Featured Matches
Previous
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Steaua Bucuresti
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
SV Salzburg
3:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Apoel Nicosia
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Partizan Belgrade
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Panathinaikos
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
AaB
Dinamo Zagreb
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chesterfield
Aston Villa
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Hartlepool United
Middlesbrough
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Walsall
Leicester City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Nottingham Forest
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Espanyol
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Blackburn Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Tranmere Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Charlton Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bolton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Newcastle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
St Neots Town
Luton XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
DC United
Toronto FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England
Colorado
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago
Vancouver Whitecaps
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
ESPN2 1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Bolívar
San Lorenzo
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 5
Game Details
At. San Luis
Santos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Toluca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Necaxa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Oaxaca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Dorados de Sinaloa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Puebla
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Atlante
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Novo Hamburgo
ABC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
AA Ponte Preta
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Bragantino
São Paulo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Internacional
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Manchester City
Liverpool
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
César Vallejo
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
UTC
Juan Aurich
8:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Deportes
Real Garcilaso
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Antigua
Municipal
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
FC Kansas City
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Houston Dash
Seattle Reign FC
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Summer transfers survey

Sunderland Jul 20, 2014
Read

Jozy's chance?

Colin Randall May 28, 2014
Read
May 8, 2014

Things could only get better at Sunderland

With a win in their finale on Sunday, Gus Poyet's Sunderland could finish 12th in the table.
With a win in their finale on Sunday, Gus Poyet's Sunderland could finish 12th in the table.
Sunderland's survival celebrations are in full swing and the last game of the season promises to be a relaxing Sunday afternoon jaunt.

For much of the season, despite watching some grim scenes on Premier League pitches home and away, supporters have cheered themselves up with incessant chanting of the hook line from the D:Ream track "Things Can Only Get Better".

- Report: Poyet proud of Sunderland escape - Report: Sunderland 2-0 West Brom

And suddenly, things did. More was achieved in the last three weeks than in most of the preceding eight months. A seriously unlucky draw at Manchester City on April 16 was followed by four straight wins. The two home victories among them, against Cardiff and West Brom, seem nothing special until you consider the awful form Sunderland displayed earlier in the season at the Stadium of Light, even when playing mediocre sides or worse.

But to follow the disappointing loss of two points at the Etihad with well-earned wins at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford was little short of sensational.

After all they had to endure beforehand, Sunderland's tremendous support -- there'll be yet another 40,000-plus in attendance for the season-closing visit of Swansea -- richly deserve a heartwarming finale. Another win could even be enough to push the club to a lofty finishing place of 12th.

Amid all the relief and joy, however, darkly negative voices are heard. Not every Sunderland supporter is ready to forgive and forget the dross served up from August to mid-April, with the honourable exceptions of reaching the Capital One Cup final and FA Cup quarterfinals and beating local rivals, Newcastle United, home and away.

At Salut! Sunderland, I made my customary appeal to contributors to chip in with end-of-season report cards. The two received to date are so critical of the club, management and players that I have resolved to publish none until the season is over.

I can, however, give readers here a sneak preview, and this shows how far the sentiments go beyond beyond the simple "could do better" comments some of us remember from schooldays.

"Two weeks of elation or just plain relief have masked the month-after-month torment of dreadful performances, schoolyard defending and a lack of goals," says one. "A large section of our support are firmly behind [manager Gus] Poyet, but I am yet to be convinced that he can bring real stability or even mere consolidation in the Premier League."

The other is more measured but still heaps scorn on the efforts witnessed before the crucial late revival. "There's been one shining light for the whole season, solid, reliable, a class apart, delivering week in, week out," he concludes. "You lot, the fans. Without you, we would be dead and buried." At least that contributor is promising to add a "survival postscript".

Some of the criticism, even of Poyet, is fair. There was indeed something odd about starting a home game against West Ham with a massed defence. Perhaps he has been wrong to persevere with the consistently underachieving Jozy Altidore. But Poyet more than compensated for errors with inspired, game-changing substitutions, success in drawing one rock-solid performance after another from his old troupers in central defence, John O'Shea and Wes Brown, and encouragement of the often gaffe-prone Lee Cattermole. Cattermole's form has been outstanding in recent weeks.

And any manager who can take a team from bottom-place misery to the prospect of mid-table respectability, all the while fitting in a cup run all the way to Wembley, must be doing something right.

The cup exploits and the last lap of the Premier League have provided some of the most thrilling moments many have experienced as Sunderland supporters.

Tough decisions and shrewd man-management issues lie immediately ahead. Should the superb play of Seb Larsson in the season's closing stages make it imperative to keep him at Sunderland? Should heaven and earth be moved, if necesssary, to keep Jack Colback, like Larsson out of contract, and persuade at least some of the on-loan stars of the run-in -- Fabio Borini, Marcos Alonso, Santiago Vergini -- to prolong their stays? Borini's heart may lie elsewhere, though he must realise his present opportunities back at Liverpool would be severely limited.

What Poyet does about Altidore is trickier. The American should be given a decent chunk of the action against Swansea; it would be wonderful to hear fans chanting his name after a couple of goals instead of reading about surly Twitter exchanges with detractors. My guess, however, is that he will move on and try to replicate the goal-scoring prowess he took to the Dutch league at some other club, maybe in another country. There are bound to be new faces come August and Altidore's is not the only familiar one likely to be on its way out.

But I stick by a strong belief that finding significant fault with Poyet after such a magnificent escape from relegation is as both mean-spirited and naive as it is wrong.

One report suggests he has to overcome remaining disagreement with the owner, Ellis Short, on the freer hand he wants with transfer issues. But it is hard to imagine Short being willing to risk losing a man who accomplished the mighty task he set him last October and under whom things may well be about to get better still.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.