Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

BayernMonchengladbach (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Only two clubs have taken points from Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season, and the dominant defending champions of Europe and Germany will look for revenge on one of them this Soccer Saturday at the Allianz Arena.

First-place Bayern Munich hold a 20-point lead in the Bundesliga, and their quest for an unbeaten league season continues when third-place Bayer Leverkusen come to town. Leverkusen drew 1-1 with Bayern at the BayArena earlier this season, but they enter the Allianz Arena on Saturday in the midst of a winless skid. Bayern have won 16 Bundesliga consecutive matches since their draw at Leverkusen, and they have been perfect at home this season, outscoring opponents 37-6 in a dozen victories.

In Saturday’s EPL action, title-contending Manchester City will open the day with a trip to Hull City, who are looking for their first home victory since December. Nineteenth-place Sunderland will host 16th-place Crystal Palace in an important match for the relegation battle, and first-place Chelsea look to keep their seven-point advantage intact with a road victory at Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, first-place Real Madrid take their three-point lead in La Liga into a road match against Malaga, who have fallen from Champions League quarterfinalists last season to a relegation-threatened club in Spain’s top division. Before Bayern take on Leverkusen in Germany, Borussia Dortmund look to keep their momentum going in a home match against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

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):

8:45am – Hull City vs. Manchester City – NBC Sports Network

10:30am – Borussia Dortmund vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach – GolTV USA

11am – Sunderland vs. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Network

11am – Everton vs. Cardiff City – Premier League Extra Time

11am – Fulham vs. Newcastle – Premier League Extra Time

11am – Southampton vs. Norwich – Premier League Extra Time

11am – Stoke City vs. West Ham United  - Premier League Extra Time

11am – Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion – Premier League Extra Time

11am – Levante vs. Celta de Vigo – beIN Sports en Español

11am – Leicester City vs. Blackpool – beIN Sports USA

11:30am – Lille vs. Nantes – Univision Deportes

1:30pm – Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen – GolTV USA

1:30pm – Aston Villa vs. Chelsea – NBC Sports Network

1:30pm – St. Johnstone vs. Ross County – Fox Soccer Plus

3pm – Malaga vs. Real Madrid – beIN Sports USA

3:30pm – Wanderers vs. Nacional (Uruguay) – GolTV USA

3:45pm – Hellas Verona vs. Inter Milan – beIN Sports Play

4pm – Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution – Univision Deportes

4pm – New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids – MLS Direct Kick

4:30pm – Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC – NBC Sports Network

5pm – Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol – beIN Sports USA

7pm – Veracruz vs. Atlas – Univision

7pm – Cruz Azul vs. Club Tijuana – Univision Deportes

8:30pm – Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas – MLS Direct Kick

8:30pm – Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact – MLS Direct Kick

9pm – Monterrey vs. Morelia – Univision Deportes

9pm – Santos Laguna vs. Pachuca – Galavision

10:30pm – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake – MLS Direct Kick

11pm – Chiapas vs. Club America – Univision Deportes

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

271 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Gerard D. says:

    So… does City now have a red card in 4 straight games or is it 3 of 4?

  2. usaalltheway says:

    Is Jozy in the starting line-up? On the bench? News?

  3. Gerard D. says:

    Altidore benched.

    • malkin says:

      That’s a step in the right direction from at least

      • malkin says:

        (the errant “from” is because I was going to say “from the last two weeks” but changed my mind given the the apparent hammy tweak last week)

  4. Joe B NYC says:

    The Jozy ‘Focus Group’! I laughed out loud on that one!

  5. usaalltheway says:

    I think it’s funny that so many people are overly concerned that we are concerned and focused on Jozy.

    He is the only striker playing for the USMNT in England. He is the USMNT number 1 striker.

    Of course he is going to be the center of attention!!

    He is carrying the banner for Americans in England right now (no offense to Cameron, Howard and Guzan, who are all great).

    • Vic says:

      More like dragging the banner through the mud.

    • JakeFromStateFarm says:

      Uhhh.. no. Jozy hasn’t done anything at the club level in months. Just because he is on the roster for the last place team in the EPL doesn’t mean he’s carrying the banner for US players.

  6. Nate Dollars says:

    fabian starting, JAB on the bench

  7. Gerard D. says:

    So Hull was just not given a penalty and what should have been a second red for City.

  8. TomG says:

    Fletcher starting despite being completely useless in every outing since coming back. Bad news indeed for Jozy. He may be well and truly buried now. Odd decision by Poyet.

    • away goals says:

      Yeah but if poyet only started people who havent been useless lately he’d be down to the grounds crew.

      • TomG says:

        Jozy’s been very useful. He’s only been useless at putting the ball in the net. Not a great trait for a striker I will grant you but miles better than what Fletcher has given you lately.

    • Gerard D. says:

      How is it odd?

      I mean seriously dude, you have no leg to stand on. Even with his rash of injuries, Fletcher has 3 goals in 19 games and has 4 straight seasons of 8 or more EPL goals. Jozy has 1 goal in 24 games and his form is terrible.

      Any manager worth their anything is going with Fletcher.

      • TomG says:

        You obviously didn’t watch the last three matches. Anyone can look up statistics on the Internet and make up an opinion and sound self righteous but you should actually watch the matches to see what’s really going on. If all you can do is read stats, though, here’s one. Jozy has created more than twice as many chances per minute than Fletcher.

        • Gerard D. says:

          Whatever.

          Reality agrees with me. You can sit here and b*tch about how unfair it is that your precious little Jozy is being hard done by while the people who are professionals with decades of experience make decisions for their professional soccer teams.

          Have fun.

      • TomG says:

        And if you read any of the Sunderland papers and blogs, you’d see how Poyet ripped apart his lineup from last match and seemed to clearly single out Fletcher, Giac, and Cattermole. Fletcher received all 2s and 3s last match in all the match ratings I saw. I think most Sunderland supporters find it pretty odd.

        • Gary Page says:

          Here’s a stat to consider. From what one of the commentators said today, since Sunderland failed to score today and a lot of their last games are against the top teams, they have a good chance of breaking the record for fewest goals scored in an EPL season. That obviously isn’t due to Jozy’s play, who was one of the few to actually put a shot on goal today.

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        Having watched just about every moment of Sunderland this year, I’d say Jozy has been the more effective striker because of his holdup play and distribution, but neither have exactly set themselves apart.

        6 to one, half a dozen to another

        • A says:

          Nobody on that team has been stellar. But around here some seem to think Fletcher isn’t dogged by the same poor play of everyone as Jozy is.

          Fletcher has the resume in the EPL. Most coaches will always go with the veteran/experienced player in important games.

          Not sure why that set off a firestorm because it’s correct.

          • CroCajun1003 says:

            I’d say the firestorm started not because of a disagreement in player ability, but because of the personal attack.

          • TomG says:

            Thats fair. Not really a firestorm. Im just surprised, as are most Sunderland fand who have watched the matches. This from Roker Report:

            “Surprisingly although Poyet does restore Fabio Borini to the starting eleven, he opts not to play him as a central striker but instead deploys him from the left wing with Steven Fletcher somehow retaining a place in the team despite his poor performance down on Humberside.”

            • Fair Observer says:

              TomG, spot on, bro. Gerard….. watch the games, then speak, dont just read stat lines…..

          • Nate says:

            So is it doom and gloom for Fletcher since he was subbed off at halftime for Altidore?

  9. TomG says:

    Hard to tell who wants this game less between City and Hull. They both look horrible.

  10. TomG says:

    Man, of late, Dzeko can’t hit the back of the net if his life depended on it.

  11. Joe B NYC says:

    I think it’s good that Jozy’s not starting. Let people see why Jozy started all these games in the first place. He’s going to Brazil anyway.

  12. Jeff Engelhardt says:

    My god, David Silva is some sort of sorcerer.

    • Gerard D. says:

      They do something to their feet at birth in Spain. Some kind of old world magic.

      • A.S.A says:

        ^^^^^^^^
        That right there was just brilliant

      • McAllen says:

        Yes,it is magic.Practiced and encouraged from the very moment a 5 year old touches a ball, Lot’s of touches on the ball ,and the result is magic!
        It happens in Spain,Portugal,Holland,Germany now,South America,Mexico,not really in England,and as for the US go to any youth game ,and you are gonna hear the coach(and the parents) yelling,Pass the ball,pass the ball !!!!, if a kid dares to hold on the ball for more than a second,or tries to dribble ,,,

  13. malkin says:

    Where’s Danny Williams?

  14. Expat4455 says:

    M’Gladbach goes 2:0 up on Dortmund at 41 min.

  15. Chicago Josh says:

    So infuriating watching Sunderland…why so many shots from 35 yards?

    • Joe C. says:

      I’m not sure if it’s a symptom or sequela of their offensive woes or, more likely, both. It’s still difficult to fathom.

  16. Curtis says:

    Fletcher with a knock and with a thoroughly ineffective first half — set-up well for Jozy to come in for the 2nd half and (finally) produce something?

    • Fair Observer says:

      not with Chicago Josh’s above statement being so true. Sunderland mids love long shots like High School romances…. (“but i love him! this relationship will last forever! you just dont understand, mom!!!”)

  17. usaalltheway says:

    Is the Sunderland game over?

    Did anyone watch it? News? Reviews?

    • Fair Observer says:

      half time, 0-0, jozy on bench, fletcher starts, fletcher doing nothing, no one hating on him for some reason…..

    • Chicago Josh says:

      HT. Sunderland dominating possession w/ 69% and 12 shots but no clear opportunities. Two yellows to Palace defenders inside the first 15 min.

  18. Fair Observer says:

    btw, fletcher missed a header over the bar….. had that been Jozy there would have been approx 42 comments saying that was why he’s terrible. but fletcher misses and people think “meh, its ok he didnt score there”….

    • Nate Dollars says:

      and if it was jozy, it would’ve been a “sitter”.

    • Gary Page says:

      A reminder–about three weeks ago Jozy, on defense, headed a cross back out, up the middle and it fell to an opponent who then put a hard shot on goal which was saved by the GK. Immediately there was a hue and cry about how bad it was to clear the ball back up the middle. Since then I have probably seen a dozen times, in maybe watching a half dozen games, where an actual defender, including a couple of goal keepers, has cleared a ball up the middle where the opposition could strike. Never did that lead to comments by match commentators or people on this site.

  19. TomG says:

    Ugly match at the half for Sunderland and Palace. Fletcher ineffective and limping. May see him come off at the half for Jozy or Scocco. If we see Scocco, that will say a lot about Jozys position on the side.

    • Fair Observer says:

      i want jozy to score a hat trick and to celebrate his third goal by grabbing the ball and sprinting to the sideline and throw the ball into Poyet’s chest. “here, here are your goals you wanted, suck it!”
      hahaha

      just trying to have a lil fun guys

  20. Expat4455 says:

    ter Stegen makes a fantastic save on a blazing shot from Lewendowski, M’Gladback still up 2:0, but are down to 10 men. 72 minute mark

  21. McAllen says:

    Jozy should play second half.but he needs somebody to give him the ball at the right time,Sunderland doesn’t have anybody in the middle that can pass the ball,,,

  22. Fair Observer says:

    IT IS TIME!

  23. Chicago Josh says:

    Heeeeeeerrrreeeeee’s Jozy!

  24. B says:

    Jozy’s in.

  25. malkin says:

    Come on, Josmer! Let’s do this!

  26. jones says:

    “Yo-zay” Altidore, lol.

  27. Expat4455 says:

    Dortmund scores! down 1:2 at 76 minutes

  28. John says:

    Fabian with an assist

  29. shawn says:

    dammit altidore. good save

  30. arsenal says:

    Poor first touch for jozy, but nice recovery to get a shot off.

    • Fair Observer says:

      not quite poor first touch, it just wasnt ideal. he pulled down a high lobbed pass niceley but didnt steer it in an ideal direction. all in all he trapped it in stride, kept possession and had a shot, lets not call it an F, more like a C+. there’s a lot worse things that could have happened on that play (missed the ball, lost possession, not gotten off a shot) technically if the GK didnt save it people would have applauded him for settling and scoring, but since he didnt trap it in the perfect way it was horrible??? no sir

      • Expat4455 says:

        I would say B or B+

        • Fair Observer says:

          yea i was being too harsh like most people who hates on Jozy, but really it was a B try. trapped it, turned, shot, not much more u can ask for besides scoring

    • malkin says:

      Commentators ripping him for that touch but man he made a beauty out of it with the left foot. Can’t believe the keeper got a touch on it

      • Fair Observer says:

        exactly, it really wasnt a bad touch, it did the job, he kept it and had a shot, commentators going a bit overboard. his touch produced a controlled shot, what so bad? yes it wasnt the storybook perfect touch but…it worked didnt it

  31. shawn says:

    altidore has been a presence in the box so far

  32. jones says:

    Good start for Jozy

  33. Expat4455 says:

    Nice try by Jozy

  34. JS says:

    I really thought that was the one.

  35. JS says:

    I didn’t watch the first half, but it certainly seems like this Crystal Palace defense is going to allow Jozy some opportunities.

  36. McAllen says:

    Jozy is in! Had a chance for goal already. Goalie made a save

  37. Expat4455 says:

    Switched to the Sunderland game when Jozy went in. First time I’ve seen him play, the kid looks very good to me.

    • Fair Observer says:

      he is, expat, people judge him through a microscope so badly that they say he’s bad, but he really has done decent at worst this season, good hold up play for a bad team that can cross or play a ground ball into the box

  38. Fan Futbol says:

    This match is like a foul a minute.

  39. Expat4455 says:

    That guy who brought Jozy down could have got a yellow

  40. Byrdman says:

    Ki is quite possibly the least creative player i have seen

    • Byrdman says:

      I say that hoping he will immediately do something creative to prove me wrong

      • Fair Observer says:

        trust me, he wont, he’s a CDM that for some reason plays more of a CM/CAM role, i dont get why. put him and bridcutt at CDM, borini, johnson and Giacc in the mid with Jozy up top and THERES a lineup

    • Gary Page says:

      I think it says a lot that Ki is actually one of their best midfielders and their most creative player, Giaccharini, sits on the bench.

      • Fair Observer says:

        yes we see that Giac sits on the bench (not for Italy tho…) and it needs to change, Ki’s strengths are NOT creativity, they are possession at feet and keeping the ball moving to the open player, thats not creativity, creativity is creating chances with forward moving passes…. Ki does not EVER pass forward with creativity

  41. Fair Observer says:

    gardner…….. wow, terrible try, dont point at jozy after that duck of a pass, see? sunderland mids arent able to make ground passes into the box

  42. Hogatroge says:

    Sunderland-CP is unwatchable. For the 10 minutes I just saw, the ball spent most of the time out of bounds or in the air. 2/3 passes were poorly chosen or poorly aimed. Every player took 2 or 3 too many touches. It’s hard to believe these teams are also in the “best league in the world(TM)”.

  43. Citronomics says:

    Borini could’ve passed it to an in-stride Jozy on that counter. Oh well…

    • Fair Observer says:

      well obviously…… but we know Sunderland doesnt pass once inside the box…

      • Citronomics says:

        Why pass the ball when you can run run run to the end line and send a cross over your teammates so the D can clear? Though on that sequence I’m referring to, think Sunderland earned a corner.

    • beachbum says:

      he was running wide open in the arewa, unmarked. they served Jozy the ball in the first 6-7 minutes of the 2nd half, now nothing. I hate them

  44. Fair Observer says:

    play the advantage ref…. wow, reffing 101

  45. Jeff Engelhardt says:

    I’d just like to point out I have Sunderland on a parlay, so it would be great if they actually converted any of this offense into a goal. How long do you have to possess the ball to put it in the net?!

  46. dude1 says:

    Jozy needs space to work. They’re just shoving him into a pack of defenders, and his first touch is letting him down.

  47. dude1 says:

    Plus, the passing is sporadic, which is the opposite of what Jozy needs. He’s starving for quality service.

  48. Fair Observer says:

    not a bad second try by borini but if he looked he had jozy on a nice slashing run– what am i saying, they dont look to pass. nevermind

  49. Brad says:

    I wish I got paid millions to just walk around like Jozy. Just once I want to see him pressure the ball aggressively. He always seem to be walking.

    • GW says:

      Brad,

      That’s because you are not paying attention. If a striker ran constantly as you expect, he’d have to be subbed out at half time or less.

      And you missed Jozy defending a corner and then sprinting the entire length of the field to wait for a cross that never came..

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      I guess th’s what you have to do to impress.

  50. Fair Observer says:

    nice first touch by jozy there to bring down a 65 yard lobbed ball right to his teamate but im sure that will go unnoticed (“jozy has terrible first touch….blah blah blah”)

  51. AcidBurn says:

    Wow Sunderland is awful. And nobody looks for Jozy, he actually tries to get people involved but his teammates have him in their blind spot.

    • Fair Observer says:

      i wish reporters and journalists could see the game as clearly as this…..

      • beachbum says:

        at least many of us here can and do. cheers fellas

        • Brad says:

          I’m telling you. Some of it is just the appearance of effort on his part. He’s got a good touch at times and can hold the ball up but when it comes to pressuring the ball or going up for headers, it’s pretty sporadic. If you’re coming in for a half and haven’t scored but once in 29 games, you should be working your a$$ off.

          • beachbum says:

            you’re not telling me anything Brad, seriously

          • Fair Observer says:

            which he has been…..he’s been running down crappy long balls from teamates to keep possession, drawn a few fouls, playing great today, had a good shot on target.

  52. Fair Observer says:

    hey Brett…. guess who almost gave up another goal by losing his mark? your boy, M Alonso…… 89th minute

  53. AcidBurn says:

    Ha. Jozy just tried to be selfish but good timed tackle to take away the ball. He should do more of that since nobody will pass him the ball.

    • Fair Observer says:

      yea i was pleased to see that, looked like AZ Jozy for real

    • usaalltheway says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

      Jozy needs to just go at the goal.

    • Gary Page says:

      As i pointed out a couple of weeks ago, he averages only a teeny above one shot per game. He really needs to shoot more when he has the chance given the team and the circumstances.

  54. Fair Observer says:

    with WBA winning and Cardiff drawing, Sunderland desperately need this home win today…… not looking likely

    • Fair Observer says:

      wait, everton pulled out a late win over cardiff so technically sunderland moved up one spot from 19 to 18…. i’ll take it, haha

  55. francois says:

    it’s been horrible from Sunderland the last 10 minutes. Nothing but longballs, route 1. No creativity, no passing, no movement. Jozy has been trying to beat players of the dribble and play forward, but nobody ahead of him moves when he drops deeper to try and create something. How could anybody watching this second half criticize Jozy? Especially when compared to Fletcher’s first half.

  56. Pete says:

    Lot of posts on here sound like they are from Jozy’s parents at a youth soccer game. Pass him the ball!!!

    • TomG says:

      Ha! Yes, it does feel that way sometimes. In fairness, Borini is a pure striker by training and not a winger. He shoots every time when you expect the winger to slide it across the goal mouth. He has a great shot though.

      • Fair Observer says:

        i still think that if they played a 4132 theyd be better off bridcutt as the 1, giacc, ki/colback and AJ for the 3 with borini and Jozy both up top in the middle

      • zeusbrowne says:

        TomG: A good striker should still know how to pass. Especially the short interior passes that can unlock a defense. For instance on the sequence where Borini hit the post and then rocketed a shot over the crossbar Jozy was in scoring position if Borini sees the short pass. If Borini had rolled the ball 8 feet forward on the same line he shot Jozy was on the inside shoulder of the centerback. He would have had a clear shot that the defense could have done nothing about. Either first time short or one touch to settle, moving left to right, ball on his left foot, shooting from 1-2 yards to the left of the penalty spot about 15-16 yards out with the keeper deep on his line.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was a criminal act on Borini’s part to either not see the pass or to simply chose to shoot instead. It would have resulted in a higher percentage shot but there are still no guarantees. I’m merely using it as an example of a pass that no one on Suderland EVER looks for (with the possible exception of Jozy). This sort of in-box interplay is something that every team needs to do in order to succeed, So while crying foul on any ONE instance of this type of selfishness would be harsh, the fact that no player on Sunderland has completed one of these passes all year cuts to the heart of the problem.

    • beachbum says:

      @ Pete. You nailed it! Sunderland plays like an AYSO team. Thank you

  57. TomG says:

    Meh outing from Jozy IMO. Should have had a better first touch on that ball over the top. As it was he forced a fingertip save on the nice turn but his touch has been shown up a bit by the BPL. I though he showed a great first touch in holland last year but the pressure and strength of PL defenders forces him into some loose touches. He is deadening the ball pretty well but always not directing it in the right spot. It took Deuce a couple years to refine his tough in the PL so maybe we will see improvement next year.

    • Fair Observer says:

      id give him a B, B- at worse. his first touch on that pass over the top wasnt a highlight but he recovered well from it and had a shot, not that bad in all honesty. had he lost possession or not gotten a shot off THAT would have made it bad over all but he did his job, pulled down a lobbed ball and had a go. overall he started off great then kinda sunk back in to decent when his team started playing wildly….. long lobbed ball after long lobbed ball bouncing around with no real intention from his team. there was a late moment when he was finally selfish and drove at the defense but a great slid from behindish tackled the ball to the GK. i wouldnt go as low as “meh outing” but id overall id give it a solid B IMO.if only that GK didnt make that fingertip save…………………… sunderland would have been out of relegation and Jozy would be the savior. oh well, next time i guess

      • Fair Observer says:

        BUT, if you had to compare Fletcher, Scocco and Jozy there’s no way Jozy isn’t at the top of today’s match.

      • TomG says:

        No, it wasn’t bad. It may have actually turned out to be the better move. He’s just fumbling his touches for a split second lately, though. He was so much cleaner and more accurate with every touch last year. Maybe he is trying a new technique.

    • Gary Page says:

      I guess you missed it when the commentators remarked about how bad the wind was and how difficult it was to control the ball. Of course they said that to excuse a Borini missed shot after criticizing Altidore’s alleged poor first touch on a long high pass that was up in the wind.

  58. Expat4455 says:

    Okay, here are my observations from the half I saw Jozy.
    1. Sunderland stink, they have a really bad team
    2. Jozy played very good, he sought out space, handled the ball well when it came to him, and went one-on-one with the defenders. and he covered a lot of ground (ran a lot).
    3. Jozy should have never left Holland for Sunderland
    4. While you can’t say Jozy is a world-class attacker he is plenty good.
    5. It looked to me that Jozy is a team-player
    6. Jozy needs to play on a better team to be effective, he needs to play for a team that has at least one world-class attacker and a decent mid-field.

    • Fair Observer says:

      Expat, i usually disagree with your points but today you have summed it up nicely. kudos.

      sunderland DO stink,

      Jozy plays HIS job well (he’s generally calm and possessive),

      Jozy should’nt have left holland for sunderland (perhaps he should have stayed one more year and left after the WC, kept his confidence and goal scoring up with Aron too),

      Jozy isn’t messi or suarez, you’re right, but he doesnt have to be, he’s still a good player.

      Jozy is definately a team player, thus when his teamates play actualy team ball the team does better and so does jozy (see AZ last year)

      Jozy has the budding world class attacker somewhat (borini) but has NO ONE close to decent in the midfield willing to play simple ground through balls to him in the box (if only iniesta or fabregas would come to sunderland….. hahahhaha….)

      • Pete says:

        Jozy isn’t messi or Suarez…you really had to make that point? He was very good in holland but in 60 games in Spain or England he has 3 goals. You can only blame your supporting cast for so long.

        • Expat4455 says:

          That’s not a fair statement Pete. You are going back to when Jozy was very young. He went to Holland when he was 20. Don’t you think he may have developed his talent since then.

          And you absolutely can not blame him for his play this season, Sunderland stinks!

          • Expat4455 says:

            sorry, 22

            • Pete says:

              Ok Sunderland stink but Jozy deserves to play on a great team with world class players? Sorry jozy hasn’t proven he deserves that. Someone like Benteke at Aston Villa has a suspect midfield too but he still scores goals.

          • GW says:

            “And you absolutely can not blame him for his play this season, Sunderland stinks!”

            Expat,

            That is ridiculous. Of course you can blame Jozy . He has to take responsibility for his play and make the team better. If Sunderland stinks then some percentage of that smell comes from Jozy.
            He is playing as if he is still on AZ or the USMNT where team work is the rule.

            Sunderland is a different game altogether and it is on Jozy to adapt to his new team or die.

            If that means he becomes a battering ram whose job is to drag the center backs wide so the others get to shoot then that is what he needs to do.

            The criticism by the Sunderland fans and the British media pales in comparison to the vicious personal criticism he gets from his SBI “fans”. Kettle, Pot black and all that.

            If he continues to get playing time, and based on what I have seen, Poyet has little choice but to continue to play him, then he should be just fine for the World Cup. The silver lining on all this is Jozy is a much better all around player than he was at AZ and should be a lot mentally tougher for his time at Sunderland. And he will need to have a good World Cup to showcase himself to other teams since a return to Sunderland, who will probably be relegated, seems unlikely. Jozy is always best when he needs to prove a point. Hopefully the USMNT will benefit in Brazil.

            Poyet will probably drop Johnson for the next game and give Scocco or Giacherrini a shot at that attacking position.

      • Expat4455 says:

        Fair Observer, For sure, Jozy does’t have to be a messi or suarez. Jozy would be a good contributor on most any decent to good team anywhere.

        I am happy with what I saw. Now, thinking about the 3 send-off friendlies and Brazil, if Julian Green plays I believe we may see Jozy have the best performance of his career.

        • Murray Braun says:

          Right on. I believe we will see Julian Green start on the left
          in a 4-2-3-1 vs Azerbaijan, etc. Who else is there? Shea and Davis. Should give Altidore some service.
          I bet if Green’s on the squad, neither Shea or Davis will be.
          Maybe Shea because Bedoya is right-footed and so is Zusi, and Dempsey and Donovan can’t wing it anymore. Beasley could be used at LM again since he is cover (the only other possibilities are Orozco, Parkhurst, Castillo, Ream?) for Fabian at LB.

      • Gary Page says:

        At the end of last season I wrote (on another site) that I thought Jozy would be best off in Germany and that for a mid-table club he could score from 12 to 15 goals consistently per year. I stand by that statement.

  59. argh says:

    come on GUZAN. Get the cleansheet again Chelsea. Do it for your fellow countryman who supports the Reds

    praying AV beat Chelsea today

  60. argh says:

    so will Jozy get a move to France or Italy or Germany this summer?

    would it take a few WORLD CUP goals to get some transfer interest in him?

    • Fair Observer says:

      id prefer him to stay at sunderland for one more year, shed his rep as “bad” by scoring 8-12 goals next season after settling in and realizing “hey my team sucks i might have to get selfish like a 16 year old again”

  61. Chicago Josh says:

    Sweet Jeebus that Sunderland-Palace game was terrible to watch…another 90 minutes of my life I won’t get back. Gareth Bale recently said the quality of play from teams in Spain, even teams battling relegation, is much better than the long ball garbage the EPL offers.

    • McAllen says:

      Well said! Aston -Villa–Chelsea is on! I’m sure it’s gonna be a good one .Chelsea playing 4-2-3-1!

  62. Maykol says:

    In case anyone that didnt watch the game and wants a different perspective from the B grade given above, here are some tweets from sunderland fans
    @SJSAFC: Borini has looked so lively and scored when started up front, but hey let’s persist with the waste of space that is Fletcher and Altidore!
    @Pete_Whalen: Wish we would just play borini up front instead off experimenting with fletcher and altidore
    @Becca_Safc: Why do we persist with Fletcher and Altidore?! Get Borini up front man Gus, he’s the only one who can score a f***^* goal!
    @TomLav: Still lacking goals! I personally think playing two up top will be for the best; Fletcher and Altidore play better with a partner! #SAFC
    @GreavesTom: Very disappointing game, palace came to not lose and they succeeded. Major lack of cutting edge fletcher and dozy altidore are hopeless
    I did not see todays game so i cant directly give my opinion but whenever i do watch a jozy game i do always see some people on here make it seem that he played better then what i saw, so whenever i see “altidore played well/good game by altidore” i never believe it anymore

    • Gary Page says:

      The problem is Poyet. When fighting to avoid relegation and playing a bottom half team at home, why would any sane coach not play two strikers up front? The Sunderland attack almost never has any space to work with and the lone striker, whoever he is, is almost always surrounded by two or three defenders when he gets the ball and rarely has runners to pass to. Sunderland is on a pace to score the least amount of goals in one EPL season EVER. That’s not all Jozy’s fault. You shouldn’t make conclusions if you haven’t seen the game, that’s what I do anyway.

      • biff says:

        I didn’t see the game, but in answer to your question about why a sane coach would not play two strikers, the answer is simple—stronger defense. Better to fight for a 1-0 victory but be happy to have the game end 0-0 in a relegation battle and leave with a point than lose 1-2 or 2-3. And that is why Klinsmann most likely will go with a 4-2-3-1 in Brazil despite a lot of fans and media talking heads clamoring for a 4-4-2.

        I also didn’t see that Fulham-Newcastle game, but Fulham got a priceless 1-0 win and three points and I would imagine Felix Magath went with a very strong defensive formation and not a 4-4-2.

        • Expat4455 says:

          But what if the 2 in the 4-4-2, are Altidore and Green?

        • Gary Page says:

          Sunderland is last in the league in scoring and mired deep in relegation. Also, for much of the season their defense has been very poor. The approach you tout obviously is not working.

    • Poly says:

      Americans have such low expectations from their players that if one of them makes a couple of good passes they they had a great game. If they have an assist then they’re the best player on the field and should be playing for Liverpool.
      Then there’s denial, if they can’t do anything right and get benched it’s their teammates fault.

      • Nate says:

        Spoken like a true euro snob. I dont hear Scots berating Steven Fletcher for his “lack of touch”, or Italians bemoaning Borini’s lack of goals. The team is terrible, with or without Altidore in the lineup. The team does not create chances, so it doesnt score. You dont have to be “the Special One” to see that. The point is, why single out Altidore’s “quality” when the rest of the team cant score either?

        Fact is, Americans are correct to support their players through thick and thin, as its national league is not even 20 years old. It is simply not the same as growing up in a soccer rich country like Spain, England, or Germany. When Altidore was growing up, you couldnt even watch Premier or Spanish League games regularly here in the states. You had to get RAI to watch the italian league. We just did not have the same exposure to the game being played at high levels. But, US soccer has come a long way since 1990, so hate on if you want, but the growth will continue.

        • GW says:

          “Fact is, Americans are correct to support their players through thick and thin, ”

          You obviously don’t read the SBI “Jozy review boards” .this season

          If that is support then Jozy needs more enemies.

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          Wrong. There were German Bundesliga games when my sons played soccer in the ’70s. Tobey Charles was the commentator. The games were very good in those days as well.

          • Gary Page says:

            Good old Toby Charles. I watched those games religiously, but it was only one game a week and I think it was on for only a couple of years as I remember.

          • Nate says:

            so, you are correct, the Bundesliga was televised. Your point?

      • Luis Esco says:

        Sure or Sunderland really are trash. They have some decent players but as a team they terrible. From the games I’ve watched, Alonso, Borini, Johnson, Ki are good but aren’t good enough to be as selfish w/ the ball as they are especially Borini and Johnson.

      • Gary Page says:

        Nice over generalization based on nothing but your own biases.

    • Nate says:

      From those tweets, you must also think that Sunderland is only a Wayne Rooney away from Europe. Maybe you should watch.

    • Fair Observer says:

      so let’s see, maykol, you’re arguing that people’s opinions on twitter are more valid than ones here? sounds like just people’s different opinion, let them hate and let us support.

      my only point is that people judge jozy unfairly, if jozy played like fletcher did in the first half then people would be hating til sundown, if fletcher had played like jozy did in the second half (good hold up play, made good runs, had a good shot fingertip saved) people would have said fletcher needs to always start, etc etc…. seriously, watch a game and swap the two strikers every time they touch the ball. you’ll see my point. Jozy plays decent and people say “he’s the worst”, fletcher plays terrible and people say….. nothing….. does that make sense?

      to put it in a different way, people come here to comment about how “sunderland stinks” or “jozy played well” because of the bias that people judge him on. i cant say he’s played like an amazing player this season but he hasnt been terrible as some would make it out to be. he plays good play, should be more selfish in front of goal, has a good (not amazing or great) first touch that is effective and passes the ball well. thats a fair assessment, he’s not “terrible” he should not be “bencher” (fletcher isnt better, scocco isnt either and is still adjusting). the honest truth was actually said by “@TomLav” above: jozy plays better with a partner, people have said the same thing about his play with the USMNT, when JK switches to a 442 Jozy scores. its simple, jozy isnt bad but he’s not been playing amazing, he’s simply good, which may not be enough to satisfy all but lets not turn “decent-to-good” play into “he’s terrible!!!!!”. Thats why people come on here to suport him, in hopes of proving that jozy is actually playing fine yet his team’s tendency to shoot long shots and not to pass ground balls into the box is hurting his form.

      • Maykol says:

        1. I dont value twitter opinions over sbi opinions, i just give more credibility to the opinion of an actual fan of the club on their players over a US fan who will onviously try and favor their own countrymen.
        2. You say people dont criticize fletcher when he plays bad. Did you even read the tweets i posted??? They pretty much hate fletcher. Sunderland fans hate on fletcher everysingle day so i have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      • GW says:

        “Thats why people come on here to suport him, in hopes of proving that jozy is actually playing fine yet his team’s tendency to shoot long shots and not to pass ground balls into the box is hurting his form.”

        Mr. Observer,

        I did not realize that Sunderland’s primary objective was to make sure Jozy was in good form.

        • beachbum says:

          and I did not realize how clever you are. wow

        • Fair Observer says:

          Sunderland’s primary objective, as with most teams, should be to set up their strikers to score, not to use their strikers as decoys so the mids can blast long shots, THAT was my point, i never said they should “make sure Jozy’s in good form”

          if a team’s midfielders take natural long shots when completely open thats fine, but refusing to pass to a forward when the forward is making his choice run isn’t good, there have been many times in Sunderland games where the mids (Ki, Johnson, Colback and even Borini when he was playind mid) have seen a forward (Jozy, fletcher, whomever) and just blasted a long shot while being marked into row Z. so regardless of if we want them to pass it to Jozy, just passing it on the ground to the striker is usually what a team’s mids should do. my point is that regardless of whether its Jozy, Scocco, Wickham, Fletcher or even Borini making the striker run into the box, Sunderland fails to ever play that pass.

          • Gary Page says:

            And in this particular game that failure to make the correct pass was especially glaring. As the commentators kept reminding us, there was a high wind playing havoc with balls in the air and yet Sunderland continued to make most of their passes to their attackers in the air. That’s just stupid.

      • Gary Page says:

        Speaking for myself, I don’t mind, even welcome different opinions, as long as the same standard is consistently applied regardless of player or team and that the opinion is based on facts. Unfortunately, it seems that few comments meet those criteria, IMHO. And when I say this, it is true not just here, or regarding only sports, but in most posts on the internet, especially those about politics, which I chose to not get into here.

  63. Daniel says:

    Jesus. Can we start a Jozy only running commentary, or try to keep it limited to what a player that plays one half and doesn’t do much deserve? I’m sure a lot of us have interest in other teams and players, and hard to find by scrolling past the JOZY love/hate

    • Fair Observer says:

      this is an american site, americans like to watch their #1 striker and love/hate. its not that wierd. perhaps you should find another site to scroll???

      • GW says:

        Mr Observer,

        So Jozy is the only American playing abroad?

        • beachbum says:

          wow you are so clever

        • Fair Observer says:

          not at all, but he is the only STRIKER playing in a top 4 league. if you re read my comment that should be clear: “americans like to watch their #1 striker and love/hate. its not that wierd”.

          americans watch Jozy and comment because we want him to do well since he’s the only one in a top 4 league. there are tons of americans playing in general abroad, however only one striker in the top 4 league, im running out of ways to say it, haha. GW, your comments usually have good forsight but im not sure what your comment here is tryin to argue. people blame Jozy for Sunderland being bad, americans comment on here to show that he’s playing decently overall and to support him because we want him to succeed and are tired of people judging him yet not judging the other Sunderland strikers who arent scoring. the rule of thumb is a top EPL striker on any team should have 10+ goals in a season, is fletcher on pace for that? no, he had 11 last year and they finished 17th( one place above relegation). Fletcher isnt a bad player but to be fair, this season he hasnt played well yet gets little flack in comparison to Jozy who scored 31 goals last season (in an easier league, albeit) yet has only 2 less goals in the league than fletcher this season. Jozy gets blasted and Fletcher gets a pass because of his 11 goals last season? (people say “well fletcher is obviously good becuase he scored 11 last year” yet Jozy is terrible because he scored 31 last year…???? see my point? when american say Sunderland stink that isnt a cover up for Jozy, Jozy is part of that, the focus is rather that Jozy is not the scapegoat. Sunderland stink together, for the simple reasons taht their midfield doesnt pass to their strikers in the box, they cant cross, their mids take too many long shots, etc. It’s less of trying to sugar coat Jozy’s struggles and more of just stating the obvious occurance. The team doesnt play well together. They have decent players but arent playing well as a team thus are fighting relegation.

          to put it differently, it’s ALL of their faults they are doing poorly this season, not JUST Jozy’s. Jozy has played good hold up play which is what his coach asks of him, but he should shoot more. Fletcher hasn’t been his old self when he was scoring and seems to not be giving it his all sometimes. Borini is tryin to be superman too much though he has great talent, AJ dribbles too much yet can still score given the right chance, Ki possesses the ball well and moves it around the pitch but lacks creativity and shoots from distance at times he should pass to his striker (whomver the stirker is at that moment), Giacc doesnt play (who knows why considering his talent), Colback is a usual starter when he should be a tactial sub, Larsson crosses well but is used centrally by his coach, Gardner is a decent mid but lacks top level talent, etc, etc. All of this combined shows you why Sunderland is 18th currently, NOT ONLY that “Jozy is a terrible striker”. It’s a combination of it all that creates this situation. so americans arent just trying to make up stuff about Jozy because he’s american, we’re just trying to show the full spectrum to explain the occurrence, Jozy is partly to blame, but the key word is PARTLY, he’s not the sole reason SUNDERLAND STINK….

          COOL?

          • Gary Page says:

            A very good summary, especially since I agree with it.

            • Fair Observer says:

              yea, it was a little long winded, didnt mean that when i started but i kept typing and it came out that long. all in all people should judge fairly and realize that americans trying to “make excuses” for Jozy arent being biased especially when they say the negatives Jozy has been doing. we’re just asking for fair hate across the board to a team that doesnt play well as a group. every player does some things well (including Jozy) and every player does bad things (including Jozy). thats generally the overall observation, fairly. haha

              • GW says:

                Mr. Observer,

                My interest in Jozy is from a strictly from a USMNT angle.

                From that angle Jozy’s move may well prove to be a success.

                As someone said, he is the only US striker playing regularly in a top four league.

                Jozy is a better all around player now than when he was at AZ. He has raised his target man skills to a much higher level. And he certainly is used to and has had some success dealing with the kind of stifling defense he is likely to face in Brazil.

                As for his scoring drought he has shown before that he can go dry for long spells and then when the team starts to provide more chances he can pick it right up. In English, he is streaky.

                He has been inconsistent all season and is currently on the downside.

                However, based on what I saw of Jozy, Sunderland, Fletcher and Scocco yesterday, Jozy should get a lot of PT in the remaining games. He is the best of a bad lot. He should therefore, have a chance to use these last 8-9 games, the USMNT camp and the three game send- off series to build up to a peak in Brazil.

                More to the point, he needs to have a good World Cup since it will be his best informercial for a new team. When Sunderland go down he will most likely be let go.

                And Jozy with a chip on his shoulder usually rises to the occasion.

    • Gary Page says:

      Well, lately a lot of hate has been directed at Dempsey, too. I’m kind of surprised that he’s not being blamed for Seattle’s loss, since Dempsey scored only once while his old teammate Defoe scored twice.

  64. John says:

    Boyd is starting, anyone going to watch?

    • Fair Observer says:

      i dont watch junior varsity games…. ill wait til he joins an actual league. at least come to the eriedivisie…. or better yet, come to sunderland and get ridiculed as much as jozy does since sunderlands mids suck, haha

      • John says:

        Is the Eredivisie really that much better? After watching Salzburg embarrass Ajax in Europa you kind of have to wonder. Is it fair to rate the quality of the league by it’s top teams. Probably not but everyone does it.

        • Fair Observer says:

          id say its marginally better but better none the less. Austrian league…… not quite the world class league, dutch isnt eitehr but at least they have great players come through and overall they play a tad bit better ball. sure if boyd would go to EPL, BBVA, Bunds., or Serie A it’d be nice but i think a jump to eredivisie would be a good next step, unless he can jump to a bottom dweller in a top 4 league (but we see how good that was for Jozy………). so id say to go eredivisie and score more goals like Aron, then try and get into an everton, schalke, lazio level squad. mid level but knocking on the door of the top

        • arsenal says:

          I would say they are both in the top 12 leagues, but would put the eredivisie about two spots ahead. Boyd is playing very well and it will be interesting to see where he moves after this season. But, regardless, if he goes to the EPL and does better than Jozy people say well Sunderland was such a bad team! It is unfair! Ahhhh

        • GW says:

          How do you watch Austrian BL games?

        • GW says:

          John,

          Go to Google.

          See how many Eredivisie players get sold to top teams in the top four leagues in the last five to ten years.

          Then do the same thing for Austria’s league.

          You might be enlightened.

          • John says:

            Stream

            Look I agree, I think the Eredivisie is a better league overall, however I just don’t think the gap is as massive as some want to suggest.

            • Fair Observer says:

              i personally never said it was massively better, just that Boyd should jump to the Eredivisie for a year to gain more experience and score in a better league then hop to a top 4 league. just seems like the natural progression. Aron jumped up to eredivisie and seems poised for a move to top 4 soon enough. eredivisie is better than Austrian league. sure it’s not miles better but better nonetheless. just seems to be the natural progression, thats why i said boyd should go there. but to agree with GW, there are plenty of players that have followed that trend. (Suarez, RVP, Eriksen, etc)

  65. Expat4455 says:

    What do some of you think about what I said earlier? That Jozy and Julian Green would work good together.

  66. biff says:

    Jermaine Jones on the bench for Besiktas, game 2-2 in the 57th minute.

    And interesting, Schalke has lost only one game (to FC Bayern) since Jones left the team for Turkey and is now in third place only a point behind Dortmund.

  67. arsenal says:

    I have to agree with poly. Many of us scrutinize everyone around our U.S. players, but hold little to no blame to the actual U.S. players. It really shows a lack of understanding to the game, or shows their wearing their bias glasses. Jozy is playing like garbage, let’s be honest. He makes a few good passesand holds up a few balls and he is the best player on the team. When in all actuality, Borini makes a better striker than Jozy. He is in real bad form and maybe not ready for the EPL. Also, say ki is garbage, or one of the worst player on the team is a joke too. He has played well, for the most part, and most of the games I’ve watched.

    Also, the American bias is not real, for the most part. The best playet will play. This bias comment is just a way to make some of you believe that our players are better than they actually are. This is why Dempsey didn’t start, and now why Jozy is not starting.

    • Fair Observer says:

      first, no one says Ki is garbage, people say he lacks creativity in his forward passing, very true. he’s great at possessing the ball and moving it around to the open player, fine, but he is unwilling to try and get a pass into his strikers, whomever they are at the time. i LIke Ki but he’s terribly uncreative and thats just true. maybe his role is to just move the ball around but im thought that was bridcutt’s role as the true CDM, no?

      secondly, as a striker, its hard to do your job when the mids dont pass you the ball whenever youre making a run, the only time jozy gets the ball is when he’s “posting up” a defender with his back to the goal, sunderland’s mids always miss the chance to pass when the striker (jozy, fletcher, borini, scocco, connor) is making a forward run, thats just a fact, thats not US Bias. its true, colback rarely makes that slashing pass, ki never does, gardner failed miserably trying to make that pass today and tried to blame jozy (comments noticed it eariler above), now saying borini is a better striker is debatable and possibly true, yet they play different styles, the smartest thing would be to use them together. IMHO, borini is closer to an Aron style player, a dribbler and speed guy with a great shot while Jozy is more of a bigger Striker that uses his size over quickness while having adequate speed all things considered. regardless of if these teams wwould buy him, if you put Jozy on an Everton, tottenham, man u or arsenal, Jozy would score a lot more, but that’s a whole other debate. the fact is that jozy’s team IS bad, that has nothing to do with bias.

      one question: if jozy is terrible, why does the team play better when he’s on the field?

    • Nate says:

      if Jozy had 5 goals instead of one, would you be saying the same thing? Tell me, how many goals should a “legitimate” BPL striker playing for Sunderland have at this point?

  68. McAllen says:

    Chelsea 0-0 at half time! Goal disallowed for Chelsea , deliberate handball .Aston Villa is giving them a game

  69. McAllen says:

    Willian red carded! Aston Villa may have a chance…

  70. Fredo says:

    Jozy didn’t look half bad to me.

    I hope Seattle loses.

  71. Expat4455 says:

    Aston Villa scores!

  72. Chicago Josh says:

    Watched the 2nd half. Guzan patrolled his area well.

  73. Joe C. says:

    Can we all just take a second, take a deep breath, and revel in the glory of Chelsea loss?

    Aaahhh, refreshing.

  74. Cowboy Junky says:

    For all those bitching about Deuce, he’s still the U.S. captain and has been one of the most clutch players in U.S. history.

    Yeah, he had a bad year.

    Now he’s sitting on a goal and an assist after two games in the season. I’m not a betting man, but if I was I would bet that Deuce is back on form.

    • Jack Del says:

      link to gif.mocksession.com

      Yeah, what a classy game he played. So freaking classy.

      • Cowboy Junky says:

        You act like Dempsey’s past has been littered with behavioral issues. It hasn’t. I can give a guy a pass when he’s 31 and it’s first incident. If you can’t, take your wambulance somewhere else.

        The problem with Dempsey the last year and a half is he’s been physically exhausted and he hasn’t had the same emotional edge he had while he was tearing it up at Fulham. Now, it looks like he’s finally in shape. I was actually happy to see the incident. It means his emotional edge is returning. He’s better when he’s fired up. If it takes a minor nut shot to accomplish that, that’s what it takes.

        Still: Dempsey has a goal and an assist after two games. I’m a lot less concerned about his form now then I was at the end of the Ukranian game. He’s rounding back into shape.

        • Gary Page says:

          Dempsey had 12 goals in all competitions at Tottenhamn and was third in both assists and goals for the team. That’s not exactly what I call a bad year. He came to Seattle after having played only one or two pre-season games for Spurs and then was injured. People hating on Dempsey are just ignorant. A player of his quality doesn’t go way downhill over night unless he has had a major injury like Rossi or Holden. It was just a matter of time until Dempsey was injury free, in shape, and integrated with his new teammates. He is actually ahead of schedule since he has not had much practice time with this year’s Seattle team.

  75. Razak Pinpong says:

    Both Alejandro Guido and Paul Arriola starting for Tijuana vs Cruz Azul.

  76. Razak Pinpong says:

    In a wtf moment Tijuana player Fernando Arce is out injured but his son Fernando Arce jr is on the bench.

    • Razak Pinpong says:

      Btw Fernando Arce jr is a 96.Was born in Chula Vista California and is eligible to play for the US.

    • Elber Galarga says:

      They probably resting guys for the galaxy game.

    • Increase0 says:

      TJ seems to have a ton of young US players. Between the ones you just mentioned and the older guys they prolly have like 5 or 6. This is likely an active choice on their part.

  77. run says:

    I’d love to see Arriola get a look ASAP, but post Brazil. He may develop the tools for 2018 and could be poached by Mexico.

    • Increase0 says:

      He just had a 1v1 with the keeper and shanked a gnarly shot wide. =(
      Still though can’t hurt to have him come in.

    • Razak Pinpong says:

      He won’t choose Mexico, Is a product of US soccer.Signed for Tijuana and was instantly good enough for their first team.

  78. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Dempsey scored the only goal for Seattle Sounders.