Joe Corona of the U.S. battles for the ball with Carlos Domingo Francisco of Cuba during their CONCACAF Olympic qualifying soccer match in Nashville

You should be paying attention to Mexico tonight

Leave a comment

A brief interruption from the David Beckham goodbye tour to bring you a note that Club Tijuana will meet Toluca Thursday night in the first leg of the Liga MX final.

Club TJ, as well like to call them, is something of a Cinderella story and also boasts three Americans: Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, and Greg Garza (as well as youth product Alejandro Guido).

A smart article from Tom Marshall explains how Tijuana managed to come back from a 2-0 deficit after the first leg: “The 3-0 victory last Sunday was a lesson in controlled attacking football and in managing a game over the 90 minutes. Few gave the Xolos a chance of coming back pregame, but the team has Mexico’s best defence over the last two regular seasons as a platform to build from. There was no gung-ho forward surge, just consistent pressure and solidity at the back that reaped rewards on the artificial turf of the Estadio Caliente.”

Corona agrees with Senor Marshall:

“The whole team knew it wasn’t over [after the first leg], and that we still had a lot of chances of passing to the final. Coach [Antonio Mohamed] made us believe that we were still alive, and he set up a very offensive squad because we needed two goals. Our strategy was to come out offensive, but we knew we had to be patient.”

Anyhow, if you need a little soccer tide-me-over before Saturday night’s affair du Beckham, get involved. 10 p.m. ET on Univision Deportes

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS playoff scenarios ]

Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.