan

12:30pm – NBC – Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

12:30pm – GolTV – Hertha Berlin vs. Hamburg

1pm – beIN Sport en Español – Elche vs. Real Sociedad

2pm – Univision Deportes – Lyon vs. Reims

2pm – Fox Sports 2 – FC Kansas City vs. Portland Thorns

2:45pm – beIN Sport USA – Sampdoria vs. Juventus

3pm – beIN Sport en Español – Espanyol vs. Valencia

5pm – beIN Sport en Español – Villarreal vs. Real Valladolid

6pm – Univision Deportes – Club America vs. Morelia

7pm – MLS Direct Kick – Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo

7pm – MLS Direct Kick – D.C. United vs. Toronto FC

7pm – One World Sports/SNY – New York Cosmos vs. San Antonio Scorpions

8pm – UniMas – Tigres UANL vs. Chiapas

8pm – Univision Deportes – Atlante vs. Pachuca

8pm – Fox Sports 2 – Western New York Flash vs. Sky Blue FC

9pm – MLS Direct Kick – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy

9pm – MLS Direct Kick – FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes

9:05pm – Telemundo – Club Leon vs. Monterrey

9:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew

10pm – Univision Deportes – Atlas vs. Pumas UNAM

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

134 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Jon says:

    Tim Ream started for Bolton. No watching, but seems that he’s in the midfield.

    • SoonyIsSad says:

      Shhhh. Tim Ream is awful and never plays (except full 90 in the last cup game and starting now) and LICHAJ ERMAGAWD IS GREATEST!@

      Couldn’t be that coaches know things that the fans don’t.

    • che says:

      Ream off at the 72, appeared to be a slight injury. Crowd seemed pleased with his performance.

  2. WG says:

    Ives or France,

    Have either of y’all heard any details involving Sunderand tabling a bid for Michael Bradley?

    link to rokerreport.com

    • WG says:

      My apologies, Franco. It’s still early.

    • squirt-lover says:

      I had not heard about this rumor….interesting. Not sure what I would think about this move. Some positives, some negatives.

    • TomG says:

      Doesn’t seem to make sense from MB’s perspective, but he’s exactly the type of player PDC is looking for. Roker has thrown out a ton of names for that spot but none of them has worked out yet.

      • SoonyIsSad says:

        I think that regardless of whether this is true or not, Bradley is at the bottom of their (Roma) midfield pecking order. If he could parlay his preseason form into a spot with Jozy in the premiership? Money.

        • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

          So money he doesn’t even know it….

        • Original Aaron says:

          The man was a first choice starter last season, and all indications are he will be again this season. Not sure where people get the idea that he is barely hanging in the squad. People said the same about Dempsey last year and statistically he was one of Tottenham’s best offensive players, and anecdotally he score their most important goals of the season (first win at Man U in 40 years!). may move one day, but I seriously doubt it will be because he is being pushed out.

  3. Mike E. says:

    Not sure awful begins to describe Fulham at the moment.

  4. Citronomics says:

    Arsene possibly rethinking the loan move for Podolski after his performance today?

  5. Beckster says:

    Specs is back out on the pitch today starting after 6 weeks out with a facial injury. He’ll have his work cut out for him as BCFC have sold most of the rest of their good players this summer.

    • Herschel skywalker says:

      The hand-wringing over the US right back position without Dolo puzzles me. That is one position where we have plenty of depth. Specs is one option. So is Lichaj. Then you have Cameron regularly starting there, in the EPL, Chandler, Parkhurst and Dolo is likely to be playing in a few months. Almost every one of those players can also play other positions, like defensive mid, winger or left back. That’s as deep as any position we have.

  6. Mike E. says:

    Nonsense like this is why English fans think their players are so great when they aren’t.

    I don’t care how much money Barclay’s pays to name the man of the match–it was in no way, shape or form Aaron Ramsey. Take your pick from Giroud or Podolski with the brace or more importantly Cazorla.

    And then for the Brit commentators to claim Ramsey is Arsenals best player? My god its a giant UK delusion.

    • SoonyIsSad says:

      For a laugh, do a Twitter search on Ramsey.

      There are some fans calling him one of the best players in the world. I don’t even know how to handle this type of behavior.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I think Ramsey was actually very good today. And while I agree with your overall comment about English fans, I think there is a cultural prejudice to look for guys who do the hard, dirty work – the center backs and holding mids in particular. That is not entirely a bad thing. Go back ten years to an Arsenal – Man U clash and it would be portrayed as Vieria vs Keane. And that was not far wrong because both of those guys did the work that let the rest of their team mates play attacking soccer.

      I think part of the response to Ramsey so far is that he has played far better than he did last year and that he has stepped into a position of need in the deep mid role. I don’t think it’s an entirely unreasonable pick, although I might have gone with Gioud who made some impressive defensive plays as well, just as Fulhma started applying pressure.

  7. Rimjob city says:

    Chandler is starting against Bayern… But listed as a forward?

  8. SoonyIsSad says:

    Could not believe the commentators would even think to claim that Aaron Ramsey is better than Santi Cazorla. Just crazy talk about everything UK.

  9. RK says:

    Goal Sunderland on a corner 2 minutes in…some Italian guy

  10. Mike E. says:

    This game combined with last week is painting a poor picture of what this season will be for Jozy.

    I see a lot of post game summaries reading as such … “great hold up play from the large American striker, but he rarely found the ball at his feet.”

  11. Citronomics says:

    Jozy finally getting a little service. Not able to do much given the Southhampton marking in the box.

    So far, and it is *early*, this Sunderland 4-4-1-1 doesn’t seem to consistently (arguably struggling) get width.

  12. J.A.B. says:

    If the Bradley rumor is true, Sunderland needs to make it happen. They have no control in the midfield and it shows with their lack of possession. They are a pretty frustrating side to watch so far. Jozy really needs service.

    • Mike E. says:

      Frustrating is right.

      This is just really awful football. The number of long balls that don’t come within 10 yards of an attacking player make me want to pull my hair out.

      Ill take a slower, prettier MLS game over this garbage every day.

  13. Joe says:

    Sunderland keeps on playing this way, Jozy will be lucky if he scores any goals.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      Agreed, I dont like what I see from them as a whole, granted as I understand they have brought in many new player so they may need time to gel but they cant seem to keep hold of the ball in any form. Jozy looks similar to the whole team, just meh.

    • beachbum says:

      agreed. pretty awful to watch this team, don’t know how many more mornings I’ll spend following Sunderland.

  14. USMNT Fan says:

    Di Canio screaming after Jozy passed up two opportunities to strike at goal.

    • J.A.B. says:

      Can’t really be too mad at Jozy. There is zero support for him up top and I swear the Sunderland midfielder are allergic of the ball. I get so sick of seeing them bomb it away every time, especially when the long passes aren’t accurate.

      • SoonyIsSad says:

        It’s incredible how bad some of these passes are. It should come at no surprise that the mid-to-lower table clubs in La Liga and Bundesliga are far beyond their English counterparts in terms of quality, talent and efficient play.

        I had forgotten what lower table EPL games looked like. There were 4 of 5 long balls in the second part of that half which couldn’t have been closer than 30 yards from Jozy.

        They can’t even complete a pass in the midfield. It’s embarrassing to watch.

    • Chicago Josh says:

      Di Canio spent the entire 90 minutes screaming at everyone.

  15. gtv says:

    Jozy not able to do much. Little if any service and Saints have 3 men around him any time he sees the ball.

    PDC needs to change his tactics or this will be Hull City Mach 2 for Jozy, I’m afraid.

  16. Laggity says:

    Magpies giving master class in how to piss away goal attempts. If this was the NFL we’d be up 9-0 at least with all our field goals.

  17. milkshake of despair says:

    Martino just called Jozy – “Johnson” by mistake. I’d call Martino a name but it’d be moderated. Haha

  18. SoonyIsSad says:

    You’ve heard of DEFCON? Well now there’s HULLCON–how close Sunderland is to achieving Hull-esque futility and lack of cohesion.

    We’re currently at HULLCON 3. If the second half and next match mirror what we’ve seen so far… we’ll upgrade to HULLCON 1.

  19. CSD says:

    Jozy will to learn in the EPL you don’t have time to take that extra touch. When you are in the box with the ball and you have the chance to take a shot take it. You don’t have time to settle the ball on your feet and get the perfect shot off.

  20. che says:

    Sessegnon off at the half. Hopefully that infuses something else into the attack for Sunderland.

  21. Ted in MN says:

    Not Jozy’s best day so far even considering how isolated he’s been, but it only takes one moment.

    • Citronomics says:

      And though Boruc came off his line quickly, Jozy should’ve done better there as that chance, to your point, may be the only time the ball is slipped through to put him in on goal.

      Looks like match is opening up so hope he gets another crack.

  22. Ted in MN says:

    Ya gotta be harder against Fonte there Jozy. You’re one on one. Stay up and fight for it.

  23. MemRook says:

    For a BIG guy, Jozy falls down A LOT. We’ve always known he’s had that side of him, but I was really really hoping he would cut that stuff out when he made his big move to Sunderland. Show more maturity and fight son.

    • Ben says:

      Agreed, Jozy is not playing strong in a game that demands it.

    • liberoo says:

      And then he takes out Lovren with an elbow. Is that what you wanted?

    • liberoo says:

      I prefer to think of this all as being evidence that Jozy has learned a lot more tactics in recent years. Let’s not forget the situation on the field – his team is protecting a one-goal lead on the road. To eat up a few seconds after being fouled strikes me as fairly savvy.

    • SoonyIsSad says:

      It’s called being tactical.

      He’s being fouled. Just because he’s bigger he should not get fouls called?

      • Ted in MN says:

        If ya never get that call, its not being tactical.

      • MemRook says:

        Well I’ll agree to disagree then. Being fouled and going down too easy in my eyes are different. And the ref seems to agree with me a lot today because he’s called maybe 2 of those.

        • Citronomics says:

          Think your observation for *this match* is spot on. Jozy is not getting bulldozed or clattered, as Font has for sure played him tough but not blatant fouling. Guessing also the ref sees Jozy waving his hands and not just getting on with play.

      • MemRook says:

        And just to be clear, I adore Altidore. I was just hoping he had turned a page in regards to this one issue. He has clearly shown to be almost unplayable when he uses his physicality to his advantage.

  24. Ken says:

    Jozy will be in trouble when Sunderland get Fletcher back unless they move to a 4-4-2. Really disappointed by him today, not really fighting much even though the service has lacked at times. On another note, if Sunderland don’t strength the middle of the park they will be playing in the championship. The Red Bulls have a better starting midfield pair than they do

    • liberoo says:

      Isn’t Fletcher more a 2nd striker (ala Dempsey)? Seems like that’s the position that Di Canio keeps using different players trying to find a partner for Jozy. Time will tell.

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, the center of the part for Sunderland is awful. They can’t pass forward and don’t stop much going the other way.

    • SoonyIsSad says:

      Has lacked at times suggests its been positive the rest of the time. It’s been anything but. It’s awful.

  25. Andrew says:

    Boy is this going to be a long season for Altidore. Sunderland plays such unattractive futbol! It’s really kickball 101… Very disappointing.

  26. SoonyIsSad says:

    The last two passes to Jozy have been about 25 yards and 15 yards away from him respectively.

    • SoonyIsSad says:

      And the next two points of possession in the final third resulted in a selfish 30-40 yard shot.

  27. Citronomics says:

    Sunderland long balls suck balls. “We’re on the road to nowhere…”

  28. SoonyIsSad says:

    What coach is letting their players shoot on target from that angle?! Feed the ball into pack and look for a header.

    And then Westwood kickballs it to the other keeper–missing Jozy by probably 40 yards.

    This team isn’t fit for the premier league.

    • Dudester says:

      “This team isn’t fit for the premier league”= hyperbole.Its two games into the season.Give Sunderland a little time.

      • SoonyIsSad says:

        Hyperbole?

        This team will be relegated. They could be relegated by a third of the way into the season. Their upcoming schedule?

        13 games including Man City, Man United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, Swansea and Stoke.

  29. Ben says:

    Well, Jozy wanted this move, so he needs to fight now. It’s going to be an ugly year for Sunderland.

  30. SoonyIsSad says:

    That pass to Jozy missed him by about 10 yards.

  31. Ernie says:

    Hey Mike Ashley,

    How’s about buying a decent striker, ya cheap bastard.

  32. Darwin says:

    It’s early, but not too early too see Sunderland’s lack of quality. They made Southampton look like Barcelona. Hull 2.0 indeed. It will be interesting to see Sunderland vs Hull later on.

  33. Left Wing says:

    Sunderland have made a move for Bradley?
    awesome. Sunderland are lost in the MF.
    Jozy’s will certainly develop his hold up skills this year. You could see his frustration today at being stranded.

  34. Dudester says:

    This whole thread is filled with Sunderland hyperbole.People judging what their season is going to look like after 2 games.

    • Ben says:

      Well, it’s pretty bad when you cannot create chances or see much of the ball against Southampton at any point in the season.

      • Ted in MN says:

        Well they did create A chance and they did score it to get a point on the road. It’s just that everything else was crap.

    • MemRook says:

      It’s hard to watch our beloved Jozy struggle, especially considering his recent (crunk) form.

      *i am not amongst the doom and gloom for Sunderland observers….yet. I still have hope that sunderland will get it together. But it still hurts to watch Altidore play in such an urgly setup so far.

    • SoonyIsSad says:

      They were just completely dominated by the team that finished 4 spots out of relegation last year.

      • Dudester says:

        Southampton tried to play football last year.Sunderlnand under Oneil not so much.Paulo is trying to change the style of play.That will take some time.

    • beachbum says:

      I’ll agree, but the first two games have been very ugly, and Jozy up top all alone is a real stretch, especially defensively when he’s asked to chase by himself. Ugly performance from Sunderland, and Jozy is starved

      • Dudester says:

        We’re there any decent stk’s on the bench.Does Paulo play Jozy by himself out of choice or neccesity? Maybe when Fletcher comes back they play up top together and look like a diff team going fwd.

      • biff says:

        Sounds exactly like the USMNT before Brian Straus did his famous player mutiny article in March, and then Klinsmann finally quit stubbornly playing 3 d-mids and became more flexible and let the guys run and gun. Maybe Straus should do a news article on the Sunderland situation.

  35. MemRook says:

    Still waiting for Di Canio’s revolutionary attractive soccer I guess. Lolz. Poor Jozy.

  36. Ted in MN says:

    Everton looked depressingly meh

  37. Bubba Ho Tep says:

    Sunderland looks like an excellent candidate to get relegated….now it’s easy to tell why the bookies had good odds that DiCanio will be the first manager fired this season. As to Jozy, unfortunately I think he was among the worst performers on the field today….he was barely running in the second half and looked absolutely clueless. Will be interesting how the team gets configured when Fletcher comes back….if Jozy doesn’t start scoring, he may find himself on the bench.

  38. hudson says:

    Jozy would’ve been a better fit with Southampton. He can only hope that when Fletcher gets back, Sunderland will play 4-4-2 and he’ll be more effective, as is often the case when the U.S. switches to the traditional formation. You have to wonder why Sunderland is even bothering to hit long balls when they land nowhere near the target.

  39. John says:

    This is the second Sunderland match now where anytime they get anywhere near the final third someone takes a 35 yarder that goes no where near target.

  40. Ted in MN says:

    The bigger problem for Sunderland today was that the midfield couldn’t string 2 passes together for whole half hour stretches. Jozy underwhelmed on the few occasions he actually had a reasonable chance (and he went down way too easy to Fonte on several occasions) but you have to wonder if he lost some sharpness/concentration just based on how the team was playing as a whole.

    • J.A.B. says:

      I agree. When you are completely taken out of a game due to lack of support, it would be easy to lose focus with the terrible football going on around you. Heck, I know I was about to doze off a few times. I am not jumping on the Sunderland relegation wagon yet, but they need to get things fixed soon. Their upcoming stretch of matches is brutal. We are about to find out how mature Jozy has become.

      Signing Bradley would be huge. He is the kind of player they need to make that midfield relevant.

    • beachbum says:

      +1

      midfield ridiculousness, awful. And it’s pretty hard to protect a 1-0 lead for basically 90 minutes. Lucky to get a point today is DiCanio

    • TomG says:

      Disappointing outing for Jozy. He was only okay on the ball whereas he was dominant last week. He missed a good (albeit difficult) chance to chip the keeper. Tough to get that ball up and over at a full run chipping it in the opposite direction, but it was possible. Awful job by the Sunderland midfield today, though. They allowed Southhampton to utterly dominate the ball.

      • Increase says:

        I know away games are hard but… so many teams do this. They don’t even attempt to play away from home. I really don’t understand why.

  41. Ted in MN says:

    I think Sky Sports is taking the piss a bit: their ratings for Sunderland

    Jozy: 7 Performed his lone striker role well, but could have scored. (yeah, one chipped ball maybe…)
    Adam Johnson: 7 Constantly posed a threat on the counter attack. (hardly)
    Larsson: 7 Wonderful set-pieces again from the Swede. (sure for the goal but after that…ever?)
    Gardner: 5 Seemed overwhelmed in the middle of the park. (now that I’ll buy)

  42. Citronomics says:

    Go Red Dragons!

  43. Citronomics says:

    Anyone catch the Hoffenheim match today… scoreline indicates a good one. How did FJ do?

    • biff says:

      Did not see the game but it appears his club coach played him out of position again for the second weak in row at left back :-)

      People, Fabian Johnson is a left back and it is absolutely crazy when Klinsmann has an excellent LB like FJ to play DaMacus Beasley there and move FJ to LW, where Fabian is not nearly as good as he is at LB and where we already have plenty of good options from guys who play midfield for their clubs.

      P.S. Anyone know whether Geoff Cameron also played out of position today at right back again for the second week in a row :-)

  44. Citronomics says:

    The Liverpool v. AV announcers mentioned Guzan has not kept a clean sheet in 24 matches. Ummm… context here would help as AV’s defense was horrid last season.

    • Increase says:

      Example now?

      Brad could have gotten that… but like… meh. You gotta challenge for it sometime.

      • byrdman says:

        They were discussing some of the blowouts last year, and then how the team rallied to stay in the PL. Then mentioned how important it was to keep Benteke. Really were not dogging Guzan, but not praising him either. The comment didn’t really fit the discussion in my opinion. More like the guy had a stat someone had given him, and he was looking for a place to insert it into the conversation.

      • beachbum says:

        are you criticizing Guzan now? In the first 25 minutes of this game, AV has only been in Liverpool’s final third for a minute, maybe, in the match, literally

        could soon be a shooting gallery in AV’s area, which is what happened last year.

        possession numbers on this game so far must be tremendously one sided in Liverpool’s favor

    • Brett says:

      I don’t agree with singling out GKs for clean sheets. Surely the whole defense gets the credit/blame.

  45. Ted in MN says:

    Guzan’s come to take the ball of Sturridge and completely missed it

  46. Citronomics says:

    Sturridge! with a tremendous effort juking in the box to beat his defender, round Guzan and put away the poke top shelf. In just over a half season, definitely delivering ROI.

  47. byrdman says:

    JAB just came off after 22 minutes. Anyone know why??

  48. Bean says:

    Sturridge has been impressive. 8 goals in the last 8 matches. He can finish.

  49. Bean says:

    The new white away shirts that Liverpool are wearing do not look as bad as I originally thought. They look good on TV.

  50. J.A.B. says:

    Prosoccertalk.com just tweeted that Roma straight reject a $10 million bid for Bradley from Sunderland.

    • beachbum says:

      perhaps they realize how desperate they are for answers in midfield after viewing today’s match :)

    • Paul says:

      I must be in the minority in this thread, but if I was Bradley, I would go nowhere near Sunderland. You play for Roma, you live in Roma..stay in Roma! At least the play proper football.

      • Ben says:

        Yeah, I think people are getting silly since he isn’t an automatic starter, but he will see the field plenty, and there is nothing to say he won’t be starting a lot if he plays well. Sunderland look pretty bad.

  51. KNPonder says:

    CONCACAF referee sightng in Serie A today. Balotelli gets a two handed shove in the back from a defender while in the box. No penalty given. Balotelli gets a card for dissent. To make matters worse, AC loses by one goal.

  52. beachbum says:

    AV asking the questions now, 75th minute. Delph making plays and linking the field, Okore standing tall in the back so far

  53. Ted in MN says:

    Woofta very close to a penalty. exactly what could have happened on the goal if things had gone differently

  54. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    Brooks left after only 23 minutes. Injury?

  55. J.A.B. says:

    Rumor out of Sunderland is that Sessegnon is on the way out. Apparently, he has had less than a positive attitude lately and has openly declared his intent to leave, possibly to Qatar. PDC was not to happy about him dragging it around today. I don’t understand, if this is the case, how he ever saw the field to begin with today. It looks like it will be Jozy and Fletcher, when the latter is fit.

    Di Canio wants to close out this window with a creative CM and one more defender. I hope for Jozy’s sake that Sunderland cleans it up.

  56. Left Wing says:

    Match of the Day is awesome.
    NBC’s coverage is head and shoulders above.