Paul Arriola's Second-Half Strike Sees DCU Past SKC

D.C. United needed a moment of magic to break down a spirited Sporting Kansas City side on Sunday night at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. It was winger Paul Arriola who provided that moment, scoring a fantastic goal in the 78th minute to give the Black-and-Red a 1-0 win. The win was United's second in a row, helping them keep pace with Philadelphia Union atop the Eastern Conference, with both teams on 23 points from 12 games.

With the recent injury to Donovan Pines, United head coach Ben Olsen opted to change his lineup back to a 4-2-3-1, which had been a staple of his since last summer. That meant the debut of Marquinhos Pedroso, who joined the team last week from FC Dallas, at left back. Opposite United was a Sporting squad that was decimated by injuries, leaving the Western Conference side with just 15 players on the match-day squad. 

The game between two of the MLS originals started with chances at both ends. Krisztian Nemeth tested Bill Hamid in the second minute, but sent a shot from outside the box right at the keeper. United then just missed on connecting on a couple of crosses, before Wayne Rooney forced Tim Melia into a diving save on a free kick in the 14th minute. 

Back at the other end, Felipe Gutierrez forced a turnover out of Rooney, helping to create a chance for the visitors. Gutierrez played the ball out wide for Daniel Salloi, who tried to beat Hamid with an angled shot but couldn't find the target, with teammates asking for a pass into the middle of the box.

Arriola tried a long range shot in the 30th minute, but his shot took a deflection off a defender, sending the shot out for a corner. From the second corner, Rooney found Steven Birnbaum, but the header from the center back was saved by Melia. A rebound popped out in front of goal, but Frederic Brillant couldn't force the ball over the line.

In first half stoppage time, Sporting won a free kick in a dangerous position, just outside United's box. Johnny Russell, who has four goals to his name this year, got his shot on frame, but Hamid had little trouble in corralling it to end the first half. 

Early in the second half, however, Hamid had to be at his best, as SKC got the ball to the end line, allowing Nicolas Hasler to center the ball. Nemeth was unmarked in front of goal and fired in an one-timed shot, but somehow Hamid got enough of the ball to push it over the goal, keeping the game scoreless.

Melia came up big for Sporting, in their first ever visit to Audi Field, in denying Birnbaum from corners. In the 54th and 62nd minutes, Rooney was able to pick out the veteran center back, but both times, Melia did just enough to deny Birnbaum his second goal of the season.

Hamid was likewise called upon to make a save on a corner, after Birnbaum blocked a Russell shot in the box to concede the set piece. Russell's delivery found center back Graham Smith in the box, but Hamid was able to react quick enough to parry the ball off the line.

A draw seemed to be in the cards as the half wore on, until Arriola stepped up to steal the show. Collecting a pass from Rooney, Arriola was able to cut in front of the left flank towards the middle of the field. From just outside the box, Arriola fired a shot that was headed towards the far post. Melia got a hand to the shot, but couldn't do enough to keep the ball out of the back of the net.

Roma Defender Chris Smalling Has Been Stellar In Italy

As if he’d not made enough of an impression since joining AS Roma on loan from Manchester United in the summer, defender Chris Smalling really stood out as an exceptional talent on the week of his 30th birthday. 

Hofstra Coach Simon Riddiough Doesn't Need The Power 5 To Define Success

By Jerry Beach

Simon Riddiough, the head coach of the Hofstra women’s soccer team, spent about two minutes of a 21-minute interview Tuesday afternoon discussing why he’s content at the Long Island school and not planning to see if he can replicate his success with a higher-profile Power Five school that would offer the resources and opportunities to make a deep NCAA Tournament run that are generally lacking in the mid-major arena.

Carlo Ancelotti, Aurelio De Laurentiis & Napoli Are In Complete Chaos

It’s hard to believe that only as far back as April 22, 2018, Napoli beat Juventus 1-0 in Turin to move top of the table with only four games remaining. Maurizio Sarri — himself now in charge at Juve — had broken the club record points total in each of the previous two campaigns, and would do so again in 2017-18, but the Naples men ultimately finished second, albeit with yet another unseen total of 91 points.

Canada Has An Opportunity To Prove Their Standing On Friday Against USMNT

This is the moment of truth for Canada's men's national team. 

Concacaf Nations League Returns For Final Group State In November

After nearly a month of waiting for the Concacaf Nations League to kick back into gear, the tournament is finally back this week with the final two matchdays in group play. 

Seattle Sounders & Toronto FC Clash With The MLS Cup On The Line

Just over a week after the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC went on the road and upset the favorites, MLS Cup 2019 is on the horizon as the 24th season in league history comes to a close. CenturyLink Field in Seattle will be the epicenter on Sunday at 3 PM when the two sides face off in the MLS Cup final for the third time in the past four years. 

Paulo Fonseca & The Unlikely Resurgence Of AS Roma In Serie A

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Potential USMNT Contributors From The Nations League Pre-Camp

November 15 could be a day of reckoning for Gregg Berhalter and the United States men's national team. After last month's 2-0 defeat to Canada — the first loss to their neighbors in 35 years — Berhalter needs a win in Orlando to help rectify the USA's position in the first-ever Concacaf Nations League. Anything other than a win would mean that Canada will advance to the semifinals, a shocking result for the U.S.

10 Things In Italy: Mario Balotelli, de Ligt Handballs & Conte's Inter

With the action in Italy heating up both on and off the field, it’s time to get you caught up with what’s been happening in the world of Serie A and, as always, “10 Things” is here to bring you right up to date.

Concaclusions, Ep. 9: Pulisic Strikes Again, Jiménez Haunts Arsenal

Another round of club play is in the books, and several of the region’s top players were in the headlines once again through clutch goals, quality performances, and even uncharacteristic errors.