Your Sunday Commentary Here

Well, got that one wrong and the one after it.

San Jose was outplayed by a Colorado with a marvelous job done up the middle by the Rapids, from the midfield through the central defense of Drew Moor and Marvell Wynne. Ryan Johnson should have had a goal, but a good night otherwise for the home side. As I wrote on Twitter, highly disappointed in the efforts of Giovanni who has that look of “It’s freezing and I really don’t want to be here.”

And that announced attendance? 17,000 not sure I’m buying it but we weren’t talking Pizza Hut Park either. Not every spectator had two seats to sprawl on.

On to Sunday:

The Empire Strikes...Twice...


• Los Angeles v. Dallas

Still feeling the Galaxy in this one, 2-0. Sticking with my prediction of 2-0. Watch David Ferreira have something else to say.

Actually, as written previously, I think you’re going to see David Beckham tuck himself in on the right and clog that middle for Ferreira and force Dallas to beat them down the flanks. Your time to shine Brek Shea.



• Toffees vs. Emirates

Despite a shutout on the road midweek, Arsenal’s defense is having a real hard time lately with its soft underbelly centrally. The combo of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci (with Thomas Vermaelen ailing) have not protected whoever the notoriously negligent goalkeeper on the day is.

That’ll leave it to the Blues’ Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford who finally showed up last week to create some havoc up front. Look for Moyes to keep John Heitinga as a deep-lying central defensive mid and for Mikel Arteta to try to find Beckford, Yak and/or both over the top.

With Fellaini out, Luis Saha blase and little wing play, expect an ugly game from the Blues in hopes of taking down the visitors.

What looked like perhaps a few too many ducats for Sunderland's record signing in August is looking like a $14.5M euro bargain now.

• Chelsea vs. Sunderland

Unfortunately, injuries will likely wreck what would have been a match-up of the best forwards in the Premiership. Oh, it’s not Didier Drogba, who, despite a bout of malaria, expects to play. Darren Bent is shelved for the Black Cats or the doubles match-up of Anelka-Drogba and Gyan-Bent would have been a good one.

Worse for the men at the Bridge, is Michael Essien out. How valuable is Essien? Despite missing Frank Lampard for a stretch already Chelsea maintained their unbeaten streak all the way up until last week at Anfield where the Ancelotti’s crew was dismantled…by the same team that got a Stoke City beatdown this Saturday.

If our good friend Lee Cattermole can see fit not to earn yellow…or red, this one should be a good one with Essien watching in street clothes.

More coming….

30 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/14 at 8:42 AM

    How Arsenal do not have 3 or 4 is beyond me. It’s been far too easy for them. Do Everton actually know what ‘pressing’ means?


  2. Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 9:36 AM

    And the overpriced English player derby kicks off today with Chelsea-Sunderland. Don’t think Henderson is worth twenty million pounds, but he does look fairly good.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/14 at 11:04 AM

      If he was American you’d all be raving on about him too! Just look at the way you talk with extravagant enthusiasm re. Lichaj who has hardly played any minutes.

      In fairness, I don’t think he’s done enough to warrant the hype. This always happens post England’s disappointing World Cup when the media want a fresh start with younger talent.


      • Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 11:20 AM

        Oh, no, I like him very much, don’t get me wrong. BUT is he worth 20 million pounds? Almost certainly not–that much money could’ve gotten you Ozil, van der Vaart and di Maria last transfer window with enough money to get Chamakh on a free transfer.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/14 at 11:53 AM

          You are right, Sir. He is not worth that sort of money. Nowhere near it to be frank. But perhaps that’s what you get when The FA imposes a HomeGrown Rule, and when City start to sniff around.

          I feel the players you mentioned ‘went on the cheap’ because of their contract situation at their prior clubs. All are clearly more developed and proven. We will see…


        • Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 1:09 PM

          Oh yeah, it was contract situation (Ozil, di Maria) or getting edged out at a big club (van der Vaart), but the point here is that there are huge bargains in most transfer markets, so why spend twenty million on a good-but-not-great prospect?

          (by the by, Jonjo Shelvey went for 1.7 million pounds)


  3. Petr Cech…. that’s an amazing save. Guy still has it.


    • Posted by Jake on 2010/11/14 at 9:50 AM

      stat of the day…

      the last 39 goals scored at stamford bridge have all been scored by Chelsea…that’s crazy!


      • Posted by Jake on 2010/11/14 at 9:58 AM

        and right on cue sunderland slots one home.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/14 at 11:06 AM

          And what makes it more amusing is that two of the players who scored are on loan from Chelsea’s direct title contenders (City (1st) and United (3rd)).


  4. Posted by kaya on 2010/11/14 at 12:24 PM

    I wish the EPL had the same kind of schedule as Ligue 1… if you rely on poaching feeds to watch like I do, the game times bite for west coast folk.
    As for the “eastern conference” finals yesterday, Wynne was solid, but for the most part, it seemed to me like the Rapids pretty much bypassed the midfield or used Kimura and Cumming’s hustle on the right side to make their chances. From what I’ve seen of him, I’m not sure what makes Geovanni DP material, but overall, I’d say the elevation def made for a home field advantage.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/15 at 7:11 AM

      As somebody who watches rench football, what are your thoughts on Gameiro, Remy, Payet, M’Vila, Cabaye, Sakho and Rami? I have heard a lot of noise about these players since the World Cup, but am not sure if they are legit or whether they’ve been included because of Blanc’s / FFF’s decision to drop players after what happened in RSA. Even though France didn’t qualify for next years tournament (U21 Euro’s) M’Vila and Sakho in particular, have been mentioned – IMScouting always has ‘rumours’ that a ‘G14’ club is about to make an offer…


  5. Posted by 4now on 2010/11/14 at 7:22 PM

    So happy to see Cunningham on the bench.


  6. Posted by MJ on 2010/11/14 at 7:23 PM

    Opening minutes, love the chants by the LA crowd. Loud and involved.


  7. Posted by 4now on 2010/11/14 at 7:40 PM

    ‎”that’s what they do very well… they counter…” dear mr. harkes. that was NOT a counterattack. LA have ceded position, Dallas got tired and played a long ball over the top… why oh why can’t MLS employ competent announcers or analysts?

    can the blogging community write a petition or something?


    • Posted by Jared on 2010/11/15 at 10:34 AM

      It really is embarrassing especially as ESPN has improved dramatically with their coverage of the Premier League. I’d rather have Ian Darke calling the game from a studio in London by himself than listen to Harkes call a game. He played at the top level for a very long time but doesn’t seem to have any understanding of the game itself. When he’s paired with Dellacamera the two of them just refuse to let the game breathe. Dellacamera calls it like he’s calling it for radio broadcast.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/11/15 at 10:39 AM

        What really drew my ire with Harkes this time was one phrase, “See, Sean Franklin should swing the ball there to Omar Gonzalez for distribution and [he’ll send it over to Eddie Lewis]”
        The brackets mean not an exact quote.

        Number one, Harkes completely missed how atrocious the Galaxy’s midfield was THE ENTIRE GAME…until maybe the 85th minute mark after Juninho had made his 13th bad pass

        Two, Omar Gonzalez was treating the ball as a hot potato the entire game. Gonzalez?…for distribution?!

        Eddie Lewis hadn’t done anything down his side.

        So Harkes missed what was happening altogether and the his proposed solution was completely offbase.

        It’s a huge negative to the experienced soccer fan.

        Funny enough, Jimmy Conrad was on an interview the other day and the point was made by the interviewee that he didn’t agree with the broadcasters and Conrad offered, “Was it John Harkes?”



  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/11/14 at 7:52 PM

    Been commenting on Twitter, now moving over here.


  9. Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 8:04 PM

    Very disjointed game. Disappointed; both teams are capable of playing nice moves and combinations but they haven’t brought their A-game.

    Also, Kovalenko is a menace–he must be stopped. I think Nigel de Jong watched Dema Kovalenko’s Instructional Hacking Videos to learn his black arts ways.


  10. Posted by 4now on 2010/11/14 at 8:30 PM

    Stephens for Magee.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 9:06 PM

      Yeah, no Michael Stephens and no Tristan Bowen is really shocking to me. Kirovski? Birchall? Cazumba? These are your solutions, Arena? Come on.


  11. Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 8:54 PM

    Arena’s stubornness bites LA in the ass again. Guess what, Bruce? 4-4-2 is dead, Eddie Lewis sucks, and just because you love them won’t make them whole again.


  12. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/14 at 8:59 PM

    LA aren’t losing because of formation, they’re losing because of their schoolboy defending. Shocking.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 9:06 PM

      Well, not precisely, but it’s played a role: LA can’t break through Dallas’s three man central midfield creatively, and they aren’t finding much up the wings either.

      Surprised Tristan Bowen can’t get run here either. Cazumba over Bowen, really? For a while I thought this was an indictment of Bowen, but given Arena’s incompetence over the latter quarter of the season, I suspect Arena is at least partially at fault here.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/14 at 9:17 PM

        How can you stand off Fereira like that?!

        Dallas have been pressing intelligently and keeping defensive shape, but LA have been pretty pedestrian in possession of the ball. I expected a lot more cohesion from LA. They have been pretty poor in all compartments. I believe Hartman has only made one save so far, and cannot remember Galaxy really testing him or getting behind Dallas. Guess you have to give Dallas credit.


  13. Posted by dth on 2010/11/14 at 9:17 PM

    Well, congratulations to FC Dallas. Their win is much deserved, and they’re becoming something of a model franchise for MLS: they (generally) play in an attractive style, and they have one of, if not the, finest academy in MLS. Hopefully other MLS teams emulate FC Dallas in both respects.


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/11/14 at 9:45 PM

      “Now I know how Houston feels…”
      …no… not quite… I still can’t get over what happened last year, but that’s not really the point is it?

      Becks didn’t look very good tonight. He sent in some nice crosses as you would expect, but still… Donovan probably should have done better with his chance to finish off of a mistake from Hartman, but that chance was much more easier said than done. On the other side of the pitch, George John played fantastic. As did Hartman, Ferreira, and Shea. LA was clearly outplayed by in my opinion a better team anyway. ESPN kept calling Dallas the underdog, but you really have to factor in current form and not just overall quality to determine an underdog.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/11/14 at 9:47 PM

        Not sure how this ended up a reply to @dth, but this was directed towards @Nick, or the first section atleast.


  14. ESPN just showed an interesting shot, Becks standing behind the rope watching FC Dallas receive the Western Conference Trophy….wonder what’s going through his head right about now?

    The last 30 minutes I caught showed an LA team that was tired and bereft of ideas. They really could’ve used a David Ferreira type to dribble and dish.


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