Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Guangzhou Evergrande FC v Bayern Muenchen - FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Bayern Munich could add a new piece of silverware to their packed trophy case on Saturday — the FIFA Club World Cup trophy.

The defending champions of Europe have opened up a good-sized lead in the Bundesliga heading into the winter break, and they will finish off the calendar year in Morocco at the Club World Cup final. Bayern will take on tournament hosts Raja Casablanca, who knocked off North American champions Monterrey and South American champions Atletico Mineiro in what has been a Cinderella run to the final.

Back in Europe, second-place Liverpool can put extra pressure on title-hunting rivals Arsenal and Chelsea when they kick off the English Premier League weekend at home against Cardiff City. The midday slate of EPL matches includes red-hot Manchester City’s trip to Fulham and Manchester United’s home match against West Ham United. American fans will want to keep an eye on Brad Guzan and Aston Villa as they travel to face Geoff Cameron and Stoke City at the Britannia.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid look to continue their incredible run of form at home against Levante. In Germany, Borussia Dortmund will try to turn things around in their match against Hertha Berlin.

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):

7:15am – Celtic vs. Heart of Midlothian – Fox Soccer Plus

7:45am – Liverpool vs. Cardiff City – NBC Sports Network

9:30am – Borussia Dortmund vs. Hertha Berlin – GolTV USA

10am – Birmingham City vs. Nottingham Forest – beIN Sport USA

10am – Fulham vs. Manchester City – NBC Sports Network

10am – Manchester United vs. West Ham United – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Stoke City vs. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Sunderland vs. Norwich – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – West Bromwich Albion vs. Hull City – NBC Sports Live Extra

10am – Villarreal vs. Sevilla – beIN Sport en Español

11am – Saint-Etienne vs. Nantes – Univision Deportes

11:30am – Guangzhou Evergrande vs. Atletico Mineiro – Fox Sports 2/Fox Deportes

12pm – Livorno vs. Udinese – beIN Sport USA

12pm – Real Betis vs. Almeria – beIN Sport en Español

12:30pm – FC Nurnburg vs. Schalke 04 – GolTV USA

12:30pm – Inverness CT vs. Aberdeen – Fox Soccer Plus

2pm – Reims vs. Ajaccio – Univision Deportes

2pm – Atletico Madrid vs. Levante – beIN Sport en Español

2:30pm – Bayern Munich vs. Raja Casablanca – Fox Sports 2/Fox Deportes

2:45pm – Cagliari vs. Napoli – beIN Sport USA

4pm – Granada vs. Real Sociedad – beIN Sport en Español

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164 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Bean says:

    C’mon Reds.

  2. biff says:

    After letting the news of Clint Dempsey returning on loan to Fulham sink in, this seems like a potentially huge mistake, with the chance of humiliating failure much higher than the chance of a successful two months. If Clint feels he needs to spend two months in England, it would make more sense to go to another club and NOT to Fulham, where there are no doubt a lot of Fulham fans who are never going to forgive him for leaving last year and who will be waiting to attack the second Clint makes a mistake. Some of those Fulham Clint haters still swoop in to SBI as tr*lls from time to time to attack Clint. If Clint does poorly at Fulham, it will totally wreck his confidence when he returns to Seattle and then the potential for even more negative pressure as WC 2014 approaches.

    All that said, yes, there is a chance that Clint at Fulham will excel like he did during his glory years there and return to Seattle flying high and be in top form for Brazil. We shall see.

    • biff says:

      P.S. man, I wish Clint played for Liverpool.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        If he would of Amadeus the move to Liverpool he would’ve been playing to this day and I can almost say that with 100% certainty.

        John Henry had just bought the club. Heavy push by Fox Sports to make Americans aware of Liverpool’s relevance.

        But the way I figure it, the seasons been dreadful enough for Fulham fans, I think this might be something the larger part of the casuals might embrace. You’ll have your ultras hating on him of course, but if he does well he’ll turn them around soon enough.

        The good thing side of it is that he got a run of a couple of months with Seattle, so fitness wise he shouldn’t be to far behind. He knows the team well, a good majority of the guys are still there when he left so it’s just a wait and see game, but it’ll be captivating that’s form sure.

        West Ham on paper might of been a better move, but who knows how Allardyce really rated him.

        Just a shame though the transfer to Spurs was handled the way it was. Jol was a big part on the negative spin on it. Whatever he’ll find a cozy spot as a Director or Manager somewhere but always be stuck with being a failure in the EPL

      • Floyd says:

        Clint wishes he played for Liverpool.

    • John says:

      I’d agree, if Fulham wasn’t already a train wreck. They are in the second to last spot in the table. Berbatov is trying to force a move out. Its not as if they can really go much further down at this point.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        This new manager has a lot of buzz around him, so I’m curious to see where he’ll do in the transfer window and If it be enough to change the team.

        Hopefully he’ll have a sit down with Berbatov and if he doesn’t intend too, then I think 10 million pounds or so would be some nice cash to throw around in the transfer window.

        Look for more bargain steals, like Sacha Riether types in the transfer window and that could go a long way in helping them.

    • MisterJC says:

      Actually, I get the sense from other boards and comment sections that Fulham fans are very much looking forward to his return. If he does well, this new coach will try to extend the loan. If he doesn’t, it was just a loan stint to keep his game fitness up…

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        Right. I was looking at a, article on the former Hammersmith and Fulham Chronicle and there was a quote that alluded to a possible extension

    • TomG says:

      This is the perfect time for him to come back. With Jol’s failure so recent, Fulham fans’ frustration with their rotund former manager is at an all time high. It is very natural for them to see the Spurs transfer as a a conflict between Deuce and Jol. With Clint returning at their moment of need, he becomes the conquering hero and a symbol of better days.

    • Daniel says:

      Talk about a conflicting statement, but Dempsey will be fine. The team has struggled and fans will welcome him back..Also this is what Fullham does. They are consistently in the relegation zone before always making a huge second half push. I’m happy that Dempsey will help be a part of that.

      • biff says:

        We will see, Daniel. Not so sure that all of them will be so forgiving. The Clint hate on some of the Fulham boards last year (as well as a few Fulham fans who visited SBI) was intense. All I am saying that going to Fulham is a big risk for Clint and if he does not produce the fans could turn on him in an ugly fashion real fast. But as I noted above, also possible it will be a real love fest and Clint will benefit. I don’t think the downside risk is worth it.

        • Patrick says:

          Dude, you are wrong, just give it up. There aren’t going to be pitchfork carrying mobs outside the cottage if Dempsey doesn’t score 13 goals. The only risk involved is injury, not anything to do with his confidence

    • GW says:

      biff,

      If the reason for the loan is to get back into shape, Fulham would seem to be the best choice:

      What he will want the most is playing time:

      The manager seems to want him

      The club and the grounds and the city are extremely familiar to him and so he won’t have to waste too much time getting acclimated.

      Scott Parker was his teamate at Spurs

      Fulham desperately need what he can bring

      Dempsey is a pro. Angry fans are the last thing that will bother him, particularly when those fans will need him to do well unless they are more interested in cutting off their nose.

      And if the hatred is as deep as you seem to think then who cares? He’ll be gone soon enough.

      All that matters is that Clint does well. If he does that everyone will be happy. If not angry fans is the last thing Clint will be worrying about.

    • Patrick says:

      Dempsey is loved at the cottage, and with a new manager and owner, there won’t be many, if any hard feelings. If there were, the loan wouldn’t happen. Fulham, even if they were angry at Dempsey, arent in a position to do anything but pray that Dempsey can do what he did years ago, save then from delegation.

      Youre being overly cautious, and a bit paranoid

  3. Citronomics says:

    Killing me softly with his strike… Suarez

  4. Bean says:

    I’ve been impressed with young Jon Flanagan. He plays very composed for playing out of position. I think he’s earning a spot.

    Marc Pelosi could be given the same chance one day. One of the things that I like about Brendon Rodgers is that he gives the youth a fair chance.

  5. Sharkbait says:

    Liverpool is probably the team I dislike the most but even I will give credit where it’s due. Holy crap, they’re on a completely different level all around than Cardiff and Suarez is another level above that as well. Right now Suarez is playing at the Messi/Ronaldo level. And this is from someone who HATES the guy. But wow, just wow.

  6. BeardedSoccer says:

    Suarez is out of his mind right now.

    • Gary Page says:

      He’s probably giving Roy Hodgson sleepless nights. You know England will have a tough time even drawing with Italy and Suarez could beat them all by himself.

  7. BSU SC says:

    Liverpool vs. Cadiff City looks like the Harlem Globetrotters vs. Washington Generals. The game was over by half-time.

    I enjoy watching Bayern Munich, but I have to cheer for the underdog today. Go Raja Casablanca!

  8. JC says:

    Just want to throw it out there that Cherundolo is starting for Hannover today.

    • John says:

      Fabian starting today. Brooks not in the 18 for Hertha

      • Nicholas says:

        “Don’t freak out if/when John Anthony Brooks fails to dress against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow. It has nothing to do with his early hook/reprimand earlier this week. The reality: dude is sick”. – Greg Seltzer

        • Hogatroge says:

          Good to hear. As harsh as his coach’s comments sounded, he didn’t exactly sound like he was throwing Brooks under the bus. It seemed more like a very frank, very German way of telling something like it is.

          I still think Brooks will sneak onto the WC roster as the #4 CB behind Besler, Gonzo, and Goodson.

          • GW says:

            Brook’s manager seems to rate him very highly which is why he sounds so angry with him for not concentrating and playing his best.

            The kid needs the discipline.

      • biff says:

        Klinsmann screwed up big time jumping the gun to intensively recruit John Anthony Brooks, whose form since then has deteriorated quickly as he was knocked off balance by a call-up much to soon before he was ready from the 14th-ranked team in the world and now Klinsmann apparently is following the same failed approach with Julian Green after the Timothy Chandler disaster. Will Jurgen never learn?

        Can one of your John Anthony Brooks fanboys explain why this kid deserves to be put at the front of the line by Klinsmann for call-ups ahead of much more experienced and deserving center backs, not to mention why Brooks should even be in discussion for a USMNT ticket to Brazil next summer? Can we please forget Brooks for the WC 2014 and let him have time to develop at his own pace and we will see if he can improve enough to actually be deserving of call-ups in the WC 2018 cycle–and if he truly in his heart makes his own personal decision without active outside (non-family) recruitment from Klinsmann and others that he wants to wear the USMNT shirt.

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          He’ll, I still don’t see why Jay Demerit shouldn’t get a look if he was in f

          • Kingsly Alexander says:

            If he was in form and injury free. Goodson, Idk, he just screams choke artist to me, and I say this with full knowledge of what he’s done for us in recent years.

        • Increase says:

          I don’t think he did. It was just friendlies and he got game time like many who have no chance of starting or going to the WC. Joe Corona played this summer, Jose Torres, and Castillo all got time in games with proper meaning.(Gold cup games have meaning)

          I think you are right that we as fans shouldn’t count on him for the WC but there is no reason not to call him up a few times. Klinsmann introduce players to the team. Not everything has to be about now.

        • M says:

          Regarding Brooks, I think the reason JK has shown interest in him is because going into this season he was or is the only starting CB in a top league. Sadly, as we head into 2014 we don’ t have one guy playing the CB position regularly in a top league. Cameron was almost that guy. And I think it is why JK still considers Cameron a CB and Brooks as a possibility.

          • Nicholas says:

            Yep….and giving yourself options….
            #1) Costs very little.
            #2) Comes with huge upside.

            100% support calling Brooks in and would be surprised if he doesn’t eventually rise to the occasion and play himself onto the team.

        • Hogatroge says:

          I don’t think it was a screw up. I think Klinsmann just wanted to lock down Brooks early, even if it came at the expense of his inexperience costing us some friendly matches.

          Brooks has the potential to sneak onto the WC roster as a deep CB reserve (though he’s still raw and competing with a few other mediocre or untested options).

          Nobody’s trying to slot Brooks in ahead of Besler, Gonzalez or Goodson. Brooks only started the 2 matches he did because they were 1) friendlies, 2) Besler and Goodson weren’t on the roster, and 3) Cameron was playing RB

        • Jake Claro says:

          This is so incoherent. Your confusing Klinsmann’s strategic recruitment with some people’s wishes to see Brooks play now. Klinsmann made a mistake by recruiting a blue-chip 20 year old CB how? So you would’ve have just waited to reach out to a guy who can play for another country? Yeah that’s a better approach…

          He’s now in the queue for at least another two WC cycles. Klinsmann isn’t forced to play him this WC, and has simply supplied more depth and competition to the position. How is that Klinsmann’s mistake again?

        • Louis Z says:

          JK did bad by calling JAB too soon? I don’t remember JAB actually having a bad game for USA. Did he missed passes? did cleared the ball wildly? did he even made a bad mistake? The answer to all of those questions is NO!

          He is having problems adjusting to BL1 games but some reason he doesn’t seem to have that problem with out team. Is it because of the supporting cast?

          I’ll pass judgement when I see him screw up with US.

        • GW says:

          biff,

          Forget about the World Cup for a moment
          .
          What if in a year or two Brooks turns into a beast center back and his club is doing well. Or what if JAB is sold to Dortmund or some other big club after tearing it up in Berlin?

          Brooks might even be looked at by Die Mannschaft. You can’t deny the possibility.

          In which case JK’s efforts with Brooks will make tying him permanently to the US that much easier.

          And if the USMNT gets him that would go a long way to solidifying a problem area for the USMNT for many years.

          And it is also still possible that the light will go off in JAB’s head in the next six months and he does force his way onto the WC roster.

          Either way, JK’s efforts with JAB have the potential for a big upside and cost very little.

        • Gary Page says:

          Calm down. I think that JK was just making sure Brooks was was secured to the US for the future. It’s only people who get carried away in these forums who have him playing in Brazil. He’s a young kid. One thing fans seem to fail to recognize is how JK is a long term thinker and strategist. He is making sure Brooks will be available for 2018 and I’m sure that’s also his thinking about Green. He’s building a program, not just a team. Particularly with his contract extension, it gives him the luxury of looking long term, not having to worry about whether his contract is renewed.

        • ronniet says:

          i’ts the same reason he continues to include Brek Shea in camps and games, because there is potential there! Now having said that him nor shea shouldn’t be anywhere near the Nats team, shea in particular, but they would seemingly give the Nats something the team is short on if they ever find their form through consistent minutes!!!

        • Patrick says:

          You, are on a roll my man! Two nonsensical, silly posts in a row!!!

    • MiamiAl says:

      Great news great news! Cherundy is back!!!

  9. Kingsly Alexander says:

    When someone gets the lineups for Sunderland, Norwich would you please be kind enough to post please?

  10. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    Two more for Suarez, giving him 19 through 17 games. He’s still got a ways to go, but barring injury, the Premiere League single season goal scoring record is gonna be his. He needs 11 goals to tie, 12 to break, in what, 20 or 21 games? Yeah… don’t see that being much of an issue.

    For what it’s worth, Suarez has more goals than the entire squads of both Sunderland and Cardiff City…. combined. That’s just ridiculous.

    • or says:

      see what good comes from biting people. Pay attention children. Heck he might be on 25 come February

      Liverpool do not let him get called up by Uruguay until the season is over.

  11. Increase says:

    Anybody watch the Hannover game?

  12. Nihal says:

    The anti-American bias at Sunderland is real..jeez.

  13. Jamie Z. says:

    After having watched 45 minutes of this Stoke v Villa match, I have no problem if Geoff Cameron is our right back going forward.

  14. AC says:

    Too bad Hannover is losing, but great to see Cherundulo with the start today.

  15. fischy says:

    Well, I wanted to watch games online, but it just keeps getting stuck (buffering) either in the ad or just after connecting to the game.

    This is why I desperately hope MLS isn’t intending to do away with local broadcasts and go to online service like Google. The internet isn’t reliable enough.

    • fischy says:

      I’ve got it going now that I decided to try a different browser, but it just shouldn’t be that complicated to watch your team.

  16. Citronomics says:

    Kompany with a blunder own goal. He did get really good arc though hah.

  17. Byrdman says:

    Altidore off, so i switch to Stoke – Aston Villa game right as Cameron whops in a great cross that causes problems for Guzan and the cb. Goal Peter Crouch with the “Henry handball & finish”

    • Believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ says:

      +1
      Did the same here, first I checked if BEINsport was carrying the nantes game to see Alejandro.

  18. TomG says:

    Cameron with a great cross leading to goal. His ability to cross the ball has become a huge weapon.

    • biff says:

      Cameron sux at right back. Jurgen Klinsmann is a much better judge of talent than Mark Hughes. That’s why for the past year Klinsmann has insisted that MLS midfielder Brad Evans and benchwarmer Michael Parkhurst were preferred at right back over Premier League starting right back Geoff Cameron. Like in September before the Costa Rica game Klinsmann’s starting line-up had Cameron on the bench with Michael Orozco starting at right back. Brilliant move. And when Mike Bradley hurts himself pre-game what does Klinsmann do, he inserts club right back Cameron as d-mid. Another brilliant move. But most brilliant move of all from Jurgen is playing DeMarcus Beasley at left back. No other coach would be smart enough to do that :-)

      USMNT: Geoff Cameron may get his shot at center back, where Jurgen Klinsmann says he’s best suited
      link to mlssoccer.com

      • TomG says:

        If you think Cameron sux at RB you’re not paying attention.

        • beachbum says:

          come on now TomG, you know biff better than that. Geoff at RB has been his call all along. seems difficult to argue the point except that Evans hasn’t suxked when called, but biff’s post is interesting food for thought with my latte

        • biff says:

          lol. yes, beachbum, I am a bit smug on the Cameron call. IMO he is one of the top five most important players for the USMNT and, yes, I was puzzled when Klinsmann did not seem to get it. And that is the point I am trying to make. Yes, the USMNT did well in the latter part of WC qualifying after some scary moments early on. But I am not so sure that was Klinsmann’s doing. I think it is possible that some of the leaders on the team took control after the famous Brian Straus mutiny story, basically told Klinsmann time to get rid of three d-mid starting rosters and start attacking. In March of this year, after Klinsmann had been in charge for 20 months or so, the USMNT had absolutely no counter-attacking capability and to the best of my recollection had not scored a single goal on a counter. it was ll back-passing.

          I do not think Klinsmann was behind the upturn in the USMNT. We all know it was Martin Vasquez. yeah. Just joking. so my point is that if Klinsmann is not able to see that Geoff Cameron should be starting at right back, then in my mind that calls into question his judgment. And I worry about future misjudgments from Klinsmann. I personally think the USMNT possibly, I repeat, possibly, could be further along now under a young smart up-and-coming coach like Caleb Porter or Jason Kreis rather than Klinsmann. And I worry about future misjudgments from Klinsmann.

          • biff says:

            I will add that Ives Galarcep wrote an excellent column for g.com on the new deal for Klinsmann that is must reading and which took a lot guts to write. Not sure SBI will allow a link, so will do it in a second comment in case it gets moderated.

          • biff says:

            On American Soccer: Klinsmann deal seems forced

            link to goal.com

            • fischy says:

              I get where Ives is coming from, but it seems like he hasn’t considered a couple of things. (1) That the USSF and Gulati are really committed to and believe in Klinsmann’s project, and they want him around regardless of the results in Brazil. So, yes, it would make sense to sign him before his price might go up after the Cup., and (2) that they’re belief and commitment extends beyond the Cup even if the USA drops 3 straight games there because of the tough draw. How would it look for Gulati to offer an extension (and possibly more money) AFTER a lousy World Cup? That would be terrible PR — USA fans would be in revolt.

              There’s a further consideration in that JK is relieved of coaching for his job at the World Cup. Hopefully, without that pressure on him — he will be able to do a better job of managing the team.

              So, if the USSF was intent on bringing Klinsmann back, it makes perfect sense to firi up the deal now.

              • fischy says:

                “their belief” and “to firm up the deal”…

                Sorry for the typos.

              • David JS says:

                great post. I wasn’t inclined to go along with the “possibility Jurgen leaves to take a higher profile job” logic for the extension, and your 2nd point re:possible bad PR situation after a lackluster Brazil seems much more logical and sensible. If USSF are convinced they want Klinsi beyond 2014, then this is the ideal time to extend his contract. We can debate whether we are convinced it’s the right call, but I think USSF’s thought process is pretty straight forward here.

            • GW says:

              biff,

              The Strauss rebellion and removal of the 3 mids was a while ago. In fact it was 21 games ago.

              That means the USMNT team leaders who took control of the lineup don’t care much for Cameron at right back since they haven’t given him much if a shot at it in those games.

              Granted seven of those were Gold Cup games that still leaves 14 games. Maybe Evans is tight with those team leaders?

              You are criticizing the wrong guy. Take up your Cameron campaign with the “ USMNT team leaders”.

              Who are you talking about by the way?

              • Nate Dollars says:

                biff didn’t say they ‘took control of the lineup’. he said they told klinsmann that the formation and strategy wasn’t working.

                i don’t think that’s what happened anyway, but i still think it’s a lot more believable than klinsmann masterminding the whole straus article, as some have theorized. :)

              • GW says:

                mr. dollars,

                If biff’s argument is true then the team leaders forced JK to drop the “3 D mid “thing.

                In that case they are in effect determining who plays.

                That means they are obviously cool with Cameron’s involvement to date.

                If the team leaders hate the “3 D mid” thing and it goes away then it just makes sense if they hate that Cameron is not the RB then that would change as well. You can’t have it both ways.

                When JK was in charge of Germany they had a number of bad losses in friendlies leading up to the 2006 WC. The German parliament called him in to testify as to what was wrong with the team. That is real pressure. The Strauss article was a minor tempest in a teapot in comparison.

                I find it far more sensible that the Strauss article, which in Europe would have been seen as small beer, was encouraged by JK than the idea that he would bow to “team leaders”. He told Donovan and Jozy to come back when they were ready to play. He told Dempsey he had not done s++t. Howard would be replaced by Guzan in a New York minute.

                So tell me who do you think he would be afraid to drop if they wanted to determine the lineup?

              • Nate Dollars says:

                mr. president,

                this is a dumb argument because i don’t really believe either of these theories, but since your comments are usually sensible, i’ve gotta say, it’s seems you’re being deliberately obtuse.

                can we not agree that confronting the manager about a 3 d-mid formation and tactics is not the same as telling him that he has to play a specific right back?

                if your point is that the theoretical ‘USMNT team leaders’ do not feel as strongly about the RB situation as they did about the whole team playing abysmally, i can accept that. but then i don’t understand the argument. it’s still klinsmann’s team, and biff just seems worried that it will take another (theoretical) confrontation to convince him that cameron should be our RB.

              • GW says:

                Mr. dollars

                If you think those arguments are obtuse you have to remember I’m merely addressing biff’s vision of the reality of how the USMNT is run. Talk to him.

                It is biff who has proposed this cabal of team leaders, not me.

                It is biff who has proposed that JK caved to the massive pressure brought about by the Strauss article. I think JK was in agreement with Herc Gomez (remember him?) who said at the time he thought it was great because it brought welcome exposure to the sport in a crowded media market.

                In other words, you read worse stuff every day in the Brit papers. I don’t believe the media and fans (or a cabal of team leaders) dictate the players, tactics and formations JK uses.If they did he might as well give up.

                As for this whole 3 D mid controversy, how do you know a particular formation or strategy works unless you give it a shot?

                Did you expect JK to have the team performing at 100% from day one? Or did you expect him to get to know what he had and build it up for the World Cup?

                If you bring in a new manager during the season, then yes you expect him to win right away to avoid relegation or win a championship or win a cup.

                In JK’s case he had to: Qualify, Win the gold cup and the confed cup qualification possibility that it brought with it, Prep the team for the WC.

                So condemning JK for trying out various players, formations and tactics while at the same time accomplishing all his competitive goals is insane.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                ‘So condemning JK for trying out various players, formations and tactics’

                yeah, no one’s doing that. he was being criticized for sticking with a god-awful formation and game plan.

          • Fredo says:

            That’s the way I see things.

          • Tom_in_So_IL says:

            What if….Fabian, CB, Cameron, Chernundolo?

          • TomG says:

            Ives is certainly not alone in that opinion. I’d say most pundits agree. It’s an unusual decision that most federations would not make. History is not kind to 2nd term managers and JK basically has had one good year and one bad so far. Sunil feels in his gut that JK is the perfect fit and that he needs a long term deal because the culture and infrastructure needs to be developed and that takes a long time, so I can see that perspective.

      • Increase says:

        I don’t think he is serious… Noticed he mentioned Orozco.

      • M says:

        CB’s are usually better defenders and for many coaches the position is more critical than the left or right back position. IMO and from JK’s pov we have a few guys who can play RB, but we don’t have that same luxury at CB. And yep this also ties into your questions about Brooks.

      • Gary Page says:

        I still think that when the US plays Ghana, barring injury or a great comeback by Cherundolo or Chandler, we will see Cameron at right back.

      • Patrick says:

        You did it!!, 3 absolutely stupid, moronic posts in a row! You are a legend Biff, an absolute legend.

        • Dennis says:

          What? I think biff got it right. JK insists on using players out of position compared to what they do successfully for their club teams. Maybe you can forgive him for using Beasley at LB, since there is a real shortage of choices there, but at RB, only the fact that Evans looked good there makes that choice ok, having the option of a player who is doing very well at RB in the EPL and not using him there, is at the very least questionable. Especially when he thinks Cameron is good enough to start at CB, a position where he has at least 6 other pretty decent choices.

          JK has done nothing for youth development. His first set of choices for youth teams crashed pretty badly failing to qualify for the U-17 and U-20 world championships or Olympics. The U-17s are being coached by Richie Williams, Arena’s and Bradley’s protege, so the only measurable progress there is by going back to the old guard, so much for successful innovation! The Development Academy and MLS youth teams are also things that began when Bradley was coach and even some when Arena was USMNT coach. The philosophy of the DA has not changed a great deal since Bradley’s time.

          JK can be an inspirational leader and certainly shares a lot more of what he is thinking than either Bradley or Arena ever did, but he often contradicts himself so that you never really learn anything about what he is thinking (except as you might expect from a former goal scorer that he wants to attack, we are never told just what he means by that other than I suppose not to defend so much; is the US to play balls to the corner and cross, play short connecting passes through the middle, serve long balls forward to a big, lone striker to control, rely on a midfielder to dribble forward and create chances, or do some other attacking option? And how does using 3 defensive midfielders lend itself to playing more attacking soccer in any case? For all his talking, JK never really says, but he used to score a lot of goals, so he must have vision.

          I think biff contributed more than you to this.

          • GW says:

            When has JK contradicted himself?

            • Nate Dollars says:

              +1, don’t understand why people say that.

              if anything, klinsmann uses so much vague and useless ‘coach-speak’ that you couldn’t possibly find a contradiction in there.

              • GW says:

                As far as I can tell, whenever some unusual thing came up JK usually went into great detail to explain exactly why he did it.

                For example when he called up Holden he made it clear that he saw Stu as an exceptional player and wanted to give him a chance to work his way back, even though obviously Stu did not meet all the so called threshold requirements everyone seems to think JK established to be called up.

                My guess is those who complain about the contradictions don’t bother to read what can admittedly be JK’s rather long winded explanations.

                In addition he does not always spell everything out but it was clear to those who followed the team closely that he was holding up Holden’s desire to play and comparing it to Donovan’s ambivalence towards his career.

                In other words, Holden good, LD bad.” You want to play for me? Be more like Stu and I will make exceptions for you”.

              • Dennis says:

                JK says it’s most important to get playing time for your club, then plays Shea who can’t seem to get a minute. He says play in europe, then ignores Lichaj who both does that and gets playing time, He says he want a clear set of first choices at each position, then proceeds to make it clear he is not so sure who he prefers, and changes formations so that it is unclear even which positions he is speaking about. He plays a single striker up top and wonders why there is not more combination play there. Sometimes it is not so much contradiction as just plain baffling. I don’t really expect consistency from a guy who has the job of selecting the best 11 apples from a crate of mixed fruit containing fewer than 6 apples, but praising him for his obfuscations and double -speak is just silly. Praising him for denigrating Donavon who was tired and needed time off is silly, I really doubt that had much influence on Donavon one way or another, he was exhausted, probably a bit depressed and needed time away; making it a headline by calling him out was uncalled for and probably made no positive impact on what eventually happened. It was always likely Donavon would return to soccer when he had the time to recharge his competitive juices, in effect saying “tick tock, tick tock, your time is running out” is not a way to manage people effectively.

              • GW says:

                Dennis,

                I’ve read perfectly logical explanations for all the situations you cited but let’s just take Donovan for example.

                Landon himself has been quoted as saying the difference now is that no one is sure of their place and that made for a better team.

                JK did not publicly denigrate LD he merely repeated what LD himself said, which was that LD was burned out, that he wasn’t sure about his motivation and that he was sure he was going to have to win back the trust of the USMNT staff and players, if he came back.

                There was for more horrific stuff said about LD on the posts of SBI by his many “fans” here.

                My only criticism of anyone in the entire LD soap opera was that it should have happened sooner. It was pretty clear to me after the 2010 World Cup that he was burned out , mentally and physically, and I would have preferred he took time off much earlier and for longer than he did.
                If you were a USMNT fan as opposed to an LD fan per se then you might accept that ideally the USMNT should have no untouchables.

                Before the 2010 WC it would have been difficult to imagine the USMNT going anywhere without Dempsey and Donovan being major contributors.

                That is still true in 2014 but a lot less so.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                dennis, just want to say:

                i was not ‘praising him for his obfuscations and double-speak’. i was simply saying that it’s hard to find any time that klinsmann makes a concrete declaration without some caveats and wiggle-room (like pretty much all coaches), so i find it surprising when people say that he contradicts himself.

  19. Increase says:

    The announcer just said Fletcher and Johnson were better than the players they replaced. Fine Fletcher/Jozy whatever but…. Johnson better than anyone? The guy made a pass but the only people there were 4 different Norwich players…. Not a single teammate…

    • John says:

      Everyone on Sunderland thinks they can score from 35 yards out but never come close. Gus seems to have them going in the right direction but they still have zero ideas in the final third. Fletcher and Johnson perhaps are better if you enjoy an uglier style of football of just lumping it forward in hopes of something.

    • SBI TroII says:

      He also just said that it’s a good thing Fletcher came on because he wants to score goals. And Jozy doesn’t? Sure I’m fine if he says Fletch is better but that comment was uncalled for.

    • Gary Page says:

      I have heard this guy before and I’m pretty sure he made anti-Altidore comments before. In this game when the ball was being brought down the right wing, maybe about the 60th minute or so, Jozy was in the middle, surrounded by three defenders with no other teammate around. Jozy then ran to an open space which was also closer to the ball, but the cross was blocked. Then this same commentator criticized Jozy’s action on the play. I don’t know what else Jozy was supposed to do, but I think that showed the commentator’s bias.

      • TomG says:

        Yeah biased and utter lack of understanding of the game. Jozy HAS to make that run so someone else can make an open run at the other post. That’s a classic play he makes in USMNT, but there Deuce makes the proper supporting run and scores.

  20. beachbum says:

    Fulham all the way back, 2-2 with ManCity 75th min

  21. beachbum says:

    bam 3-2 MCity as Silva plays Navas thru from around midfield and Navas megs the GK

  22. Falsify says:

    Jozy got zero love from his teammates tonight but he also didn’t do much to get their trust. Fletcher hasnt even been in for 10 minutes and he’s gotten more passes from teammates. Its quite obvious the team doesn’t like Altidore.

    • iggy says:

      COuld be true, jozy gets no service, but he’s also just playing a banger hold up role, and really doesnt make many good runs to get open

    • AC says:

      Kind of sad to see as Jozy did work hard today and held the ball by himself with little support. He did give off several passes to runners who had bad shots. He also was limping after a shot to the leg by a Norwich player.

    • Gary Page says:

      Well, Sunderland also went from a 4-5-1 to bringing on two strikers, Johnson and Fletcher. It’s a lot harder when you are the only one up top, surrounded by defenders than when you have another striker for support and to draw away some defenders. If you watch much soccer, you will often see how switching this type of formation/attack makers a big difference in the final third. Really, I don’t think Jozy’s best position is as a lo one striker because he is a hold up player and if you have no teammates around, there’s not much you can do. IMO, if you’re playing with a lone striker and you really want to score, you are probably better off having someone lightning fast who can hopefully get behind the defense and get long passes. In retrospect, it was a curious move by Poyet to open with a 4-5-1 at home. It’s like he was just playing for a scoreless draw for the first two thirds of the game and then hoped to score a goal late. That’s understandable if you are playing a top team, but Norwich? Why didn’t he come out with two strikers to start with? I think the failure was more the coach’s strategy than Jozy.

  23. Ali Dia says:

    When is somebody going to call out Kompany for his 18-month long Boumsong impersonation? Poor Gooch got that comparison simply by standing next to Titus Bramble (he did a few things to earn it, as well).

    It’s a good time to be Belgian (provided you aren’t named Marouanne Fellaini).

  24. Dainja says:

    Hilarious misses like that (with the keeper out) are the kind off painfully comedic moments that happen to teams that get relegated…. gave me a good laugh!!

  25. Citronomics says:

    Nasty ball from Negredo to assist Milner’s easy finish.

  26. B says:

    Announcers for the Sunderland game are still talking about how horrible Jozy was tonight, and he’s not even on the field. Certainly wasn’t a great outing for him, but there’s such a clear bias in their comments. As soon as Fletcher came on they started talking about how he looked like he wanted to score goals, and haven’t said a negative word about him. I don’t know if it’s anti-American bias or just about Jozy, but it’s blatant.

  27. beachbum says:

    4-2, sweet left outside foot curling early ball from Negredo I think that skips past the CB and Milner finishes low

  28. Shawn says:

    I think American players should not go to role clubs, and try budeslegia and seria a

  29. TomG says:

    Big Geoff can actually run at BPL defenders and beat them off the dribble. Very impressive, but he also over dribbles sometimes and gets himself into trouble. Love his aggressiveness and confidence but he’s got to be a little smarter about his forays. One time he beat his man nicely at the edge of the box but instead of laying it off, he tried to beat two more guys and was dispossessed.

  30. TomG says:

    Ref has lost control of the Sunderland match. Many biased calls against the Cats. It seems like the Cats always get the short end of the refereeing over and over and over and over again. Odd.

    • Increase says:

      Straight red…. Looked worse than it was I think…. Sloppy but I mean he got the ball first…

      • TomG says:

        Also missed a pretty clear penalty and seemed to allow Norwich to play a different game than Sunderland, IMO. Maybe Larssen’s complaining got on his nerves or something but every time a Norwich player was breathed on it was a foul while Sunderland players were being dragged down with relative impunity.

    • John says:

      How are you watching like 4 matches at once? haha

  31. John says:

    Johannsson with a goal. His defender falls down, he takes it on the chest, turns and puts it in

  32. Louis Z says:

    Chandler with another solid game. This is the Chandler I remember.

  33. bryan says:

    great news for Chandler, Fabian, and Dolo. that is great to see. but im very disappointed that Jozy apparently had a bad game. after a good game against Chelsea i thought he would come out today and get a goal. sounds like he was pretty bad though, even if he wasn’t getting help from his team.

  34. usaalltheway says:

    I didn’t get to see the games today but it looks like Jozy’s marriage to Sunderland isn’t working out.

    His teammates seem to not like him, the fans for the most part can’t stand him and he is mentality not where he needs to be to score goals at that level.

    Jozy is all class and a hell of a good soccer player. He needs better than this. The bias against him is really out-of-control. The British (English, Scottish, etc.) think they have some great understanding of the game because of a few great teams in what is turning out to be a rather piss poor league. The reality is the fans, refs, coaches, and announcers seem to have a rather poor understanding of the game.

    I know that is going to sound surprising to many on here but I would much rather talk to any American who is interested in the game to learn more about it than a Brit who is a fan.

    Jozy is in major trouble. He needs the right environment, on and off the field, and Sunderland isn’t it. What a horrible decision this turned out to be for him. I feel for the kid. He has everything a world-class striker needs, speed, pace, size, skill set, etc. but needs to have a team play to his strengths not against them.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      If he would hit some on some breakaways and easy chances he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in right now.

      He’s squandered too many chances in the past few games when Sunderland has been at their best this season and it’s resonating in the back of everyone’s minds.

      • usaalltheway says:

        No arguments from me. You points are salient and cogent.

        That is one of my main points about Jozy; his mental issues. He screws himself regularly. You can see him get frustrated and make stupid mistakes and fouls. Remember that red he got against Costa Rica?

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          Yeah I do. Idk, things are taking a turn for the worst. He needs to will himself through this and just get mad out there. Have a do or die mentality, so to speak. If he can’t find this himself, it’s Gus Poyet’s job to help him.