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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Open Thread – MLS Looks To Be Best Bet For This Weekend

Written by on November 5, 2011 | 18 Comments »
Posted in General

Newcastle at home to Everton and Spurs visiting Craven Cottage to play Fulham bookend a fairly routine looking Premier League schedule this weekend.

Anything less than three points for Chelsea (away to Blackburn), Manchester City (away to QPR) and Manchester United (at home to Sunderland) will be characterized as a surprise.

A win for Stoke at Bolton would make the home side the first in Premier League history to lose their first six home games.

Swansea take their poor away record to Liverpool while West Brom return to Emirates where they put on one of their best performances of last season.

The stand out match in Serie A is Napoli at home to Juventus while Inter is guaranteed to fall further behind as their game at Genoa has been cancelled on account of deadly flash floods on Friday.

Levante and Valencia play a derby in Spain although Levante’s lustre has been tarnished slightly after last weekend’s loss.

Athletic Bilbao at home to Barcelona (the only team remaining unbeaten in Spain) has an interesting look to it while Real Madrid against Osasuna has home win and Ronaldo hat-trick written all over it.

The two MLS conference final matches are scheduled for Sunday and will be the highlight of this weekend.

Houston Dynamo has to travel to play Sporting KC – both sides having not lost since  mid-September. Both teams emphasize scoring from set plays and so both will be cautious of giving away needless fouls in dangerous positions.

LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake played each other in the 2009 MLS Cup Final and RSL won on penalty kicks. Rather than a neutral venue this one takes place at the Home Depot Centre.

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18 responses to “Open Thread – MLS Looks To Be Best Bet For This Weekend”

  1. soccerlogical says:

    I think we all know what is the most pressing question of the weekend:

    *Whether to choose van Persie or Rooney as your fantasy team captain!

  2. Gus Keri says:

    Qatar continues its amazing influence on the world of soccer.

    The Qatari club, Al Sadd, just won the Asian Champions League. They beat Jeonbuk of South Korea 4-2 on PKs after they drew the game 2-2.

    The game was taking place at the home of Jeonbuk. The Asian CL final is a single game affair.

    The domination of the home team went for nothing because of the masterful performance of the Qatari goalkeeper who made so many huge saves during the game and to cap it up with two more saves during the PKs.

    The more amazing thing is that Al Sadd shouldn’t have been there to start with.

    In the quarterfinal, they lost to the Iranian team, Sepahan, 1-0, both home and away. But they were awarded a 3-0 win for the first leg because the Iranian team used a banned player.

    In the semifinals, they beat Suwon of South Korea 2-1 on agg. They won away 2-0 and lost at home 1-0. The winner, their second goal in the first leg came after the Korean players stopped playing assuming that the Qatari team will give them the ball back. the ball was kicked out of play to attend to an injured player. The incidence triggered the fight that followed and led to the expulsion of two players and two team officials.

    It’s all history now. Al Sadd is the champions of Asia and will represent Asia in the Club World Cup.

  3. Gus Keri says:

    Is this Newcastle team for real or what?
    Leading 2-0 after 28 minutes.
    By the end of the game, they might be second in the league

  4. Gus Keri says:

    et tu ESPN?

    When will this nightmare end?

    I am talking about the 25th anniversary of the devilish mission to distroy the accomplishments and the dreams of so many people.

  5. J Rob says:

    SL – Rooney almost playing as a midfielder last few games. Anderson, Young injured. Has to be RVP!

  6. Gus Keri says:

    Liverpool – Swansea: 0-0

    For the 11th time this season, Liverpool hit the woodwork.

    Apparently, Liverpool players were misinformed. There is no extra points at the end of the season for hitting the woodwork the most.

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – You’re not attributing Carroll’s awful miss to “misfortune” for having hit the crossbar… are you?

  8. Gus Keri says:

    Again and again and again.

    It’s frustrating to watch this Liverpool side dominating and creating chances after chances and then come out short.

    It seems playing at Anfield brings the performance of the season out of the opponent goalkeeper and his defense.

    I have to admit that the beautiful lineswoman made the most crucial call at the most crucial time and got it perfectly right.

  9. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    Are you bored and looking for arguement?

    I didn’t mention the word “misfortune”.

    On the contrary, I said that Liveprool players intentionally hitting the woodwork, so they will get the extra points at the end of the season.

    Or are you going to start another relentless attach against Carroll like you do against Rodgers?

  10. By Christmas it looks like we will have a clear breakaway top seven in the Premier League and the others either fighting the drop or avoiding being sucked into the fight.

  11. J Rob says:

    This afternoon was a great advertisement for the competitiveness of the EPL. Aside from Arsenal vs West Brom every game was close.

    Watched Liverpool vs Swansea. Case in point. At times you’d be very hard pressed to know who were the newly promoted side and who were the team that had spent well in excess of $100 million in the last 12 months.

    A couple of comments about players. Vorm for Swansea looks like the goalkeeping purchase of the season. Dyer gave Enrique more problems with his pace than any other player this season. Glen Johnson is woeful. His defending has always been dodgy but I can’t remember the last time he beat someone going forward down the right. Felt sorry for Carroll. He hit his glaring miss cleanly and well and his overall play was good. If anything other Liverpool players were at fault for not anticipating his knock-downs in the box.

    Based on the last couple of weeks it’s hard not to anticipate Man City and Man Utd duking it out at season’s end. Despite neither team playing especially well the last two weeks they both collected 6 points. I thought the second-half of the City vs QPR game was cracking.

    Are Arsenal on their way back to the top four? The return of Vermealen to the starting line-up has to be a tonic for Arsenal fans. A clean sheet is probably no coincidence.

    Only one big regret this Saturday. I forget to hit the confirm button to make RVP my fantasy captain. Doh!

  12. From Michelle Lissel – FSR office pool (small office!)
    “Bobby wins the “Worse Team after 10 Games” Award – by picking Wigan.
    Honourable mention to Eoin who chose Bolton – 2nd from bottom.
    3 people picked Swansea (10th) and two people chose Norwich (8th)”

  13. Soccerlogical says:

    Unfortunately, it seems like it will take Andy Carrol a good two seasons to adjust to playing at a top club and as part of a unit consisting of very good players.

    MVP thus far…. RvP or Silva?

    re: Arsenal
    I don’t think most fans doubted our ability to compete for a CL spot, the frustration lies in Wenger’s thrifty transfer policy which prevented this very good team of starting the season off strong and actually giving the likes of Man City and Manyoo a good run for the EPL title.

  14. http://tiny.cc/3yrea
    It sounds like the over/under of four days set last Monday on the Fox Soccer Report re Pardew being linked to England job came in well under.

  15. J Rob says:

    Soccerlogical – good point on Arsenal. I think Wenger would have spent money more wisely than Dalglish. Got to give it to Spurs – Van Der Vaart last season and Parker and to a lesser extent Friedel this season have all been great buys at modest expense. Only Enrique is looking worth the money thus far this season. Stewart Downing has started every game for LFC this season. Someone correct me if I am wrong – 0 goals and 0 assists although Carroll could have improved the latter today. Downing, Adam and Henderson were all bought to create chances. Liverpool now scoring significantly less than the latter part of 10/11.

  16. Blake says:

    I’m not sure Wigan is going to pull it out this season, unless we start seeing Victor Moses do his best Charles N’zogbia impression. Every single Swansea home game is going to be a bit difficult i’d think for any team visiting this season.

  17. Alec says:

    It looks like this Spurs team is finally able to grind out results. They’re beating the teams they struggled against last year while still playing good attacking football. They were incredibly lucky to get the three points today, but Craven Cottage isn’t exactly an easy place to go. Still need to ship out Pavlyuchenko, dos Santos in January and bring in another winger and striker. Very interested to see how Steven Caulker looks upon his return to Swansea. He was quite impressive before his injury. Hopefully he’ll have a Kyle Walker like season with Swansea.

  18. Blake – Wigan have managed to dig out of trouble so often but I agree with you that it will be extra tough this time. When your man of the match is your goalkeeper and you lose you know it was a poor team performance.

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