Your Weekend Commentary Here

Let your match weekend commentary fly right here.

LeToux: Ready to mute the Highlighters from the N-Dub?

Sebastian Le Toux at home this weekend with his Union looking to force the internet-o-sphere into asking the question again, “Why did Seattle give him away again?”

Blackpool versus Wigan in a critical relegation battle. Expect an open affair as both teams fancy themselves an attacking side–though the Tangerines are the ones that usually adhere. That this game is not on the mudified pitch of Wigan is a bonus.

West Ham versus Aston Villa. Villa have climbed out of the relegation zone and have more than a gasp of breathing room, but perennially underachieving West Ham always seem to have something left in the tank to avoid the drop.

United versus City….and sadly no Carlos Tevez. With City’s pathetic performance against Liverpool and missing their false nine pinball in Tevez, it would be quite a statement from the Citizens to actually step up–for once–in a big game. Not easy against a United side brimming with confidence.

A lot more coming….

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31 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andrew on 2011/04/16 at 6:44 AM

    Can’t forget the battle between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen where one team is up for the title and the other is fighting for a Champions League place, with the catch that the manager will switch teams at the end of the season

    Reply

  2. Posted by dth on 2011/04/16 at 8:19 AM

    Our guy Timmy Chandler with the nice cross: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwzmyOUl0N8

    Reply

    • Posted by Soccernst on 2011/04/16 at 10:30 AM

      Delicious. Curious to see how Chandler and Dolo on the right flank would work instead of Lichaj TC. IMO their skills have more overlap than the lichaj partnership, but could account for some serious carpet bombing from wide right.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/04/16 at 6:27 PM

        Lichaj has been playing LB for Leeds the last couple of games. I know that is not his natural position but while ‘Dolo is still with the NT, maybe Lichaj could be given a shot at LB.

        Reply

  3. Posted by dth on 2011/04/16 at 8:28 AM

    And, to get a headstart on the OUTRAGE. Backe to drop Agudelo to bench?: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/rbny-notebook-bouna-back-rodgers-and-henry

    Reply

    • Posted by mbw on 2011/04/16 at 8:22 PM

      I predict that New York will go to a 4-3-3 within the next two months: Rodgers, Henry, and Agudelo up top; Lindpere and De Rosario ahead of Taino in the midfield.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/04/16 at 8:34 PM

        Possible. Except you’re dropping Dane Richards. And I’m also not sure Agudelo will make a good winger, to be honest–I’ve rarely seen him beat a guy off of the dribble.

        That said, with all the hype over Luke Rodgers’s two goals, I’m not actually sure how good he is. He’s a very strange player: his touch seems to get better the closer he gets to goal; he had some awful touches/passes in the build up but some great ones close to goal. His runs are intense and very intelligent. So, uh, who knows? Agudelo could probably stand to learn from him though.

        Reply

        • Posted by mbw on 2011/04/16 at 10:40 PM

          Yep. Richards undoubtedly brings something to the table; but I’ve always thought his habit of holding the ball too long jammed the gears of the Red Bulls’ offense, and I was hoping to see Tchani claim that place before the De Ro deal. Regarding Rodgers, I was impressed by what he contributed to Henry’s game — nearly all of Henry’s many, many good chances came through Rodgers.

          Reply

          • Posted by dth on 2011/04/17 at 2:20 PM

            Yes, this is true. San Jose’s defense was so poor–very lax in closing Rodgers down when he had the ball.

            Reply

  4. Posted by Crow on 2011/04/16 at 6:25 PM

    I hope so bad that Chivas somehow passes on Feilhaber. He is exactly what the Union needs. Miglioranzi isn’t cutting it this year and the Union need someone to create some offense in the midfield. At the beginning of the year I said that I thought the Union D would be much improved, although many disagreed, and it looks like I’m right so far. However, their attack has certainly taken a step back. It is a shame they didn’t get the 3 pts today. So close to a 4-1 start.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/04/16 at 7:33 PM

      I’m not sure what’s up with the Union’s offense. It was very fluid last year and looks constipated this year so far, with basically the same personnel. (Though I’ve never heard a coherent explanation for why Kyle Nakazawa gets as much time as he does, which is to say any time. Somehow Nakazawa has a thousand career minutes over two years.)

      So given that I’m not sure, I’m not sure Feilhaber helps them. He’s not really a number ten, and the team is well-stocked with wingers.

      Reply

  5. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/04/17 at 7:25 AM

    Morning question: Has anyone ever seen Mario Balotelli and Terrell Owens in the same room? His own teammates hate him. We’ve all seen guys with zero self reflective capacity in high leve sports but wow…what a brainless dope.

    Reply

    • Posted by EFG on 2011/04/17 at 10:28 AM

      Like Mancini said, let’s just go ahead and throw Balotelli in jail because “taunted” Rio and the Man Utd fans. Heaven forbid anyone stand up to Rio, who always seems to be able to dish it out but can never take it. Balotelli isn’t doing anything that a normal 20 year old would do, he just gets a bad wrap (not entirely undeserved) based on past instances. It was an emotional semifinal derby victory and we all need to relax.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/04/17 at 2:09 PM

        I always support an English team when they play a ‘foreign’ team, but I am seriously thinking about changing this for United’s CL SF. They really leave a bad taste in your mouth when they lose.

        And Fergie tried to play mind games all week and it back fired. Brilliant.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/04/17 at 2:15 PM

          Ralf Ragnick’s teams always play an entertaining style, so I think you’ll find Schalke 04 an easy one to root for.

          Schalke next year could be quite good, by the by. Getting back Lewis Holtby from Mainz and making noises about bringing Jermaine Jones back.

          Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/04/18 at 6:26 AM

        Not a MU or Rio fan. Notice my comment had little to do with the Ferdinand incident. As a football fan, the end of the game was just icing on the cake.
        More disturbing for me is the 5 times with under 10 mins left where he made ridiculously selfish and/or boneheaded footballing decisions including: 1) shot the ball after 1 touch while unmarked 25 yds out with at least 3 possession options (3mins) 2)turned over the ball multiple times due to lazy/uninterested hold up play in the middle third 3)made the same “jozy altidore”-like lazy vertical runs with little or no effort to make space for others.
        First time I’ve seen him in extended duty in a while and he just has the same childish approach to the whole game as ever.
        You might want to pick a different player to defend so vigorously cause he’s going to continue to break your heart.

        Reply

        • Posted by EFG on 2011/04/18 at 10:06 AM

          Sorry for the assumption. Your comment really had no context to it so I assumed it was the Rio incident since that was all that anyone was talking about.

          Everyone seems to expect him to be a fully mature player at 20 who will make all of the correct decisions all of the time which is impossible – especially for someone with his background. For each of those “mistakes” he made, I saw instances of runs to open space for others (including drawing Carrick just enough for Yaya to get the head start on him to muscle past him) and shots that required excellent saves. He’ll grow into his potential and settle down. If he’s still having these problems at 23-25, then I’ll be worried.

          For what it’s worth, he seems to play more focused with the Italian National Team.

          Reply

          • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/04/18 at 11:03 AM

            In the run of play I agree that his talent and sheer physical gifts are top notch. What was startling to me was how out of sync he was with his teams needs at that stage of the game to the point of just complete disregard for the clock and possession that was called for. 2 or 3 instances of teammates following him yelling at him for something he’d just done. And its the same things being said about him at Inter etc.
            I think the players who excel at the game have a respect and understanding to their play at an early age. Maturity generally allows them to harnesss the skill and rounds out the edges (see C Ronaldo, Nani, Rooney even Zidane as good examples). He reminds me more of an Ibra whose inherent character is toxic to his own team in spite of his talent.

            Reply

            • Posted by EFG on 2011/04/18 at 11:56 AM

              I can’t disagree with any of that. I personally like him as a player – mostly based on his potential. He’s sort of like Jozy or Eddie Johnson in that the tools are there but isn’t coming together. I think there is still time for Mario and if he gets it together – watch out.

            • Jozy and Mario are completely different than Eddie Johnson. Altidore and Balotelli are great athletes with at least some soccer skill; Johnson is probably the best pure athlete of the three but by far the worst technically and tactically.

            • Posted by EFG on 2011/04/18 at 12:53 PM

              Definitely agree with that I was just using those two as examples of athletic strikers that haven’t quite clicked fully yet.

  6. Posted by BunkelUSA on 2011/04/17 at 10:09 AM

    Goodson returns for Brondby, good to see him back.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Alex on 2011/04/17 at 1:21 PM

    How is CD9 playing? USMNT worthy. I know he´s been scoring goals but I haven´t been able to catch any games.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/04/17 at 1:35 PM

      It’s kind of hard to tell. He’s gotten three PKs, one goal off of a Chad Marshall mistake, and a fifth off of a nice counterattack.

      He certainly could end up breaking into the depth chart, but the odds are still against it, I think.

      Reply

      • Posted by Steve Trittschuh on 2011/04/17 at 7:03 PM

        Bunbury’s goals have been much more “difficult,” if you will. Although Sporting KC as a whole has not looked good.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/04/17 at 8:22 PM

          For sure.

          I think Sporting KC are actually going to be good. Their offense in general gets it done; it’s the defense that’s the problem. People tend to underestimate the effects of schedule on early season play: Sporting have played every game on the road due to their stadium. To see this effect in the opposite direction, look at the Rapids: after their 3-0-0 start everyone was saying what a good team they are, ignoring the road/home split (2 at home) and the teams involved (DC, Portland, and Chivas, with Chivas on the road). Even at 3-2-0, they’re not nearly as good as their record.

          Reply

      • Posted by Colin on 2011/04/18 at 5:34 AM

        Yea…its hard to tell, but I dont know that the odds are against it. 5 goals in 211 minutes of playing time is a pretty good rate. Yes, 3 were from PKs, but it still counts.

        Which striker is clearly playing better than he is? Surely not Altidore. Agudelo and Bunbury are not clearly playing any better or worse at the moment.

        Keep in mind that Davies hadnt played a competitive match in 17 months and he has only had 4 appearances with only 1 start since he returned. He has not been at his best and has still managed to get the job done.

        The next USMNT match isnt until June 4…i would say at this point, chances are pretty good that he will make that squad if he keeps making starts and keeps scoring goals…regardless if they are from the spot.

        And at the end of the day, I dont think there is a player in contention for a spot that would have more desire and motivation to perform well for the national team than Davies.

        Reply

        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/04/18 at 6:43 AM

          I agree that I’d rather see his “want to” alongside Agudelo’s work rate and intelligent forward play than Altidore at this point. Something to be said for wanting it.

          Reply

  8. Posted by FutbolAmerica on 2011/04/18 at 8:32 AM

    About Davies; the question has to be asked. Is it:

    A) Charlie Davies is nearly back to his old self
    B) MLS just isn’t up to the level he should be playing at
    C) he’s been fortunate and a drought is inevitable
    D) All of the above

    What do you guys think?

    Reply

    • Posted by Colin on 2011/04/18 at 9:45 AM

      A) He’s not quite back to his old self, but is definitely getting closer with more playing time.

      B) More this than the others. Even with the rust from 17 months of recovery, he has proven to be quite an effective striker in the MLS up to this point in the season.

      C) He’s been fortunate in that 3 of the goals are from PKs, but he has also had limited playing time (3 of 4 appearances have been as a 2nd half sub). Even a “drought” from his current goal rate would still be a solid goal return.

      At this point, I dont think he has done enough to be a sure bet for the gold cup squad just yet. However, if he continues in the starting lineup for DCU and continues to score/set up goals, he will force his way in.

      Reply

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