Break out the Chardonnay and croissants. It’s Mother’s Day Weekend, here in the States only as I learned on Twitter yesterday.
But there is a full plate overflowing with bangers, mash and a whole host of phenomenal footie affairs.
The “premiere” match-up? Of course that’s Manchester United vs. Chelsea. John Terry vs. Wayne Rooney. Massive debt (MUFC) vs. Diminishing Wealth (CHE), Aging talisman (Giggs) vs. Very aging sharpshooter who doesn’t create anymore and is really just taking up space sometimes (Lampard), though he’s a complete professional.
Chelsea just off the top ‘o the table, Manchester United looking to brush them under.
There’s more of course, the USMNT’s two “2011 EPL minutes leaders” in the central midfield go head-to-head. Of course that’s
Michael Bradley vs. Stu Holden rather Jermaine Jones vs. Jonathan Spector. West Ham is currently porkloined in the basement, Blackburn is a hovering.
Roma vs. Milan goes down in Serie A. Unfortunately Roma’s tomato over-ripened about half a season ago. Maybe Zlatan will create some excitement though.
Bundesliga, pass this week. I’ll take flack.
La Liga, pass this week. Won’t take flack.
Back home in MLS, you’ve got the bi-coastal marquee match-up of the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. the New York Red Bulls. If you remember last year, the Red Bulls visited a Galaxy-side that was depleted at the back having to play then-second choice Leonardo and third stringer Yohance Marshall in central defense.
That said, it was the Red Bulls central defense of Tony Tchiani and Rafa Marquez that laid the beatdown on Dema Kovalenko and Juninho in the middle and that was the story of the match and will likely be the key ingredient to Saturday’s match. Can the Los Angeles Galaxy midfield step-up when teams stretch to cover a withdrawn David Beckham and advancing Landon Donovan.
On the opposite side, Bruce Arena’s company will have to deal a methodical linking attack of the Red Bulls that’s starting to take shape.
Elsewhere, the Sounders take on Columbus in their 2nd game of the week and need to put it together–again–on offense to do any better than a draw. Philly heads to Portland’s lair for a battle of offense vs. defense.
Two more notes:
» First, gave a little stick to Grant Wahl about his Sporting KC MLS Cup pick. He fired back that he was still all-in on the wizardry of Peter Vermes.
Sporting KC might be looking down at no one in the table right now, but they’re a lot better than their record indicates. Red cards in all but one game (that will get corrected), a road trip from hell to start the season while Lance LIVESTRONG park readies itself for the MLS Tour, and injuries to the backline.
KC haven’t lost a game by more than one goal and were in every game that they have played. Once they get back home, their defense will solidify and with the weapons up front, they’ll just need to get that midfield a little more sorted. With a KC bye this week, good times for you fantasy footie managers to pick up some Sporting players on the cheap. Just got myself a shiny new Michael Harrington on discount.
» Second, and am way late on this: I love the move to ban colored shoes on the pitch. If you recall it was a shrewd business move by Nike to guerrilla market the 2010 World Cup. This consisted of: calling out the Jabulani, making the infamously expensive hype video featuring Wayne Roo-ins and more, and of course, honoring their athletes contracts by outfitting their South Africa bound players with shoe colors that went highlighter.
In case you didn’t know, that the color is for them to get noticed, nothing more. And I for one, cannot stand when a marketing move disrupts the tradition of club color’s or unity. Anywho…
Back to the games….