Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Jack Wilshere of Arsenal and Steven Pienaar of Everton

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

A matchup between two of the most high-flying clubs in England headlines this busy Soccer Sunday of action from all over the world.

First-place Arsenal have shutout five of their last six opponents in English Premier League play, and they will look to keep that run going when USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard and fifth-place Everton visit Emirates Stadium. Everton are fresh off a monumental 1-0 victory at Manchester United and enter Sunday’s match on a seven-match unbeaten run in league competition.

The day will kick off in Italy, where Michael Bradley and AS Roma look to end their streak of frustrating draws against Giuseppe Rossi and Fiorentina. Roma’s lockdown defense has stayed intact throughout their tough stretch of results, but Rudi Garcia will want his offense to pick up the pace against a Fiorentina squad that has played in a few high-scoring matches against other top Serie A clubs this season.

Sunday’s action will come to an end in Mexico, where the second leg of the Liguilla Apertura semifinals will take place. The top two seeds are behind after Thursday’s opening legs as Club America look to keep their dreams of a title defense intact with a home win against Toluca. In the second match of the evening, Santos Laguna must overcome a 3-1 deficit to Club Leon in order to keep their hopes alive.

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):

6:30am – AS Roma vs. Fiorentina – beIN Sport USA

7am – Cambridge United vs. Sheffield United – Fox Soccer Plus

8:30am – Fulham vs. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Network

9am – Torino vs. Lazio – beIN Sport USA

9am – Tamworth vs. Bristol City – Fox Soccer Plus

11am – Arsenal vs. Everton – NBC Sports Network

11am – Bastia vs. Olympique Lyon – beIN Sport USA

11am – Gimnastic Tarragona vs. Valencia – beIN Sport en Español

11:30 – Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Hertha Berlin – GolTV USA

1pm – Real Jaen vs. Espanyol – beIN Sport en Español

2:45pm – Inter Milan vs. Parma – beIN Sport USA

3pm – AS Monaco vs. Ajaccio – Univision Deportes

3pm – Malaga vs. Osasuna – beIN Sport en Español

6pm – Club America vs. Toluca – Univision

9pm – Santos Laguna vs. Club Leon – Univision

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

116 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. usaalltheway says:

    FIRST!!

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Pro Soccer, FIFA, and all governing bodies, are corrupt from top to bottom.

      Everything match we play has a major story line you can sell to the non-fan with the sole purpose of popularizing the sport in the US

      Everything you see is a lie

      • Fredo says:

        There’s an intriguing youtube video out that shows how they rigged the draw.

      • usaalltheway says:

        +1

        Still, I enjoy it all.

        At the end of the day, life goes go. However, I love the drama for the time being. The rest of life’s drama goes by me without much concern from my part. Soccer (football) I get into.

      • Drewbles says:

        It’s pretty laughable that you have a conspiracy theory wrapped around a plot that makes no sense. You think FIFA are going to risk the entirety of their organization to fix things so that the US has the best story lines? Remove your tinfoil hat and take a Zanex.

        • Kingsly Alexander says:

          Risk it to who? Who? Rolf! You think, what, the FBI man is gonna come running Sepp Blatters way to clear things up? Interpol? It’s a money making business and one of the most popular in the world. Their are no conspiracies where money is involved only greed and everything that follows to maximize the money.

          • Kingsly Alexander says:

            Anyone who the an almost trillion euro per yr business isn’t going tinted in its share of filth is living in the dark or hasn’t lived much to begin with

            • Kingsly Alexander says:

              Anyone who believes that a an almost trillion euro per yr business isn’t going to be tinted in its share of filth is either living in the dark about the world that surrounds them or hasn’t lived much to begin with

  2. usaalltheway says:

    I am not seeing that big, bald, beautiful American head on the field.

    Is Bradley starting?

  3. John L says:

    I can’t wait for Everton Vs Arsenal. Very happy with Everton’s new Head Coach, can’t wait to see he brings in in January. Go Everton!

  4. John L says:

    errr correction, Can’t wait to see who he brings in

  5. usaalltheway says:

    Roma’s goalkeeper getting a little crazy there…

    haha

  6. usaalltheway says:

    Roma stepping it up BIG TIME.

    This team can truly play the “beautiful game” when it wants.

    It’s a pleasure and joy to watch. Too bad our boy isn’t out there as well.

  7. usaalltheway says:

    That is a red card? It was defining worthy of a yellow but I don’t see how it’s a red.

    Looks like Bradley is coming on…

  8. JB says:

    Bradley is coming in.

  9. Jon says:

    Whether that sending off was for a second yellow or a straight red, it’ll open up a spot for Bradley in the next game/games.

    Good on Roma to finally get another W. Nervy stuff late.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Roma remain undefeated this season. Very impressive.

      I watch many of the EPL games but it seems to me that they play a much more entertaining and controlled game over in Italy. More focus and technical ability. The English game is too frantic and chaotic with the long ball being seen more than it should be.

      Quick question: Is AS Roma in the Champions League?

      • Increase says:

        Roma is not currently in the Champs league. They likely will be next year. Inter(4th) aren’t good enough and they just beat 5th. Mind you they still have half a season but they should be in the top 3.

    • John says:

      and that one is next monday, away to Milan, so pretty big

  10. usaalltheway says:

    AS Roma for the win!!

    Now it’s Aston Villa v Fulham. Here’s hoping to see an equally good game.

    GET SOME BRAD!!!

  11. Jon says:

    Huge save by Guzan early to deny Berba.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Massive save on the initial header and on the rebound as well. :)

      One thing for sure is that the USMNT will have two amazing and more-than-capable goalkeepers going into the World Cup. God knows we are going to need it.

    • neuraminidase says:

      Finger tip save. Fulham fans behind the goal thought it was in when berbatov headed it. Incredible.

  12. usaalltheway says:

    Amazing goal from Fulham.

    Beautiful stuff. Guzan might have done better…

  13. usaalltheway says:

    Brad having to work today.

    Bogus penalty given to Fulham.

    Now it’s 2-0.

  14. jb in usa says:

    Can someone explain to me how a stutter-step pk is legal?

    • bbstl says:

      I think that as long as the kick taker is still moving forward (i.e. doesn’t come to a complete stop and “break” their run) it is a legal pk.

    • David M says:

      Why wouldn’t it be? FIFA rules state that “Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of football.”

      • jb in usa says:

        To me it seems similar to exaggerating contact to win a foul. Its not written into the rules (technically) but just legal enough to be acceptable. In the pk shootout last night in the mls the skc goalie appeared livid about this. Personally I’d rather they eliminate it. Why doesn’t every shooter do this!?!? Its almost guaranteed to work.

      • jb in usa says:

        And I believe “feinting” is different than pausing just enough to see the direction the goalie will move, with all due respect to your opinion.

      • biff says:

        Bastian Schweinsteiger takes his penalty kicks with relatively slow approach and stutter step much stronger than the PK yesterday. Seems that someone else at a big team in Europe uses a stutter step also.

    • Increase says:

      It’s not, I have seen it called back before. I can’t remember where….

  15. biff says:

    *posting here, Nate Dollars, in case you don’t check back on the Saturday Commentary*

    link to soccerbyives.net

    ha-ha. good one, Nate Dollars. but seriously, Cameron for one reason or another seems to be judged by different standards than some other players, and not only Mike Bradley who generally gets free passes from a lot of fans for his transgressions, but other right backs (Yes, Cameron is a right back).

    Like your critique on Cameron yesterday. Do you really think against Chelsea’s great attackers yesterday that Mark Hughes wanted Cameron racing down the right flank, leaving Hazard unmarked? Or was it to focus on defense, which Cameron did–exceptionally well. Right now, no one in the USMNT right back pool comes close to being as good defensively as Geoff Cameron, who I think is our best bet at WC 2014 against Ronaldo and Marco Reuss and the other great German wingers (Schurrle, Gotze, Mueller). I am not saying Cameron will shut those guys down. Probably not. They are world-class. But I think, unless Dolo is able to miraculously regain his best form, then Cameron is the man we depend on.

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      I didn’t feel that way a few months ago, but after watching him play at Stoke this year I’m a believer. He’s quality.

    • jb in usa says:

      From what I understand and from what I have read the stoke fans are very pleased with his improvement from last season and is quickly becoming a fan favorite.

      • biff says:

        There were fans yesterday when Cameron was doing throw-ins giving the USA-USA-USA chant. This is a link to good local article about Cameron, although the writer thinks he could be a good midfielder. That writer also says in the piece he thinks Agudelo has more upside than Jozy.

        Robbie Earle: Geoff Cameron’s progress is fantastic, but he’ll soon have to make a choice
        link to stokesentinel.co.uk

    • GW says:

      “Cameron for one reason or another seems to be judged by different standards than some other players, and not only Mike Bradley who generally gets free passes from a lot of fans for his transgressions, but other right backs (Yes, Cameron is a right back).”

      Cameron is whatever managers want him to be. Having players shuttle between the flanks and the center is fairly common in European football. Hughes does not do it with Cameron most probably because he is happy with the current central pairing and Stoke have many other issues so a little stability in the back four is a good idea at this time. If Cameron stays at Stoke long enough he will eventually be moved inside.

      “Like your critique on Cameron yesterday. Do you really think against Chelsea’s great attackers yesterday that Mark Hughes wanted Cameron racing down the right flank, leaving Hazard unmarked? Or was it to focus on defense, which Cameron did–exceptionally well. Right now, no one in the USMNT right back pool comes close to being as good defensively as Geoff Cameron, who I think is our best bet at WC 2014 against Ronaldo and Marco Reuss and the other great German wingers (Schurrle, Gotze, Mueller). I am not saying Cameron will shut those guys down. Probably not. They are world-class. But I think, unless Dolo is able to miraculously regain his best form, then Cameron is the man we depend on.”

      You don’t stop Christiano Ronaldo with one man. . If he is on form, Christiano will be the best player the USMNT will ever have faced in any World Cup. They will have to come up with some sort of scheme. Cameron may well be tasked with shadowing CR but in that case he will be moving all over as Ronaldo will move over to the other wing or down the middle, wherever he needs to.

      The way you beat Portugal is you don’t worry so much about CR, you make them worry about you, you attack them If Dolo or Chandler are back by then, JK will probably start one of them at right back.

      • John says:

        There have been injuries and the possibility of moving Cameron inside and Hughes didn’t. After watching him play center back for the US Hughes is quoted as saying something along the lines of “well that’s interesting”. Sure he willing to play anywhere but he practices week in and out at being a right back.

        • GW says:

          John,

          So you’re saying Hughes’ anti American bias is so strong he wants to keep Cameron at right back to screw up the US.?

          Or are you saying Hughes sees Cameron as HIS right back?

          And can you tell me if JK wants his right back to play the same way the right back at Stoke plays?

          Can you tell me if an in form Dolo was available to Hughes would he play him at right back over Cameron? And if the answer is no why is that?

          • John says:

            I understand how under Pulis perhaps Cameron didn’t play the position the way Klinsmann would like. However under Hughes he is pushing forward alot more giving stoke width and creating from there. He is developing much more into a true right back this year rather then anouther defender how he was used under Pulis.
            Hughes was handed alot of players he’d probably like to change but if anyone has taken to the style change it’s been Cameron. I mean look at how he played against Austria, I thought he played really well certainly better then Evans against Scotland.

            • GW says:

              John,
              So Stoke is now the template for how the
              US is to play?

              • John says:

                Did I say that? Cameron is just our best right back. We can all talk about Dolo’s prime but he has barely played in a year. I don’t believe in or really trust Chandler. I think Yedlin could very well be a better right back already then Chandler anyway.

        • Hogatroge says:

          Personally, I’d rather see Cameron as a DM before CB. He has a more natural aptitude for the position as he doesn’t have to be the last man back, and he’s permitted a bit more to make his “marauding runs.”

          He just needs to be paired with another CM who has the ability and responsibility of being more offensive (e.g. Bradley, Diskerud, Johannsson, NOT Jones).

    • usaalltheway says:

      Not only can Cameron shut them down, he will.

      He is all class. He is an American and for that reason is hated on. Apart from that, his playing speaks for itself. He is sharp, calm on the ball, is fast, great in the air, has this knack for dispossessing attackers of the ball, moves forward quite well and is fearless.

      He IS the USMNT right back. JK must see it by now. Evans will lose his spot to him or the USMNT will lose all of it’s games in the World Cup.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i hear you about double standards, but you do agree that it’s usually a worse thing when defender gets stripped of the ball than when a midfielder does, right?

      there were at least two times that i saw (i missed the first 15 minutes) when cameron lost the ball–not misplaced a pass, but actually got the ball taken away from him. that can be disastrous for a defender, and it was notable, because you don’t see it that often; for better or worse, most defenders will just get rid of the ball (backpass or clear) before it even is a risk.

      i really don’t want this to be an argument about how good cameron is–he’s our best RB right now, and like i said yesterday, he was good overall against hazard and co. i just didn’t think he did as well as you or the other commenter were describing.

      • usaalltheway says:

        I actually didn’t see those plays…so I can’t say one way or the other.

        Cameron isn’t perfect, for sure. If he did make those mistakes ( and I am sure you are telling the truth because you are one poster who is usually pretty honest and cool) he shouldn’t have.

        I still feel Cameron is the best we have at RB. Dolo is done. Chandler is a flake and Evans is an MLS midfielder who is being played out of place.

  16. SBI TroII says:

    No shave November is over for Timmy Howard!

  17. TomG says:

    Timmy is up the Arse’s arse. On top of shooters and shutting them down before they can pull the trigger.

    • Increase says:

      He has taken the ball and the legs off Giroud twice. Good quick keeping.

      I find it odd that Howard gets little love in the EPL. People talk about anti american Bias. But I think its just more like pro- continental Bias. If he was Belgian or Dutch, I think he would get more respect. Essentially, he isn’t trendy.

      • midwest ref says:

        In agreement. All the EPL talk about is how he “failed” at Man Utd. Which I think is funny because, he did pretty well coming out of nowhere, had a bad game (or 2) in the CL, and then was shunted to the wastelands until Van Der Sar came in.

        • GW says:

          Howard “failed” at Man U because he was judged to have made one too any costly “howlers”.

          Keepers under SAF, regardless of nationality , get only so many of those.

          I’m sure there is an Anti American bias but if Howard was a better keeper I doubt it would have been a problem.

          SAF brought him over direct from the Metro Stars right? If SAF hated Americans so much why bring him over at all? Do you really think he brought him over to fail?
          Timmy let SAF down.

          • usaalltheway says:

            Football is a cruel mistress for sure.

            Still, the anit-American bias is real and most of it doesn’t come from football alone.

            Tim Howard is the real deal and I am proud he is with us and is an American.

            For whatever reason he didn’t do well at Man. U. he is all class at Everton and it’s Man. United’s loss.

            USA ALL THE WAY!!!!

            • GW says:

              Tim Howard should be judged on his own merits as a keeper.

              On that score he is a fine keeper but far from the best in the EPL

              He is playing better lately in my view probably because there is a new boss at Everton and Guzan is threatening his number one status with the USMNT. Unemployment is a great motivator.
              And Timmy has shown in the past that such pressure is necessary to get the best out of him

              By pulling out this anti American card you do him no favors and you show little respect for him by coming on here and crying about it. There is generally a xenophobic attitude towards American players in England. So what? Howard can and has handled it. The English basically hate everyone. BFD. F++k them.

              Howard and other American soccer players abroad if they want to succeed need to take care of business and prove they are worthy and shove all that crap down the Brit’s throats. Howard has done that .

              If others can’t then they should move on.

      • usaalltheway says:

        There is a MASSIVE anti-american bias with Europeans, especially the English.

        It’s just an unfortunate reality. There is nothing to do be done about it, so I just try to ignore it even though it usually gets my blood boiling.

        Tim Howard has to be one of the best goal keepers in the world and it is rarely mentioned.

        How about that Everton v Arsenal game??? Great stuff!!!! :D

        • Hogatroge says:

          As a keeper, Howard doesn’t get enough opportunity to be “scrappy,” which is the one redeeming quality Brits are willing to appreciate in a Yank footballer.

          See: Dempsey, Clint and McBride, Brian

          • usaalltheway says:

            After reading through Sunderland boards, at this point I am fed up with the English.

            Their just angry that they are the junior partner and lost both the Middle East and the New World to the United States.

            Plus, their national team is garage.

            Between Mexico, English and the French I can’t tell which national soccer team I hate more.

            All of those countries have great people but their national teams can roast in the flames of Dante’s Inferno for all I care.

  18. biff says:

    Arsenal vs Everton is an absolutely fantastic match. Love this Everton team under Roberto Martinez. Two great saves from Timmy Howard with attackers through on goal–first Giroud and then Ramsey. I was one of those losing faith in Howard earlier this year, but after seeing Howard keep a clean sheet against Man U. and now playing exceptionally against Arsenal, no doubt in my mind that Howard is now in the form of his life and maybe one of the top half-dozen GKs in the world. (Aint that right, Jurgen?) Let’s hope Everton can end in the top four and we can see Timmy next year in the Champions League.

    And, Lukaku is awesome. What a genius the former Special One (Jose Mourinho) is, letting Lukaku go to Everton.

    • midwest ref says:

      In re: your last comment about Lukaku – The Happy One – or so he said when he returned to Stamford Bridge – is not comfortable at all with new players. He likes his veterans. How long did he keep Carvalho (sp) even when he lost a step. He likes Terry and Lampard.

      I think Lukaku and Benteke are a scary, big, athletic pair up front for Belgium. And I don’t think that they start together for the national team.

      • Ben says:

        Lukaku is tremendous. You can tell defenders are intimidated by his presence. He had Vidic looking nervous at times. He has good speed, size, and unreal strength. I think he is going to be a big part of any success Belgium has at the World Cup.

    • Ben says:

      Roberto Martinez is the best thing to happen to Lukaku. Belgium needs him at the World Cup, and with Martinez as his manager, he is going to go in the World Cup with a ton of confidence.

  19. manicmessiah says:

    Cards for time wasting are so inconsistent.

    I know 6 seconds is not feasible, so FIFA should pick a longer time and stay firm with awarding free kicks.

  20. Karl L says:

    I love it. I bet Howard wishes he had that time he was wasting back.

    • biff says:

      I love it….

      …I bet you feel stupid now, don’t you.

      • Karl L says:

        Not really. Why is he wasting time in a tied game?
        Sign of a mediocre mentality especially since the rest of the team was playing for the win.

        • biff says:

          Have you ever seen Manuel Neuer take a free kick when FC Bayern is wanting to hear the final whistle? Or about any other goalkeeper in the world? It’s all strategy and up to the ref to keep it from getting out of hand.

          That said, I am not convinced Howard went over guilty of yellow card for that one. In any case, we call be glad that Everton fought back for the tie and ends the week with four points in two away games against Man U and Aresenal.

          • Karl L says:

            Howard ain’t no Neuer.
            Neuer would never do that in a tied game and neither did the rest of the Everton players.
            I guess that’s the reason Howard plays for Everton and Neuer plays for Bayern…..Attitude.

            • Kris says:

              Howard is a beast.

              End of discussion.

            • Increase says:

              Neuer would totally do that in a tied game. The caveat would be that Bayern wouldn’t need a win. I swear I have seen the man do it. Howard is as good as Neuer. In someways Howard is more reliable than Neuer. Neuer gets a bit too crazy sometimes. Think Joe Hart but with more talent and skill so he gets away with it more.

              Also I think it happened when Everton were looking tired. Meh.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              ‘I guess that’s the reason Howard plays for Everton and Neuer plays for Bayern…..Attitude.’

              um, no, that’s not why.

  21. usaalltheway says:

    Am I the only one who sees a little bit of Lukaku (sp?) in Jozy?

    They seem to share so many qualities as strikers. Do you guys think that is a fair comparison?

    BTW, this is an amazing game! Everton’s strike was incredible!!

    • John Maddens Chin says:

      Both are built and black. That’s about it.

      Lukaku is much faster, more technical, and has a softer touch. Also, he doesn’t go down.

      • usaalltheway says:

        Yeah, I would disagree about the speed and touch.

        Jozy’s touch used to be bad. It’s now quite good. Look at the goal he scored against Chelsea for proof.

        Lukaku might be a little more technically sound but I see Jozy’s play as basically being the same thing.

        Again, there really seems to be a major bias against him.

        • GW says:

          Lukaku has 25 EPL goals all in the league.

          8 for Everton this season
          17 for WBA last season

          Jozy has 2 EPL goals. If people seem to prefer Lukaku it makes perfect sense.

          • usaalltheway says:

            True.

            However, Lukaku has played with much better teams than Jozy.

            I don’t dispute that Lukaku is good but I feel that Jozy is just as good. He doesn’t get the respect he deserves.

            • GW says:

              Whatever respect Jozy is due it has nothing to do with Lukaku.

              Lukaku has nothing to do with Jozy.
              Why you insist on comparing the two is beyond me.

              Lukaku is 20, significantly younger than Jozy and comparatively speaking a far more proven EPL commodity at a far younger age. In soccer terms that puts him in a completely different category from Jozy all together.

              Yes Lukaku plays for better teams. Maybe there is a reason for that.

              As for the respect Jozy gets maybe if y’all evaluated him at the end of the season or at the half way point instead of every 30 minutes, you’d have something half way valid instead of the BS everyone is ejaculating about him right now.

              • usaalltheway says:

                I am sending you light and love.

                You clearly need it.

                Peace be with you lost soul.

                Jozy is great. Get over it. :)

    • Increase says:

      I think they play kinda a similar and use their strength well. Lukaku is obviously better though. Oh it helps he is on a better team but still he is more consistent is all areas.

      • usaalltheway says:

        “Oh it helps he is on a better team but still he is more consistent is all areas.”

        This seems fair. Jozy needs to step it up but he will get there.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Jozy is a poor man’s Lukaku. If lukaku was the PL, Jozy would be MLS.

    • Ben says:

      Well, Jozy is older, and so while they share qualities, Lukaku is going to be one of the best strikers in the world someday. I think Lukaku is faster, more willing to take people on one versus one, and his ceiling is, obviously, way higher.

  22. Joe+G says:

    That auto-start Viagra ad is so much fun…

  23. Hogatroge says:

    JAB back in the starting lineup with Hertha, and a shutout to boot! Good to see that any worries about his choosing the USMNT were imaginary.

  24. Hull City AFC is a Premiere League club whose misguided new owner wants to change the name to Hull Tigers.

    Can you help spread the word on social media about the fan-backed campaign and petition to prevent this name change?

    link to citytillwedie.com

    • usaalltheway says:

      Hull City fans seem to have that covered.

      They sure as hell gave their owner hell the other day. :)

    • Cory says:

      I’m signing it but mostly because I prefer lions. Tigers are cool but lions are the kings of the jungle.
      If lions is already taken I’d go with Geese. I was attacked by a goose once and it was pretty terrifying. I’ve never been attacked by a lion or a tiger so I have no way of comparing but that goose was pretty crazy.
      Thinks about it, naming your team geese gives you the element of surprise since most people don’t know just how vicious they can be.
      If they can go with goose then Tigers would be fine by me.

  25. Fredo says:

    Watched UCLA Women win National Championship. Bruins dominated in all categories but needed a Golden Goal in overtime to win. Go Bruins!