Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

MarceloBielsaMarseille3 (AFP)

By DAN KARELL

After months of waiting, Marcelo “Loco” Bielsa is set to make his Ligue 1 debut on Saturday.

The legendary Argentine coach took his first job outside a Spanish-speaking country in July when he signed on with Marseille, who kick off their season with a visit to Bastia. Midfielder Andre Ayew is coming off World Cup disappointment with Ghana and Bielsa will have to rely on veteran forward Andre Pierre Gignac to carry the goal scoring load again this season.

While Ligue 1 begins this weekend, Major League Soccer and Liga MX continue this week, with plenty of high profile match-ups. D.C. United, who are on pace to complete the greatest one-year turnaround in league history, hit the road to face the consistently good Real Salt Lake, and the Columbus Crew look to extend their three-match unbeaten run when Toronto FC comes to town.

In Mexico, Club America travel north to Nuevo Leon to face Tigres UANL, while Chivas de Guadalajara pay a visit to Pachuca.

Elsewhere in action, Tottenham play in their final friendly match before the start of the English Premier League season, the Women’s Under-20 World Cup continues with Mexico taking on England, and the North American Soccer League and National Women’s Soccer League each have matches to watch this evening.

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 soccer viewing schedule is after the jump):

SATURDAY

12:15 p.m. – Ipswich Town vs. Fulham – beIN Sports Connect

12:30 p.m. – Tottenham vs. Schalke 04 – beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español

1 p.m. – England vs. Mexico (U-20 Women’s World Cup) – ESPNU/Univision Deportes

3 p.m. – Bastia vs. Marseille – beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español

3 p.m. – Montpellier vs. Bordeaux – beIN Sports Connect

5:30 p.m. – Criciuma vs. Cruzeiro – ESPN3

6 p.m. – Cruz Azul vs. Puebla – Univision Deportes

7 p.m. – Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact – MLS Direct Kick

7:30 p.m. – Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC – MLS Direct Kick

7:30 p.m. – Carolina RailHawks vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies – ESPN3

8 p.m. – Tigres UANL vs. Club America – Univision Deportes

9 p.m. – FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids – MLS Direct Kick

9 p.m. – Santos Laguna vs. Queretaro – Azteca America

9 p.m. – Pachuca vs. Chivas de Guadalajara – Telemundo

9 p.m. – Houston Dash vs. Sky Blue FC – ESPN3

10 p.m. – Real Salt Lake vs. D.C. United – MLS Direct Kick

10 p.m. – Chiapas vs. Club Leon – Univision Deportes

10:30 p.m. – Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA – MLS Direct Kick

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

57 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Dan says:

    Emerson Hyndman is starting for Fulham today. Great news – with Jones out of the USMNT picture soon and Bradley not looking like himself we could really use some depth at DM.

  2. scb says:

    Can anyone tell me what they know about Emerson Hyndman? 18-year old American midfielder starting for Fulham today, but I haven’t heard of him and (gasp!) he doesn’t have a wikipedia page.

    • Dan says:

      He’s the grandson of the former FC Dallas coach (Schellas Hyndman). Plays D-mid and is generally considered to be their best prospect. He looked particularly good last year in Fulham’s run to the U-18 (?) FA Cup final

    • downintexas says:

      Smart kid not having a wiki page. If he listens to his granddad he should keep a level head, be kind of a M. Bradley mentality.

      Still young but keep an eye on him.

    • Joe says:

      Actually I looked him up today and now he has a wiki page

  3. deepvalue says:

    What has caused the influx of US players back to MLS? A push by MLS to bring them back? A backlash against Europe due to real or perceived bias against American players? Other?

    • timmytwoshoezzz says:

      Under designated player deals and strong marketing campaigns with multiple endorsements, some players like Dempsey and Bradley are making more money in MLS than they would be in Europe

      • Increase0 says:

        Having to pay UK taxes and US taxes eats up a lot of money.

        The US is one of a few(maybe only) countries that taxes foreign earned income that isn’t brought into the US.

        You don’t have to pay if you make under 90,000 a year but you still have to file. It’s friggen annoying.

    • Citronomics says:

      For certain players like Parkhurst, coming home to MLS (after a few good/consistent years) beats languishing on the bench or transferring to another euro club and trying to reestablish yourself. And agree with Timmy T, our “stars” can land a major/DP deal. The one I don’t get (beyond the DP deal) is MB 90… seemed like he’d get opportunities to play with Roma as part of the squad rotation; whereas Deuce may have perceived he was undervalued (speculating here folks) by Tottenham and had made his mark in the EPL.

      • Jack says:

        I think Roma bringing in Nainggolan is was set Bradley off.

        • turgid jacobian says:

          Read it was the other way around, as in:
          1)he wanted assurances
          2)they saw that as a threat to leave
          3) they thus brought in Nainggolan in,
          4) bradley therefore bolted.

      • argh says:

        Parkhurst flopped in Germany. 2 matches in 1 year. But ran home to MLS to try and get a spot in Brazil despite not deserving it. should have stayed in Germany or returned to Denmark.

        too easy our guys run home for help. Tough it out.

        • don Lamb says:

          How exactly would “toughing it out” have been better for Parkhurst’s career?

        • Ian says:

          There’s no logic to that statement unless one preconceives of MLS as a worse alternative than Europe. Believe it or not, in many instances, MLS is a much better option than Europe for players. More playing time, decent money for established players, closer to friends and family. What does Europe have to offer besides a better paycheck? That’s a good pull factor, but not always as important as one might assume.

      • GW says:

        Citronomics,

        If we are to believe the reports:

        1. MB90 was going to be MB0 at Roma. Roma wanted him around but only as emergency backup. Barring injury, Mikey was not going to play. This was not acceptable with the World Cup coming up.

        2. His alternative options in Europe were not really great and financially, they were all dwarfed by the money TFC’ was offering.

        So he gets guaranteed regular playing time before the WC. Yes, a lower standard than Roma but regular time in MLS for a veteran like Mikey beats zero playing time in Serie A.

        And apparently the money was such that Mikey could theoretically retire on this contract and never have to worry about money again, As a new father that had to be a big deal.

        • Citronomics says:

          Thanks @GW. The MB90 exit from Roma always seemed fuzzy to me given, while not a starter, he had been a consistent squad player for Roma. And, yeah, if as you point out about reports on where he fit into Roma’s plans, can definitely see the favorable economics (both contract + regularly starting and maintaining match sharpness/fitness) of taking the TFC deal.

          Ultimately, he’s got to weigh these factors (contract value, playing time, importance to the squad, long term financial security, etc.) so just curious as to what was happening behind the scenes.

    • argh says:

      it’s a shame. more Yanks wanna play in MLS

      we need our best guys playing in Europe. but MLS is overpaying which is stupid

    • Ali Dia says:

      DP deals are pretty attractive propositions for many of these guys. Consider that they have been abroad for quite a stretch…. this is a considerable burden on home life, moreso obviously as the players approach the portion of their lives where they are thinking about or have started families. Europe offers almost no job security… you get hurt, or the club brings in an expensive player in your position, you may be shipping off to an entirely different country within 6 months at almost any point. Decisions are put on hold… life is put on hold. Many players come to Europe to play from considerable distances, but you wonder how long some of them would stay if their domestic league could make offers like MLS seems to offering to select targets

      When these guys hear about a DP deal, it’s something they will listen to… most DP’s can count on being at the team that brings them in for a few years at least, being compensated and treated as one of the team’s top 3 assets. A pretty nice “come on home” proposition after a few years of living out of a suitcase agonizing over the crypitc 5 minutes of supposed “praise” the foreign manager lavished upon you before forgetting your name in the hallway and oh wait nevermind now he’s fired. These guys are people too, and home is a long way away for those who do not have ambitions of staying abroad.

      I like the recent reports of our U-17 players signing contracts with Vitesse, Utrecht, etc.. Seems sensible beginning the Europe thing around the late teens in this way. Basically they join at a perfect age for this kind of challenge, when they should want to see the world and be independent, take risks, and absorb the lessons available. 3-5 years developing in a top Dutch academy, for example, gives the player a pedigree that is great currency anywhere, and provides deeper connections to these countries (friends, colleagues, perhaps even wives) that will facilitate a number of them hanging around the European leagues for longer periods should they choose… perhaps even going full-on Cherundolo.

      • Paco says:

        Spot on. Good comment.

      • JayAre says:

        Just my 2 cents
        Most people seem to look at Europe as the land of riches and fame when it comes to soccer even Klinsmann still has that somewhat naïve view when he preaches for his players to move abroad but the truth is times are changing. If you aren’t in one of the top clubs in the big leagues you aren’t making that much more so why not come home and be a DP? Also people complain about guys like Bradley and Parkhurst coming back early but the true is no club can teach them to kick a ball better they’ve already reached their soccer maturity for the most part. Same goes for Matt Besler some people wanted him to sign for a European team just so we can brag about how are players play on this team or that team but the truth is Besler was better that the offers he was getting. What was he suppose to go do at Fulham? He would barely be making more then he’s making now and that brings me to my most important point. Playing in front of your hometown or home crowd! It’s just a different feeling a Kansas city boy playing in front of the home KC fans! You just naturally want to give the team your all. But imagine American in Europe and when I say Europe I’m not just talking about England. They aren’t the guys the reports want to talk to, they aren’t the stars they are just another very replaceable body on the team. The only time they can really get the attention is if they are on big champs league teams. No one outside a fulham cared about Dempsey. The national audience knew him by his stats. The same goes for Bradley. If he wasn’t on par with Rossi he was just a step behind him Roma fans knew that but the national audience didn’t pay any attention to Bradley because he wasn’t their own. A lot of people within Roma actually thought the additional central mid signings were pointless when other areas needed to be addressed. Right now the biggest difference between Europe and America is the pay and on field quality. We literally beat them in every other category our stadiums are generally more modern and our structure doesn’t let the big teams run away with all the talent because they have more money (LA, Seattle ,NY) so there’s always competition you don’t have to tune in to watch a Sunderland bunker game all the time.

        • GW says:

          JayAre,

          “Most people seem to look at Europe as the land of riches and fame when it comes to soccer even Klinsmann still has that somewhat naïve view when he preaches for his players to move abroad but the truth is times are changing”

          I would challenge you to show me where JK said his players have to move abroad. He was not consulted on Shea’s move to Stoke and was not pleased with that move maybe because he knew it might not be in Shea’s best interest.

          JK does believe and it just happens to be true that the highest level of competition a player can find is in Europe. I don’t think that is debatable.

          JK preaches that his players need to play at the highest level of competition they can get; he wants them to be tested by as high a level of competition as possible. Name me a national team manager that does not want that.

          I also notice he did not hold Beckerman’s domestic status or the eight other MLS guys status against them maybe because that wasn’t going to happen before the World Cup.

          And I notice he took Dempsey and Mikey to Brazil even though he clearly was not pleased that they moved back to MLS.

          The domestic scene is producing higher quality players but it would be naïve to think the US player pool would not benefit greatly by having players developing in Europe.

          The key word is “developing” not “rotting” which is what Dempsey and Mikey were about to do in a World Cup year so their move back made sense.

  4. Bird says:

    Hyndman is actually more of an attacking mid or wing player. He has been one of Fulham’s top 2 or 3 players in today’s match and the commentators are talking very highly of him. I have to say the kid looks very good out there. Poised, smart and tidy with the ball at his feet. He has made 3 or 4 great passes this match which created chances or half chances. Hopefully this performance will keep him starting for awhile.

    • Dan says:

      Oh really? Didn’t realize he was playing in an attacking role now. I think he’s a Michael Bradley type who has yet to settle on what type of midfielder he’ll be. I read on some Fulham board that he was a holding midfielder but I guess I’m wrong.

      Thanks for the info

    • Nate Dollars says:

      watched the second half today, and it looked like he was one of two holding mids (with scott parker). he’s definitely more in the xabi alonso mold vs. mascherano–not many tackles, and great passing–but he was still playing in a holding role.

      and he looked great, from what i saw. he’s very calm on the ball, and didn’t shy away from ‘risky’ passes on the run. one of the commentators mentioned that hyndman looked like he’d been playing at this level for years.

  5. Citronomics says:

    Ives – where in the world is Juan Agudelo? Perplexing he has not found a club yet.

    • Jack says:

      Yeah I’d really like to know whats going on there. I haven’t even seen any rumors for awhile now. Hopefully Shea can get out of Stoke soon as well.

  6. Citronomics says:

    With more positive YA news, Seltzer reporting Joe Gyau has bagged a brace for Dortmund II today.

  7. Shawn says:

    hyndman has been mighty impressive. gedion zelalem but playing a little deeper back in midfield

  8. apw says:

    Impressive debut from Hyndman, very composed on the ball and good in tight areas, plus a great eye for a through ball. The commentators just said it looks like he has been in the team for years.

    Also, it has not been officially confirmed but all of Fulham’s games will be available to stream the day after they played so he can be watched every week.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      agreed with your assessment (didn’t see your comment at first, and pretty much wrote the same thing above).

      i’m looking forward to watching him more often; he definitely seems promising.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      Hyndman was fantastic today and perhaps Fulham’s best player today. He looks like a player who will get a full national debut in the coming year. Very level headed and calm on the ball. Good first touch that plays himself into space and time.

  9. Joe says:

    Very impressed with Hyndman didn’t know know he was this far along already. This kid could end up being a big deal.

    • Joe says:

      If there’s one good thing about the usmnt’a future is that were stacked at centermid.

    • Joe says:

      With all the attacking mids were coming up with I wouldn’t be surprised if corona ends up getting lost in the mix.

  10. bryan says:

    Ream and Bolton suffer tough loss, mixed reviews on his performance. but good to see him get time. also good to see Lichaj back on the field.

    and even if it was BVB II, Gyau with two goals.

    link to br.de

  11. apw says:

    Even more impressive stat: 10 of the 18 players for Fulham today came through the academy, most of which have no senior football experience and just played u18 or u21 with a lot of success. Could be a year with a lot of growing pains and might not end in promotion but that is quite the accomplishment.

    Fulham recruited the genius behind Southampton’s academy Huw Jennings a few year’s back and his magic is now coming to fruition. Pat Roberts, Moussa Dembele (the French one), George Williams, Hyndman, Burgess and even a few others could be destined for stardom. By 2020 Fulham could be the team that sells off everyone for a ton of money like Southampton has.

    • LEVERAGE WE PROVIDE says:

      how is Dempsey and McBride looked upon at Fulham?

      • apw says:

        McBride has a pub named after him in the team’s stadium, that should tell you all there is to know! But he is an absolute legend for his heroics during the great escape in 07/08 and just in general for his graft, work rate, and attitude, all of which is adored in the English game. He captained the team as well (as did Bocanegra on occasion). So yeah the guy is a hero.

        Clint is the all-time leader in Premier League goals by a considerable margin and probably will be for a while considering that the team was relegated. He always scored important goals and worked well for the team but was never truly adored while managed under Roy Hodgson’s because no individuals ever stood out in his team’s and the team was successful for it. He was usually stuck on the left wing and could go unnoticed but was always known for having a knack of being in the right place at the right time. And that Juventus goal will never be forgotten.

        One of Clint’s issues was that Fulham (like almost every EPL team) went through a ton of managers during his time there and since he had no set position it took the new gaffer’s some time to find a place for him in the team and Clint, as always, would win them over. Mark Hughes and Martin Jol took the reins off of him and let him loose (mostly of of necessity) and he thrived in his new role and scored them in bunches.

        Things got sour over the whole Spurs transfer (won’t get into that) and plenty were upset however his short loan spell was well-received as a homecoming and pretty much everyone got over the transfer angst. Some fans never seem to have taken to him but as a whole he is a hero but doesn’t quite seem to reach McBride status for reasons I don’t understand.

        • GW says:

          “but doesn’t quite seem to reach McBride status for reasons I don’t understand.”

          McBride was/is easier to relate to. He was an old fashioned center forward, a leader of the line. Fans in the UK particularly the older ones related to that. And his playing style was equally old fashioned, straight forward and honest. He took a lot of punishment and dished out a lot of punishment.

          He was renowned for his professionalism and his blue collar work ethic. And he was Fulham’s first high profile American long term starter. So he was special.

          Clint is just as hard a worker, was just as physical as Bake and has a work ethic equal to McBride’s. But it is just not as obvious. USMNT fans often accused Clint of being lazy; perhaps Fulham fans did as well.

          Bake is tall and blond with the classical heroic good looks, while Clint has tats, a constant 5 o’clock shadow and looks vaguely like a thug. And of course McBride left on better terms than Clint did.

          • LT says:

            50 Premier League goals. No way that is ever broken.

            It’s a shame Clint left the club. I wish that Fulham had upped his wages and kept him there. He and Berbatov up top might have led the club to the CL for the 2013 season instead of him returning to MLS

            • apw says:

              Apparently Clint was offered the biggest deal in the club’s history (four more years) but he had his sights on a bigger team move. And there is no way the offer was anywhere near what the Sounders are paying him.

              “He and Berbatov up top might have led the club to the CL for the 2013 season” maybe in FIFA 13 the video game. The two might have led to a better finish in 12/13 (maybe top 10) but Fulham’s relegation was a long time coming and neither of them would have helped one of the worst defenses in the EPL’s history

              • LT says:

                how much did Fulham offer him?

                he was making what 2.5-3 million while there already.

                SOUNDERS pay him 6 million a season. Say if Fulham upped his offer to 4-5 million that Spurs was giving him, woul he have stayed?

  12. LEVERAGE WE PROVIDE says:

    Our best players need to be playing in Europe to build up the quality of the NT.

    The NT is more likely to be a top 10 soccer nation (currently around 15-20th) over the next decade than MLS joining the top 10 leagues in the next decade (probably take 20 years)

    Bradley and Dempsey should have stayed in Europe fighting for their spots and bringing honor and glory to the USA and setting an example for the next generation. But the allure of $$$ was so great

    I guess it’s different than say Donovan flopping in Germany and coming home and never leaving cause he preferred being a big fish in a small pond.