Manchester City is trying to halt Chelsea's perfect start to the season while Bayern Munich tries to stop upstarts Mainz 05 from opening an even bigger lead atop the German Bundesliga.
City-Chelsea and Bayern-Mainz are two of the day's marquee match-ups, but not the only good matches on tap. A handful of strong MLS battles are also on today's slate, as are various matches in Italy and Spain.
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):
Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com
BY ADAM SERRANO
Substance over style.
On one of the biggest nights in the history of MLS, with four designated players set to shine, it was the complimentary players who were the most effective. Mehdi Ballouchy, Tim Ream and Dane Richards shined the brightest in the New York Red Bulls 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
With Los Angeles starting a pair of defenders with a combined twelve games of MLS experience –after tonight's game — the game plan was a simple one for Red Bulls manager Hans Backe. Target the defenders Yohance Marshall and Leonardo early and often.
"When we had our team talk, we said we have to try to press the center backs and to make life hard for them as much as possible.So we didn’t drop to defend to the halfway line, we started much higher. We closed down on every goal kick, and our strikers — Ballouchy and Angel pressed them as much as possible," said Backe. "When everything works like this today, the shape, the right attitude, everyone ready to do the dirty work, you can win."
BY ADAM SERRANO
The stars are out tonight as the New York Red Bulls visit the league leading Los Angeles Galaxy (8pm PDT, ESPN2).
Thierry Henry may be missing, but tonight's match will feature a cavalcade of stars including Landon Donovan, Rafael Marquez, David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel and Edson Buddle. Los Angeles enters the match on a high note after a Donovan-lead come back victory against D.C. United last week. The Galaxy will be without their top two defenders tonight however as Omar Gonzalez is out due to card accumulation and Gregg Berhalter will miss the match due to injury.
The New York Red Bulls head west on short rest after a positive draw against FC Dallas on Wednesday. Without Henry, expect Juan Pablo Angel and Mehdi Ballouchy to lead the Red Bulls attack against a weakened Galaxy defense.
I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts an
d opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):
U.S. Under-20 national team striker Omar Salgado is heading to English club Everton for an extended training stint, sources within MLS told SBI on Friday.
Currently under contract as a Generation adidas player with MLS, Salgado will be eligible for the 2011 MLS Draft and has spent recent weeks training with the Portland Timbers and will now join Everton for a training stint. He is expected to stay with the Liverpool-based club through mid-October, depending on Under-20 national team commitments.
Salgado will be the second U.S. Under-20 national team standout to train with Everton in recent months. Goalkeeper Zac MacMath spent time training with the Toffees and U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Salgado is projected to be one of the top players chosen in the 2011 MLS Draft.
By JOSE M. ROMERO
The Portland Timbers have set up a 24/7 webcam through which visitors to the club's web site can watch the renovation of PGE Park.
The work began earlier this month, even though the USSF-Division II Timbers are still playing out the final games of their 2010 season. Portland has two regular-season games on the road before the league playoffs began, and the team will have to play home postseason matches at other area facilities.
Via the webcam, it seems like there is still so much to be done to make the stadium soccer-ready, and the pace of work is quick with the next MLS season roughly six months away. Meanwhile, the cars and MAX light-rail trains whiz by on Southwest 18th Avenue adjacent to the urban stadium.
Admit it, you don't watch much college soccer and your past experiences with it haven't been the best.
Tonight's match betwee No. 1 ranked Akron and No. 2 ranked Tulsa (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) just might change that perception.
Boasting what may be one of the most talented teams in college soccer history, the unbeaten Zips enter tonight's match unscored upon and featuring a dangerous attack loaded with pro prospects. They face their toughest test to date though, taking on a Tulsa side that can score goals in bunches and has the experience of pushing Akron to the brink on two occasions last year.
"We know they're going to come at us and they aren't going to sit back and keep numbers behind the ball like some other teams do against us," said Akron head coach Caleb Porter. "We admire the way they play and we're looking forward to that challenge."
The match will feature several of the nation's best players, and as many as a dozen MLS current and future MLS prospects could be on the field tonight.
BY ADAM SERRANO
Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Rafael Marquez, and Juan Pablo Angel.
Despite the loss of Thierry Henry and Omar Gonzalez, Friday's clash (ESPN2: 8pm, PDT)between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls is not lacking star power. With the Galaxy leading the league with 50 points and the Red Bulls in second place in the Eastern Conference, the match has major implications for not only MLS Cup, but the Supporters Shield as well. Having played in a number of big games during his tenure with the Galaxy, Donovan is confident about Los Angeles' ability to perform in big games.
"The thing with playing for the Galaxy is every time we play a game it’s the other team’s biggest game of the year, whether we’re at home or whether we’re away," said Donovan. "We get the best of everybody but when there’s a special occasion when there’s something at stake like there is at Friday, not only with the standings and pride and East-West rivalry it makes it a little more special for us and we generally do well in those games."
It's that time again. Time for SBI readers to send their soccer questions my way for the latest SBI Live Q&A.
There are plenty of topics to discuss today. Juergen Klinsmann? Check. The MLS playoff race? Check. Tonight's Akron-Tulsa college showdown? Check. The European soccer scene? We'll discuss that as well.
Send me your soccer (and pop culture) questions and I'll try to respond to as many of them as possible over the course of the next few hours.
Let's get started (The Q&A is after the jump):
Chelsea has looked unstoppable early in the English Premier league season but the Blues face their first tough test of the campaign against the big spenders from Manchester City.
Chelsea will have to win in Manchester by beating a tough Man City side that will provide the toughest test faced by Carlo Ancelotti's men so far this season. A win on Saturday and Chelsea will solidify its place as heavy favorites to win the Premier League.
There is quality action all over the world this weekend. In Brazil, you have first-place Corinthians taking on perennial power Internacional. In Italy, Inter Milan looks to keep Roma's struggles going. In Germany, unbeaten and first-place Mainz 05 looks to prove its strong start is no fluke against an injury-hit Bayern Munich side.
MLS has a loaded schedule of top matches as well, with Friday night's LA-New York tilt earning plenty of headlines even though Kansas City-FC Dallas and Chicago-Seattle are arguably more important matches.
Here is our list of Top Ten Matches to Watch, as well as This Weekend's Soccer on TV:
By TRAVIS CLARK
With the eight playoff teams in USSF D-2 now set, determining those first round matches is the only thing left to resolve.
Vancouver and Montreal will get one more chance to face off (Friday, 10:30 p.m.) before the Canadian rivalry takes a year off in 2011 as the Whitecaps make the transition to MLS — that is, unless the two sides meet up in the postseason.
Implications still linger for both sides in this one, at least when it comes to the seeding. If the Whitecaps win, they'll clinch the NASL Conference and a No. 2 seed if the Railhawks lose to Puerto Rico. Their Canadian counterparts are chasing at least the No. 6 spot in the playoffs, and will look again to Ali Gerba in the attack.
Here's a look at the rest of this weekend's USSF D-2 action: