PST USMNT Man of the Match: Clarence Goodson

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There weren’t any stand out performances from the United States Men’s National Team on Sunday in Toronto. If they’d gotten one, they probably wouldn’t have had to settle for a disappointing 0-0 at BMO Field. The attack lacked creativity. The midfield, outnumbered for most of the night, failed to make an impact, while the defense did their job (keeping a clean sheet), albeit against a side that wasn’t too interested in maintaining any sustained pressure.

On a night like this, Man of the Match becomes a process of elimination. Who did anything that stood out? Cross off half the team. Amongst those that did something noteworthy, how many directly impacted the match? And how many players did something that was truly more than you’d expect from your run-of-the-mill player?

More USA vs. Canada

Canada 0-0 USA

Match report: It was only a friendly, but the U.S. gave a flat performance in Toronto.



The Big Three

Talking points: Left back, midfield, and PST’s Man of the Match.

After that elimination process, Clarence Goodson’s name stood out, and until stoppage time, giving the Brondby defender the honor was a relatively easy choice. Then came the 92nd minute, when Dwayne De Rosario drilled a ball into the six from the line, right into a big gap where Goodson should have been. Simeon Jackson’s missed sitter kept the score 0-0, but the chance nearly ruined Goodson’s claim to a starting spot.

Then, one minute later, Goodson nearly made up for it. With the U.S. pressing for a winner, Goodson charged forward trying to keep the ball in the attacking third. Undercut while airborne, Goodson drew a nearly vital foul. Michael Bradley’s restart swung in to the edge of the six, where Goodson held off his man to drill a shot on goal. Lars Hirschfeld pushed the would-be winner over the bar.

Before the late match drama, Goodson had been as solid as Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey (other Man of the Match considerations). His work consistency breaking up half-chances at the back (8 clearances, 3 recoveries, 3 tackles, one block and one interception) may have given him the edge. The same could be said about his efforts one-on-one against Jackson after the Norwich City attacker came on the 65th minute. Even then you wonder if Goodson could have done more on Jackson’s 68th minute chance, when Jackson was allowed to take aim at the upper-right hand corner from 22 yards out. Neither Goodson nor Bocanegra were able to put in a challenge.

It wasn’t a perfect night, yet Goodson was still one of the U.S.’s best, and when a performance like that wins your team’s Man of the Match, you’re probably a little lucky to get to the final whistle with a 0-0. But that’s a team concern. Individually, despite not playing in against Scotland and Brazil, Goodson may have done enough to vault to top of Jurgen Klinsmann’s right-center half pecking order.

Arsenal 4-1 West Ham: Big win for Wenger

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  • Monreal scores fifth of season
  • Arnautovic answers
  • Lacazette thunders home beauty

Aaron Ramsey‘s hopeful cross turned into a match-winning goal as Arsenal beat West Ham United 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Substitute striker Alexandre Lacazette scored a beautiful insurance goal en route to a brace for Arsenal, who moves four points clear of Burnley in the race for sixth. West Ham is six points clear of the drop zone with four matches to play.

Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal a lead and Marko Arnautovic equalized to set the stage for the winner, a ball unclaimed by neither Declan Rice nor Joe Hart.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal had almost all of the ball, but a slip in defense forced Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina to make a nice parry on Marko Arnautovic’s shot from the right of the box.

Nacho Monreal caused a West Ham turnover deep in West Ham territory, and found Danny Welbeck for a hard shot that bounded wide of the far post.

Granit Xhaka was saved in his 35th minute free kick bid and Welbeck couldn’t get on top of a Hector Bellerin cross to head home less than a minute later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Monreal put Arsenal ahead in the 51st minute with a low finish past Joe Hart off a corner kick, but the lead didn’t last much more than 10 minutes.

Cheikhou Kouyate‘s shot was blocked to Manuel Lanzini, who quickly fed Arnautovic for a finish.

Stoke City 1-1 Burnley: Dual disappointment

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  • Ndiaye opens scoring
  • Diouf assists, then misses big chance
  • Barnes levels for Burnley

Neither Burnley not Stoke City will be pleased with a 1-1 draw at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday.

Badou Ndiaye gave Stoke a first half lead en route to a hopeful three points which could help save the side’s Premier League status, but Ashley Barnes‘ fortunate equalizer gave the Clarets a point.

Stoke has 29 points, four behind 17th place Swansea. Burnley sits four points behind Arsenal with one more match played in the race for sixth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke led in the 11th minute through a very nice team goal, as Joe Allen found Ndiaye in the middle of the pitch. The midfielder worked a 1-2 with Mame Biram Diouf before sneaking a shot inside a tiny window.

Ashley Barnes bid to level the score when he collected a Kieran Westwood diagonal ball, but his curling effort from the left failed to find the goal.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson curled a free kick over the Stoke wall, and Jack Butland did well to save for a corner.

Diouf flubbed a chance to make it 2-0 when an Ndiaye cross found him alone near the back post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Butland made an outstanding save to force a Burnley corner in the 55th minute.

Barnes continued his villainous streak all match, and saw Butland’s slap save bound off his thigh and across the line to level the score in the 62nd minute.

Gudmundsson dragged a stoppage time shot millimeters wide of the far post.

LIVE, FA Cup semifinal: Chelsea v. Southampton

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Chelsea and Southampton clash in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley on Sunday (10 a.m. ET kick off) for the right to play Manchester United in the final on May 19.

[ LIVE: Updates from Wembley ]

Antonio Conte led Chelsea to the FA Cup final last season but they lost to Arsenal. Even though the Blues are up against it to finish in the top four in the league, winning the cup would be a big success for Conte.

Saints haven’t made a cup semifinal since 2003 when they lost to Arsenal in the final. Mark Hughes‘ side are entrenched in the relegation zone and have a bigger challenge than making the final.

[ MORE: Minute-by-minute on Chelsea v Saints

Click on the links above to follow the action live, while we will have reaction and analysis live from Wembley right here on Pro Soccer Talk.

Arrests made after violent soccer riot in South Africa

AP Photo/Bongani Mbatha - African News Agency
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DURBAN, South Africa (AP) Police say two people have been arrested and more arrests are imminent after a violent riot at a South African soccer game on Saturday night, when hundreds of fans ripped up parts of the stadium, invaded the field, and seriously assaulted at least one security guard.

Players had to run for the safety of the dressing rooms as the fans swept onto the field soon after the final whistle.

[ MORE: The latest Arsene Wenger news ]

Police responded with stun grenades to disperse the rioters, and television pictures showed riot police storming the field and a white armored police vehicle racing across the edge of the pitch.

South African Police Services spokeswoman Nqobile Gwala on Sunday confirmed the arrests and said the two people were facing charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.

The violence mainly by Kaizer Chiefs fans followed their team’s 2-0 loss to Free State Stars in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup competition at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the east coast city of Durban, one of the stadiums built for the 2010 World Cup.

In the most disturbing scenes, a female security guard was set upon by a group of supporters on the field. She lay on the ground as they hit her with plastic chairs. A man then kicked her twice in the head. After the second kick she lay motionless and face down on the grass.

Police spokeswoman Gwala did not say if anyone had died in the violence, saying police had no information yet from stadium or medical authorities on any deaths.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela resigned after the game.