What to Watch This Weekend (Oct 30-31)

October 29, 2010 — by Suman

We’re back once again with our recommendations on when exactly you should plant yourself on your couch or local pub stool this weekend.  Again using SoccerInsider’s full TV listing as a reference, here we go, with some notes from various members of the CultFootball collective:

Saturday Oct 30

Striker, Goal Scorer, Contortionist

Manchester United-Spurs 12:30 p.m. FSC: a matchup of the 3rd and 5th place teams in the EPL table, with goal-scoring players in form on both sides (Chicharito and Nani for Man U, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart for Spurs)

Barcelona-Sevilla 4 p.m. ESPN Deportes: One of the more challenging La Liga games for Barca, especially since Sevilla seems to finally coming into form (6th in the table) after a slow start, and their Brazilian WC2010 star Luis Fabiano back in the lineup and finding the back of the net.

Those are the two matches to make time for, but if you need a couple additional matches to fill out your day:

Hercules-Real Madrid 2 p.m. GolTV: It’ll be interesting to see if Real Madrid can keep up their recent dominating form (well, last week’s scoreless draw against 3rd division Murcia in a Copa del Rey game excepted), or conversely whether Hércules can pull off another upset.

AC Milan-Juventus 2:30 p.m. FSC: AC Milan is 2nd in the Serie A table, and has an exciting set of big names in attack: Ronaldhino, Pato, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Seedorf, while Juve is in 5th.  See’s rundown of key individual matchups here.

And since the MLS playoffs have started, a Saturday night special…

San Jose-New York 10 p.m. Telefutura:  Sounds like Thierry Henry will miss this match due to an injury, but the Red Bulls have a number of players to watch: Rafa Marquez, the Mexican international recently arrived from Barcelona; Estonian Joel Lindpere; Jamaican Dane Richards; and Senegalese-American goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul (see this NY Daily News article about his journey from Senegal to the Bronx to high school in Manhattan, and eventually to the MLS).

Sunday Oct 31

Palermo-Lazio 7:30 a.m. FSP: Roman side Lazio sits atop Serie A, while Palermo is in 8th.  We’ll refer you to for each side‘s rosters, recent team news, and standard formations.

Stan Cummins (sunderland) 1980's tyne-wear derby

Newcastle-Sunderland 9:30 a.m. FSP: The Tyne-Wear derby. Overlooked step-sister Sunderland have held their own against Newcastle on the pitch over the years, if not in international fame. Always good to share your name with a tasty brew.

Bolton-Liverpool noon FSC: Liverpool played well last week, and Fernando Torres finally scored, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can build on that—and work their way up in the table.

And one more—another MLS playoff game, featuring the star-studded Galaxy:

Seattle-Los Angeles 8 p.m. ESPN2


AC Milan v Panathinaikos? In the Pontiac Silverdome? On grass?

August 7, 2010 — by Suman

"Panathinaikos' Sotiris Ninis, front left, and AC Milan's Alexandre Pato fight for this ball in the first half at the Silverdome on Friday. (JULIAN H. GONZALEZ/DFP)"

Doesn’t it seem like every club in Europe is somewhere in the United States over these few weeks, playing warmup matches and making odd publicity appearances?  Thierry Henry scoring on Spurs yet again, but this time after “Coming to America” (really MSG?), making a memorable appearance on NY1, and taking the lovely PATH train from Manhattan to Harrison NJ; Sir Alex eating ribs while competing with a gospel choir in Kansas City; Cristian Ronaldo lecturing at UCLA (hat tip for that link to faculty member Steve Lee (although some are pushing him to try out for goalkeer on the 2014 South Korean squad–Be the Reds Steve–literally!)); and hapless Portsmouth on the pre-season tour from hell.


Red Bulls Strengthen Their Spine

August 5, 2010 — by Sean

Go ahead, take a little sniff.

With the addition of Rafael Márquez, the NY Red Bulls have put together a team bound to impress. There’s been a lot of atteniton thrown to the front line in the past few weeks, but Márquez is the piece that takes this team from contendor to champion.

You’d think with Henry and Angel up top the wins would come with ease, but a potent attack isn’t automatic, and holding a lead is not easy. Having seen some of the world’s best offenses bearing down upon him, Márquez will sit either in the back line or just in front of it and look to interrupt the attacking motion. He’ll also lend vision moving forward, starting counters with intelligently played balls and knowing when to settle the team into a patient attack.

Classy players that they are, Henry and Angel are already gelling, and Lindpere has impressed with his service from the wings. But, as with most teams in the MLS, the Red Bulls’ defense has been porous and easily pulled apart. If he does his job right, Márquez will provide the Red Bulls with a solid base to launch an attack that is going to be fun to watch.

Live BlogNewsOpen Thread

New York Red Bulls v Manchester City – some notes

July 25, 2010 — by Suman4

Macoumba Kandji - clearly looking to step up

We just sat down after a full day in the city (pick up this morning in some serious heat on the Nike Fields in the LES, followed by dim sum at Ping’s (22 Mott, on the recommendation of the Singaporean who organizes the aforementioned pickup game–good call), followed by an early beer at Der Schwarze Kolner back here in the neighborhood for a friend’s birthday); just in time to see the New York Red Bulls kick off against Man City in the final game of the Barclays New York Challenge.

(Unfortunately we missed seeing Sporting Clube of Portugal play both Fri night v Man City and in the first half of today’s doubleheader in Harrison v Tottenham–of the Portuguese clubs, we’re partial to SCP, just by fact of having visited their stadium last Oct in Lisbon, and having bought a jersey at said store.)

This being only the 2nd Red Bulls game we’ve watched–after Thursday night’s game v Tottenham, we’re only starting to get familiar with their roster. We should also start getting familar with Man City’s roster, as they’ll no doubt be looking to break into the top tier of the Premier League in this upcoming season

See below for some notes on today’s game and on the rosters of the two teams.

Live BlogOpen Thread

Liveblog/Open Thread: Tottenham Hotspurs at New York Red Bulls

July 22, 2010 — by Suman11

"Are we really in Harrison NJ?"

They’ve just kicked off at Red Bulls Arena in Harrison, NJ.  Well, we’re not in beautiful industrial north Jersey–we haven’t left Brooklyn all day.  But we do have a CultFootball contributor on the scene–an Englishman, and a Spurs fan no less.  We’ll be getting a game report from him at some point in the near future..but in the meantime we’ll be throwing up some real-time commentary from the comfort of our couch(es).

We can’t remember a more anticipated game involving an MLS team–because tonight is Thierry Henry’s debut with the Red Bulls.  The game is being televised on both Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports Espanol..and is also being streamed on the oddly named (but rather slick-looking) video broadcaster

Below the jump (of after the bump, as some prefer to say)…starting lineups and some occasional liveblogging.


Barclays NY Challenge: Red Bulls, Tottenham, Man City, Sporting Clube de Portugal

July 21, 2010 — by Suman3

It’s been 10 days since the World Cup ended, and if you’re like us, you’ve filled the days and nights watching replays of last year’s Champions League matches and episodes of “The Greatest” and “Great Rivalries” on FSC and FSE.

But here comes the Barclays New York Challenge (also on Twitter and Facebook), just in time to rescue us from this purgatory of top-flight-football-lessness.  Four matches over 3 separate days, with our very own New York Red Bulls hosting Prem Leaguers Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City, and Iberian powers Sporting Clube of Portugal (commonly but mistakenly called Sporting Lisbon).

The schedule is as follows (all times ET, and all matches played at the quite nice and quite new soccer-specific Red Bulls Stadium in Harrison NJ, and all games will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol, and also streamed online via some website called Veetle):

July 22 – New York Red Bulls v. Tottenham Hotspur (8pm)
July 23 – Sporting Lisbon v. Manchester City (8pm)
July 25 – Sporting Lisbon v. Tottenham Hotspur (1pm)
July 25 – New York Red Bulls v. Manchester City (3pm)


Surprise: Henry to Red Bulls

July 14, 2010 — by Sean6

Not a surprise at all of course, but today being the first day MLS teams can act on the designated player rule, they’ve announced the acquisition of monsieur Henry this morning and stated that he’ll play in the friendly against Spurs on July 22nd. No need for too much rest since he didn’t see the field in the World Cup (I don’t remember him coming on, am I wrong here?) and he tended to ride the pine for Barca last season.

Still, Red Bulls are getting a quality striker with a few good years left in him, a fantastic touch and a mind for goal. I just like this guy, even though his ridiculously unsubtle handball during qualifying kept the much more worthy Irish out of the World Cup.

Easy with the promises there buddy, there are a lot of hungry young players who will be looking to make a name for themselves by beating the hell out of you:

“This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life. It is an honor to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team’s history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship. Knowing Red Bull’s significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my teammates and I will succeed.”