Gyasi Zardes: The Right Place at the Right Time

If you took away penalties, the Major League Soccer golden boot race would look like this:

  1. Bradley Wright Phillips, 16
  2. Robbie Keane, 12
  3. Gyasi Zardes, 10 (Tied)

You read that right: only two players have scored more non-penalty goals in MLS this year than 22-year-old Gyasi Zardes of the LA Galaxy. Like Tommy Thompson and Wil Trapp, Zardes is a homegrown player, a product of MLS’s academy system. Given that, it’s surprising we don’t talk more about Zardes. Let’s change that.

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Soccer on US TV: 8/29-8/31

Friday, August 29th

2:30 PM: Marseille vs. Nice, BeIn Sport

8:00 PM: Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, NBCSN

Both of these teams are attempting to recover from 3-0 losses in their last match. If Houston is to make the playoffs, they’re going to have to string together results starting soon. SKC, meanwhile, can return to the top of the Eastern Conference (albeit having played one more match than DC United) with a win.

8:30 PM: Queretaro vs. Monterrey, ESPN Deportes, Azteca America 

10:30 PM: Tijuana vs. Leones

Saturday, August 30th

7:15 AM: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Nottingham Forest, BeIn Sport

7:45 AM: Burnley vs. Manchester United, NBCSN

How low can United go? On Tuesday the Red Devils lost 4-0 to League One side MK Dons in a League Cup match. Their squad for a Premier League match at newly-promoted Burnley will likely be a bit more impressive.

10:00 AM: Manchester City vs. Stoke City, NBCSN, Mun2

On the other side of Manchester, the champions are smiling after a 3-1 victory over Liverpool. City will expect to start the season with 9 points from 9.

12:00 PM: Chievo Varona vs. Juventus, BeIn Sport

The Italian champions begin their Serie A campaign with a trip to Chievo, who finished 16th last season.

12:30 PM: Everton vs. Chelsea, NBC, Mun2

The Toffees have started the season with a pair of 2-2 draws, and frankly their fans will have found both disappointing. Chelsea are one of the rare clubs that believe they can get 3 points from Goodison Park. Adding to the drama, Samuel Eto’o is expected to make his Everton debut against his old side. 

2:45 PM: Roma vs. Fiorentina, BeIn Sport

5:00 PM: Espanyol vs. Sevilla, BeIn Sport

6:00 PM: Puebla vs. Morelia, ESPN Deportes, Azteca America (Spanish)

6:00 PM: America vs. Pumas, Univision (Spanish)

8:00 PM: Tigres vs. Jaguares, Univsion Deportes (Spanish)

9:00 PM: Leon vs. Pachuca, Telemundo (Spanish)

10:00 PM: Atlas vs. Santos Laguna, Univision Deportes (Spanish)

Sunday, August 31st

8:30 AM: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool, NBCSN, Mun2

It’s the first big test of the season for Spurs, who impressed last week against lowly QPR. Liverpool won this fixture 5-0 last year, but this year’s side might not be on that level. Mario Balotelli is expected to make his Liverpool debut.

11:00 AM: Leicester City vs. Arsenal, NBCSN, Telemundo

Without Olivier Giroud, Arsenal have something of a question mark up top. Arsene Wenger has been fond of using Alexis Sanchez in the striker role, with mixed results at best. The Foxes got a draw with Everton in their first home match, and they’ll be hoping to spoil another big club on Sunday.

1:00 PM: Toluca vs. Veracruz, Univision (Spanish)

1:00 PM: Villareal vs. Barcelona, BeIn Sport

2:30 PM: DC United vs. New York Red Bulls, NBCSN

In one of the rivalries that stretches back to MLS’s inaugural season, DC will be looking to bounce back from a Wednesday night loss against LA and maintain their lead in the Eastern Conference. New York can’t afford many slip ups, given that they hold the final playoff spot by just a single point over Philadelphia and New England.

3:00 PM: Seattle Reign vs. FC Kansas City, ESPN2

The Championship match of the National Women’s Soccer League

6:00 PM: Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Cruz Azul, Univision Deportes (Spanish)