Dzeko, Ranieri Lead Roma To Pragmatic Win, But Is It Too Late For Europe?

Roma still have it all to do to secure a top-four finish for Champions League play next season, but they’ve provided fans with a glimmer of hope with consecutive shutout victories. Claudio Ranieri’s men continue to battle injuries, and ever-changing lineups make finding consistency on the pitch a tall task. Nevertheless, in the last two matches we’ve witnessed what the team has largely lacked down the stretch: the ability to shore up in defense and grind out narrow results. 

A trip to Sampdoria saw the home side dominate in possession (63 percent), but captain Daniele De Rossi willed his side to three points with the game’s only goal with just a quarter of an hour remaining. The latest triumph also came by way of a 1-0 scoreline, as lowly Udinese held firm before Stephan El Shaarawy’s clever flick set up Edin Dzeko to slot home for the eventual winner.

While rumors continue to fly as to who will man the dugout for the 2019-20 season, Ranieri’s task of injecting life into a battered squad and securing at least fourth place is coming down to the wire as both Milan clubs continue to do just enough to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

Supporters in Italy’s capital may be some of the most demanding in all of Europe, but for a club with just three league titles there is plenty to boast about in recent years. As traditional powers Inter and Milan have floundered, it’s been Napoli and Roma who have mounted the only really challenges to the Juventus machine since 2011. Participation in Europe’s elite competition has become the norm and a historic semifinal run in last year’s edition was the cherry on top.

With stadium plans in the works and an ever-growing global brand, there is reason for optimism in the Eternal City. Despite this, there is now little room for error after putting all hope into a project and watching it go up in flames with the departures of both manager and sporting director.

Missing out on the added revenue the Champions League brings would be a massive blow to their plans moving forward, particularly with the Nerazzurri and Rossoneri finding their footing once again. With just six matches remaining, it will likely take the same sort of no-frills performances of the last two weeks to salvage this season and regroup for 2019-20.

Lucas Rodriguez & Donovan Pines Exert Their Influence In D.C. United's Win

After a brutal nine-game stretch with just a single win, D.C. United hurled the monkey off their back, across the room, and into a pile of cardboard boxes. That had to have felt pretty darn good. 

Matthijs De Ligt Could Be More Crucial For Juventus Than Cristiano Ronaldo

A year after Portuguese megastar Cristiano Ronaldo ended Juventus’ Champions League run, 19-year-old Matthijs de Ligt did the same thing, his powerful header sending Ajax through at the expense of the Bianconeri.

D.C. United Overcome Second Half Penalty, Beat FC Cincinnati 4-1

D.C. United were quite unhappy about a second-half penalty awarded to hosts FC Cincinnati on Thursday night in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs. Emmanuel Ledesma converted the spot-kick in the 54th minute, canceling out Lucas Rodriguez's first-half goal. However, instead of being put off by the call, United responded in aggressive fashion, scoring three second-half goals to win 4-1 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. 

USMNT No. 1 Zack Steffen Heads To Fortuna Dusseldorf On Loan

Throughout the decades of ups and downs in U.S. Soccer, there has always been one thing that fans of the men’s national team have been able to count on: a good goalie between the sticks. Tim Howard, Kasey Keller, and Tony Meola each earned at least 100 caps since 1988, and a host of dependable reserve keepers since that year has kept the position completely solid. 

18 Players The USMNT Should & Shouldn't Play In The Concacaf Nations League

When my wife and I got to our car in the parking garage this morning, I realized with great sadness I had left my cell phone — which I use to stream audiobooks on my morning commute — up in the condo, and since we were already a couple minutes late I decided not to waste several minutes retrieving it. 

Bournemouth & Girona Are Paragons Of Small-Market Success In England, Spain

You’ve probably heard the tale at least once by now. 

D.C. United Face FC Cincinnati For The First Time In Need Of A Win

A week after facing off against an MLS original, D.C. United head to Ohio to take on the league's newest team, FC Cincinnati, in the first meeting between the two clubs. Last Friday, the Black-and-Red had to fight back for a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution, giving them just one win in their past nine league games. Meanwhile, Cincinnati, still mired in last place in MLS in 2019, have reeled off two wins in a row.

Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa: The Most Talented & Divisive Starlet In Italy

Growing up, there was this kid named Albus Dinglefeet — I’ve fictionalized his name for anonymity’s sake — in my brother’s grade, and Albus was one of the fastest kids around. 

Everton, Sevilla & Nantes Feature On Top 5 European Friendlies On FloFC

With the Women’s World Cup, Copa America, and Concacaf Gold Cup officially in the books, your significant other is breathing a sigh of relief because a break in summer soccer has finally arrived, right? 

Orlando's US Open Cup Quarterfinal Win Hints At Future Potential

In the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals against NYCFC last week, Orlando City SC nearly blew it. They held a 1-0 lead at home, with a chance to squeak into the semifinals of a tournament that could be a boon for the playoff-less Lions. Simply playing important knockout games is enticing for a restless fanbase just waiting to get excited about something.