Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

RealBarcelona (Getty Images)


All eyes will be on the famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital Sunday as Real Madrid host Barcelona in another installment of El Clasico.

First-place Real Madrid have not lost in La Liga since the first Clasico of the season back in October, and they hold a four-point lead over Barcelona heading into their second league meeting of the season. Defending champions Barcelona have been at their dominant best at Camp Nou recently, but they have also dropped back-to-back matches away from home in La Liga — an area they will want to improve in order to stay in the race for another title. Superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are both in great form at the moment, so we could see a showdown for the ages today in Madrid.

Second-place Atletico Madrid, who enter Sunday trailing crosstown rivals Real Madrid by three points in the championship race, will play before El Clasico. Diego Costa and Atletico hit the road to face last-place Real Betis, who continued their disappointing campaign with a Europa League loss earlier this week.

In England, Tottenham Hotspur look to put more distance between themselves and Manchester United in their race for a Europa League spot when they host Southampton. AS Monaco will take on Lille in an important French Ligue 1 match later in the day, and AC Milan hope to end their recent struggles with a road victory against Lazio.

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):

9:30am – Tottenham vs. Southampton – NBC Sports Network

10am – Inter Milan vs. Atalanta – beIN Sports USA

12pm – Aston Villa vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Network

12pm – Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid – beIN Sports USA

2pm – Pumas UNAM vs. Monterrey – Univision Deportes/Univision

3pm – Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls – UniMas

3pm – Santos vs. Palmeiras – GolTV USA

3:45pm – Lazio vs. AC Milan – beIN Sports Play

4pm – Real Madrid vs. Barcelona – beIN Sports USA/beIN Sports en Español

4pm – Monaco vs. Lille – Univision Deportes

5:15pm – River Plate vs. Lanus – GolTV USA

7pm – Atlante vs. Toluca – Univision Deportes

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

224 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. pineapples says:

    why oh why did Dempsey and Bradley have to leave EUROPE? Is it just the cash or did they really believe they’d help grow MLS by playing within the league? what happened to ambition and being challenged against the best players? the champions League?

    • shut up says:

      when are you going to stop asking this question? it’s already been hashed out. get over it.

    • GW says:

      Mr. apples,

      For most pro soccer players the truth is it is a buyer’s market.

      Mikey and Deuce might have been able to stay somewhere in Europe but chances are it would not have been as good a situation for them as they have now.

      The superstar, world class, preferably younger talent, (Messi, C Ronaldo Suarez) can dictate to teams who want them.

      If you are not at that level, and in spite of what you think, neither Mikey nor Deuce are, then you need look for the best situation, i.e., playing time (in a World Cup year) and the best combination of manager, money, team, players, league, etc., etc.

      For both Mikey and Deuce it turned out the best combination of all that was MLS.

      When Dempsey left Fulham looking for a Champions League team most US fans condemned him for not “knowing his place” and saying how he should be grateful that Fulham was allowing him to play there. Most US fans seem to think Clint was getting too big for his big boy pants.

      Now that Clint is 31 and was offered deal of a lifetime for himself, a deal no one in Europe was willing to match for a guy clearly on the downside of his career, US fans whine and cry and say he is selfish. US fans are front running fair-weather types and are very shallow and selfish and Dempsey owes them nothing

      As for Bradley, he is 26 and is about as good as he is ever going to get. Perhaps some of you think he could have taken over Bayern’s midfield or led Man U. back to respectability. The truth is he is as good now as he was a few years ago.

      The difference was that when he went to Italy he found a stable team in Chievo that would let him do what he does best, that more or less built itself around him. And I know he had all the requisite talent and skill before he got to Italy because he was starting for Chievo almost immediately. So his improvement in Italy was in some respects a mirage.

      That gave him the confidence, discipline and the focus he did not have previously. This had all been dented by the Aston Villa fiasco.

      That carried over to his time with Roma in part because Mikey was a great sub for DDR who was out a lot. However, once DDR got healthy and it became clear that Roma were not going to sell him Mikey’s PT dropped and was not going to get any better since others had been brought in who were better than Mikey. Yes, if he had stayed, Strootman got hurt and Mikey would probably be playing some for Roma but you can’t sign somewhere on the idea that one or two guys are going to get hurt.

      Mikey and Deuce took what they thought was the best deal.

      Why you think you know better than them what is best for their careers is beyond me.

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        “When Dempsey left Fulham looking for a Champions League team most US fans condemned him for not “knowing his place” and saying how he should be grateful that Fulham was allowing him to play there.”

        That is the opposite of what happened.

      • The Garrincha says:

        Well said GW, I might also add that the MLS is fast becoming a preferred destination, more attention and exposure. J Dafoe is here now already having a positive impact, and Henry, Keane, and Cahill are here to name a few.
        Deuce and Bradley and Edu are back among a handful of others.
        Then there is Julio Cesar,
        a Brazilian international keeper who may even start in Brazil, this WC.

      • danny says:

        Disagree about Mikey being as good as he will ever get and as good as he was a few years ago. I think the typically the peak time for a central midfielder is 28/29, where they have the right mix of experience/confidence and have still not lost a step. And also American players tend to peak a little bit later than most, although Mikey’s career path is closer to a European’s the most American professionals. Anyways… I think he probably made the right decision, but one could still argue that with a little more experience/developemnt he could be capable of bossing the midfield for a ManU or other top 5 team in a top four league. He is not that far off and if you followed his time at Roma, you could see that there often wasn’t that big of a difference between him and DDR. Unfortunately, he won’t reach this hypothetical peak by moving to the MLS. Although it would be great to see him lead Toronto to big victories over Mexican teams in the Champion’s League.

        • GW says:


          I don’t disagree with you in the sense that I think that if Mikey had moved from Roma in January to, for example, Man U, he could have done done a better job than whoever they’ve got

          But that would not have been up to Mikey.

          It would have been up to Moyes and the Man U.players. And it seems to me that no one was asking Mikey to their party or maybe he would have gone.

          Don’t tell me that he and his agent did not see his reduced playing time as a problem and were not testing the waters and putting out feelers long before the trigger on the TFC deal was pulled. Only a half wit would not do that.

          You see this all the time on SBI, ” Mikey should have gone to Germany, Mikey should have gone to Arsenal, Mikey should CSKA Moscow, well great, but they have to ask you. And they have to offer you a deal that is one you want to live with.

          My guess is TFC made the best all around offer. And under the circumstances, i.e Mikey’s stature as a player and his age and the likelihood of his getting much better , etc., he was unlikely to get a better offer in the near future.

          It’s not like ” Hey I’m MB90, the best US player and you need to have me on starting on first 11 and you need to pay me more than 1.5 million per year.”.

          That’s not how it works.

      • Joe B NYC says:

        I agree with you 99%. Very well thought out post.

    • beachbum says:

      these posts are hilarious

    • MidWest Ref says:

      I know believe that Dempsey and Bradley returned to the MLS because you don’t get this type of broadcast in an european game; only the Crew

      link to

    • Dc says:

      Funny, at first I was definitely disappointed. I was on here ranting about Dempsey and Bradley as well. Then I noticed that I am watching MLS more and more because there are exciting players this year, and I see Bradley make that pass yesterday that lead to the goal and I think, hmmm, he looks sharp as ever. That pass had little to do with the league, and everything to do with his vision and sharpness. Now I wonder, was this the right decision for Bradley?? Maybe, maybe, I am still undecided, either way, very impressed with MLS this year so far.

      • Amru says:

        +1 I find myself watching more games this season because of Bradley and Dempsey. Also went it the FC Dallas game last night and I was impressed with the ability of some of the players

      • GW says:

        I notice some people on SBI said JK was whining about the MLS officiating in reference to Deuce’s little drama.

        When was the last time the manager of the USMNT was so vocal and high profile about the sub standard MLS refereeing, a topic I’m sure is near and dear to everyone here?

        And do you think JK does this if his boy Deuce is not getting picked on? Of course not. And he is only doing this because he is protecting his USMNT “spine”. But does it matter why as long as the officiating gets better?

  2. IYD says:

    any news on whether Howard or Guzan are leaving their respective clubs? Isn’t Barca looking for a new keeper?

  3. jones says:

    So, I’ve decided I will not waste my time watching another Sunderland match. Yesterday I watched their horrible play when I could have been watching Everton or several other matches without American players. It’s too bad we don’t have more players over there, but as much as I want to see Jozy, I just can’t stand to watch that awful team any longer.

    Apologies for rant.

    • Increase0 says:

      Naw, its okay. I came to this conclusion a while ago. It’s the only way not to be grumpy every Saturday.

      • jones says:

        Thanks. I’ve known how terrible there are for a long time but I just kept coming back each weekend. (maybe I enjoyed the torture…who knows)

    • Joe B NYC says:

      I agree with you 100%. I’m so tired of them passing the ball only two times per game, and crappy passes at that. Then blaming they’re offensive issues on him. People want to talk about the vast difference between the EPL and the much-maligned Dutch League? The Dutch expects a forward to score by passing him the friggin’ ball!!!

      • Hunt says:

        Sunderland is pretty sh!tty but so is Altidore.
        He has the first touch of a sledgehammer, no soccer iq and the mobility of an oak tree. ….oh, and watching him try to trap the ball reminds me of my dog playing with a ballon.
        Let’s be honest. He’s where he belongs.

      • GW says:

        Maybe the question to ask is would this Sunderland team have beaten Jozy’s AZ teams.

      • Fair Observer says:

        spot on assessment Joe, its not that the strikers are so bad that they make Sunderland bad, it’s quite the opposite. the team can’t build because they make horrible passes ( long balls up the field to no one when they have calm possession and can just move the ball around the pitch on the ground) and thus the strikers are on an island all game, when they do get the ball up the field the mids take long shots instead of passing an unlocking ground through ball to the strikers to set them up for a shot. People who blame Jozy for the bad season or say that he isn’t good obviously do NOT watch Sunderland play week in and week out like i do.

    • GW says:


      Years ago I paid to see a movie I will not name to protect the guilty.
      It came highly recommended by the critics

      After the first 15 minutes it was awful but I stayed because I felt it had to get better since everyone said it was a cult classic. Which is what I said after every 15 minutes following the first 15. Plus I had already paid.

      I wound up staying to watch the whole movie which remains the biggest piece of crap I have ever wasted two hours of my life on..I can’t believe I was so stupid and I don’t believe movie critics anymore.

      Watching Sunderland reminds me of that movie. Sunderland are not the worst team I’ve ever watched but they sure make me feel like they are.

      • jones says:

        Great analogy. Now I want to know what movie it was…there are so many like that.

        The thing with Sunderland is that I never expected them to be great or even good. But it is exactly like what you said: I kept watching because I had made a commitment to it. And they even had that brief period when they were actually stringing passes together and possessing the ball and I was hopeful. And when they lost this, I kept watching thinking they could get it back. But now, it doesn’t even matter to me if they did. I’m just done.

        • jones says:

          I should also add that I didn’t even need Sunderland to be a possession-style team. Stoke, for instance, are more direct and often have a bruising, boom-and-run type of play but at least they are committed to playing ugly and have an identity.

        • Milkshake of despair says:

          Actually, not a great analogy. A cult classic movie means there is a fan base out there somewhere that believes the movie is good . However, there is no fan out there that thinks Sunderland is any good.

        • GW says:


          You know how when you are in a long check out line at the Wal Mart or the supermarket and you are thinking about switching to the other line with fewer people to save time ?

          But you don’t because you are sure that karma will dictate that as soon as you switch there one of the people in front of you in that shorter line will then need a price check, or have their credit card denied or will argue over $2.13 cents worth of coupons?

          So you stay in your original line only to have the exact events I just described happen in your line.

          That is what making the effort to see Sunderland play feels like.

    • Daniel says:

      100 agreed

  4. Ralph says:

    Poor officiating directly gifts a goal to Tottenham. Soldado with the two hand shove to the back pf the defender who is pushed over the ball and leaves Soldado free on goal.

    You can’t allow that behavior.

    • beachbum says:

      I turned it off after that. It happened right in front of the AR too. MLS level officiating imo…obviously changed the game, I would argue it ruined it. Ruined it for this neutral

  5. Increase0 says:

    Does anyone else think Rickie Lambert might be a rather good DP? He is only like 5-6 months older than Defoe and you probably wouldn’t have to through Defoe money at him. Put him on the right team say Portland(they need a striker right?) and I think it would work out rather well.

  6. jones says:

    Brek Shea on the bench today

  7. beachbum says:

    Cameron beaten at the corner of the box, subsequent pass to Benteke leads to goal, 1-0 AV

    • arsenal says:

      I’ve been saying for a while he is not the best rb opetion. A good defender, but will get beat by every wing player in our group. He is not fast enough and will not be able to provide anything going forward because he doesn’t have pace to recover. This is I hope either Chandler is back in time, or other left backs emerge and we can move Fabian over to right.

      • Expat4455 says:

        I also hope Chandler recovers soon. We really need him!

      • John says:

        Well that had nothing to do with him getting beat, just a poor decision to try and intercept a ball he couldn’t get to. This why I don’t understand everyone calling for him to play centerback. He did the same thing during the Scotland match when he was at centerback giving them chance with numbers.

        • arsenal says:

          I don’t think he is a bad defender, honestly. That was a poor decision, but Omar makes those as well. I honestly don’t know who I rather have. Maybe Orozco would be better at cb; he has shown well in that position. I think Cameron should be brought to Brazil for his versatility, but I don’t think he should start.

      • beachbum says:

        I won’t go that far in endorsing Chandler. Also it doesn’t look like Klinnsman thinks Geoff is the answer either as he’s barely used him there. Geoff can be a little slow sometimes tho, I agree, and he does not have a consistent ball to serve into the box either unfortunately

        • arsenal says:

          Well, when Chandler was in form he was our best option, I think. I don’t question his commitment because he is captied now. I thought he would make it back in time, but now I’m not sure. It seems there might have been a setback, or maybe the coaching staff was taking pressure off him.

          I think Spector deserves a look at rb, or Greg Garza at left back. Other than that, I’m at a list of who else we could try. Everyone else is still developing and definitely not ready for a world cup, in my opinion.

          • beachbum says:

            Chandler could have been the guy already for some time now, was a big fan when he first started showing up on the filed. Then the last couple of years have happened, give or take a few months, and I hope others emerge so we don’t have to rely on that guy who, in my opinion, is unreliable

      • Gary Page says:

        If you don’t think he’s our best option at RB, you haven’t been paying attention. For all you Chandler lovers out there, remember his game in Honduras. Then consider how well he will stand up to the heat in Brazil and the pressure of the WC. Cameron seems the safer bet to me.

        • arsenal says:

          Remember the whole team in Honduras? There was not many bright spots in that match. Can’t use a single game to determine a player. He also had a game a few days earlier.

        • beachbum says:

          I think he’s our best RB option for sure right now, talking about Geoff Cameron. he does serve in some nice balls some times too, just erratically at this point, but he can do it and does. sometimes he’s a bit slow seems to me not that speed is the only requisite for the position. I do hope he and the backline can get it done but we’re going to need to score a few goals in each of our games if we want to move on. clean sheets probably not happening but maybe

      • GW says:


        “A good defender, but will get beat by every wing player in our group.”

        On paper, no matter who is in the 23 the USMNT is the least talented team in the Group.

        No matter who the USMNT put at either fullback position, even if Dolo or Chandler had been available, they were going to be at a disadvantage relative to whoever our Death Group opponents would put up against them. And Christiano Ronaldo, who is better than any two or even three US players put together, will play on the left or the right or right down the middle, equally well, depending on the situation

        So what will matter is how the team sets up to defend them. In 2009 Spain were superior to the US on paper at just about every position that mattered but the USMNT proved that, for 90 minutes in the real world, things can be different if the team has a good scheme and plays it well.

        The US can beat anyone on a given day. All they have to do is make sure that the “given day” happens three times in Brazil.

  8. John says:

    Rough start for Cameron

  9. beachbum says:

    Geoff maybe saves a goal that time off the Delph cross. Delph making the plays so far

  10. Jack Del says:

    That is probably the opposite of what Cameron was hoping to start his day off with.

  11. beachbum says:

    nothing Guzan could do there, horrible defending from Villa from numerous players on that Crouch goal. that will be ugly in the meeting room when they review that goal for AV

    • Increase0 says:

      Stoke is out playing Villa. That stoke guy on the left wing has been playing games with the RB all game. Stoke is basically getting Villa to play exactly like they want them to. Lots balls in the air then Stoke randomly deciding to play keep away and drawing fouls. Crouch is getting hammered though. Guzen has been strung out all 3 times. My favorite was goal #3. A really bad pass hits a villa player and lands at Nzonzi feet with no one near him.

  12. John says:

    Jones on the bench again today, Klinsmann seemed worried about his playing time recently

    • Brett says:

      Great news if it means Jones loses his spot.

      • jones says:

        Seriously? Jones at his top form is better than any other options we have to partner with Bradley. Tell me who you think would be better there against Germany, Ghana, Potugal?

        • jones says:


        • Brett says:

          I’d rather see us scrap the pulley system and go with Bradley as the true holding midfielder. That would allow Dempsey into that floating role he wants so much and would let us play some wingers ahead of the midfield since our fullbacks rarely overlap anyway.

          • jones says:

            Dempsey likes a floating role right under the striker but you need 2 actual CMs in there with him. So Bradley will stay home in your lineup but who else is in the center with him?

            • Brett says:

              The actual formation would be 4-1-2-1-2. Bradley is the holder, Dempsey the floater behind 2 strikers.

          • Fair Observer says:

            Brett, i again agree. this is getting scary. I TOO would like to see MB as the true sole CDM, dempsey in the middle, LD out wide with another quick winger and Aron / Jozy up top. or something close to that. i just find that when we play with two cdms its almost counter productive because we lack that final attacking push since we’re basically playing keep away. Ive always thought JJ would work best on the bench and if we got an early lead, bring him on at half time and switch to that 4231.

            • arsenal says:

              YOu can’t play one cdm when playing any of the teams in out group. We are simply not good enough. Jones in good form is our best option and if he is not playing it hurts out chances of moving out of the group. All of the teams in our group have amazing talent and we really need Jones to be playing. If people think Ghana is easy then they need to really watch their players play because they are starting for teams in the highest levels.

              • Fair Observer says:

                WE cant do that correct, but i think the overall sentiment is that IF our D was good enough and our whole team was better, itd be the best option to play 4132, giving us more of an attack. plenty of talented teams play a 4132. USMNT just isn’t quite good enough to use it. If Only…..

      • Fair Observer says:

        i agree with Brett again! my oh my!!! JJ should be on the bench, jk should switch to a 4132, MB as the 1, then use perhaps dempsey, LD, Zusi with AJ and JA up top (JG could be instered there somewhere if he deserves it, but perhaps he’s a sub too)

        • jones says:

          While that lineup would be fun to see against lesser competition, it does not have the defensive qualities necessary to compete in the World Cup against quality opponents. Sorry, shouldn’t and won’t happen.

          • Fair Observer says:

            a guy’s allowed to dream tho right?…..

            • jones says:

              So you dream about getting your a** handed to you?

              lol, j/k. I’m just playing devil’s advocate with you today.

              • Fair Observer says:

                haha i know, the real thing is tho that if our Defense were solid enough to play a 4132 it WOULD work. its not like a 4132 is never used, its actually used quite a bit by top teams, you just have to have the personnel to run it (i.e. a strong defense, strong CDM and wide mids that run back and help on defense). our problem is we have an OK defense, a strong CDM , and dont really have wide mids that help back on D, Zusi does some, Bedoya shows the desire to help but overall if dempsey was wide left, he’d never help on defense on a counter, and zusi and bedoya arent the quickest guys of the bunch. so yes my all out attack formation isn’t ideal for us but it does work for some teams. th whole reason we play with a 4231 is because we need help defending mainly in the middle like on counters. BUT, to sum up, IF we had wide mids capable of sprinting back on counters, etc AND/OR a strong back 4 that was tested and cohesive, the 4132 would work best for us.

                side note, our 4231 we play really just turns into a 4213 of sorts, or a 433. two guys stay in the middle (cdms) one orchastrates in the middle of the attack (cam) and the striker is supported by mids that essentially form LW/RW. Thats the real reason why we could never add an attacker (4132) becuase like you said, our whole team just has fantasy all out attacking mentalities. blah blah blah, we’re all just coaching from our couches

        • John says:

          Have you seen Seattle play with Dempsey at the top of a diamond? You have to players tracking runs out of the midfield against a team like Ghana or you’ll get destroyed.

        • jones says:

          It’s funny how often I see lineups like this on here. It’s pure, irrational fantasy to throw all of your attacking talents on at the same time. No understanding of actual football tactics.

        • Jack Del says:

          This team would lose by 5 to every good team it played.

      • jones says:

        Overall: To those who don’t want Jermaine Jones on the field, I so far see no other, better solutions offered. It is very concerning then if he is not getting minutes.

        • Fair Observer says:

          i only dont want him on because i would love to play with one CDM like a lot of good teams do. obviously we arent good enough in the back to leave that job to one cdm, Bradley could handle it but his supporting cast couldnt. Our D is suspect and our mids dont help back on D. its not that i dont like JJ i just wish we could have 2 strikers (Jozy works best with another stirker)

          • John says:

            If the D was more solid I could see using a more advanced center mid ahead of Bradley, like a Diskerud for example. However I think putting Dempsey there is awful idea in MLS, much less on an international level.

            • jones says:

              yeah, Diskerud (and Sacha) haven’t played well enough for this role. Maybe Mix can improve or some other player like Corona will step up for the next cycle.

          • jones says:

            I appreciate all of your comments.

            What I would like to see more of, considering our options, is JK telling Jones to stay home and allow Bradley a little more leeway to playmake. It might be that Jones does not have the discipline to do this however. Of course Bradley is also good as a DM. It just sucks we don’t yet have an AM (Dempsey doesn’t work here, imo) that can cut it to play with him or that there isn’t another good pure DM option.

            • jones says:

              (this is why we all long for Stu Holden!)

            • Fair Observer says:

              ill be honest, thats how i feel about JJ starting, id be fine with it if JK reversed their roles. it seems he wants MB to stay back and lets JJ roam in the attack when it makes more sense to do the opposite like u said. If JJ is our “enforcer” role due to his strong tackling etc, why wont JJ just sit back and be the DM in the 4231, letting MB (who can score and assist waaaayyyy better than JJ) push forward??? i guess thats another reason why i want JJ to come off the bench, he’s pretty unwilling to sit back on D the whole game. every game there’s moments where i cringe watching him drive up the field and make some hopeful (read: awful) pass to try and create something. thats what MB is good at, creating and possession. i wish we could sign a petition, send it to JJ saying “hey! just play CDM and let MB push forward, you’re terrible at creating and way better at being a strong defenseive enforcer!”

              lets start this petition. haha

              • John says:

                the problem with that is when Jones is asked to drop back and pick the ball up off the back line it’s a nightmare. He seems to have no sense of when a defender is on his back it turns it over constantly under pressure. Just look at the Costa Rica match.

              • Brett says:

                Jones can break up a movement because he’s willing to get stuck in, but he’s a defensive disaster and a booking waiting to happen. Why do people act as if he’s some kind of rock in the middle? Dude is shaky on his best days, and on his worst he’s expert at losing the ball an not chasing it down. He loves to lay on the grass waiting for a whistle.

                If we want to contain Ronaldo and frustrate Germany we need to keep the ball and make them work to get it back, not bunker and wait for them to break through. In case ou haven’t noticed, the team under Klinsmann doesn’t counterattack particularly well.

                This “we need 2 CDMs” stuff is silly because only one stays home on defense anyway. Having 2 only allows you to alternate which one goes forward.

            • GW says:

              If you remember the Bosnia – H game basically after the halftime Mikey stayed home in our half and Jones basically stayed in the BH half.

              The US cannot afford to get overrun in the midfield against any of these teams, not with such a shaky defense.

              JJ’s injury was a groin issue and they can be tricky. As long as he gets a game or two before the end of the season I’m more concerned that he come into camp as healthy as possible. He’s a vet, if you have to choose, fitness and health are more important than sharpness with JJ.

        • Gary Page says:

          So many posters here just aren’t realistic. Face the facts: right now Ronaldo is one of the two or three best attackers on the planet, Germany is probably of better over all quality and is a serious threat to win it all, and the Ghana midfield and attackers are as good or better than ours. The US has a chance IF it beats Ghana and IF it can contain Ronaldo. To contain Ronaldo we are going to have to play defensively and to beat Ghana we will probably have to rely on a counter attacking style. We need two defensive mids and Jones, whatever his shortcomings, has shown in the past CL games and international games that he has the quality to be important. When he is playing well, we don’t have any other defensive mids, outside of maybe Bradley, who can match him. All this other talk is pure fantasy. If were were in a weaker group, it might make sense, but with the group we are in, taking out JJones will probably be suicidal.

            • The Garrincha says:

              Hey GP, good analysis,
              however as we all know, got to beat Ghana, and go from there.
              Sometimes the best approach to a good offensive side with an elite player or two, is to make them play defense. Attack them, have their skilled players exert energy defending/tracking.
              If you just bunker down it is akin to playing, not to lose. basically you are telling CR7, among other teams to just settle in on the attack and eventually you are going to break them down and score target practice like.
              Alternatively be prepared with a solid counter attack, USMNT needs to take it to better teams and to offensive minded teams.
              put them on their heels and on the defensive.

  13. Okifeelthat says:

    Cameron doing a decent job on D but really struggling with his crosses.

  14. IYD says:

    Battle of the perennial mid-table clubs- AV-STOKE

    Guzan has 1 of the lousiest defenses in the entire league.

    Guzan should really try to find himself a big club sooner or later or he might be stuck at AV for the next 5 years

  15. Fair Observer says:

    man people really hung cameron today, Stoke are winning 3-1…… hmmm

    • Increase0 says:

      He is doing fine. Odemwingie is playing really far back… I think he is playing left wing. Half the time, it looks like he and Cameron have switched positions.

  16. John says:

    Cameron with a great finish,

  17. Fair Observer says:

    hmm Cameron just scored…………..

  18. Increase0 says:

    Fabian is playing RB. The attack is going up his side. He just put in a decent cross but he didn’t get it to anyone. Urg, wish he got more time on the left. He needs to be there in the WC.

    • John says:

      As long as he’s playing at fullback I’m fine with it.

    • Increase0 says:

      Ohh, almost had a goal but an over hit pass limited him to making a nice backheel pass and he almost got an assist from it. But like 2 minutes later got caught out defensively and someone got behind him and put in a dangerous cross.

  19. Fredo says:

    Viva Barca

  20. John says:

    Should we play Cameron at striker? 2 Premier league goals now

    • Brett says:

      Wonder how that makes Jozy feel.

      • Fair Observer says:

        probably makes Jozy wish he had went to Stoke instead of Sunderland…. haha. I think Jozy would fit in way better on Stoke anyways, which I’ve thought even before he went to Sunderland

  21. IYD says:

    Is Hugo Lloris really that much better than Brad Friedel?

    • JayAre says:

      nope just younger.

    • Increase0 says:

      He is much faster and when your defenders play such a high line you need to be young and fast. Soooo ya thats it.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        The high line style that Villas-Boas wanted to play needed a quick keeper with good feet. Friedel was a great organizer and shot-stopper behind a cohesive defensive unit designed to prevent shots on goal. – think of the defense that Blackburn put up during their peak years. But Friedel, espeically at age 40 was not the sweeper-keeper Spurs wanted.

        That being said, even with Lloris, there were plenty of critics about the high line played by Spurs because of the slow central defenders like Dawson.

  22. Increase0 says:

    Danny Williams is doing post match commentary on the Hoffenheim game. He rather soft spoken not a man for TV. Heh

    Johnson got the assist on the 3rd goal btw.

  23. John says:

    Jones on in the 53rd minute, picks up a yellow 77th, Bestiktas up 3-0 with 5 minutes left

  24. Atletico Man says:

    Just enjoying our two hours on top of the table….

  25. Dc says:

    Dude, Shep Messing, shut up.

  26. UclaBruinGreat says:

    Every time i watch a French league game.. the stands are almost completely empty. I wonder why?

  27. Atletico Man says:

    Carvjal just got powned by Iniesta.

  28. Increase0 says:

    Benzema can be sooo incompetent sometimes but then at the same time he can do that. Well I guess if Di Maria keeps feeding him the ball….. it doesn’t matter.

  29. beachbum says:

    this is awesome!!! what a joy to watch this game

  30. beachbum says:

    Carlo has his guys serving the ball in the air and finding spaces, Barca looking to do their thing, contrasting styles equally awesome and able

    just an amazingly fun first half

  31. Lu says:

    Messi surpasses Hugo Sanchez as the 2nd all time goal scorer in La Liga

    • lazyTW says:

      he’s done this in just like 8 years with the first team? incredible. LA Liga has been around for decades. Messi isn’t HUMAN.

      there is no way he or Ronaldo should be able to gobble up records and spit them out like they do

      • beachbum says:

        different balls? different rules especially re. defensive play? the general evolution of the game to today? not saying they couldn’t do it anyway but there’s a few of reasons in their favor imo

        but I get your point man. they are a joy to watch play their careers, must see TV every weekend, as great as any I’ve ever enjoyed all these years

  32. einar says:

    is there a free live feed I can find!!!!???????

  33. Bac says:

    Wow.. just wow.. what a first half

  34. einar says:

    it isnt working!!!!

  35. einar says:

    help please

  36. einar says:

    the wizwig does not work :(

  37. lazyTW says:

    why are there no Yanks at BARCA?

    0 in the academy?

    why is there no American chairman or chairwoman who want to own a piece of this fabolous club. Make $$$ and then help your countrymen get into the club

  38. Increase0 says:

    Urg, Benzema is just not that great. His finishing is just bad.

    Also give Ramos a card for whining even when Real gets a penalty.

  39. Ralph says:

    Madrid penalty on foul outside the box. Nice.

  40. Atletico Man says:


    • BB4 says:

      Neymar is rapidly approaching Busquets and Suarez as one of my least favorite players. Always looking to fall down, even when he’s one-on-one with the keeper. Not sure that’s a penalty.

  41. Increase0 says:

    Bad red card. Pen and a yellow. 2 real defenders right there…. But I still dislike Ramos so meh.

  42. Francois says:

    What a dive from Neymar

    • Atletico Man says:

      Why would he dive? He had one on one with Lopez in the box. I don’t think it was a card, but neither did Neymar dive, he just went down.

      • Northzax says:

        He’d lost the angle, Lopez had a 50/50 shot at the ball. And that right there is why last man back is an awful rule. Fine, give the penalty, but the ref had no choice but to radically change a great match on a seriously picky foul. Clearly unintentional contact (it was Ramos’ back foot)

  43. beachbum says:

    both PKs have their dubious qualities imo, fair enough in the end with both

    2nd half more subdued after that cracker first 45, and all different now 10-11

  44. Atletico Man says:

    Gutsy play by a 10-man Real sending both backs so far forward.

  45. Increase0 says:

    Okay, now that is a bad pen.

    • Atletico Man says:

      Bad in the sense that it was a stupid one to give by Real? Because that was about as clear a block as there could be.

  46. Francois says:


  47. Atletico Man says:

    That was a penalty.

  48. beachbum says:

    the Iniesta PK is legit and Messi makes no mistake. wow, emphatic strike into the upper right 90

  49. Francois says:

    horrible refereeing, unreal

  50. Expat4455 says:

    I believe in Brazil Klinsi will start against Ghana with a 4-2-3-1, We will know more in the second half of the Mexico friendly, or at least by the 2nd. send-off one.

  51. Ralph says:

    Stonecold penalty. How is there any complaint about that?

    • Francois says:

      Are you serious? Xabi gets the ball and Iniesta runs into his legs. No hard contact, but Iniesta goes down hard. You can’t call that in that situation, all 3 penalties have been dubious.

      • Increase0 says:

        I’m confused as well. If I was called on Carvajal maybe but it was on Xavi. But Xavi clear got the ball. to quote the guardian MBM

        “Andres Iniesta goes down and Barcelona have another penalty! He was sandwiched by Carvajal and Alonso but Iniesta made the most of it. I’m not sure about that at all.”

        Xavi was booked too. So seems to be on him. Dunno if it was for the foul or dissent.

      • Rich D says:

        Always a dubious situation when 2 defenders get split in the box.

      • beachbum says:

        just watched it again. it was a PK and should be called in that situation imo.

  52. Atletico Man says:

    That leaves Bale the only non-defender on Real without a card.

  53. Atletico Man says:

    At least the Red Bulls picked up another point.

  54. Expat4455 says:

    Okay, Barca 4, Real 3. But, what chance would either side have against Sunderland?

  55. argh says:

    BEINSPORTS should hire wynalda and McBride

    • Steve-O says:

      McBride, yes. Wynalda, no — absolutely not! Please keep him, Keller, Lalas, and Twellman away from television screens as much as possible. Cory Gibbs and Tim Howard aren’t exactly covering Americans in the studio and booth in glory either. Howard offers the occasional insightful comment on what might be going through a keeper’s head during the game — and I love hearing that type of commentary — but he is poor at offering illuminating comments about other aspects of play.

  56. Bac says:

    Even though I don’t like Neymar, that was a penalty, but I don’t like that as a red card. His touch was taking him away from a direct line to goal and another defender was right there. I know it’s up to the application of the rule as denial of a goal scoring opportunity, but I think that rule should be applied on a breakaway… not like that. They get the penalty, hate the red.

  57. Expat4455 says:

    Does anyone know? Has Klinsi ever gone with a 4-2-3-1?

    • Increase0 says:

      Maybe by accident.


      • Expat4455 says:

        Am I wrong, don’t some teams, some very good teams I might add, play this formation?

        • Steve-O says:

          Arguably, the vast majority of the teams involved in world football play this formation. However, there has been a tactical shift within the last 6 months where more and more teams are starting to use a 4-4-2. Still, the 4-5-1 is bound to be the most popular formation at this year’s World Cup because international football always lags behind club football and it’s easier to implement sweeping tactical changes more easily over the course of a long season rather than a couple of weeks.

    • Steve-O says:

      That’s his preferred formation and depending on the success he has having within it, he may or may not change to a 4-4-2 with double pivots in the second half. He has also experimented with a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield as well as a 4-1-3-2 with the carrileros shifting slightly higher up the field to offer greater support to the wide players and the attacking midfielder.

      • Steve-O says:

        Scratch that last part. I was still thinking about a standard 4-4-2 with double pivots and traditional wide midfielders. What I meant to say was that the carrileros — the shuttlers on either side of the diamond — push up in midfield to help support the two forwards and the attacking midfielder.

    • John says:

      Since the Honduras loss last year, 4-2-3-1 has been the formation we usually start off in. Some point to dropping the 4-3-3 with 3 defensive midfielders for the 4-2-3-1 as when things kind of turned around, certainly in qualifying for the US.

    • Bac says:

      That’s become his standard starting formation, but it more or less morphs into a 4-4-1-1. The teams that execute the 4-2-3-1 the best have a true 10 as a playmaker who can do everything. We don’t have that, we have guys that operate more like a 2nd forward, primarily Deuce, and Donovan plays more like a withdrawn forward when he plays in the middle than a true 10.
      What’s funny is under Bradley’s standard 4-4-2, everyone would always want Deuce moved up as the 2nd forward, which he would do late in games. Now he’s up there but nobody is convinced we’re in the best lineup…
      $h!t I don’t know….

      • GW says:

        Mr. bac,

        I’m sure the USMNT coaching staff is as up to date on the latest tactical trends as the fans are. After all they have computers too:

        link to

        All these formations only make sense if:

        1. You have the players who can play them
        2. The time to practice

        For instance In the Ukraine game there was a back four who had never played together, particularly the CB pair.

        Given that the Ukraine team they were playing was a very good, veteran team who had just missed qualifying for the World Cup and had been together for some time, the 2-0 score was actually not a bad result. And if you watch this USMNT team whenever they have a run of games close together like they did last summer starting with that rout by Belgium, they tend to follow their bad opening game with better performances and get better thereafter, which only makes sense.

        Which makes the send off games a real big deal.

        The point is none of us are on the training ground so we don’t see how the various formations work out (or not) in training.

        My guess is keeping to a basic, familiar, starting formation, in this case the 4-2-3-1, only makes sense. After all these things can morph any time into a 4-4-2, a 4-5-1. a 3-5-2, a 4-3-3,a 4-6-0 or any of their endless variations, in an instant after the opening whistle.

        • Bac says:

          Yea I agree with everything you just said 100%. Did something I said not sit right with you? I was just pointing out a few examples about his formation question.
          Speaking of which, I’ve said that I’d like to see Bradley sitting deep in the middle of a 3 man midfield, where he’d have space to control the game, I think he’d thrive.. but unfortunately we don’t have the personnel to make it happen right now….
          As far as my example about how we line up with Deuce as a 10, it’s just different than say how an Ozil or a Mata type is expected to play… but since we don’t have anyone like that, it plays out differently for us.. but it’s still probably our best approach which I agree with you

        • Bac says:

          That’s a good article by the way

  58. Jack Del says:

    Wow. That post-game presser was more insane than the game.

    Here comes a long suspension for C. Ronaldo. Might have just cost Madrid a shot at the title.