Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

ArsenalLiverpool (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

This Soccer Saturday will start with a bang as English Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool battle it out in a matchup that will have serious title and Champions League implications.

The last time these two clubs squared off, Arsenal won a tight fixture at Emirates Stadium by a score of 2-0. However, that November meeting in North London was the last time Liverpool were shutout in EPL play, and the high-scoring Reds have only lost only once this season at legendary Anfield. The Gunners are on a nine-match unbeaten run in EPL play and will look to slow down Liverpool’s in-form attack partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in order to keep their league lead over Manchester City and Chelsea.

Arsenal-Liverpool will kick off a busy day of EPL action, which continues with a solid slate of matches featuring Chelsea’s chance at revenge against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. Swansea City and Cardiff City will wrap things up from the UK with the always-competitive South Wales Derby, which will be the relegation-threatened Swans’ first match since the firing of manager Michael Laudrup.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid will look to defend the Bernabeu and maintain pace in the race for the La Liga title when fifth-place Villarreal visits the Spanish capital. New La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid will hit the road to face Almeria, and runaway Bundesliga club Bayern Munich has an early road match against Timothy Chandler and Nurnberg.

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 – Arsenal vs. Liverpool – USA Network

9:30am – Nürnberg vs. Bayern Munich – GolTV USA

10am – Chelsea vs. Newcastle United – USA Network

10am – Norwich City vs. Manchester City – Premier League Extra Time

10am – Southampton vs. Stoke City - Premier League Extra Time

10am – Aston Villa vs. West Ham United - Premier League Extra Time

10am – Sunderland vs. Hull City - Premier League Extra Time

10am – Crystal Palace vs. West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Extra Time

10am – Valencia vs. Real Betis – beIN Sports en Español

10am – Leicester City vs. Watford – beIN Sports USA

11am – Marseille vs. Bastia – Univision Deportes

12pm – Fiorentina vs. Atalanta – beIN Sports USA

12pm – Rayo Vallecano vs. Malaga – beIN Sports en Español

12:30pm – Swansea City vs. Cardiff City – NBC

12:45pm – Twente vs. PSV Eindhoven – GolTV USA

2pm – Real Madrid vs. Villarreal – beIN Sports USA

2pm – Ajaccio vs. Rennes – Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Napoli vs. AC Milan – beIN Sports Play

4pm – Almeria vs. Atletico Madrid – beIN Sports en Español

6pm – Club America vs. Pachuca – Univision

8pm – Tigres UANL vs. Santos Laguna – UniMás

9:05pm – Club Leon vs. Pumas UNAM – Telemundo

10pm – Atlas vs. Morelia – Univision Deportes

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

319 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Citronomics says:

    Skrtel’s brace puts the Red Dragons up 2-0. Just a furious start to this one!

  2. Citronomics says:

    And the onslaught is on. Ozil gets dispossessed and Sterling with a tap in at the end of a counter attack. Arsenal getting bossed.

  3. ACS says:

    This would be a good time for a timeout….wow.

  4. Citronomics says:

    Holy crap. Sturridge with the 4th. Sweet ball by Coutinho to hit Sturridge in stride.

  5. usaalltheway says:

    It’s not 20 minutes into the game and it’s 4-0 already.

    It easily could have been 5-0 maybe even 6-0.

    What is going on with Arsenal?

    I don’t think I have ever seen a game of football like this in my life.

  6. Citronomics says:

    Lol! Announcers saying that Arsenal could use Arshavin today.

  7. JB says:

    MADNESS.

  8. usaalltheway says:

    Quickest hat trick scored in the EPL: 4:34 seconds.

    WOW.

    How about this game? Liverpool is the real deal.

  9. TomG says:

    This is crazy. And Sturridge is a horrible dancer, who would have thought?

  10. TomG says:

    Mourinho himself linking Ashley Cole to NYRB. Great, great player. Probably the best left back in the world at one point, but how much does he have left at 33?

  11. argh says:

    holy crap. maybe jozy will score today

  12. Travis says:

    The most important thing for Arsenal now is to not let this be the game that undoes their entire season. They have a very difficult stretch of games coming up and it could undo everything they have done so far this year.

    • TomG says:

      There’s little chance of that I think. They’ve been blown out by Man City and even by Villa this season and bounced right back.

      • Travis says:

        The City game was different though, although they lost 6-3 they were competitive in that game and created a ton of chances. This game has been a straight up unequivocal disaster in every sense of the word.

        • TomG says:

          Even still, I don’t thnk one match, no matter how disastrous will have much effect on the psyche of a tea, that’s been consistently good all season, especially since this was going to be a tough match to take points home anyway. They’d probably be more depressed dropping points to Fulham or Hull, I’d think. Sometimes a blowout is actually much less stressful as you just shrug it off and say it wasn’t our day whereas losing a tight one often goes over and over in your mind about what you could have done to make things different. It’s embarassing sure, but something that will have any lasting effect in my opinion.

          • Travis says:

            Im a huge Arsenal fan so I really hope that they shrug this off but that was brutal. In the recent seasons when they were mounting a title charge, you can almost always point to one game where it all fell apart.

  13. Brett says:

    I hate both teams, but it’s nice to see Arse-nal get bombed.

  14. Citronomics says:

    Sterling’s shot saved right back to him to slot in for LFC’s 5th!

  15. Observer says:

    Altidore starting today.

  16. argh says:

    come on JOZY.

    A brace today. my mom’s bday is in a week. early gift from you to her

  17. yikes says:

    O/T but whats the view on US strikers in the past?

    wynalda? Moore? McBride?

    All 3 scored in the 2 Bundesliga and in MLS. Wynalda scored well in the Bundesliga and did quite well in 2 Bundesliga. Moore was a HIT in 2 Bundesliga, where a lot of the time he played as an attacking mid-fielder. He also scored a bit in the Premier League before injuries hurt him. McBride has a good scoring rate in the Premier League and MLS

    now look at strikers of today. Casey was a HIT in 2 Bundesliga. He should have stayed there. Twellman scored a bunch in MLS but only got offers from championship clubs and Scandinavian clubs. EJ scored in Greece

    • away goals says:

      I agree all those players existed and played for the clubs listed, scoring occasionally.

      • Brett says:

        +1 Don’t forget how Jozy “scored” in Spain, proving that he could do it in any league in the world for all time.

    • TomG says:

      I love the, “EJ scored in Greece,” addendum. Seriously, though, this is the Hyperanalysis of evry move Jozy makes (myself being a chief offender/ enjoyer of this) segment of the program, not the reminisce about strikers of Christmas past segment. Please make some comment about Jozy starting today and remark about this being his last chance or that he’s only starting because Fletcher is hurt or something reactionary in general.

  18. Bean says:

    Despite all of the injuries to players, Liverpool has looked very good. The rest of the season is relatively easy. I expect a UCL spot got the Reds.

  19. usaalltheway says:

    In all honestly, how can anything Jozy do today be better than this Liverpool v Arsenal game?

    Jozy is great but this game…seriously…THIS GAME.

  20. Arsenal says:

    Nurenburg looks fantastic so far. Really pressing Bayern. Chandler is starting too. But, he we might be subbed off due to injury

  21. John says:

    Chandler out injured 8 minutes into the match, doesn’t look good at all

  22. Arsenal says:

    Chandler in tears right now. I wonder how serious it is. He broke up a play that led to a chance for Nurenburg and stayed down.

    • TomG says:

      He is not destined to be a USMNT player, maybe.

      • gtv says:

        Rumor is (and it has been corroborated by reliable sources, though never confirmed) is that Chandler is afraid of flying. I hate to see a phobia prevent the guy from being part of the USMNT, but flying is a big part of playing international soccer. Heck, at the big clubs they have to fly all over the world for summer training gigs. Any psychologist worth his/her salt could help Chandler.

    • Benny says:

      He is a sure call up in March barring injury. I hope it’s not terrible If he is out in March and able to attend in a May friendly before the cut, he will. It all depends on the injury though.

  23. malkin says:

    Fabian is on the bench. Related to the recent developments re leaving in summer?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      injured recently, i believe. good to see him in the team.

    • John says:

      he just broke his hand a couple weeks ago, most likely could play if he had too but if they can get by without him then why risk it

      • malkin says:

        Right, kinda forgot about that but i was also thinking that he started last week. Untrue though…he was on the bench last week as well.

  24. MiamiAl says:

    Chandler stretchered off the field…

  25. Nate Dollars says:

    cameron, shea, ream, packwood, williams starting.

    lichaj not back yet, no holmes, and looks like gooch out injured.

  26. Arsenal says:

    Another player going out injured for Nurenburg.

  27. TomG says:

    I can’t believe I’m this psyched up for a Hull Sunderland tilt. What is wrong with me?

    • Mr. Kaplan says:

      Yes and getting a kick out of their song, Can’t Help Falling in Love. Believe it was the Elvis recording. LOL

    • fair observer says:

      I’ve been waiting all week!

      wow, straight red….. so much for trying to attack during this game

      Sunderland surely to stay behind the ball,

  28. fair observer says:

    TomG, are you ready!?

  29. STEVEN GERRARD says:

    champions league, we’re BACK

  30. Paul says:

    Anyone else with nbc sports not working again this week? Took almost 30 minutes to work last week, this sucks.

    • malkin says:

      Not working for me either, wtf

    • MemRook says:

      Same.

    • fair observer says:

      same here, NBC never has they’re SH– together for the start of these matches. kinda defeats the purpose when i have to find another site to watch. NBC, if you want people to watch online you might want to hire better IT guys……

    • Darwin says:

      Guys, I have had this problem a couple times. I think the app or website records your device’s MAC address and has issues with that script. A quick restart of your computer or iPad should work.

  31. STEVEN GERRARD says:

    who was better wynalda or mcbride

  32. Arsenal says:

    Red card Sunderland

  33. Observer says:

    Well…not a good start for Sunderland.

  34. shawn says:

    red car omggggggggggg

  35. TomG says:

    Oh noooooo. Wesley, what have you done? Better to let him score there. This game is over in the first three minutes and now Jozy has no chance of breaking his drought.

    • Gary Page says:

      Both Brown and O’Shea used to play semi-regularly for Man U and Bardsley has tons of experience. It’s really quite something how bad they have been this season.

  36. TomG says:

    Giroud states he’s not as good as Suarez. In other breaking news, birds fly better than elephants,

  37. TomG says:

    Jozys hold up play looks very good so far. Not sure if he can keep it up being outnumbered the way they are.

  38. shawn says:

    nice touch by jozy

  39. shawn says:

    borini pissed

  40. TomG says:

    Announcer: “Johnson no on the same page as Altidore,” as AJ lasers the ball thirty feet beyond Jozy. Really? No, that was just a poor pass. That’s why AJ waved an apology to Jozy.

    • fair observer says:

      +1
      good eye tomG, i saw the same. Ive seen a couple non passes to Jozy early when he was in good position. since the Red tho, its been pretty tough for Jozy with no support due to being a man down

  41. fair observer says:

    Mannone is by far the reason they have been during so well in this recent stretch of games. he makes some Great saves, was he really the backup? — wait, Hull just scored, damn, not really mannone’s fault off the rebound.

  42. Travis says:

    Just turned the Sunderland game on, how did they get a red card so fast?

    • TomG says:

      Brown let man get behind and made ill advised slide tackle from behind at top of box. No choice for ref. Just a dumb play by Brown.

      • Gary Page says:

        It was a bad give away in the defensive third that led to it. So typical of Sunderland, so many errant passes and bad crosses this season .

  43. usaalltheway says:

    Sunderland isn’t on the bottom on the table but the certainly play as if they were.

    Down to ten men already.

    This sucks. I am done with this today.

  44. TomG says:

    Jozy with a decent clearance of the corner but it is corralled and leads t Hull goal. Not sure if he should or could have angled that header out of bounds or to the side rather than up the middle?

    • fair observer says:

      to be honest, mannone probably would have caught that had jozy not headed it but hindsight is……

    • Wva97 says:

      Horrible clear from altidore right up the middle leads to hull goal. Hull fans saying that’s the best contribution he ever made. Poor communication btw jozy and goalie in any event

    • Gary Page says:

      One of the first rules of defenders is don’t send short clearances back to the middle. Jozy is an attacker, maybe he missed that lesson. I have seen it done by many defenders who should know better. Heck, just last week Toure made a poor pass right across his goal and gifted a score for the other team and he used to be one of the best defenders in the league if not Europe.

  45. TomG says:

    Jozy absolutely loves those cheeky little one touch passes.

    • Brett says:

      Most players who struggle with close trapping rely on those passes when a ball is played in “hot”. Tack it up to good training, which is what it takes to pull off those moves. Jozy is getting involved a little with some solid play, but he doesn’t look like scoring today. If that’s good enough for you, then you should be pleased with his performance.

  46. fair observer says:

    for once a good build then a 30 yard shot by the LB…???? i do recall my assessment of Sunderland ringing true. you got the ball up finally, now just patiently find your attackers in the box!!!!! FFS

    • Gary Page says:

      Don’t know if you were talking about the cross from a good angle that ended up way behind the goal into the seats, but that was one of the worst. I was thinking, I’m 68 years old, haven’t played for almost 40 years and I could have made a better cross than that. The guy wasn’t even pressured by the defense.

  47. Adelai says:

    Jesus Jozy at least don’t contribute to other teams goals.

  48. Joe says:

    Onyewu not dressed today. Is he injured? JK should take a look at Packwood in March.

  49. Joe says:

    In other news, Luis Suarez is the top footballer in the world.

    • beachbum says:

      Hazard has something to say about that, beautiful 1-2 with Eto’o just now and Hazard scores. Awesome touch from Eto’o

  50. fair observer says:

    Alonso……

  51. Lu says:

    Chealse’s second goal tho>>>>>

  52. Shimmzy says:

    Why is Jozy so bad? :(

  53. MiamiAl says:

    Lahm!!!

  54. Adelai says:

    Jeez Jozy, just don’t mess up. Little expectation to score today but not helping yourself.

    • TomG says:

      Not even remotely sure what you’re talking about. He’s been good. Are you watching?

      • beachbum says:

        and what was yesterday’s screen name?

      • fair observer says:

        precisely, what game is that guy watching? Jozy’s getting bullied yet still playing decent to good (ESPECIALLY with a man down….)

      • Brett says:

        You’re throwing around praise rather loosely. Unless Jozy pulled off some magic in the few seconds my stream took to refresh, he’s done very little “good” in the match. Let’s be fair, his side is down a man and so can’t control possession, but other than a nice touch here or there he’s been a non-factor. That doesn’t earn a player a “good” grade in my book.

        • fair observer says:

          i’d say decent, some people see “good ” as “not playing badly”. basically he’s doing his job today, hasnt really given it away, holding the ball with his back to the goal and finding players around him with about 85% success. no one’ss perfect, but in no way is he playing badly, just a grey area of “decent-to-good” haha. but to be fair, when a team is a man down it’s very hard for strikers because the mid field has to sit back so there’s less options for the ST. everyone just relax and watch the game without picking ona single player (unless its M Alonso, cuz he is usually pretty suspect on Defence and makes wierd deisions on offense— his long shot for no reason after a good build……)

          • Brett says:

            “Not bad” is fitting. There’s certainly a middle area between that and “good”, in which we could make more delineations. The point is to praise a player when he does something praiseworthy. The occasional successful hold/distribution alone isn’t gonna do it for me. I commented earlier that if that is your expectation for him, then you probably would think he was playing well on the day.

            • Nate says:

              your expectations are throughly unrealistic. You are trying to set it up so that anything less than a goal is a failure.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        this guy always just hates. don’t feed him.

        • Gerard D. says:

          I’m watching through a Hull City feed and it’s pretty much the antithesis of TomG’s commentary.

          They had not complementary things to say about Jozy basically gifting Hull a goal.

          You might want to check your homerism at the door because not everyone thinks Jozy is walking on water.

          He’s in a bad situation, but that doesn’t mean he can’t also play poorly.

          • Brett says:

            Split the difference between these extremes. A HCFC feed would reasonably bash Jozy, who failed to impress there as well. His play has been mediocre, and that shouldn’t earn him derision.

            • Gerard D. says:

              Was sort of an implication in my point. Adelai is not even close to hating. The poster even acknowledged that there’s little expectation for Jozy to score.

              For some reason people think that’s free reign to do whatever and he’ll be fine. It isn’t.

          • beachbum says:

            nobody thinks he’s walking on water but your take that he’s drowning is just as off target

          • Nate Dollars says:

            thanks for the info, but nothing that you said had anything to do with my comment. “adelai” pretty much just comes on here to post derisive comments about jozy, whether he’s playing well or not. i made no remarks whatsoever about jozy’s play. (couldn’t watch most of the game.)

  55. fair observer says:

    great volley AJ, right at keeper but good effort

  56. TomG says:

    Almost a goal by Johnson, started by pretty hold up and distribution from Jozy. Really nice play.

  57. TomG says:

    Wow, Jozy was blatantly, blatantly pushed in the back with no call.

  58. fair observer says:

    every header attempt Jozy has been getting a shove in the back. seems like Hull’s approach to disrupting Jozy is to bully him on aerials….. how has the ref not seen any of these pushes?

    • Brett says:

      Might be a case of Jozy’s size and strength working against him. Refs might think the pushes aren’t really affecting him that much.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        +1. i loved played rough defense (at a very low level) against big attackers who begged for fouls. refs (probably unfairly) tend to think they’re whining and that they should just get on with it.

      • fair observer says:

        brett you’re usuallyl terribly wrong but that’s the smartest thing you’ve ever said, EVER

  59. Bean says:

    Nosy hasn’t been poor, but he hasn’t been great either. He’s just out there trying.

    • Bean says:

      *Jozy …autocorrect

    • Brett says:

      Apt analysis, even if it tells us almost nothing… that’s pretty much Jozy’s contribution. Make whatever excuses make you feel better about it, it’s just the truth.

      • beachbum says:

        no excuses required, he doesn’t need any, and he’s not the train wreck that some want to post about every weekend on this board either

        • Brett says:

          Hyperbole will make anyone look foolish, whether their comments are positive or negative. I see many excuses for Jozy on this blog, from “his teammates don’t like him” to “they’re just terrible,” to folks who even delude themselves into thinking he is playing good football as a striker. Simply judging him for the things in his control leads me to the conclusion that he’s not reaching his potential by a long-shot. If that makes me a “hater” then I will proudly bear that cross.

          • beachbum says:

            hyperbole from me? hardly

            if you’ve watched all year you’ll know from what and how this team, and Jozy, have grown. If your take is Jozy sucks then cool. I disagree. If your take is he’s awesome then cool, I disagree again.

            Frankly, many more posts by folks here burying him alive back in October! and steadily thru January…and here Jozy still stands.

            that is not hyperbole…reality.

            • fair observer says:

              +1 for the most part

            • Brett says:

              I didn’t say you made any hyperbolic statements, You stretch the improvement of his touch, but not to an insane degree (someone here calls him “world class” for example). I only stated a fact that doing so will make you look foolish regardless of which side you tend toward. You mentioned a hyperbole in the comment “train wreck”, and I’m insisting to you that I also do not exaggerate.

  60. fair observer says:

    Alonso with a terrible pass towards the middle of his own box…….. i stand behind my assessment that alonso should be berated more than jozy. lol

    • fair observer says:

      reporters/announcers applaud Alonso as “able to help the attack by gettin up the pitch” but to me a defender is supposed to…… DEFEND. a wing back is his secondary job. if he’s focusing on only attacking then guess what, he’s a midfielder and now there’s only 3 defenders. simply put, Alonso’s Defence is pretty terrible

      • Brett says:

        Fullbacks are considered defenders, but do you ever wonder why they’re called “fullbacks”? Because they play the full length of the pitch and play inside and out. They’re expected to defend and to attack. They defend more than wingbacks,

        A lot of fullbacks are converted midfielders or wing players. What Alonso lacks as a defender he masks with good touch and spatial awareness to control possession. He’s been one of the few creative influences for Sunderland in this match.

        • fair observer says:

          to reiterate… a defenders first job is to defend. they have 6 other players who help attack… defenders shouldnt play if they cant defend….. ii do applaud alonso’s occasional creative influence and calmness on the ball…… BUT thats the description of a midfielder. maybe move him to LDM….. just sayin, a LB should know how to play defense. and for all the Jozy haters, why are there no Alonso haters for his shotty Defense…. just sayin…

          • Brett says:

            I think your view of positional play is too rigid. If Dani Alves was American would you want him defending or attacking?

            Many fullbacks are converted mifielders or attackers because some managers would rather have a good overlapping attacker and an average defender than an average overlap and good defense.

            • fair observer says:

              for the record, Dani Alves can play defense and does well. He’s actually my favorite defender, nice try but terrible example.

              listen carefully to my point please: a LB/RB should firstly be good at defense…. then what sets great ones apart from regular ones are their ability to get forward and help in the attack. just like you say a striker playing good “holdup play” is secondary to his ability to score, thus is the same for LB/RB. His defensive ability should come first, help in attack should be second. This is the bare basics of the position.

              example, Beasley is a converted LB, he helps with the attack well from his midfield skillset yet his 1v1 defensive play is not consistent. He is closer to Alonso than Dani Alves……. Beasley isnt a great LB, he does a decent job solely because he has the speed to recover from a missed tackle. Alonso gives a half A$$ tackle and hopes his CB will cover for him…..he is a good attacker and BELOW AVG defender.

              but to answer your question, if DA was american id want him to do exactly what he does, defend well and then help build on attack once ball is moving up the field, Alonso plays like a wide LDM…… slow to get back on defense as if he’s waiting to counter on every play. overall Alonso is ok, he’s just no better at his position than Jozy is at his, correct? to quote a wise man: he does a “half-job done”.

              god bless you

              • Brett says:

                In what formation does an “LDM” regularly get chalk on his boots, attack up the wing, and play on the last line in defense?

                You completely missed the point of the Alves comment. You design a system and use players to their strengths. You’re saying you’d tell him not to attack because it’s secondary in his job description, but that’s a waste of a guy who wreaks havoc going forward.

                Let’s agree to disagree and simply say that, if he could, Poyet would sign someone to play LB who was as good as Alonso in attack and better in defense, but being Sunderland manager, he made his choice to favor one who can bring something in attack at the expense of defense. I’d buy a better one, if I had the money, and I’m sure he would too. That seems fair.

              • fair observer says:

                “if DA was american id want him to do exactly what he does, defend well and then help build on attack once ball is moving up the field, ” AGAIN i NEVER said i wouldnt want Alves to attack, the above quote is what i said……

            • Gary Page says:

              I think those who prefer average defending and good attacking over good defending and average attacking fullbacks are called ex-managers. Haven’t you ever heard the expression, defense wins championships?

        • Nate says:

          oh, you mean like DMB?

        • Gary Page says:

          A little history lesson. I started playing soccer in the 60′s. Fullbacks never used to join in the attack and never went much, if at all, beyond the half way line. This changed with Holland’s total football approach in the 70′s. Before that defenders were, well, only defenders. Holland revolutionized the game. So the name fullback is not at all derived the way you say it is.

  61. fair observer says:

    im sure Brett thinks that was a foul on Jozy to win that ball….. haha

  62. fair observer says:

    Hull gets a shot as they get in behind (GASP) Alonso…

  63. beachbum says:

    Sunderland playing up the wings and trying cross it in there, good to see but so far poor balls into the area, but they are trying

  64. fair observer says:

    terrible pass down the line by alonso…

  65. fair observer says:

    nice switch by altidore

  66. fair observer says:

    did anyone else notice that the Hull line on that Ki shot was leaving Jozy in a great position, i wish Ki would play that soft thru ball to Jozy there. THATS the ball jozy has wanted all season. its a subtle idea but they are what makes a midfielder great instead of just good like Ki

    • Amru says:

      noticed the same thing. Too often the sunderland midfielders go for glory

    • beachbum says:

      this has happened al year, literally

    • Brett says:

      Tough to see from the TV angle, but he looked to be playing the back shoulder of a defender and might have been offside. He was in an offside position but was making his way back onside. Hard to tell if he made it before the shot came off. He wasn’t really hustling.

      • fair observer says:

        Hull’s LCB was lazy in the offside trap while the other 3 defenders stepped up, Jozy was between them, easily onside. like i said, its a subtle situation but none the less the mids need to look for these balls. if you read Jozy’s assessment of himself in recent days, he sais EPL differs from Dutch league because in Dutch league literally plays everything FOR their strikers, mids dont really take those long shots that often, they always look for those soft thru balls to set up fwds, you’ll see if you watch altidore’s highlight reel from AZ. Sunderland never really looks for those ground balls, they get goals from crosses, long shots or deflected tap ins…… rarely do they play passes once the ball is around the top of box. keep this in mind as the rest of the season progresses. you’ll notice it too

        • Brett says:

          I could tell that the line wasn’t flat. That’s what made it tough to see on the angle. He wasn’t clearly blocking him in the view so I can forgive Ki for taking the shot that opened up instead of playing a ball that might ruin the whole move.

          If he was on and clearly on in the field of vision of Ki, then I will agree that he made the wrong choice.

          • fair observer says:

            i concur, like i said, it’s all subtle stuff, we as fans have the birds eye view of sorts but lookin at most of the games this occurs a lot, not just for Altidore btw, i mean for all players, its as if sunderland doesnt try to make those passes. watch top teams as they do it quite regularly. but yes, people on couches such as you and i can say whatever we want. haha. just our humble opinions….. that’s what makes us fans….. and thats the point of sport. cheering and debate…… carry on

    • TomG says:

      Ki doesn’t do through balls. He’s a good, accurate, safe passer, but he never plays through balls.

      • fair observer says:

        that doesn’t mean he SHOULDNT, haha but youre right, Ki never plays them, my point is that he SHOULD, not hating on Ki cuz i like him overall i just wish he could add that part to his game, would realy elevate him to a great player instead of solidly good (like most of Sunderland……)

        • TomG says:

          Yeah, I think if he could do that, he’d be starting for Swansea, not Sunderland. Not everyone has that vision. I think it’s not something you can teach, it’s a mindset.

  67. fair observer says:

    there’s that LB on the attack………..

  68. fair observer says:

    Jozy wins a header, why? beause he WASNT pushed when he went to jump for it

  69. fair observer says:

    hmmmm do i need to say it…… Alonso does nothing. stop tryin to pull him offside and go play defence. put your arm down and PLAY DEFENSE!!!!

  70. John says:

    looks like Shea was pulled at half, not a great sign

  71. Brett says:

    Here’s some praise. Jozy just made an unselfish run and it opened up a huge space into which no one ran and the pass never came. Sunderland football on display.

  72. Darwin says:

    If Sunderland wants to play a center back up top, they should put shawcross up there.

  73. Darwin says:

    Fans emptying dumpsters of trash on the field to protest Sunderland’s play this season.

  74. fair observer says:

    terrible no call ref…

  75. fair observer says:

    yet he calls that one? haha ill take it tho. call the one in the box on the last possesion tho

  76. STEVEN GERRARD says:

    Is Jozy the AMERICAN “EMILE HESKEY”?

  77. Brett says:

    A microcosm of Jozy’s current form: He collects a ball in a chaotic box with a favorable angle on goal if he can pull off a turn, but he instead plays the quick ball out to a player on his right who botches a cross about as bad as you can. No nose for goal, no killer instinct, just playing safe so as not to lose his spot.

    I’m gonna give him a solid C for this shift. He chased possession most of the match, showed some nice traps and one-touch passes, fought for and won some 50/50 balls, and brought his teammates into the game. To me that’s a half-job done. If you think that’s good enough for a starting striker in the World Cup, then you might give him a better grade. He is simply too willing to defer to his teammates, whether by request of his manager or of his own accord.

    • John says:

      You do know they were down a man the entire match right? It was over after 4 minutes.

      • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

        He’s right thought. Down a man or not, that has nothing to do with being a striker, having the ball at your feet and instead of taking a shot, passing it out wide.

        He’s afraid of missing, so he’d rather put the responsibility on someone else.

        He reminds me of Kwame Brown when he was with the Lakers. He told Kobe not to pass him the bal because he was too nervous, lol.

      • Brett says:

        Not really. Sunderland play about the same with 10 as they do with 11. They actually bossed the game for stretches, which included Jozy coming off defenders to direct possession before getting lost in the mixer as wayward shots and crosses came flying in. He wasn’t active or creative, playing a very limited and specific role. I’m not in the business of fantasizing about “what if”. Jozy hased played the same whether or not Sunderland is at full strength.

        • beachbum says:

          so being down a man for basically the entire match was no biggie in your final analysis.

          I’m not in the business of what ifs either

          • Brett says:

            I observed that their style of play didn’t really change much. Hull was able to play numbers advantages more often on counterattacks, but other than that the game seemed to play out as a normal Sunderland match would. Possession play and no creativity in the final 3rd. Maybe an extra man helps, but probably not.

            As for the result, the result is probably different, irrespective of Jozy’s play (which is what I’m really focusing on).

    • Turgid Jacobian says:

      He is simply too willing to defer to his teammates, whether by request of his manager or of his own accord.

      Look, if the coach is asking him to (which I don’t think he is, necessarily) then it would be nuts to fault JA for it. Simply silly.

      • Brett says:

        But would the best strikers in the world, the ones that start for competitive nations, be asked to defer to players like Adam Johnson? And even if they were, could you see a scoring talent like Luis Suarez not taking a crack at goal in that position, even if it’s only a half-chance?

        All I can say is that Klinsmann better not shoehorn Jozy into this type of role with the MNT, because it’s a major waste of a gifted athlete.

        • Brett says:

          Besides, at that point in the game the training tactics should go out the window. You’re down 2-0 at home, have a go at goal when you’re 8 yards away and no defender is on your back. Like I said, no killer instinct. Blame whoever you want (manager, teammates, waterboys) but it’s been this way for a while and it doesn’t look like changing.

  78. Darwin says:

    OPTA stats for Jozy (via squawka),

    1/2 take-ons won
    0/1 tackles won
    3/10 headed duels won
    2/2 clearances won…one leading to a goal
    21/26 passes completed 81%

  79. Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

    It’s going to be a long, long second half for Jozy this year. What a disappointment

    • John says:

      Problem is, I’m less worrid about him then half of the other players on the US roster at this point.

      • Darwin says:

        No need to get worried. We have seen plenty of players come in during horrible seasons and play well…we’re yanks! That is how it has always been!

      • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

        Our Team situation looks so different then it did in 2013

        Just some poor choices by certain players. MLS really messed things up in the name of American soccer tbh

      • Brett says:

        It is a problem when just getting minutes on a subpar squad is the “feel good” story of the program going into the World Cup. We now have 2 players sharing that prestigious honor.

        I’m worried about most of the squad, Jozy included, but the majority of my concerns lie with the defense and the fact that we may likely go into Brazil with a back 4 with a combined 0 minutes of World Cup experience (I still don’t see Beasley starting at LB).

    • TomG says:

      S was down a man 5 minutes in. Didnt have any chance today.

  80. fair observer says:

    all in all, i invite Brett to watch the next game with a focus on Alonso’s defense and defensive positioning, comment on each play he makes defensively and then tell me he’s a good defender…… lol. Ill take a gentleman’s bet that you wont rate his defense as higher than a 3 out of 10. while i agree he can have some creative moments in the attack and holds the ball well, those are midfielder traits. maybe poyet should play him at midfield and find an actual LB. LB is crucial especially when a lot of goals against sunderland have come from his side (ManU second match in Cap Cup 120′ comes to mind right away- low cross to the far post and alonso just stands there as his man taps in a goal…….–today’s match on the second goal, deflection off a long shot that went to back post as hull heads it in, with alonso sniffing his deoderant……)

    just sayin, as i said a few matches ago, you can watch ANY player and nitpick them to convince people they’re not good, Jozy had a decent match considering playing a man down hurts strikers the most in general. but all in all sunderland as a whole looked pretty crappy all day. Ki was off his usual possession, birdcutt took a few steps back from his debut last week. colback went back to his nonexistant self, jozy had no shots, alonso played crap defense, borini was the best player but taken off early due to the tactial switch (perhaps this was a big part to the bad play) shall i go on? AJ had the best game at a bout a 6 out of 10……

    • Darwin says:

      I don’t understand your Alonso hate actually. Yes, he underperforms – most of Sunderland do – but he is not their worst player. Colback has had some shockers where he disappears.

      Your point about Alonso’s defense is right on though. He is there for attack, not his defense. He is a natural left footer on the left. Borini is a right footer that will cut in and shoot. Johnson is a left footer that cuts in and shoots. Poyet wants his crosses coming in from his outside backs.

      • fair observer says:

        not hate i just dont understand how some players get berated with a magnifying glass every touch (Jozy, AJ’s nonexistant crosses) while some get praised and overlooked on their mishaps (colback’s Whodini acts, Alsonso’s lackadaisical defense, Ki’s lack of vision in the attacking half– he only backpasses… lol)

        im not one of those “jozy is the greatest” people but i think the whole team is on par with a mid to lower EPL team, decent to good players that are inconsistent. the ONLY player i think plays above average consistently is Borini. to put it in another way, for every “mistake” Jozy makes there are 5 mistakes his teamates make. people should just call it fairly, colback disappears, alsono sucks at defense (yet is good at pushing forward—-BRETT—–, AJ goes 1v1 a tad too much and has no right foot, larsson should play more so he can cross it, no clue why Giac doesnt play…., oshea and brown are fine enough, bardsley has mental lapses (red card today), gardner does an ok job, Ki doesnt know how to pass to a fwd in the box, etc) just CALL IT HOW IT IS FOLKS, hahaha, carry on….

      • Increase0 says:

        Alonso is like an Edgar Castillo who can almost but not quite play defense.

    • Brett says:

      “Jozy had a great match considering”… Is a phrase we see too often now.

      I never said Alonso was a good “defender”, but he’s not as bad of a fullback as you keep insisting. I’d venture to say if he were dropped into our player pool, he would beat out everyone but Fabulous Johnson. He might not “get stuck in” like you’d want a central defender to do, but he is slick on the ball and knows how to get upfield (also part of the fullback’s job).

      I watch as much football as I can, so you can send your invitation somewhere else.

      • fair observer says:

        firstly, i said “jozy had a DECENT match considering” not “great” haha….. READ please.

        secondly, you’re correct, Alonso “is slick on the ball and knows how to get upfield” which ive already agreeed with. and yes that is “part of the fullback’s job”….. BUT as you so eloquently put about Jozy, the same can be said about Alsono “To me that’s a half-job done. If you think that’s good enough for a starting [Fullback] in the World Cup, then you might give him a better grade. If Jozy is considered to only be doing half of his job, then how can you not also fairly assess the same to Alonso for only doing half of HIS job…… THAT has been my main point. people criticize Jozy yet fail to fairly uphold the others to similar standards. Striker’s job is to score, a defenders job is to defend. if a striker is only doing a good job at holding the ball up and passing it off how is that any different from a defender only doing a good job of getting forward yet not defending well? seriously….

        i think you and i have similar view’s of this team’s performance generally, yet i see Jozy as “glass half full” and Alonso as “half empty” while you see it as the reciprocal. Ill agree thats its a wash as soon as you agree that Alonso isn’t a great defender. haha. all in all, you have a good eye for the game and i commend that, we’re just splitting hairs BUT…. Alonso sucks at defense….. LOL

        • Increase0 says:

          I get what you are saying Observer. It’s sorta like Johnson can score goals but he can’t put in a cross to save his life. That’s half a wingers job.

          Ribery doesn’t score many goals but he made so many chances for others to score off of.

        • Brett says:

          Maybe you should take your own advice, because for all the things I’ve said about Alonso, the phrase “he is a good player” has never been among them. He obviously brings some things to the setup and has some weaknesses. All considered, I’d still say he’s better than most of the fullbacks in our pool. He’s a better defender than Beasley and Castillo, and he’s way better in attack than Parkhurst or that Lichaj dude who never gets called up. Fabian probably beats him out with a slightly different balance of skills, but not by a wide margin. I think you judge Alonso as harshly as the same “haters” whom you criticize for their “unfair” judgment of Altidore. If Alonso was American, he’d be just as praiseworthy as Jozy in your eyes, I imagine.

          • fair observer says:

            the “if Alonso was american” point is a large tangent, Sure he’d be in the top 3 of our LBs but this was never part of my point. Ive never brought up the “american” aspect of this debate, that was all you, i brought up beasley because he’s a converted LB…

            ” I think you judge Alonso as harshly as the same “haters” whom you criticize for their “unfair” judgment of Altidore.”

            This, however was my point. and i did so to point out the unfairness of the jozy hatred. namely by you to get you to realize YOUR hypocrisy in judging jozy. if we can agree that Jozy is doing a “half-job” by playing good hold up play but not scoring, then we should be able to agree that Alonso is doing a “half job” by playing good attaking help but not playing defense.

            AGAIN, THAT has been my point from the start, to point out that Jozy is being unfairly hated on as much as Alonso is being unfairly praised considereing BOTH are doing “Half Jobs”

            I could also argue that AJ’s inability to cross is simalr to this hypocrisy too tho. this all started about 7 games ago when i started gettin sick of people only commenting on one players downfalls (jozy) and not praising others’ while overlooking their downfalls. So, yes, i maybe be picking on Alonso but only to prove my point, the whole team is in the decent to sometimes good range and does “half job” if you carefully read my posts i talk about more than just Alonso.

            Ki- Lack of vision that would make him a complete midfielder, he has great possession tho (“half-job well done”)

            Colback- doesnt do much besides his goal last game, moves the ball around but rarely creates chances which is the job of a CM/CAM, disappears oftern (“half-job well done”)

            AJ- creates chances off the dribble (sometimes too often and loses possession) yet as a wide player is UNABLE to cross the ball….. —->(“half-job well done”)

            Alonso- helps in attack well (usually….. still has the long shot-itis that Sund’s mids have) yet refuses to play defense —-> (“half-job well done”)

            Jozy – holds the ball up well yet hasnt scored and doesnt shoot often enough (regarldess of whether he’s getting “the right service”) —-> (“half-job well done”)

            as for the rest, id put them in the general category of average……

            am i making sense, brett, yes im picking on Alonso but only to prove my overall point. at the end of the day, i believe all of these players can put it together but thus is sport/fan debate. every team should have players that do things welll and dont do other things well, if all teams were brilliant every match would be a draw right? haha

            all in all, i set out to prove a point that watching any one player as closely under a magnifying glass as people (reporters, commentators) do of Jozy is counterproductive, hypocritical and unfair. every player has strengths and weaknesses. let’s just stop picking on any one player and be a FAIR OBSERVER….. (get it??)

            • Brett says:

              The only thing I “get” is the irony of your screen name. You are as “fair” of an observer of Jozy as you are of Alonso (that is to say, not at all). Even when you hedge your “fair observer” status by criticizing Jozy, it’s always backed by some kind of excuse as to why the criticism needed to be made at all (ie, “Jozy isn’t scoring consistently, but its because of [x, y, and z]“

              • fair observer says:

                things Brett and I should agree on:

                A) Currently Jozy Altidore is only doing half of his job, ie, hold up play but not scoring

                B) Alonso currently is decent-to-good at helping in the attack and decent-to-poor at playing defense

                C) Dani Alves is one of the best at his position; he defends well and helps immensely in the attack ( not once did i say id ask him not to attack if i were the coach…. please read my actual words)

                anything else is just a fan suggesting ways for players to play better (hence the “XYZ” on how jozy could play better, THAT is my subjective opinion. The Objective assessments are stated above in A,B and C)

                agree?

      • John says:

        Well considering Sunderland tried to buy Cameron, he might rank ahead of him as well.

    • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

      On a bad day for a good Striker, a day when they aren’t scoring goals, they make an important contribution by holding up the ball, flick ons and such, bringing others into play.

      Jozy has had nothing but bad days all year

      • beachbum says:

        hey Brett, where’s your hyperbole admonition for this post? hahaha!

        • Darwin says:

          yes people, HYPERBOLE!

        • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

          What do you want?

          • beachbum says:

            from you, nothing. This is what I expect :)

            • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

              I guess. Your comments reek of BS. You claim that you have an unbiased take on Jozy situation, but you argue on his behalf even though he’s clearly having a horrible year. Your elated and confident about yourself because you feel like your logic is sound but your just really delusional. I’ve even seen Ives has accepted the fact that Jozy is having a horrible year.

              • beachbum says:

                I am aware of his difficulties scoring and make no joke about it.

                delusional was you saying he would be stuck on the bench since the season started.

                bring it on

              • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

                That’s not delusional it’s sound logic. And he was riding the pine a couple of weeks ago before Fletch was injured and was playing cup games and relief duty. If Jozy would of been had for 2 million pounds instead of 8, he would of been dead and buried. 22 league games and one goal and one assist, by anyone’s logic he has played himself well out of the lineup.

                Everything I’ve pointed out about Jozy is completely sound and for you to feel that you have to refer to my comments 4 months ago to try and discredit me only speaks to how weak your your present argument is for justifying the crap you say.

        • Brett says:

          I don’t agree with his terms, but based on the definition he gave the comment is appropriate.

          • beachbum says:

            Jozy has had nothing but bad days all year? pure BS

            • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

              BS if your stuck on his junk.

              Strikers score.

              Not only is this particularly striker not scoring, he doesn’t even register shots on goal. What more, when he gets his chances he wiffs him because he’s scared.

              By any standard for any striker he’s had a horrible season so far, I don’t care who he is.

              • beachbum says:

                I’m not stuck on his junk. I’m not saying he’s amazing. I know what strikers are supposed to do. He has not had only bad days this year no matter how much you say it

              • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

                Lol, so you know what they should do and you know that Jozy doesn’t do it, but he isn’t having a bad year? Lollll your riding it so hard. Be wary of chafing

              • beachbum says:

                of course that’s your take

                since October, you have been wrong. Man enough to sack up to that are you? no evidently

                chafe on that

              • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

                Since October I’ve been wrong about what? Him scoring goals? Lol your such a Jozy homer, that instead admitting he’s had a bad half of a season, you’d rather allude to illusions like we’re talking about wether Jozy is a bad or good player. I’ve never said he was a bad player, but whatever, lol. Also you main argument now to why I’m wrong about Jozy having a bad half of a season is I predicted he would be on the bench when he isn’t, I addressed that up top. That has nothing to do with the reality that he’s playing bad.

              • go euro or go home says:

                so, how many strikers are having a “good” season in the ell, by your standards. Just Suarez and maybe Aguero I would guess based on your short-sighted opinion that goals are all that matter.

              • Kingsly Alexander says:

                I don’t know. How many strikers have a better more chances per game on target? How many have more goals, assists then 2 combined? I’d say most teams in the EPL have more productive stikers.

                Lol, @ your drastic comparisons
                Is this Bum? Are you Bum’s lover? His younger brother? Go away kid.

        • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

          So “Jozy still stands”? I guess thats all you really can compliment about what he’s done and where he’s at.

          • beachbum says:

            you said since DiCanio that Jozy would be stuck on the bench, you buried him every week here for months. What you predicted and kept predicting and insisting on for almost 4 months now has not happened.

            That’s all man. Good to have you back.

            • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

              If Fletch was healthy, you think he’d be playing? That’s exactly what I had said all year and that’s where any manager would have if you had strikers available. GTFO. That’s all man.

              • beachbum says:

                ooooo, so tough…get the F out

                Jozy not great but Jozy not horrible either

              • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

                Lol, so tough? No, your just irrational and it’s pretty stupid

                Jozy no great, but Jozy no terrible? Jozy be fine come WC? Jozy be best of all footballer in NE of England?

              • beachbum says:

                lol…now you’re predicting more of the future from your cracked crystal ball

              • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli says:

                What? It was more of my “hyperbole” to poke at your grammar

              • go euro or go home says:

                irrational would be the person who says every week of the season that he will be on the bench the next week… only for Jozy to be in the lineup again that next week. Do you really believe that Jozy is what is wrong with Sunderland. I (and nobody else that I have seen on here) am not saying that he has had a good season, but he is clearly NOT the problem. On the other hand, it seems that the manager and the fans that believe in him believe that he will be part of the solution. You appear to have no faith in him at all. tired

              • Kingsly Alexander says:

                Do I really think he’s what’s wrong with Sunderland? The only thing? No I don’t

                And he was benched in favor of Fletch, he was just injured so now Jozy’s back in. But we’ll just forget about that part. Your fallacies are more important

              • go euro or go home says:

                jozy is preferred over fletcher. i’m suer you were positive that the player just bought would take some of his time too…

              • Kingsly Alexander says:

                Right. Preferred because he’s not injured. Before that, who was starting EPL games and who was starting cup games?

                No, I’m not. I want Jozy to play and score. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t. But I’m not a cheerleader and I’m going to call it like I see it is.

              • bryan says:

                Sunderland games this season, in order, all competitions (espnfc):

                v. Fulham – Jozy starts
                v. Southhampton – Jozy starts
                v. MK Dons – Jozy starts
                v. Crystal Palace – Jozy didn’t dress
                v. Arsenal – Jozy starts
                v. WBA – Jozy subbed in
                v. Peterborough United – Jozy starts
                v. Liverpool – Jozy starts
                v. Man Utd – Jozy starts
                v. Swansea – Jozy subbed in
                v. Newcastle – Jozy starts
                v. Hull – Jozy starts
                v. Southampton – Jozy starts
                v. Man City – Jozy subbed in
                v. Stoke – Jozy subbed in
                v. Aston Villa – Jozy unused sub
                v. Chelsea – Jozy starts
                v. Tottenham – Jozy starts
                v. West Ham – Jozy starts
                v. Chelsea – Jozy starts
                v. Norwich – Jozy starts
                v. Everton – Jozy subbed in
                v. Cardiff – Jozy starts
                v. Aston Villa – Jozy subbed in
                v. Carlisle United – Jozy starts
                v. Man Utd – Jozy subbed in
                v. Fulham – Jozy subbed in
                v. Southampton – Jozy starts
                v. Man Utd – Jozy subbed in
                v. Kidderminster – Jozy starts
                v. Stoke – Jozy starts
                v. Newcastle – Jozy starts

              • go euro or go home says:

                thanks for laying it out there bryan

  81. fair observer says:

    terrible outcome today for sunderland, they could have been 11th place with a win today, instead they are one place above relegation zone again…… with the next match —>AT<—- Man City…… not quite the bounce back game they need right now.

    Poyet, you're doing a good job managing, now just force the idea into the heads of your mids to start playing simple ground passes to feet of the striker/cf/cams once possession has been built to the top of the box, i swear its like 4 Gerrards out there…… ("wait, wait,wait, aaaaaand PULL!!!!!!"—into row Zed… unless it deflects right to AJ at the back post for a tap in, haha)

  82. John says:

    This European friendly not looking so great now. Chandler from the looks of it with a serious injury. Jones to miss at least a couple weeks, as well as Gooch. Kljestan on the bench today. Brooks not making the lineup.

    • Darwin says:

      Oh, hey Mr. Whinocerus… Agudelo is looking like a proper striker!

    • Brett says:

      I’m not convinced Chandler or Gooch were going to play a part anyway, and my dream scenario is that Jones (a disaster waiting to happen) is somehow unable to make the trip to Brazil. I never thought Brooks would break into the best 23 by this summer anyway. So, things looking pretty good from my end.

      • Benny says:

        Of course Chandler was going to play a big part in the Mach friendly and is a key player for the national team considering the RB position. He would definitely be a starter at RB or LB without question if on form.If his injury is so bad that it cancels him out from the WC, it will be very unfortunate and the U.S. just will have to make the best of it.

        • Brett says:

          He had a couple of decent performances. Sorry if that didn’t convince me that a guy who played NO role in qualifying is going to be considered for a warm-up friendly. Chandler has been a lost cause ever sense he turned down minutes in the hex because he’s got a phobia.

          • Benny says:

            Chandler had been injured and trying find his form. He will be a starter 100% for the U.S.MNT if healthy,period.

            • Kingsly Alexander says:

              Parkhurst will supplant Evans soon. I wouldn’t count on him being a lock for the starting position. There’s a lot to say about a whole group of born and breed Americans not liking a person, especially when one of them is pretty fluent in German.

    • the original jb says:

      and you forgot to mention our host nation is in a civil war

  83. Darwin says:

    Why the doom and gloom people? We are the YANKS! Name one point in history where our team was made up of word-beaters on CL teams. Why have your expectations outpaced our progress?

    Change for us is always going to start at development, which takes some time. I think this team is a great mix of talent, and is as good as or better than any we have fielded.

    Club form has always been an issue for us, but it won’t will never stop our yanks from challenging.

    • usaalltheway says:

      +1

      USA ALL THE WAY!!!!!

    • Joe says:

      Group of Death.

    • KEEP says:

      Thank you! I’m not sure many of these posters were alive to witness soccer in the early nineties. I’m all for keeping the rose colored glasses off, but there comes a time when you have to understand that our system and players have progressed amazingly in a very short period of time. Its great to say this guy should be doing better or this guy should be playing at a higher level, but it just gets old after a while. Just enjoy the fact were the best in CONCACAF and we have the greatest depth of any NATS team in the history of the USMNT.

      • Brett says:

        Sorry, but whether it’s worthy of note or not how far we’ve progressed, we will never reach the level to which we aspire if we continue to hold ourselves to a lower standard.

        I expect us to be as competitive as any nation, because we have the stock and pedigree. A nation of our size and global diversity should easily field a team to compete with countries that have but a small percentage of our resources.

        • Darwin says:

          It’s not about holding to a lower standard. It’s about having a sense of identity. Its about knowing who we are as a footballing nation.

          “A nation of our size and global diversity should easily field a team to compete with countries that have but a small percentage of our resources.”

          If you can make this argument, then you are not seeing the whole picture.

        • Dennis says:

          That is just a silly, uninformed comment.

          Since the ’90 WC in which the USA entered the last day of qualifying needing a win at T&T (which they struggled to get) and in which the mostly college boys’ naivete was exposed in Italy. USA’s national team and US soccer in general have pretty steadily improved since then. Every national team coach in the last 20 years has demanded a higher standard for the players than the one they were comfortable at. Some of those coaches have talked a better game than they could deliver in a short time, but the standard has risen fairly consistently, if not always as fast as fans might want.

        • go euro or go home says:

          We have the “pedigree?” Might want to check that…

          • usaalltheway says:

            Our athletes dominate international competitions like the Olympics. We’re a nation of immigrants, and most of the nations that provided huge waves of those immigrants (England, Holland, France, Germany, Italy) have won World Cups.

            No excuses.

            • go euro or go home says:

              those other sports have absolutely nothing to do with soccer, and, in fact, they actually hinder our ability to produce soccer players. again, you might want to rethink the pedigree point. we have been a laughing stock in the soccer world until the last few years.

  84. usaalltheway says:

    So, Jozy didn’t score.

    Did he play well?

    It’s not going to be a good season for Jozy. :(

  85. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Altidore seems to only react. He is slow and he doesn’t initiate.

    • fair observer says:

      fair enough, i think partly he just wants certain passes (ground to feet) that he doesnt get, its like his team thinks “he’s big and strong so let just play lobbed balls to him all day”….. slight hyperbole but pretty accurate (ironic statement i know, u get the point tho)

    • Increase0 says:

      Problem is… Sunderland needs someone like Eden Hazard out there and Jozy will never be that guy. Hazard can take a ball from 40 yards out, run it in and take a shot. Jozy can’t do that.

      • fair observer says:

        jozy isnt’ and will never be a speed guy, he needs a striker partner to really succeed, im fantasizing but “what if (BRETT)” jozy moves to Stoke next season and has a quicker Juan Agudelo to play with up top, Jozy will have goals and assists playing with a second speedy striker, thunder and lightning combo. Jozy needs a partner on Sunderlad, Borini is the closest he’s got but they’re still gettin on the same page as are the whole team

        • Brett says:

          I think that’s a recipe for a lot of scoreless matches.

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          Jozy also needs to accelerate once in a while. He trots and then he gives up when he doesn’t get the ball. If he knew that continuing a pursuit with a little more speed would weaken his opponent, he would have more success. He does nothing to wear anyone out. Meanwhile he just jogs around waiting for the ball up front. In today’s game he did head the ball defending the goal. Unfortunately it wound up right in front of an opponent who then scored the goal for the opposition; an unfortunate assist, sort of.

      • John says:

        Look at all the goals Jozy scored over the summer for the US. Almost all come from players (mostly Fabian & Zusi) in a wide position creating chances on a break. Either a cross or a centering pass. That kind of service just doesn’t exist at Sunderland where even the fullbacks just cut inside to get there own shot off.

        • John says:

          Everyone kind of talked about Maher last year but I really thought Beerens and Guomundsson’s creative wide play was even more important to Jozy’s success. They’ve also continued to be really important to Aron this year.

          • Increase0 says:

            Beerens was good beating a man and putting in a good cross. He was a key guy for sure.

          • John says:

            There was one goal where I believe it was Beerens bends the ball right around the defender and puts it right on Jozy’s chest in front of goal. Adam Johnson and Bardsley have one thing on there mind. How do I cut in and shoot from 30 yards out.

        • fair observer says:

          exactly….. (Alonso is that fullback)

    • Brett says:

      He doesn’t anticipate the way a world class striker typically does either. So many times a ball will bounce to a dangerous area and he simply stands or jogs to a spot and waits for the ball into his feet so he can knock it on to someone else.

  86. bryan says:

    what an awful day for the US. Jones, Chandler, Shea, Lichaj, and Gooch all injured. i wish i didn’t even wake up to check this. i feel so bad for Chandler.

  87. Jozy Watch 2014!!!! says:

    I’m pulling for Jozy and monitor his progress or lack thereof but…. sweet baby geeeezis. Viewing and micro-analyzing a game let alone a sport focused/obsessing on a single player is about as useful as playing that way.

    • Brett says:

      Everyone chooses their own level of involvement. If you just want to follow the results and judge based on that, you have that right.

      I tend to go beyond even a comprehensive analysis of one player and focus a player’s role during individual movements of a game, viewing them as separate events to aggregate later.. How often does the player show for the ball? How often does he drop into midfield or chase possession? How often does he trap successfully and direct the attack forward? Protect possession with a smart back pass? Make a run at goal? Take on a defender? HAVE A SHOT AT GOAL?

      I’m looking for evidence of specific skills that should translate to any formation or level of surrounding talent.

      • Gary Page says:

        Fair enough, but you make conclusions as if you have already done that at the time you are watching the game. Such an analysis requires multiple viewings of a game video. Even if you are watching only a certain player as the games is proceeding on TV, you can’t do a fair analysis. because of the limits of TV coverage. If you were in the stadium and watching only a certain player all the time, then you could make such an evaluation. In short, what you say here does not square with what you said about Altidore in today’s game. Your evaluation has to be subjective because you are unable to make a comprehensive analysis of his moves that you say is necessary.

      • go euro or go home says:

        you don’t really seem to consider that stuff in your analysis. All you say is that he does not score goals. As you imply, scoring is only part of the job.

    • Joe C. says:

      He’s a striker and one of the stars of our National Team who’s now playing in one of the best leagues on Earth and having a rough season. I understand why people are so eager to watch and analyze, but at the same time, I agree things have gotten a bit ridiculous.

      I do wish people posted as much commentary on Cameron, though.

      • Increase0 says:

        Heh, on a team like Stoke. The left back is likely quite a busy an important fellow. You could fill up a comments page on him.

    • fair observer says:

      precisely my summed up point

  88. John says:

    Looks like no Johannsson today. Anyone know what kind of time frame he has on a return?

  89. John says:

    Word on Chandler is torn meniscus and will be out 8 to 10 weeks

    • Ann says:

      Not fully torn, but Chandler will definitely be out until at least April. :(
      (link to kicker.de ).

      • Benny says:

        The report I read said that he suffered a hamstring injury. However, if it is a partial tear,it still might give him enough time for a friendly in May before the cut to see where he is physically and if on form.

  90. Adams says:

    I don’t know why Americans cannot make it in Europe. This weekend they continue to struggle. It’s like they wanna come back to MLS.

  91. Bean says:

    Jozy sucks this season. Hope he’ll be better next season. He has the potential to score goals.

    I’m not real comfortable that he’s the striker that is the “spine” of the USMNT.

    • Benny says:

      He has played well the last three games and Sunderland was down to 10 men today. He simply needs service. He’s a good player.

  92. usaalltheway says:

    So can someone please summarize Jozy’s performance today?

    I couldn’t put myself through the pain of watching.

    • John says:

      Sunderland went down to 10 men after 4 minutes and that was about it.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      (from what i saw) did some good stuff, did some bad stuff, did some mediocre stuff. enough for everyone to see what they wanted to see. :)

  93. matt says:

    Does anyone have clear information about these injuries? We seem to have many many players who got hurt this weekend.

    • John says:

      Chandler out 10 weeks with a torn meniscus in his left knee
      Oguchi out a few weeks with calf muscle tear
      Jermaine Jones out a couple weeks with groin injury
      Johannsson thigh injury but not serious should be back soon
      Shea went off at half with a stomach illness
      Lichaj out a number of weeks “possible groin hernia”
      any others?

      • John says:

        Looks like we might have to call in some MLS players just to fill out the roster for the up coming friendly.