Weekend Sports Roundup

Dunno what to say about the Dodgers. Starting pitching is doing reasonably well but the relief pitchers give up the tying and go ahead runs. The offense isn't offering much support. What can you say when you spend hundred of millions of dollars on player salaries and wind up with a team that might not make the playoffs! Yikes!

Inspirational article in the LAT this past Sunday. One of the representative moments of the Giant-Dodger rivalry was when Marichal (Giants) hit Roseboro (Dodger) on the head with his bat 50 years ago in 1965. Eventually, the two men did reconcile! As big a rivalry the two teams have, in the end, its just baseball.

Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy took down NYCFC, 5-1. Yup, you read that right, 5-1. It was 1-0 at the half with the two teams pretty even though LA appeared to be gaining the upper hand. But in the second half, the flood gates opened and the Galaxy ran all over the field against an increasingly hapless NYCFC.

Elfsborg kept pace with a win to remain in the second spot. They also won their Svenska Cupen match during the weekday. That is the Swedish equivalent to the FA Cup and the US Open Cup where all levels of the football pyramid get to participate.

Meanwhile, Falkenberg needs a draw against Sundsvall to get out of the relegation zone. A win would be even better. Go FFF!

On Monday, Liverpool goes to London to face Arsenal. After two fairly weak 1-0 wins, Liverpool faces one of the big 4 and it will be a test of whether the summer signings will come together. Figure Liverpool will field the same XI as in the first two wins with the exception that Can will probably take Henderson's spot due to injury and Firmino will probably take Lallana's spot due to injury. Would look for Ings to get in if Firmino is still not up for 90 minutes and especially if Liverpool goes down 1-0 and needs the extra attacker. Other possible subs getting into the game are Moreno and Origi for fresh legs. Will be interesting to see who else Rodgers puts on the 18 with Henderson and Lallana unavailable. Maybe Markovic and Lucas?

UPDATE (over at the Liverpool Echo):
LFC line up to face #AFC: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Lucas, Milner, Can, Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke.
Confirmed #LFC subs v @Arsenal: Bogdan, Sakho, Moreno, Origi, Ings, Ibe, Rossiter

UPDATE: 0-0 but both sides had great opportunities. Saw about 15 minutes of the first half at the student union during my lunch hour. Liverpool was taking it to Arsenal during that stretch. The EPL game is fast and with very swift accurate passing relative to the MLS game. At least that is my "eyeball" test as a relatively new soccer viewer. From reading post-game accounts, the general feeling is that the real difference this year for Liverpool is the back four. The addition of Clyne and Gomez has been synergistic - sum is greater than the parts. Last year, in the games I saw, the defense was often scrambling and over-run. And I suppose that was heightened by the fact, they often went with a back three last season. Liverpool, last season, would rely on the adage the best defense is a strong offense which works against inferior competition. Last year, fans got nervous when Liverpool had to "park the bus" to defend a lead or preserve a draw. I think this year that will be less of a concern. At least on data from three games!