Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

EvertonManCity (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Manchester City kick off what they hope will be a title-winning trifecta of league matches this Soccer Saturday at Everton’s Goodison Park, where they have struggled in recent seasons.

With a match in hand on first-place Liverpool and second-place Chelsea, Manchester City control their own destiny in the tight title race with two weekends remaining. Man City defeated Everton 3-1 at home earlier this season, but they have won just one time in their last 15 trips to Goodison Park to face the Toffees. Everton need a win to keep their fading Champions League hopes alive and will be hoping to bounce back from their devastating 2-0 loss last weekend.

Tottenham Hotspur will kick off the day’s EPL slate at Upton Park, where they will face struggling West Ham United. Spurs are holding onto the final Europa League qualifying spot in the league table and have gone four matches in a row without a defeat. In other league action, Ryan Giggs’ Manchester United squad host a Sunderland team that would love another point in their late push to avoid relegation.

Elsewhere on Saturday, second-place Barcelona will try to put more pressure on first-place Atletico Madrid in La Liga’s title race with a home victory against Getafe. Fiorentina will face Napoli in an important Coppa Italia final later in the day, and Santos Laguna vs. Club America highlights a night of action from Liga MX.

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 – West Ham vs. Tottenham Hotspur – NBCSN

9:30am – Hamburger SV vs. Bayern Munich – GOLTV USA

10:00am – Aston Villa vs. Hull City – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am – Manchester United vs. Sunderland – NBCSN

10:00am – Newcastle vs. Cardiff City – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am – Stoke City vs. Fulham – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am – Swansea vs. Southampton – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am – Barcelona vs. Getafe – beIN Sports Play

12:00pm – Malaga vs. Elche – beIN Sports USA

12:30pm – Everton vs. Manchester City – CNBC

2:00pm – Osasuna vs. Celta de Vigo – beIN Sports Play

2:30pm – Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution – Univision Deportes

2:45pm – Fiorentina vs. Napoli – beIN Sports USA

4:00pm – Real Valladolid vs. Espanyol – beIN Sports Play

7:00pm – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. San Jose Earthquakes – MLS Direct Kick

8:00pm – Cruz Azul vs. Leon – UniMas

8:30pm – Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake – MLS Direct Kick

9:00pm – Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy – MLS Direct Kick

10:00pm – Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union – MLS Direct Kick

10:00pm – Santos Laguns vs. America – Univision Deportes

10:30pm – Chivas USA vs. Houston Dynamo – MLS Direct Kick

10:30pm – Portland Timbers vs. DC United – MLS Direct Kick

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

250 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Nate Dollars says:

    ream and spector starting (packwood still injured, i guess?), gooch, whitbread starting, holmes on bench. no lichaj or danny williams still.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      bolton-birmingham not a bad one to watch, since you’ve got a matchup of ream at LB and spector at RB.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        clarification: not a bad game to watch for usmnt play. it is not in any way a representation of the “beautiful” game.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          this game has gotten so much better. birmingham fighting for their lives after being 2-0 down. now 2-1 in the 80th.

          • Sankt Pauli! says:

            How did they each play and were they both on the outside if you don’t mind?

            • Nate Dollars says:

              yeah, ream played LB and spector played RB.

              wasn’t impressed with ream. he didn’t get forward much at all, he only played about 2-3 passes forward on the ground (most of his passes were backwards or just lumping the ball up), and he got routinely schooled by jordan ibe (who, to be fair, looks really good).

              spector was good. most of his passes were on the ground, he rarely just cleared the ball to no one, he played good defense in the air and on the ground, and he regularly got forward into the attack.

              anyway, like i said in another comment: this was only one game, so it doesn’t mean much. but that’s what i saw, at least.

  2. Randy says:

    Williams not in Readings squad for the big game today. Looks like the injury bug to his knee continues. Seems like its so persistent he’d be a bad voice in the 23.

  3. Vic says:

    Zelam in washington with his father finalizing his USA passport.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      link got moderated. goff’s reporting over at the washington post.

    • arsenal says:

      As a Arsenal and USMNT fan, I don’t think I could be more happy if this works out. Arsenal have one of the best youth setups in the PL and a notorious for know great talent. So, hopefully, this is the same with Zelelam.

    • Todd Marsch says:

      Wow, I’ve been trying not to put too much weight on any particular promising prospect who is coming up for the US, but the more guys we have in the pipeline with big-time clubs, the more likely it is one or two of them break through and become real difference-makers at the international level.

    • TomG says:

      If GZ really does join USMNT, I’m starting to wonder what’s going on? Why would three guys like Brooks, Green and Z that have legitimate shots at becoming part of a European NT that has a legitimate shot at the WC every cycle spurn that for USA? They also are all part of Euro clubs so the travel required is much, much less onerous for German call ups. You would also think that the high profile nature of playing for Germany would mean much more money down the road for them, too. I can almost understand Z a bit because he actually grew up here, but the others did not.. Ruling out sheer personal quirks of personality, here are the main possibilities as I see them:

      1. Future USA playing time is more of a sure thing.
      2. They have a shot to play in this WC and don’t want to wait for next.
      3. There is something about the cultures of the respective Nat team setups that is much more appealing.

      The third one is the most interesting and I know it’s speculative, but is it just coincidence that has all of these mixed race and multinational identity players choosing USA over Germany? Is there something about the German setup or culture that makes them feel unwelcome? I have no idea. Is anyone German or have close ties or knowledge about Germany or the soccer setup there that can answer?

      • arsenal says:

        Or, they believe they could push the USMNT to the next level. I think with these players committing and more of our players playing Europe, the next world cup could be where we make it past the quarterfinals. Plus, they would be contributing to growing soccer in America. Everyone wants to be part of something special and this future team could be.

      • Joe C. says:

        I don’t have strong ties, but I distinctly remember a German-American who had trained with the German national set-up mentioning their perception of the German team being “not friends” off the field. Something about the USMNT being much more welcoming and offering camaraderie. Will continue looking for this link.

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          Good point. This probably has a lot to do with it, especially considering how young these guys are.

      • justascienceguy says:

        A superstar in the USA has so much more potential to make money through endorsements. Could you imagine an american player with the talent of a cesc fabregas (not saying we have anyone like that currently, just an example)? Right now Nike is marketing foreign superstars to Americans. Imagine that player being american and the marketing potential increases exponentially perhaps. That same player representing the German team loaded with superstars is less intriguing to the average american public.

        • TomG says:

          I don’t know. I think being a German International is automatically going to up your value. I know when Giaccherini got into the Italian side, all of a sudden Sunderland was drooling for him. I’m not sure how much endorsement money soccer players make in USA. Do you think Jermaine Jones makes a ton of extra endorsement money bc he plays for USA? I don’t really see it.

          • justascienceguy says:

            Jermaine Jones is not a marketable player. If we had a top player with flair at a top club such as arsenal, I could definitely see a truckload of endorsement money for said player.

            • Sankt Pauli! says:

              Your exactly right. You need a perceived international star to have that sort of marketability that comes with it

        • r.benjamin says:

          I agree with this.. I think Rossi woulda been on the cover of a lot of mags and commercials if he’d played for USA.

          However with these players I think it’s it’s part individual in that they gave legit ties and heart for the USA.
          And the appeal of the commraderie (and easier path) to the setup.. Plus it’s becoming like the new place in town with a legend as the coach.. A chance to bud something..

          maybe a real aged question is why did Beckham come?

          • GW says:

            I thought Beckham was cap tied to England.

            When did he play for the USMNT?.

            • R.benjamin says:

              Beckam chose to invest his time and energy in the US.. He could have chosen to spend his last playing days, time and investment opportunities in the UK or one of the oil rich countries.

              You see what I’m saying here?

      • Joe C. says:

        Okay, so I couldn’t find the specific article. It had Terrence Boyd discussing the mentality of the US team and why he thought it was something special, something along the lines of a group of guys all committed to playing for the flag and each other. This was contrasted somewhat by someone else’s (JAB’s? Not Boyds.) experience with the German national team set-up.

        Found a similar article here where Green discusses his decision and Boyd is also quoted. link to dw.de

        • Dan says:

          Great article! Thanks for the link.

        • TomG says:

          Nice article. Thanks Joe.

        • Ethan says:

          ……That and the fact that ther we’re not going to make it to the German NT so they picked the next best option.

          • arsenal says:

            We have no idea I’d green, or zelelam would make it for the German team. They both have loads of talent and it is possible they would make the German team one day. Jones would probably have made the German team at one point if he didn’t have a series of injuries.

            • GW says:

              arsenal,

              Jones played for Germany three times but they were all friendlies.

              J A Brooks, people forget, is not yet tied to the US so if he does not make the WC and play in a match he could still switch to Germany if he improves greatly, which it looks like he might.

              • arsenal says:

                My reference was to when Jones had a series of knee injuries in the prime of his career. I know he played a few times in friendlies, but what I’m saying is he might of actually played a part in the long run. Probably not starting, but a bench player.

          • Carlos says:

            Green has already played for the German national U16,17 and 19s, so he would have had a good chance to make the German National team in a few years. Zelelam was called up by the German U17s so he would have had a decent chance to make the German team also.

          • GW says:

            Ethan,

            Jones was capped by Germany. He was not going to be in their plans going forward but he claims that he went with the US because ultimately, he felt the players were an entitled clique of pr**cks, who were not very “inclusive” in their thinking towards people with Tats and varying shades of skin color.

            You can be skeptical of that but their seems to be a lot of independent support for the idea that the German locker room is not a friendly place particularly for characters like Jones..

            The USMNT locker room on the other hand seems like a very welcoming place, something most every player has commented on at one time or another.

            Life is too short to lay it all out on the line for a bunch of guys who would be upset if you were dating their sister.

        • GW says:

          Joe,

          From Goff :

          “”The Insider has learned Zelalem is close to becoming an American citizen, and by virtue, become eligible to represent the United States in international competition. Zelalem, who turned 17 in January, is believed to be in Washington with his father this weekend for naturalization purposes. By the time they return to London, both will likely be carrying U.S. passports.
          Zelalem is a German-born midfielder of Ethiopian descent who lived in the D.C. suburbs for six years and honed his craft with Olney Rangers before joining Arsenal last year [His Gunners profile]. He trained with the U.S. under-15 team twice, but without citizenship, did not meet eligibility requirements for official matches.
          Zelalem is in the German national team system, but in March, abruptly withdrew from the under-17 squad ahead of European Championship qualifiers. Had he played in any of those matches, he would have relinquished any hope of representing the United States. FIFA does allow players to switch affiliations once, provided they are citizens of both countries at the time they make their international debut.
          At the time, Arsenal said Zelalem withdrew in order to concentrate on his work with the club’s under-21s. That may well have been true, but international eligibility also seemed to have played into the decision.
          Zelalem is eligible for a U.S. passport through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which “serves to facilitate the acquisition of U.S. citizenship of the foreign-born children of U.S. citizens – both biological and adopted – who did not acquire citizenship at birth.”
          In other words, because he is under age 18, he would automatically become a citizen when his father becomes a citizen. His father, Zelalem Wolydes, was a medical technician in the Washington area, and despite joining his son in London, maintained U.S. permanent residency. At some point, he began pursuing citizenship. His application has apparently been approved, and both arrived in Washington in recent days to finalize the process.

          Would Zelalem claim a U.S. passport without plans to play for the United States? It would be naive to think so. (Hey, maybe he just wants easier access in and out of Miami!) He would, however, remain eligible for Germany and Ethiopia.

          Germans must relinquish citizenship when they are naturalized elsewhere, but because he is a minor, Zelalem would keep his German passport — thus, maintaining European Union credentials and avoiding England’s strict work permit guidelines.
          Zelalem made his first-team debut for Arsenal in January in an FA Cup match against Coventry City. He was also an unused substitute in three Premier League games. Hesigned a first-team contract in March.
          His vision, touch and distribution have drawn comparisons to Cesc Fabregas, the Barcelona and Spanish World Cup midfielder who, almost 11 years ago, launched his career at Arsenal at age 16.
          “You need to be quite brave to put a boy of that age into the team, but you can only be brave if you are convinced that he has something special,” Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger said of Arsenal’s teenage prospects last month. “Of course, when you think about 16- or 17-year-olds, usually it’s not a physical advantage they have – most of the time it’s an exceptional talent or technical ability.”

      • JayAre says:

        First of all there’s a lot of diversity within the National team set up so he’ll fit right in and have people he can’t relate with around him and playing for the US can mean more money in terms of sponsorship. Take Freddy Adu for example he was a house hold name and raked in Millions without even being proven! I once read somewhere that if the US produced a player with 3/4 the talent of Messi he’d be 10x more popular than the real Messi and I think the recent Forbes highest paid athletes say a lot ( link to forbes.com ). Ronaldo and Messi can in a 9 and 10. Ronaldo and Messi are advertised to the whole world do that position surprised me. The were barely ahead of Tom Brady and Joe Flacco and were behind guys like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers! Guys that are only advertised in American markets. So that earning potential a lot can get anyone to jump ship.

        • JayAre says:

          Steve Gerrard came in at #93 on that list. If he was American he’d be top 10 Easily!

        • justascienceguy says:

          100 percent agree with you here. A top american player could almost have lebron james-like earning potential.

      • downintexas says:

        Europe is not too friendly to other races and not to mix races. I know we have are problems here in the US. but for the most part we accept and welcome all. E pluribus unum!

        • Ralph says:

          We do?

          o.o

        • Increase says:

          Don’t be silly Ralph We totally do. No one thinks a black guy isn’t Ameican. That isn’t true in Germany and it isn’t because of racism in a traditional sense.

          We are a non-homogeneous society but Germany however is. They lost their African colonies in WW1 and as such have no significant African population. The only large minority are Turks at 3.7% Africans are .7%.

          German is 90% white european and as such many simply don’t think of non-white people as “German.” I wouldn’t call it racism as we know it.(Skin color only)

          It’s more of a cultural issue. Germans have trouble with all the Russian ethnic Germans that showed up after the wall fell. They see them as lazy, freeloaders on the social state. But this isn’t racist(Genetically german) its cultural.

          In any case, what this means is people like Jones, or Brooks are often seen as American or black before they are seen as German.

          Here is a good article with some general info about multiculturalism in Germany.

          link to spiegel.de

          • Ralph says:

            Nobody thinks a black guy isn’t American?

            Like… the President of the United States? Did you forget about that?

            • Increase says:

              Um, that’s political posturing. So no I don’t count it.

              And the “reason” Barack isn’t “american” has nothing to do with his race. Birthers are silly but even they made an issue of location not race.

              • yea mon says:

                McCain was born in Panama but nobody had a problem w/ that

              • Increase says:

                I dont feel like outlining the birther argument. Look it up if you want but it wasnt about race. They are thatt stupid……

              • Increase says:

                Aren’t that stupid whatever.
                It’s just mental people making up stuff while splitting hairs between army bases and whatnot.

          • GW says:

            If you think the Germans are bad about the “reunified Germans” you should see how the South Koreans treat the North Korean refugees in their country.

        • Steven says:

          Just a few days ago a German exchange student (of Turkish descent) was killed in Montana…

          • Increase says:

            Oh I heard about that. It’s a nasty case. The kid shouldn’t have been in that dudes garage but at the same time. It was a set up and the shooter did not “fear for his life.” Voluntary Manslaughter-15 years for the shooter.

            Dunno about the wife conspiracy to commit murder seems a bit harsh.

      • Gary Page says:

        Here’s a suggestion. For the last 300 years, this country has been a beacon of hope for people. Certainly since 1820 or so, the US has been the number one destination for immigrants. We live in a beautiful country which is the emblem of freedom and opportunity. I find it strange that Americans don’t seem to consider that maybe these players want to play for the US because they prefer representing the US to representing any other country. Maybe I am naive and idealistic, but as a US citizen, I wouldn’t give up representing the US for anything.

        • Omaha Central says:

          Where does the confederacy into your “300 years?”

        • Nate Dollars says:

          +1, what’s funny is it often seems that it’s the more ‘patriotic’ people who have the hardest time believing a kid may want to play for the US simply because they love the US.

          • Gary Page says:

            Not to get too political, but it is the ones who call themselves the “real patriots” who see nothing wrong with companies sending jobs overseas in order to squeeze every last penny of profits and who don’t want to pay any taxes or serve their country.

      • Sankt Pauli! says:

        It’s all about them euros baby

      • GW says:

        Tom G,

        Your “American soccer fan inferiority complex” is showing.

        One of my favorite American players was the original Clint, Cletus Mathis.

        He was the first US soccer player I can remember who clearly did not think buy into that attitude, that the American outfield players can’t attack with the best.

        He clearly had the “F==k u, I’m not worried about you, you guys should worry about me “attitude. I think Frankie Hejduk had the same attitude but I’m not sure because I doubt anyone ever knew what Frankie was thinking; not that it mattered as he was awesome even before legalization.

        Young guys like Zelalem, Green and even Boyd, AJ and Jones probably barely remember the 2002 World Cup which started a run of very respectable US World Cup performances.

        They don’t have your negative perspective the US soccer scene.

        If a Zelalem looks at the potential 2018 squad, he probably thinks if he is there, they will have a pretty good shot at making some noise. The kid probably actually thinks he has a chance to become a legend. With Germany he would just be another great/very good player, like being a being a good outfielder with the Yankees.

        And if such sheer confidence is not as American as litigious lawyers, bad reality TV and bad divorces I don’t know what is. Kids are inherently optimistic as is JK. And they should be.

        You all hate the soccer celebrities who come to the US to line their purses but to people abroad, Beckham and now JK made a very positive change to the image of the US soccer scene.

        • Bac says:

          Frankie= 18 pots of coffee daily

        • TomG says:

          Only you could find a way to turn a perfectly good soccer debate into an opportunity to get your panties in a twist about me, GW. It’s pretty comical how immature you are.

          • TomG says:

            As I clearly stated, Germany has 2 clear advantages: they are perennial WC contenders and call ups to their side will involve much less travel from the European players. Those are FACTS. They have nothing to do with inferiority or negativity, but you know all about negativity don’t you, GW. Pretty funny you calling anyone else negative. Once again you show the inability to exhibit simple reading comprehension. Just sad.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Great news. Unlike some of the other guys joining the USMNT setup recently, Zelalem actually grew up here and is a product, at least in part, of the US soccer system. Hopefully he turns out to be as good as advertised.

      • Sankt Pauli! says:

        Shut the f**k about that already. Your a documented bigot and need to quit your bs or stop commenting

      • Nate Dollars says:

        jesus. forget the commenter above. +1 to you, slowleftarm–i love that he was developed here in the states.

        • Sankt Pauli! says:

          And I love that every other weekend for the past year there seems to be an argument about what constitutes a “real American” that stems from his comments

          • don Lamb says:

            I’m would not say that he is a bigot. He just has different standards for US player development than most around here.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            i’ve seen the comments. but in this one, he’s only referring to the fact that zelalem developed here, which is why i liked it.

    • justascienceguy says:

      Did not see that coming. Good news for the USA.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Oh boy, an Arsenal player!
      He can be the next Jack Wilshere! Or John O’Brien, Stuart Holden, Onyewu,

  4. Mr. Kaplan says:

    Reading just equalized and now back in the top six in the Championship and back in the playoff places. If they fail, Williams will get more rest for his knee; if they get back in the six, Reading will play later this week.

  5. Qrterlber says:

    Looks like Birmingham will get relegated

    • Jon says:

      He’s only 28…MLS should put in a low offer for Spector just to see if he’s interested.

      • TomG says:

        28 with a ton of injuries in his past. He could be a very old 28.

      • Sankt Pauli! says:

        it’s either another championship side or MLS and at this stage he has nothing to learn, so from a playing standpoint so he should just move back I think.

        He’s worth near the max salary.

  6. Ralph says:

    Zelelam is coming to Amurrica! Klinsmann with the highway robbery of Germany.

    • GW says:

      In this case it seems very clear the Zelalem wanted to go with the US pretty much from the jump.

      It was just a matter of sorting out the paperwork.

    • AcidBurn says:

      If Klinsy was in college football, he’d be a golden god for his recruiting prowess. Alabama recruiters have nothing on die Klinsy.

  7. Mr. Kaplan says:

    Williams will have time to rehab as Reading fell out of the six and missed the playoffs.

  8. Nate Dollars says:

    holy sh!t that was intense. birmingham equalize in the 93rd to stay up.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      as this was only one game, the following should be taken with a handful of salt: if we’re now considering looking at championship-caliber defenders, spector should maybe be in the conversation. he can play anywhere along the back, or as d-mid, and he provides an attacking side with his game. solid passing, good overlapping, great crosses.

      anyway, i don’t think it’s likely, but from this game, without considering prior history, people would think klinsmann should be considering spector rather than ream.

      • TomG says:

        IMO the upside is much smaller with Spector and past history indicates that Spector is just as prone to the howler that Ream is. Ream has two skills that Spector doesn’t: he’s the best distributor of the ball the US has in it’s back line, and he naturally takes great angles on his challenges. These two things always stood out for him and made him get noticed by NT managers. If he has really worked out his mental lapses, he could make a legitimate contribution to the team. Spector has always been very injury prone and those injuries seem to have taken a huge toll on his body. When he was a Man U prospect, he was such a big, strong, fast specimen, but only a few years and injuries later, he was nothing special in terms of pace. Just my historical perspective, though. I haven’t seen either of them all year, but the fact that Tim was voted player of the year at Bolton is a good sign.

        • Isaac says:

          I can understand injury concern, but Jonathan Spector is a lovely distributor out of the back. One of the few times he played centerback for the U.S. that was something everybody noticed.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          “he’s the best distributor of the ball the US has in it’s back line”

          from this one game (which is all i was talking about), ream did not even look like a mediocre distributor; he looked like gooch back there. meanwhile, spector was distributing the sh!t out of that ball. :)

  9. Jon says:

    Birmingham score in 3rd minute of added time and stay up only on GD. Good for Packwood and Spector.

  10. JayAre says:

    So Close Reading almost had it.

  11. Joe C. says:

    Jozy’s on the bench, so everyone feel free to watch a more exciting match.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Wanted an excuse to watch Fulham anyway

    • Wwwat? says:

      Joey is in around the 58th minute. He’s playing well for Sunderland, making them dangerous. The first 15 minutes of the second half Sunderland looked like they were a youth team playing professionals.

  12. whatever says:

    forget Borini or Wickham. Jozy is starting in the World Cup. they are not

  13. TeamJozy says:

    JOZY GOT ALL THE TOOLS, MAN. ENGLISH FANS JUST AIN’T DIGGING IT. HE GONNA MOVE TO LA LIGA AND LINK UP WITH MESSI, XAVI AND RONALDINHO. TRY AND STOP THIS DUDE IN BRAZIL… HE GONNA GET 20+ GOALS!

    • AcidBurn says:

      Dude if Jozy was in Barca he’d have 25+ easy. Zlatan’ got nothing on him.

      Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

      Step away from that ledge.

  14. Dirk McQuigley says:

    The goal Larson scored was a FIFA goal. I score those all the top w/ either the MF at the top of the diamond or the guy playing in the hole behind the forward.

  15. malkin says:

    What a cross from Wickham to Larssen as Sunderland go up 1-0 at Old Trafford. Man, as big of a Jozy fluffer as i am, Wickham really is just so much better, kinda depressing. But after watching Sunderland all season and getting to know the players, etc despite all the disappointment, it is nice to see them staying up and it’s nice to see it happen because of a new and exciting last minute young kid addition to the squad. Let’s just hope Jozy’s 5 goals this summer lands him a nice transfer :)

  16. Ralph says:

    Wickham is definitely better than Jozy :( Most of these guys are.

    • Increase says:

      Hahah, you mean the guys on Manu right.
      Don’t act like anyone on Sunderland is good. We have all seen how bad they are.

      • Ralph says:

        That team was awful this season, but they’ve looked like a mid to upper table club the last 6 games. It’s incredible.

        And it coincided, whether fair or not, with Jozy being removed from the squad. :/

        • Increase says:

          Jozy was removed about 4 games before they magically got better. So…. ya…. thats not true.

          • Ralph says:

            That’s simply not true. Alitdore was removed from the starting lineup after the Liverpool match. against West Ham. There were 6 games after that.

            Beat West Ham
            Tied Man City
            Beat Chelsea
            Crushed Cardiff
            Lost a close one to Everton and a big one to Tottenham

            • Increase says:

              Dude, they lost to West Ham. First of all.
              Then they lost to Tottenham.
              Then they lost to Everton.

              3 Losses before Man City. Don’t put games in Random orders to make yourself look correct.

          • Don the Jewler says:

            Joey was critical in their win against Chelsea. The team as a whole has played better

      • arsenal says:

        Yet, their performance says different recently. Nearly beating man city, beating Chelsea, and now man u…yup, all the players are terrible. Not saying they are a great team, but now that they have a decent striker they believe in they are playing better.

    • Banny says:

      Put Wickham on an island and see how much he scores.

      • Ralph says:

        His game winner against Chelsea was exactly that. In fact, he’s been pretty much incredible by himself on numerous occasions. The guy has a good touch and works, frankly, much harder than Jozy.

        • Ralph says:

          It was the tying goal*.

        • Benny says:

          Their rolls have been completely different. Wickham has been playing with sometimes two other forwards. Saying that he works harder than Jozy in just hyperbole and a half .

          • Increase says:

            It’s okay. Ralph thinks Sunderland beat West Ham after jozy was Dropped. He is going off feelings rather than anything else.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        for whatever reason, Whickam has been scoring when Jozy was not. For whatever reason, Sunderland has been scoring when Whickam passes the ball to his teammates, and they didn’t score when Jozy passed them the ball.

        Even the round ball bounces funny

  17. Pace says:

    Anyone know if marc pelosi ever recovered from the broken leg?

  18. Paul says:

    So we agree that Jozy is not the savior of US soccer and was, in many ways, as overhyped as Freddy Adu? It would be great to get it cleared up before the World Cup.

    Green is next in line for the “He’d be a star if only [insert name of coach] would pick him, and if only [insert name of team] was built around him” treatment.

    Get a clue, people.

    • Increase says:

      No one but you though Jozy was the the “B3$ T playerrrrr eveerrrr” and no one though he was Rossi part.

      Can you ever Forgive us for having posotive thoughts about a US player oh enlightened one?

    • MidWest Ref says:

      Jozy is a sometimes starter for a team in a top 3 league. While most of the posters here had high hopes, I don’t agree that anyone thought he would be the savior of the USMNT to make us world cup winners. It takes 11 great players to do that, not one 20 year old forward.

      That being said, we can cheer on our Yank Abroad and can have a differing opinion if his team loses. We don’t have to criticize every move he makes.

    • Gary Page says:

      Here’s what I’ve been saying for the last couple of years. Jozy should be in the Bundesliga at a mid table team. He is good enough to consistently score about a dozen goals a season at that level. I still believe that to be true and his playing time at Sunderland has given him little or no opportunity.

    • don Lamb says:

      Haven’t heard anyone ever call him the savior. He is a good player who the we (the US) needs.

    • Duracell says:

      He’s still one of the three best field players the US has.

    • GW says:

      Paul says:

      “So we agree that Jozy is not the savior of US soccer and was, in many ways, as overhyped as Freddy Adu? ….Green is next in line for the “He’d be a star if only [insert name of coach] would pick him, and if only [insert name of team] was built around him” treatment.”

      You are exaggerating .

      Jozy was never hyped anywhere near as much as Fredinho.

      Freddy was a mirage who never played; people who supported him had no rational basis for that support. Freddy is as much of a legitimate top class pro soccer player as Honey Boo Boo is a serious Oscar contender. But this is America and we believe in out celebrities, regardless of the evidence.

      Jozy has a much larger body of work on which to evaluate him than Freddy ever had. Those two years in Holland were real as were Jozy’s many goals for the US. He is young enough and he simply needs the right situation..

    • Ali Dia says:

      Honestly I do not even know where statements like Paul’s come from. I must have missed the Jozy-Pele commercial. I’m not even sure how many non-soccer fans have the faintest idea who Jozy is — they hype on Jozy has actually been quite low…. not that it matters… And since when does US soccer need a “savior”? We are making progress. Sorry if it’s a little slow for you.

      Jozy is a good player in bad situation. Sunderland are an ugly side built around the likes of Lee Cattermole. Jozy will leave for somewhere more suitable, and Sunderland will sign Grant Holt and everybody will be happy

  19. malkin says:

    Joe Gyau on as a sub in the 61st

  20. Mike says:

    Jon Spector looked better than Ream today in the Birmingham cs Bolton game. Ream also mis cleared a header and it went to a birmingham player who scored. Not good Ream!

    • EvertonBrian says:

      Mikey,

      Ream’s header was actually a fantastic play. He was scrambling across the goal to cover for the goalie, who was beaten, and made a goal-saving clearance. It was all he could do to contort his body the way he did.

  21. John says:

    Its funny how Brooks, Johnson, Chandler, Cameron, Guzan are all playing right now but the only comment are about Jozy who isn’t.

    • Ralph says:

      Opportunity my friend.

      Those other blokes aren’t on the telly. (well neither is Jozy, bazinga).

    • malkin says:

      Would be nice if i could actually watch those bundesliga games

    • justascienceguy says:

      Like many others I’m sure, its much harder to watch a bundesliga or championship game, thus the comments are mostly about the only attacking American player.

      • Increase says:

        I couldn’t watch the Hoffenheim game. I like to as they are super fun to watch but I was busy. =(

  22. i see and predict says:

    JOZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    with the brace

    against Ghana to win the 1st game for the USA

  23. Carlos says:

    It’s starting to look like benching Altidore was all Sunderland needed to get it together.
    Sad but true.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Attention PL managers: Jozy is a cursed talisman, with him in your lineup you will never be good. Stay away at all costs!

      S’land is not all Jozy’s fault. Come on.

  24. Ralph says:

    Jozy being given a run after Wickham ran himself into the ground.

    Better run himself into oblivion.

  25. kl says:

    announcer says Jozy scores a lot in training

    Let’s be honest. 1st half of the season Sunderland was atrocious but they played better with Jozy as their lead striker rather than Borini or Fletcher. Jozy flubbed his chances

    but we know he can score. He’s effective if used correctly but he isn’t the kinda guy or STAR you build a team around.

    hope he scores today

  26. JayAre says:

    It ain’t looking too good for Nurnberg

  27. Ralph says:

    Giggs just said screw tactics, all the forwards are a go.

    Welbeck, Hernandez, Van Persie, Mata

  28. Carlos says:

    Jozy subbed in for Wickham in 65th minute.

  29. kl says:

    Jozy with the near assist.

  30. JayAre says:

    Jozy with the almost Assist!!

  31. malkin says:

    “Altidore does brilliantly” to get the cross in, but the finish from giaccharini hits the post

    • Roy says:

      That seems to sum up Altidore’s luck this year. When he does something good his teammate messes it up.

      • Carlos says:

        He didn’t mess it up. He took a shot and hit the post. Not all of Altidore’s passes will end up on goals.

    • malkin says:

      “Now Jozy Altidore… whose done okay since coming on!” LOL, commentator is shocked Jozy is killin’ it

  32. Mr. Kaplan says:

    “Altidore does brilliantly.” He may not be scoring but he did several things right on that play.

    • Todd Marsch says:

      I think Altidore has done reasonably well–winning some headers, setting up teammates, killing time in the corners. Pretty much exactly what you’d want from a striker coming off the bench to hold a one-goal lead.

  33. fischy says:

    That was the definition of unlucky. Jozy deserved what would have been a famous assist.

  34. Joe says:

    Pop quiz – name a CONCACAF forward in worse form than Jozy!

    • Dan says:

      Currently? Brian McBride probably, but I haven’t seen him play in like 10 years.

    • Ralph says:

      That dude from Honduras that moved to… was it DC United?

    • JAB says:

      Chicharito looks pretty terrible.

      We all know that Jozy isn’t the greatest player in the world, but you are insane if you think he has been employed in situations that would lead to success. Most of the season he was given terrible service and left on an island by himself upfront. Sunderland has never been a great fit for him.

    • Benny says:

      Hummm. The guys playing for the other side …Chicharito?

    • AcidBurn says:

      Carlos “El Pescadito” Ruiz

  35. kl says:

    Borini sure does not believe in passing to Altidore does he?

    Chicharito is in worst form than Jozy

    • Bitman says:

      If you have a week, find all the tape from the season and look for a pass from Borini to Altidore.

      I’ll wait.

      • AcidBurn says:

        +1. I don’t think that tape exists. I can show you examples though of Borini and the other MF shooting from 45 yards out, though.

  36. Shawn says:

    things i notice within 5 mins of watching Altidore.
    1. Low defensive work rate
    2. Not agressive
    3. Always chooses the safer runs
    4. Passes backward alot
    5. Teammates are very fond of him or lack confidence

    • Gary Page says:

      Yep, that’s got to be definitive–an analysis based on 5 minutes of viewing.

  37. Ralph says:

    That’s a red card.

    Thug tackle from the typical United trash.

  38. Mr. Kaplan says:

    His studs were up. Should have been a red.

    • Joe says:

      +1
      Frustration boiling over for Vidic and he went in studs up with intent to injure. Thankfully, Altidore is ok.

    • Gary Page says:

      Man, I was worried that tackle was going to take Jozy out of the World Cup. While many people here love to dis Jozy, the US will be a lot worse off if he isn’t available. Thankfully he is okay.

  39. Roy says:

    Time for Joy to get hazard pay.

  40. omega says:

    Vidic is a thug. A straight thug. United cheats.

  41. arsenal says:

    Vidic, ending one career at a time. On a serious note, that should have been a red.

  42. JayAre says:

    Man Utd is so bad now that it’s actually funny.

  43. omega says:

    what does relegation mean to you?

    is it something to cry over? can fans be depressed? is it just the worst thing possible in sports?

  44. Atletico Man says:

    Was not watching but when I saw the scoreline in the Sunderland match I just had to stop by and check out the reaction here. ;-)

    • Atletico Man says:

      Oh, and to mention that Barca just dropped two more points.

      • Ralph says:

        Word on the street is that Messi wants Neymar gone. Neymar is rumored to be a terrible teammate who doesn’t want to play team ball.

        • Increase says:

          Tiki Taka is hard to adapt to. Alexis Sanchez looks amazing on Chile but only mediocre on Barca. The same applies to Neymar. It’s not a system built for attacking wing players. Or at least I don’t see how it could be because 2 of the best in world don’t look good in it.

          • Ralph says:

            The wingers do struggle a lot.

            Neymar appears to just be a selfish pr*ck though. Even the Nike commercial mocks that when Neymar passes to a teammate and everyone stops and says, “Neymar wouldn’t do that.”

          • don Lamb says:

            Attacking wing players is exactly what the Barca system is built for. It’s just that teams nullify that with defensive tactics. The number one thing La Masia focuses on in developing players going 1v1 on the wings.

        • Mo says:

          Even the Barca fanboy Ray Hudson didn’t show for today’s game. He knows their season is toast

        • AcidBurn says:

          Just give Neymars dad another 40 mil and neymar can go wherever he wants.

    • Increase says:

      Chaos and rage! You know how it is.

  45. Pete says:

    Pretty incredible run of form from Sunderland to stay up.

    • TomM says:

      If I’m reading right, only Norwich can mathematically catch Sunderland, and they have Arsenal and Chelsea left. Sunderland have WBA and Swansea at the Stadium of Light.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        Cardiff and Fulham are both relegated today. Norwich is 3 points behind sunderland, each with 2 games left

    • Gary Page says:

      Showing once again that in the EPL, it’s not how you start, but how you finish.

  46. MidWest Ref says:

    When Sunderland had 6 games left, they all thought they had 9 possible points, as 3 of the games were against Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea – all away. How in the world did Sunderland get 9 points away from the Stadium of Light?

    Now, assuming Sunderland gets a couple points at home against bottom of the league teams, does Jozy stay with the mackems or do they look to ship him out?

    • Ralph says:

      They probably cut him. His salary is too big.

      • omega says:

        1 of the highest earners at the club

      • MidWest Ref says:

        Cutting him would probably occur in the NFL, but I doubt that they would just let him go after all the money they paid to AZ.

        Sunderland will look a lot different next year. Borini is on loan from Liverpool – likley not to come back. Laarson and Fletcher are at the end of contracts.

      • GW says:

        They’ll. cut him but not because of his salary, but because he hasn’t produced for them all season. Even if Sunderland stays up I’ll be pretty surprised if they don’t at least try to unload Altidore.

        • Ralph says:

          Well that was sort of understood I thought.

          They don’t want him anymore, but paid a bunch for him and he’s too heavy a contract to trade elsewhere.

          • Shawn says:

            wth are yall talking about you can just release players like the nfl, And if he is transfered he gets a new contract

            • MidWest Ref says:

              there is no way that Sunderland will simply release Jozy after 1 year

              • don Lamb says:

                I don’t know. This Ralph guy sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. I think he has real insight as to how Sunderland operate. Obviously joking here…

    • Joe C. says:

      Will they ship him out? Depends. Can they arrange a permanent Borini transfer? Will Fletcher be sold? Will they sit on Jozy to see if they can capitalize on a solid WC run if it materializes? Will they sell him immediately because they think he’ll never work out? Will they stick it out for the long run and see if he does better on next year’s team with new tactics?

      I think they’ll sit on him for at least a little while. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him still at SAFC next year.

    • GW says:

      MidwestRef,

      Is Fletcher healthy? You have to be skeptical.

      Is Wickham for real?

      Does Borini go back to Liverpool?

      Is Scocco acclimated yet or do they cut ties with him?

      And most important of all, it looks lke Jozy will probably get a bit of PT in the remaining games and thus show up at the WC camp more or less in shape but not too worn down.

      What if he has a monster World Cup which he could.do? What if he scores he winner against Ghana and Portugal?

      I say its 50/50 depending on mostly what happens to the other forwards and somewhat on how he shows at the World Cup.

  47. Joe C. says:

    If Sunderland can get one win from either West Brom (Wednesday) or Swansea (Sunday), their survival is assured. What a crazy turnaround.

  48. Fredo says:

    Jozy played well. USA!

  49. John says:

    So how happy is Moyes right now? “See it wasn’t all my fault!”

  50. Atletico Man says:

    If you have nothing to do and want a lesson in how not to play central defense, the Malaga – Elche match is interesting. Rodrigues scored on a boomer from 40 yards because the CB didn’t run up to the pass and just now the keeper had to grab the CB and point out that he should stop shaking his fist at the linesman on the far side as the ball was still in play.

  51. Eric K says:

    A. Johansson is apparently NOT in AZ’s 18. Injured?

  52. ijrt55ij5jti5tijt5ij5tijt5 says:

    I had stood up to put on some lip chap and just saw the goal and my mouth dropped.

  53. Nandez says:

    BARKLEY WHAT A GOAL!!!! COYB!!!!

  54. JayAre says:

    Agudelo is starting. No JOHANSSON THOU

  55. Nate Dollars says:

    holy sh!t ross barkley

  56. Nandez says:

    If sunderland do unload Jozy I hope its to the merseyside. The more likely options are burnley or Leicester. Leicester would be a great fit I mean a chris wood/Jozy Altidore partnership would be A+

  57. Nate Dollars says:

    eesh. howard beaten near post on the equalizer.

  58. Shawn says:

    Juan Aguedelo he almost scores

  59. Bac says:

    I see Timmy Chandler & John Brooks both went the full 90, anyone see the games and care to report?

  60. Carlos says:

    Nothing Howard could do on this one.

  61. Shawn says:

    Despite Juan Aguedelo getting owned by keeper twice he clearly is better than eddie johnson and wondowloski

  62. Bobert says:

    shocking display by Howard on both goals. Especially the first.

  63. ijrt55ij5jti5tijt5ij5tijt5 says:

    Jozy’s future depends on Brazil.

    If he scores a few goals in Brazil and has great performances he’ll get a move to another club. Maybe in Italy or France or Germany. Sunderland fans will be happy due to the $$$ he will bring them.

    If he has a horrible World Cup. He’ll either be dumped to a smaller league or kept on the bench for Sunderland

  64. Fredo says:

    Boon Boo Ree looking like Robbie Rogers there.

  65. Ralph says:

    What the hell?

    Fernandinho just ran in and threw an arm into Naismith’s face directly in front of the ref and he didn’t call it.

  66. Ralph says:

    Suspend Dzeko. This is a bloody f***** joke.

  67. Bach Beard says:

    What just happened? Is Dzeko serious? Suspend this jackwagon.

  68. Nandez says:

    Dzeko you are trash

  69. fischy says:

    So Steven Goff is reporting that Gedion Zelalem is in the USA right now with his dad, getting their US citizenship and passports.

    Olympics gold in 2016.

  70. fischy says:

    Re-ran the stream — Dzeko was down for just over 4 mintues

  71. Bach Beard says:

    I have literally never seen anything like that. A player so clearly faking injury look right at the referee and refuse to even move or stand up after being told the referee isn’t buying it.

    Just didn’t even move for 3 actual minutes laying face down and then claimed his shoulder was injured.

  72. Shawn says:

    JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

    IS GOING TO BRAZIL

  73. JayAre says:

    AGUDELO with the Goooooooooooaaaaaaaalllllll

  74. Bach Beard says:

    Wow, do Everton not want to win this? What the heck.

  75. Bach Beard says:

    You know what?

    Screw teams like Everton. Quit d!cking around with the ball when you’re in extra time.

  76. Nandez says:

    did hart foul alacaraz on that last play?

  77. Pete says:

    Everton fans are probably slightly relieved they didn’t help Liverpool win the title. It’s not over but Everton fans would never would have heard the end of it if they had drawn or beaten Man City.

  78. gtv says:

    Thoughts from today’s results with a Yanks Abroad bias:

    1) Good job SAFC. Jozy did well and Vidic is a dirty SOB for that tackle. Should have been red.

    2) Hate to see FFC go down. It has been a great run and thanks for the great memories of Americans playing there. Wish Deuce could have done more to help this winter.

    3) Hard on Timmy Howard. Everton have done well this season, but hurts to come so close to CL football and miss it.

  79. bryan says:

    oh man, Agudelo making things even tougher for JK.

  80. Fredo says:

    Napoli supporter reported shot & killed by vendor before Coppa Italia. Sad.

  81. Jeff E. says:

    This Coppa Italia game is some highly entertaining stuff. The goals in this game have been awesome.

  82. Bolton Wonderer says:

    Americans will pay an alien to play for the MNT. What an embarrassment. All other countries, no exception, grooms their players from the early ages and develops them with pride. America is morally empty.

    • Gary Page says:

      “All other countries, no exception . . .” There are so many exceptions you could fill a bunch of pages. Why do you even post such nonsense?

    • Good Jeremy says:

      None of them are aliens. American is American.

      *IF* we are talking about some xenophobic set of rules that no national team follows anyways (Iran’s left back was born and raised in California- If that’s not a clash I don’t know what is), I’ll take the cast of players who spent significant amounts of time in the US and decided to play elsewhere over the cast of players with absentee American fathers.

  83. Bolton Wonderer says:

    On the other hand, it looks like Suarez will have to win WC in Brazil with Uruguay to lift a trophy in his pathetic career as the Queen of Divers.