USA vs Japan, Liverpool vs FC Gomel and Valencia vs Tottenham: Open Thread

The soccer gods didn’t come together on this one to make the schedule more convenient. Nevertheless, we have three brilliant spectacles this afternoon for you to follow along with — everything from the Olympic women’s final between the United States of America against Japan (live on NBC Sports Network and at 2:45pm ET), to the Europa League qualifier between Liverpool and FC Gomel (live on FOX Soccer at 3pm ET), and the friendly between Valencia and Tottenham Hotspur (live on at 3.55pm ET).

With Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers will walk his team out at Anfield for the first time in a match where they have an 1-0 aggregate lead so far thanks to Stewart Downing’s wonderful goal in Eastern Europe last week. A win or draw is vital for Liverpool to progress to the next round. Perhaps even more important is that Liverpool puts on a good display to convince the Anfield faithful that the club is heading in the right direction.

Over on new soccer channel beINSPORT, they’ll be showing a free stream of the friendly between Valencia vs Tottenham. Arguably, it’ll be Tottenham’s toughest contest of their summer preseason, so it’ll be a good opportunity to see if the Lilywhites are as good as they looked on their US tour.

Last, but not least, is the final for the gold medal between the US women’s soccer team and Japan. It’ll be hard to beat the entertainment factor of the Olympic semi-final between USA and Canada, but if it’s anything close, we’ll be in for a match to remember. Japan is on song right now, so it’s quite possible that the Asian nation may follow up their 2011 Women’s World Cup Final trophy with an Olympic gold. Or, is it time for the US women’s team to mount a rematch?

Before, during and after today’s matches, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below. Go USA!

38 thoughts on “USA vs Japan, Liverpool vs FC Gomel and Valencia vs Tottenham: Open Thread”

  1. What a start by the USA. Wonderful save by Hope Sole, an off-the-line clearance by Christie Rampone. And a great goal by Carli Lloyd! 1-0 USA.

    The Gaffer

    1. Looking good. The movement up front is fantastic. Jonjo playing a strong two-way game. Amazing difference from last week’s awful match.

      1. It’s the Swansea magic working at Liverpool (Rodgers + Borini). And Joe Allen may be on his way soon.

        The Gaffer

  2. Don’t know why Pia took off Rapinoe for Cheney, Rapinoe has been very good and Cheney not so good. 2-1 right now.

  3. this is exactly why what foxsoccer does shouldn’t be taken for granted, the American commentator is terrible.

    its stopping and replaying 30 secs then choppy for 5 mins, then replays 30 secs…just terrible.

  4. Looks like Allen will be joining Liverpool as they showed him watching the game at Anfield.

    Replace Shelvey with Allen and Liverpool might just challenge for a Champions League spot. They have to keep Agger though.

  5. I’ve enjoyed this women’s game. I feel Japan have played the better stuff but looks like the gold will go to USA

  6. My BeIn stream isn’t choppy but the commentating is awful. I think that’s Phil Schoen joined by Ray Hudson. Schoen is insufferable to listen to.

    What a goal by Jonas for valencia. Friedel had no chance.

  7. the 5 missed chances we had, only to go down to a 30 yard screamer, is going to accelerate the hunt for a striker by AVB. We were all over valencia. Great goal by valencia.

  8. Sandro over Livermore for the center of midfield, has way better ball control and a ridiculous shot on him as he demonstrated against chelsea.

    Just get a striker AVB and we will be threat.

  9. Congrats USA Women.
    Liverpool played well. Never seen Suarez hustle like he did tonight.
    Random question….I’ve never been to a Premier League, CL, or Europa League game. Only a couple of WC games in 94, some Euro qualifiers, & a handful of friendlies. I was so pumped to be at them, I stayed well after the final whistle just taking in every second. My question is about the crowds leaving PL, CL, and Europa games 10-15 minutes before the final whistle. Why? Is the traffic that bad? I’ve only been to 3 games in England and I used mass transit to get to and from all of them. Someone enlighten me.

      1. Mainly to beat the traffic Cody. But to be honest I have a season ticket down the road from Anfield at Everton, and the traffic isn’t too bad. Leaving that bit earlier can make a difference though.

        I imagine a lot of those at the game will be regular match goers and resultantly the game would not have the same aura for them. This is obviously different, compared to someone like yourself who doesn’t get the opportunity to go as often.

        Therefore, in a dead rubber game such as the one tonight, supporters would rather get home earlier and happily miss a fourth or fifth goal. Especially seeing as the majority will be in work tomorrow! A lot of the match going Reds I know really can’t be bothered with the Europa League as a whole in reality. Thursday night European games and Sunday Premier League games are a real pain in the arse!

      2. Cody, I am sure the “thumbs down” is because you had the audacity to compliment the women. There is an idiot troll doing it to all positive comments on the women’s games.

  10. I have to say I was impressed with the standard of play. I’ve never watched women’s tourament before but they were better than I thought they would be.

    1. Pete, the knock out rounds of the women’s international tournaments have been great to watch. Last year’s WWC and this Olympics have been top notch. Unfortunately, there is a lack of depth to make every international match exciting.

      I am concerned that for the next WWC in Canada in 2015 the number of teams will be increased from 16 to 24. I am afraid that the overall quality of play will not be top notch and that it could affect the overall perception of the women’s game.

  11. I didn’t watch the beIN game…but if Ray Hudson is the primary analyst, I never will. And fortunately, I was able to listen to the BBC audio and watch the women’s game on DirecTV so that I didn’t have to suffer through Arlo White and Brandi Chastain. Guy Mowbry and Liz Ward did the BBC commentary and they are FAR superior to White and Chastain.

    To me, the commentators can greatly affect my enjoyment of the game. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of decent commentators in the US. If, when (not if) they win the EPL rights, beIN chooses not to use the international feed for the games I will be extremely disappointed. It appears that beIN is just a reincarnation of GolTV…which means that they add nothing for me. For me it’s the EPL, US National teams and little else.

  12. Who’s the idiot putting “thumbs down” on all of the positive comments about the quality of the women’s game? At least have the cojones to identify yourself.

    1. it takes all kinds to make the world go round.i post congrats and i get a thumbs down maybe they were rooting for Japan or a disgruntled Canadian fan. so here is another chance to piss you off. CONGRATS USA WOMEN GOLD MEDAL! Enjoy!

  13. The women’s game has definitely become better over the years. No doubt about it. Watch some of the older games in past world cups and you can see the difference. While they may never reach the level of the men’s game (no one actually expects it), it is enjoyable to watch. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but to the soccer fanatic it is worth watching.

    1. In fact Mike, I would argue that many of the women’s Olympic soccer games were most exciting than the men’s for a few reasons:

      1) The marking isn’t as tight, so players have a lot more open space and time on the ball to dribble and move,
      2) There’s far less playacting in the women’s game than the men’s game, and
      3) There’s a lot less negative tactics. The games seem to be more open and positive.

      The Gaffer

  14. To add to the above, because the women aren’t as strong they don’t hoof the ball from defence to offence but rather move it by passing. Some of the passing in the women’s games have been really enjoyable to watch.

  15. Gaffer, with the current love fest going for the women’s style of play, looks like you will have to add a new blog when the new women’s professional league starts next year… :)

  16. “I have had to remind myself that I am not watching the men. I was skeptical of women’s football – that was a mistake. Women’s football used to be ridiculed, but not anymore.” — Sir Bobby Charlton

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