First-Half Own Goal Gives D.C. United Huge Victory Over Portland Timbers

In 90 minutes of rain, D.C. United emerged victorious in the Pacific Northwest, benefitting from an own goal in a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers. Bill Tuiloma knocked in Ulises Segura's cross in the 25th minute, giving United their second consecutive win, both of which came away from the friendly confines of Audi Field. The win elevated the Black-and-Red to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a position that could change depending on other results on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney returned to the starting lineup on Sunday after missing the previous two games due to suspension. But head coach Ben Olsen was not able to call upon Ola Kamara, who scored twice in the win over the Montreal Impact, as the striker was absent due to a hamstring injury.

The rain and the surface made for a rather tepid opening between the two sides, with the first chance coming from Paul Arriola in the 15th minute. His shot was saved by Steve Clark, but a minute later at the other end, the post saved United, as Diego Valeri's header bounced just past the diving Bill Hamid. 

Both sides continued to probe without much end product until the 25th minute when the visitors grabbed the lead in the 25th minute. United were able to work the ball from the wing, inside, and back out to Segura, who crossed into the middle for Rooney. Tuiloma tried to intervene, but in doing so, sent the ball into his own net, with Clark unable to prevent the ball from getting past him.

Huge protests from United in the 37th minute surrounded the most controversial moment of the game. A corner kick from Rooney was sent towards the back post, where Lucas Rodriguez got a slight touch to the ball. The ball then deflected off of Clark, and inched towards the goal before Eryk Williamson cleared the ball off the line. United immediately argued that the ball had crossed the line, and seemed to be supported by a still image from the ESPN Goalpost camera.

However, at the next stoppage, there was no video review, despite how close the ball looked to have crossed the line, denying United what would have been a two-goal advantage. 

Early in the second half, a cross from Portland fullback Jorge Moreira almost turned into a goal, as his effort drifted towards goal. Hamid scrambled to deal with the danger, but the ball bounced off of the crossbar and stayed in, but United were able to deal with the follow-up attempts.

Williamson and Valeri forced saves out of Hamid in the 60th and 64th minutes, as Portland applied plenty of pressure to start the second half. Neither shot caused many issues for Hamid, though, who did have to punch Valeri's effort way, given the conditions in the rain.

Rooney, who had an otherwise quiet day, tried to beat Clark from outside the box with a left-footed shot in the 68th minute, but the former DCU keeper had zero issues in making a clean save. At the other end, an early cross found Tuiloma in the 75th minute, but the header from the defender bounced wide of the post, which Hamid had covered anyway.

Arriola had a chance to settle the proceedings in the 82nd minute when Segura played him beyond the backline. Arriola got into the box and seemed to have Clark leaning the wrong way, but the keeper somehow got a touch to Arriola's shot, pushing it wide of the goal. There was then five minutes of stoppage time for United to see out, but they did so without much fuss, furthering cementing their playoff status.

With 45 points from 31 games, United is back in action next Sunday, when they host the Seattle Sounders at Audi Field.

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.