Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

BarcaReal (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a near seven-month wait, global giants Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet at Camp Nou on this Soccer Saturday for this season’s first installment of El Clasico, one of the world’s biggest sports rivalries.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo will be joined Saturday by some new faces making their Clasico debuts. Young Brazilian star Neymar and world-record signing Gareth Bale are set to take the field in Barcelona, under the direction of first-year managers Gerardo Martino and Carlo Ancelotti. After playing out back-to-back draws, Barcelona have a chance to bounce back Saturday with a home victory that would extend their league lead over their rivals to six points.

Saturday’s action will start in England, where Crystal Palace, now without manager Ian Holloway, host a first-place Arsenal side eager to move past their midweek Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund. The EPL matchday continues with third-place Liverpool’s battle with streaking West Bromwich Albion and struggling Manchester United’s match against Stoke City at Old Trafford.

In Germany, Schalke 04 host Borussia Dortmund in the highly anticipated Rivierderby, giving fans a heated rivalry match to enjoy before El Clasico. Schalke won both of their meetings with second-place Dortmund last season, but Jurgen Klopp’s side enters Saturday’s match at the Veltins Arena with plenty of momentum after a successful midweek trip to Emirates Stadium in North London.

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 – Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

9:30am – Gol TV USA – Schalke 04 vs Borussia Dortmund

10am – beIN Sport Play – Burnley vs. Queens Park Rangers

10am – NBC Sports Network – Manchester United vs Stoke City

10am – NBC Sports Live Extra – Aston Villa vs Everton

10am – NBC Sports Live Extra – Liverpool vs West Brom

10am – NBC Sports Live Extra – Norwich City vs Cardiff City

11am – Univision Deportes - Marseille vs Stade de Reims

12pm – beIN Sport/beIN Sport en Español – Barcelona vs Real Madrid

12:30pm – NBC Sports Network – Southampton vs Fulham

2:45pm – beIn Sport USA – Inter Milan vs Hellas Verona

2:45pm – GolTV USA – Ajax vs RKC

3pm – NBC Sports Network – Philadelphia Union vs Sporting Kansas City

4pm – MLS Direct Kick/Univision Deportes/TSN – Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact

4pm – beIN Sport en Español – Levante vs. Espanyol

4:30pm – GolTV USA – Cruzeiro vs Criciuma 

5:30pm – NBC Sports Network – San Jose Earthquakes vs FC Dallas

7pm – Univision – Club America vs Puebla

9pm – Univision Deportes – Pachuca vs Cruz Azul

9pm – UniMas – Monterrey vs Chiapas

9pm – Galavision – Atlante vs Santos Laguna

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

10pm – Univision Deportes – Atlas vs Queretaro

10:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Chivas USA vs Portland Timbers

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

139 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Nate Dollars says:

    JAB and jermaine on bench. no dolo or fabian.

  2. jones says:

    Commentators very complimentary of Howard and Guzan’s work ethic/consistency. They looked like they were teasing each other in the tunnel before the match.

    Hope this is a good match – also pits Lukaku against Benteke.

    • jones says:

      Another factoid about the fixture: the two teams have played each other in the PL more times than any other two – I think they said 197 times.

  3. manicmessiah says:

    Crouch has a ball kicked off him and in for a 1-0 stoke less.

    Man United look much more fluid with Kagawa in.

  4. Pace says:

    What a save on that penalty by Howard!

  5. Pace says:

    Battle of the American goalies going on over here

  6. manicmessiah says:

    At this point I think I would try Fellaini at cb.

  7. Travis says:

    even if united wins this game its clear that their defense is a joke, goodness they are playing horrendous. rooney is carrying this team at the moment

  8. Mikebsiu says:

    Terrible mistake by Cameron on the Rooney goal

  9. Tom_in_So_IL says:

    Gooch is on the bench.

  10. TomG says:

    Unending, nonstop pressure from the Manx. Stoke holding their shape wonderfully but only a matter of time before a red card comes out. They are taking tactical tackling to a new level.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      The Manx? Is that a thing? Do people refer to Man U as “the Manx?” I mean, Manchester is sort of close to the Isle of Man, but I have never heard this before.

      • TomG says:

        1. manc
        Inhabitant of the city of Manchester.
        Any houmourless twat with a dodgy weave and inabilty to say words such as; paper, tenner or anything ending with ER.

        Urban dictionary

  11. TomG says:

    What a day for soccer! EPL morning, El Classico at noon and several MLS final weekend games on national tv…. And the girlfriend is away!!

    • k says:

      you’re excited that she’s away. convert her to love soccer man. that is your duty

      • TomG says:

        She likes going to the NYRB matches with me. it’s the only sport she likes. I don’t think sitting in front of the tv and watching four matches in one day will ever be her thing, though.

  12. milkshake of despair says:

    Interesting stoke goalie and refs are both wearing yellow. Thought that wasn’t allowed.

  13. TomG says:

    Midget Rooney in the land of the giants with the backpedaling, glancing header off the driven corner.

  14. TomG says:

    And little Chicharito heads me in as well!

  15. Pace says:

    Chicharito…

  16. k says:

    can IVES please fix this?

    i hate reading from top to bottom. it’s just bizarre

    • Coke says:

      I like it this way. I hate having to scroll all the way down to read the new comments.

    • Increase says:

      I’m fine with it as well.
      There positives for both ways. =/

    • TomM says:

      Would be great if the users could sort comments according to preference.

    • fischy says:

      There’s nothing wrong with having new comments on top…so long as the box to leave new comments would be above that. Having to read the new comments at the top and then having to scroll down to the bottom to get the box to leave your own new comment? That’s bass ackwards.

      • Aero says:

        I’ve complained about this repeatedly. It drives me crazy and I have found that I don’t read comments nearly as much as I used to because of the difficulty of determining what post came first..

        • GW says:

          “Aero says:
          October 26, 2013 at 8:42 PM ”

          Aero,
          Can you see the date and time on your post? It is found on all posts.
          If you can read dates and tell time it’s not hard to tell which post came first but then maybe I expect too much of you.

    • GW says:

      k,

      When you read a book or the comics do you read from the bottom up?

  17. Coke says:

    Stoke. All thug no game.

  18. Todd Marsch says:

    I’m not a big fan of Shea, but this would seem to be an ideal circumstance to throw him on down a goal against a tired, often shaky Man U defense. I’m surprised Hughes wouldn’t even have him on the bench for such occasions.

    • TomG says:

      Breking Bad is up for a loan so I don’t think he figures at all into the squad this season. Between injuries and poor tranng, I dont think he’s impressed Hughesie.

    • John says:

      Who knows, they are a pretty hard to watch anyway.

  19. TomG says:

    Nice shot of Everton fans holding Toffee scarves over their heads chanting USA for Timmy.

  20. TomG says:

    Barca pressure dominating right now.

  21. fischy says:

    So, watching the highlights — there is no one like Suarez…a mix of Rooney and Messi. Is he the best in the world? He’s in the conversation, anyway.

  22. BCC says:

    Good to see that Neymar has been fully inducted into the FCB Academy of Histrionics.

  23. TomG says:

    Neymar!

    • TomG says:

      Wonderful ball from Iniesta. With Neymar added you have to wonder if there are now just too many weapons to play the sit back and counter style that everyone has played against them in big matches in the past.

  24. TomG says:

    That shot took a deflection before going in but smart play by Neymar to give a go. He is more daring than the typical Barca product. That may be what they need. So many big matches in the past two years, they have been content to knock the ball around, pulling it back and waiting for the perfect chance that sometimes never comes against the best teams. Neymar is much more willing to pull the trigger.

    • GW says:

      “That may be what they need.”
      Can you name a more dominant, more consistently successful club?

      Barca is successful and highly regarded largely because it has had, in their prime, three of the all time best players ever to play. Sooner or later they will become mortal and Neymar’s main function is to eventually replace one of them.

      Shooting more, attacking more is not what Barca need, they aren’t built like Bayern, a full court offense team in basketball terms. Barca are more of a half court offense.
      If you want to see a more adventurous Barca watch Pep’s Bayern.

      • TomG says:

        Bayern won the UCL while Barca has flamed out before the finals the last couple seasons. I think you’re making my case for me. It’s no big secret that Barca are trying to play a bit more direct this year. Even their manager said as much.

        • GW says:

          Mr G,

          “Bayern won the UCL while Barca has flamed out before the finals the last couple seasons. I think you’re making my case for me. It’s no big secret that Barca are trying to play a bit more direct this year. Even their manager said as much.”

          Before last year Bayern hadn’t won the Champion’s league for 12 years. Since 2006 Barca has won three Champion’s league cups to Bayern’s one. That kind of dominance is not easy to attain or sustain.

          What is your case? That Barca need to be more direct? Once David Villa broke his leg, they lost their best pure striker and Neymar may prove to be his replacement but I’m not sure that heralds a major change in their style. That would require a major personnel overhaul. If that happened they wouldn’t really be the Barca everyone supposedly loves.

          Which is one reason Pep left. Bayern gives him a chance to graft some of Barca’s style onto the physically and athletically superior Bayern framework.

          Barca go down the middle at a certain rate because that is the kind of personnel they have. Bayern are bigger, faster stronger and they tend to take it wide because that is what you do when you have those advantages, beat them down the wing and then have your powerful attackers crash the box.
          Tiki taka was developed in great part because the Spanish got tired of being beaten up by bigger, stronger, faster. The style is inherently indirect.

  25. BCC says:

    Messi tripped up by the same blade of grass that got Vidal the other day. The diving is unbelievable . . .

    • TomG says:

      That blade of grass stepped on his foot and looked remarkably like a Madrid defender’s boot.

    • Increase says:

      Ya, in replay you can see it. I didn’t see anything at all in realtime.

      • TomG says:

        Messi’s not really a big diver at all. He s dying to stay on his feet so he can make plays. Neymar, Ronaldo and DiMaria, on the other hand….

    • Atlanta Soccer Junky says:

      Normally not a fan of Neymar’s diving, but that revenge dive he did a few minutes after getting elbowed in the back of the head was awesome. Well played! Enjoy that yellow card, buddy!

  26. TomG says:

    Only Barca can make Real Madrid look like Stoke City for 45 minutes. Unbelievable display of ball pressure and possession.

  27. Atlanta Soccer Junky says:

    Barca kickin some Royal ass. Down with the imperialists!

  28. ThatKidNandez says:

    Goalkeepers: Howard, Guzan, Clark

    Defense: Chandler, Lichaj, Cameron, Brooks, Oneywu, Jide Ogunbiyi, Yedlin, F Johnson

    Midfield: Donovan, Arriola, Gil, bradley, morales, magee, kljestan, Diskerud, Corona

    Fowards: Zardes,Boyd, Johannsson, altidore

    Maybe: Holmes, O brien, Torres, Green, jones, Parker, Yarborough, Gomez, Dempsey

    What do ya’ll think for the november friendlies? Or Even a January camp

    • TomG says:

      Um, no

      • ThatKidNandez says:

        why not?

        • TomG says:

          Sorry’ trying to watch el Classico and type on iPad difficult. Tough to focus on your list. I don’t think Jide, Zardes, Obrien, Parker, Holmes, Yarbrough are close at all. I’m reading that Farrell and Klute are ahead of Yedlin right now. I like the idea of giving Gil a chance. Some of the other new faces are possible but, based on jKs comments and history, we won’t see nearly that many new faces all at once. Maybe pick a couple or three of those guys and add them to the usual suspects is my guess.

          • ThatKidNandez says:

            Klute is a boss I remember watching him heaps in atlanta. I think it’s a yedlin\ klute fight. Just not a Farell fan. I put Zardes because his partnership with Donovan is great and the fact he can take players on with ease, maybe agudelo could take his place. Yarborough is playing better than most mls keepers especially johnson in my opinion. I really wanna see Gil given a chance such an exciting prospect!

            • TomG says:

              I know this is what YOU want to see. I just don’t think it’s remotely anything JK would put put there, esp not 8 months from the WC

            • TomG says:

              I would like to see Gil too.

            • TomG says:

              I like Farrell. He’s also very versatile which JK likes. He’s a good passer, composed with the ball at his feet and has nice size and speed. Long shot for any of these guys to get a call but Im reading that Farrell is pretty highly rated.

          • TomG says:

            Aside from your maybe list, you’ve got Zardes, Gil, Arriola, Yedlin, Jide, Lichaj, Magee all completely new for JK. Corona also not part of recent team iterations. iMO at best we see one or two.

            • ThatKidNandez says:

              Corona has shown well for the US when he’s played. He was alright last night. He might pull a parkhurst haha. Let’s hope parkhurst isn’t called…. aside from corona I hope Arriola,Lichaj, and Jide are called up

    • TomG says:

      Way too many prospects, and many of them nowhere near Klinsi’s radar. History has shown Klinsi likes to experiment with a couple new guys here and there but not in a wholesale manner. It’s way, way too early for many guys on that list. Pick two or three of the absolute best of those youngsters maybe. Actually, I didn’t see the maybe before that section so its not as bad as I thought, sorry.

      • ThatKidNandez says:

        I didn’t put jones in because I read that he’s gonna get surgery during the winter break. I forgot to put Bedoya, Besler, and Gonzo on the Maybe list. All of the players I listed have been getting time except for Gooch and Morales. He called green to train so I kinda have a feeling he might be bringing some new faces into the game.

  29. Atlanta Soccer Junky says:

    Valdes is BRICK WALL, yo! Can’t get nuthin past him.

  30. jones says:

    BeIn commentators…ugh.

    “magisterial” Lol.

  31. Boyd says:

    Take diving away and Bale has nothing.

  32. Gary Page says:

    I watched Stoke vs. Man U. Anyone see if Gooch made the field for QPR?

  33. bryan says:

    Madrid dominating the 2nd half.

  34. Boyd says:

    Madrid looking much better since they took Bale out.
    There is more to football than running fast and diving in the box.

  35. Atlanta Soccer Junky says:

    Whoo hoo!!! 2-0. Ronaldo still whining, lol.

  36. Withdrawn Striker says:

    JHC! The Bein color guy on the Classico game is the most annoying human ever.

  37. Bac says:

    Yes, that was an awesome goal.

    Yes, this BeIN Sport guy is annoying, and always has been….

    But did he just say “The Ceramic Brakes” and then “Just like from Mussolinis balcony”?

    Seriously…..

  38. Boyd says:

    GOAL of the week for Alexis!!!

  39. Atlanta Soccer Junky says:

    More Ray Hudson for the uninitiated…

    link to rayhudsonquotes.tumblr.com

  40. bryan says:

    Glad Jese brought his finishing boots. Finally Madrid get their goal. Too little too late though.

  41. jones says:

    who is the other commentator?

  42. Clyde Frog says:

    I find it amusing that there seems to be a whole new generation of US soccer fans who don’t know the (former?) US soccer cult hero Ray Hudson is. He is, to many, just “that annoying BeIN guy”. Heh. No biggie though. I was never that much of a Ray Hudson fan anyway.

    • Bac says:

      Clyde, I’ll admit my error, I do remember Ray Hudson, and did not know he was the color on BeIN. I just watched the post game and prefer him as studio expert as opposed to play by play, because he certainly knows his stuff, but yes.. he is legend

  43. bryan says:

    Well ref ends up affecting the game by missing a clear PK. But it happens. And Madrid could have won if they finished better. They had fantastic opportunities through Ronaldo and Khedira. Good game and given how Madrid played in the 2nd, I’m not even mad.

    • TomG says:

      Have to wonder if Ronaldo’s history of diving put the doubt into the refs mind to make him swallow the whistle.

      • RK says:

        The problem is that it is either a PK or a card for diving and it was neither. Horrible no call either way.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          not if the ref decided it was shoulder-to-shoulder with both going for the ball. not all contact is illegal.

          especially with replay, i think that was a clear penalty. but i don’t think ronaldo helped himself by making it a little too dramatic.

  44. Atlanta Soccer Junky says:

    Barca defeated Real Madrid like a well trained matador with bionic strength and cat-like reflexes taking down a rampaging, drunken, clumsy, over the hill, bull with a peg leg and only one eye!!

  45. milkshake of despair says:

    Not sure if this was discussed in yesterday’s post, but could Dempsey even get a decent winter loan given his current form? Serious question. Just would like to see others opinions.

    • TomG says:

      Nah. Guys got years of impressive BPL pedigree. You see guys go through bad runs of form and bad club fits all the time and get transferred or loaned out to top teams. So many fans put way too much stock into the past couple games, weeks or months. That’s immaterial for a player with years of success at a high level.

    • bryan says:

      Everton, Fulham, and Spurs all interested supposedly.

    • Gary Page says:

      He scored 12 goals last year after a late start. That’s what teams pay attention to.

  46. bryan says:

    Hahahaha “clear as a mole on Cindy Crawford’s face.”

  47. Shimano says:

    Ray Hudson is a legend amongst legends.
    My most favorite video
    link to youtube.com

    • Marc F says:

      Without doubt. He is magisterial!

    • Withdrawn Striker says:

      OK, that was awesome. And some of his lines are hysterical.

      But as a game commentator I find him unbearably annoying. Too much. oohing and ahhing and gasping at every half-chance, interrupting the play-by-play man constantly, and just the sheer volume, making every little thing overblown, the hystrionics. It was a great match to watch–he was a distraction.

      If it’s a great match, the announcing is incidental. if it’s a boring match, no amount of hystrionics is going to make it not boring.

      • Gary Page says:

        He is kind of like the Dick Vitale of soccer, only with a better turn of phrase and not quite as annoying. But he certainly talks/gushes way too much.

    • Brett says:

      The man can can craft a simile but he annoys me to no end. Explain the game don’t yell about it.

    • Gary Page says:

      link to youtube.com for a season’s worth of bon mots from just one Barcelona game. My favorite is “their rapier like attack is sharper than a porcupine’s backside.”

  48. TomG says:

    I would love to see RM for once come out and attack Barca from the opening whistle instead of laying back and waiting for Barca to tire. You’re the most expensive club in the world…by far! Why are you intimidated??

  49. SMIFFY says:

    I disagree completely. I do believe there is time for polite larping.

    • Increase says:

      Are we Larping now? Cooolssss. I wanna be a darkelf swordsman. I’ll make everyone call me the Erlkönig.

  50. EvertonBrian says:

    Anyone else wonder if Timmy’s “discount double check” celebration after the PK save was a way of saying “I’m the champ” regarding the USMNT, what with Guzan being in the opposite goal today?

    • Joamiq says:

      I certainly don’t. Timmy would never have a thought in his mind to show up Brad.

      • EvertonBrian says:

        I tend to agree. Only way I could see is if it were in more of a half-competitive/half-playful manner. He was awesome today.

  51. Paul6 says:

    Where’s the MLS specific running commentary?

  52. RalphNadersPatioFurniture says:

    Uhh, you don’t deserve the playoffs if THAT is the defense you play. Wow. There were 3 open SKC players with 1 Union player within 10 yards in the Union box. I mean come on, you have to go play defense too.

    • petedx says:

      Can’t blame them too much, they needed 2 goals in 10 minutes. KC should have scored a couple before that on the break. Also that game was pretty ugly, even with the excitement of the last 10 minutes.

  53. Bean says:

    Why do the announcers always pronounce it Chee-voss USA?

  54. Fredo says:

    Nice emergency defending by Boca for dirty goats. Tree Killers still score.

  55. Fredo says:

    Thanks for nothing goats. Well, except the laughs.

  56. MikeG says:

    Is Bocanegra still playing for the USMNT? Did he piss someone off?

    • GW says:

      Opening game WC starters

      Howard

      Dolo, Gooch, Boca, Chandler

      Bradley, Jones

      Zusi, Dempsey, Donovan

      Jozy

    • Brett says:

      Should he be? I think he’s too slow for the international game. I think others are simply better options.