Welcome to the Weekend Commentary Thread. A full menu of matches today, if the weather holds, as leagues in Europe wake from their hibernation. Games today from UK, Germany, Holland, Spain and elsewhere, and stories, rumors and catch-ups on some games from Friday.
First Finland, where League play doesn’t start till March/April, began its League Cup matches this week, and although no Americans were directly involved, Inter Turk, Daniel Antunez team, managed a 1 – 1 home draw v TPS. Also in Scandinavia, actually Sweden, rumors are that Ryan Miller, who started pretty much the whole 2012 season for Halmstad, will be signing with Portland. In Holland’s Eerste Divisie, Helmond Sport and Charles Kazlauskas defeated Almere City 1 – 0, to claim 2nd place in the league. Then we get to Brek Shea and Stoke, at time of writing there is some question as to whether or not this will go through, we will be monitoring this. We will also be following Bursaspor in the Turkish Super Lig hoping that there is a Maurice Edu sighting
This weekend we have a few EPL games involving Americans on Saturday, but probably the game of the weekend is Tottenham v Manchester United on Sunday, a real test for Dempsey and co. Historically Tottenham have not had a good time at White Hart Lane when the Reds come calling, giving up 41 of a possible 60 points since the EPL was formed. We also have Championship and
League One games. All US OT League One games have been postponed due to weather. Friday Leicester beat Middlesbrough 1 – 0 in a clutch top of the table match, Leicester have now moved into 2nd place in the Championship, if just temporarily. We will also be watching closely to see if Stuart Holden makes Bolton’s 18 as they visit Crystal Palace.
In the rest of Europe; The German Bundesliga starts up again with a full tally this weekend, on Friday, Schalke (minus Jermaine Jones) played Hannover (minus Steve Cherundelo) to an entertaining 5 – 4 win (with 8 goals in the 2nd half). Hoffenheim will start their effort to avoid relegation and Mainz will meet Freiburg on Saturday, while Nurnberg and Augsburg play their matches on Sunday. Josy Altidore and AZ also start their 2nd half of the season in a home game v Vitesse. In Italy Roma will face Inter on Sunday. There is talk that Carlos Bocanegra will not be starting for Racing Santander in Spain, something we will be watching for. As well as if Gooch makes the 11 for Malaga’s clash with Celta de Vigo. And finally Sunday sees Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht facing Zulte-Waregem in Belgium .That and even more American action portends a busy weekend (feels like months since the winter break started).
So stay with us and follow the action from around the world this weekend, you got to believe this could be a really exciting period with all the American player changes. So chat, give opinions and information for discussion and just enjoy the weekend.