Saturday edition [note: we wrote this Friday night, before Burnley held MU to a scoreless draw this morning)
7:45amET is Burnley-MU (NBCSN). They’re bound to win this one right? di Maria in the squad?
Any of the 10amET fixtures worth watching? Doesn’t really seem like it. Maybe Man City-Stoke (NBCSN), to see if City keeps firing with various cylinders. Has Bojan featured for Stoke yet?
Good one at 12:30pET, this week it’s Chelsea visiting Goodison Park (NBC). Probability of Everton getting at least a point again? Can Drogba play for 90’? Schürrle as a falsish 9?
Decent Bundesliga matchup at 12:30pET as well (Gol), Schalke-Bayern. Not sure if Schalke are supposed to be any good this season, but they are in the CL again. They’ve still got Huntelaar, Draxler, Kevin-Prince..but lost last week to Hannover. Also unfortunately no more Jermaine Jones, although now that I look at his wiki it looks like he left in January to join..Beşiktaş. That would have been interesting over the past couple weeks
2:30pET is Roma-Fiorentina, 2nd fixture of Serie A opening day (preceded by Chievo-Juve, both on beIN)
Roma still have Totti, Pjanic, Gervinho, de Rossi. Unfortunately Strootman still rehabbing his knee (with talk that van Gaal will try to bring him to Manchester in Jan, assuming he comes back as the same sort of player. Think van Gaal had planned to build the Dutch squad around Strootman prior to his ACL), but Roma added some experience in midfield in the form of Malian Seydou Keita..the guy who was a part of those peak Barcelona squads a few years ago. Went to China for a couple years, no doubt padded his bank balance, now back in the big leagues
Championship watch: Fulham-Cardiff is on beIN, Watford-Huddersfield Town and Leeds-Bolton not televised (all 10amET)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs Queens Park Rangers, 8:30amET (CNBC): mainly just as a matter of courtesy to Lally. Will he be waking up at 5:30amPT for this? Actually curious to see if the Pochettino resurrection of Soldado/Lamela continues. And also Lally himself +’s this: “+ redknapp and Hoddle back on the touch line at Tottenham . Both will get good reception but Hoddle will get chants (Hoddle, hoddle; Hoddle, hoddle, born is the king of white hart lane)”
- Ajax vs PSV, 10:45amET (unfortunately no US TV): If, like us, you’re going to watch at most a few Eredivisie matches all season, then this is one to watch. The two sides at the top of the table. Among the Dutch WC players in action should be Daley Blind and young Memphis Depay.
- Sunderland vs Manchester United, 11amET (NBCSN): is it back to King Louis or still the devil? (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/aug/22/louis-van-gaal-king-devil-manchester-united-transfers)
- Barcelona vs Elche, 3pmET (beIN): first look at the new look Barça. Remarkably Neymar has recovered from that fractured vertrebra, but doubtful b/c of an ankle sprain. So unclear who will flank Messi in the front 3. For that matter unclear who will play in the midfield (well, probably Iniesta & Busquets, but will it be Xavi or Rakitic that forms Enrique’s 1st choice mf 3), and in defense (Vermaelen? Mathieu?)
To be fair and balanced: Elche is on the SE coast of Spain, about 2hrs south of Valencia. The club returned to the top flight last season, after an absence of 24 years; narrowly avoided going back down by finishing 16th. No idea who their top players are, but among the curiosities on their roster are: a Polish goalkeeper (on loan from PSV), a Cape Verdean (on loan from a Bulgarian club!) a Croatian (on loan from Chelsea—Sumit, you guys have got players squirreled away all over the place) and 2 Frenchies.
That’s all from Wikipedia; more Elche history on Barcelona’s website: http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/detail/article/fc-barcelona-v-elche-historic-meetings and http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/detail/image_gallery/season/2012-2013/elche-return-24-years-later
- Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders, 5pmET (ESPN2): MLS’s biggest derby, I guess? Apparently they don’t get along? Listened to the show that Men in Blazers recorded live in Portland right before that All Star game..they booed Yedlin when he was introduced (as Rog asked: “What do you people have against Akron Zips??”)
Aaron Ramsey Distribution Map [ Animated ]
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, Aug 16th 2014
Opening goal of the 2014-15 Premier League season, rendered by @RikkiLeaks minutes after KiS.Y. scored it
To help you plan your weekend and set your DVR accordingly, here is the schedule for the opening weekend of the Premier League, including US TV listings (via http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2014/07/16/premier-league-2014-15-tv-schedule-for-nbc-sports-group/)
Actually this listicle of “Ten Prem matches to watch in 2014" picks West Ham-Tottenham as one of his 3 picks to watch this weekend (the others being MU-Swansea & Liverpool-Southampton.
Bundesliga and La Liga start next weekend, Serie A the week after. CL qualifiers of course this coming Tues-Wed..
via Dirty Tackle’s roundup of Pep’s petulance towards Porter in Portland: “MLS All-Stars beat Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola gives Caleb Porter a finger wag | Dirty Tackle - Yahoo Sports”:
Bayern manager Pep Guardiola was displeased with several heavy challenges committed against his players and the result probably didn’t help matters. So, instead of shaking the hand of MLS All-Star and Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter, Guardiola wagged his finger at him instead.
Cover of the current issue of @ProyectoPanenka: “Futbol con Causa”:
El nuevo número de Panenka ya está a la venta. Se trata del número de verano, correspondiente a los meses de julio y agosto, abordamos bajo un mismo volumen toda una serie de historias que demuestran el porqué no debe desligarse el fútbol de conceptos tan sociales como el compromiso, el sexismo, los nacionalismos, la libertad, la dictadura, la marginación, las religiones o la ideología. Para ello nos remontamos, por ejemplo, hasta la Primera Guerra Mundial, que este julio cumple 100 años, contando las vivencias de algunas víctimas vinculadas a nuestro deporte. También entrevistamos a Carlos Caszely, uno de los más grandes del fútbol chileno, para que nos cuente cómo es eso de negarle el saludo a Pinochet y no morir en el intento. O nos desplazamos hasta Irak y ponemos nombre a dos soldados cuyo compromiso les llevó a cambiar el balón por un fusil. Aunque no hace falta irnos tan lejos para entender el lazo que existe entre el fútbol y las identidades nacionales: Llagostera y Hospitalet representan, sobre el césped y en sus gentes, los dos vértices de una sociedad catalana que se divide en torno al independentismo. De la voluntad de soberanía al orgullo de sentirse español.En esta nueva edición dePanenka también nos aproximamos a la nueva dimensión del pueblo egipcio, tres años después de la caída del poder de Mubarak, que tuvo en los ultras del Al Ahly un elemento decisivo para luchar por el cambio. O fijamos los ojos, mientras los de todo el mundo se dirigen a Brasil, a la Laponia sueca, donde se acogió la desconocida Copa del Mundo de la CONIFA. Y al mismo tiempo, nos damos un respiro para entender la historia de Fortunato Quispe, un boliviano que se desplazó a la República Dominicana atraído por el antiimperialismo y que, sin esperarlo, se acabó convirtiendo en el padre del fútbol local del país.
Via MLSsoccer.com, a handy “Schedule of international friendlies this summer, incl. MLS clubs vs. a host of EPL clubs”.
This summer’s “big European clubs preseasoning in the US” schedule really kicks off tonight, with 5 matches featuring MLS sides: Tottenham in Toronto, Crystal Palace in Columbus, Man City in Kansas City, Aston Villa in Dallas, and Man Utd in LA. In addition, Liverpool play Roma for the 2nd straight summer in the cozy confines of Fenway, and (Colombian side) Atlético Nacional plays big-money Monaco in Miami.
Click thru for the numerous additional games coming up over the next few weeks.
via the NYC Arsenal Supporters:
Friday July 25th
Grand Central Station Vanderbilt Hall
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
Yet another event for the fabulous weekend of Arsenal that we have bought you so far.
This is a PUMA event and features the following exciting items:
9.30am to 5pm - 3v3 Soccer mini tournament at grand Central Station (Teams already picked by PUMA so no participation)
12pm - FA Cup arrives on site and WILL be available for photo’s with fans (no touching obviously)
5pm - 3 Arsenal Players will arrive and participate in the fun for an hour (We will not know regarding photo or autograph op’s until the day so please do not ask)
6pm - Players will depart
Gunnersaurus will be hanging around as well!!! The big draws are obviously having the FA Cup available for photo’s as well as Arsenal Players there later on.