Chris Pontius, Eddie Gaven

Highlights and context of Columbus’ win over D.C. United


A few things to consider as you watch the goals and some swell saves of Columbus’ 2-1 road win Saturday at D.C. United:

  • United’s defending on set-pieces was terrible. Horribly so, for that’s the biggest reason United’s watched its 18-game home unbeaten streak go bye-bye Saturday.
  • You get so much “good” with young United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, but a heaping helping of “bad” as well. Hamid’s decision making was awful on the Crew’s first goal, coming out into a crowd to collect a corner kick but getting nowhere near it. Later, he fumbled a free kick right into the worst spot, into the middle of the field; the Crew’s Ben Speas was there to nail the game-winner.
  • Speaking of Speas: The Columbus Crew home-grown signing, who debuted on the final match day of 2012, continues to impress. Robert Warzycha and his staff really have something in the young midfielder.
  • Previously, Speas was a replacement for the injured Eddie Gaven (and PST readers know we always call Gaven one of the most underrated of MLS men.) Saturday Warzycha had them both on the field, at either flank.
  • Dwayne De Rosario is now into his third season at RFK, and yet the tinkering on how best to use the league’s 2011 MVP continues. He played ahead of holding midfielder Perry Kitchen, behind two strikers on Saturday. In his time at United, De Rosario has operated as a central attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1, as a second striker and in the role he occupied Saturday.

Highlights of Saturday’s contest at RFK Stadium:


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Maradona’s former house turned into museum in Argentina

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 30:  Argentina's head coach Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi wait for a corner kick during a team training session on June 30, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) How many sleepless nights did the young man who would become one of soccer’s greatest players spend gazing up at the ceiling, imagining dizzying dribbles, spectacular goals and hoisting the World Cup above his head?

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That is the question visitors often ask when they see the small wooden bed in the former house of Diego Maradona, which was recently turned into a museum in Argentina’s capital.

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Maradona, now 55, lived with his family in the two-story house in Buenos Aires’ La Paternal neighborhood in the late 1970s, when he was playing with the Argentinos Junior soccer club. Officials say the museum sheds light on a little-known era of his life, before he became an internationally known superstar who led Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup tournament.

The home was given to Maradona’s family in 1978 by Argentinos, part of his payment for signing his first contract. At that time, such payments were rare for teenage soccer players, even those with exceptional talent.

Crossing the doorstep, visitors travel back in time, seeing dozens of photographs, documents and objects evocative of Maradona’s teenage years. A photograph of him with curly hair and an innocent smile sitting on a stair in front of the house vouches for the authenticity of the building, as does a deed in the name of Maradona’s father, Don Diego.

His first contract is another treasure displayed in the museum, which is owned by Alberto Perez, a former Argentinos Junior manager who is a collector of Maradona paraphernalia.

“This was perhaps the most romantic part of his life, the best time,” Perez said.

Standing in the courtyard where Maradona used to play pingpong with his brothers, Perez recalled that era. “We raised Diego in Argentinos Junior … We can’t forget what Diego meant for the club and for the neighborhood. At the world level, they know us because of him.”

Perez negotiated for years to buy the house from the woman who acquired it after Maradona left the neighborhood in 1981, when he went to play for Boca Juniors.

Perez achieved his goal eight years ago when he bought the house for $100,000. Since then he has sought exact replicas of the original furniture and other household items used by the Maradonas.

Diego Maradona’s bedroom was on the upper floor, with the bed covered by a blue quilt. A small table with a lamp sits next to it.

“Diego slept in this room and had a bathroom outside. It was cold in winter. Diego is a person who always lived with family,” said Perez.

The family came to this middle-class neighborhood in Buenos Aires from the poor suburb of Villa Fiorito.

Here Dona Tota, as Maradona’s mother was known, raised five daughters and three sons. She died in 2011.

“In the pictures you can see how happy he was,” Cesar Perez, who helped his father with the museum, said of Maradona.

“This is a work of the heart, a living tribute to the best player of all time,” he said of the museum, which is free for visitors.

Cavani strike propels PSG past Lille, up to second in Ligue 1

COLUMBUS, OH - JULY 27:  Edinson Cavani #9 of Paris Saint-Germain F.C controls the ball during the game against Real Madrid C.F. on July 27, 2016 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Paris Saint-Germain F.C. defeated Real Madrid C.F. 3-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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Paris Saint-Germain moved up to second place in Ligue 1 on Friday after Edinson Cavani’s second-half finish pushed the Parisians past Lille for a 1-0 victory.

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The PSG attacker struck in the 65th minute after brilliantly taking an Angel di Maria cross down with his chest and then powering a shot past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama for the match’s lone tally.

Cavani leads the club this season with nine goals in 11 matches for the Parisians, as the Uruguayan continues his attempt to pick up the slack left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the summer when he joined Manchester United.

It was Di Maria who nearly gave PSG the lead in the 22nd minute after latching onto a long ball and beating Enyeama on a deflection. Despite finishing on his second effort, the goal was called back for offsides, keeping the match scoreless.

Lille was largely kept in check for most of the match, only posting one shot on target at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

PSG currently sits three points out of the top spot in France’s top flight, currently held by Nice, while Lille is just four points off the bottom.

Koeman “very pleased” at notion Rooney could rejoin Everton

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08:  Wayne Rooney of England in action during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Group F match between England and Malta at Wembley Stadium on October 8, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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With Wayne Rooney‘s future left uncertain at Old Trafford, could a potential return to Everton be in the works?

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Toffees manager Ronald Koeman certainly hopes so.

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Rooney, 31, has fallen out of favor with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho recently, leaving the Englishman on the brink of a move away from the Red Devils.

The veteran attacker has posted just one goal and two assists in eight Premier League matches this season, leaving Koeman optimistic about a Rooney return to Goodison Park for the first time since 2004.

“First of all, I think it is a great player, and he has still not finished his career,” he said. “I do not know how his situation is, and I need to respect that situation. That’s not my problem.

“But even when we get one time the possibility that Rooney is an option for Everton, I’m very pleased.”

While it’s merely speculation at this point that Rooney will in fact leave Old Trafford this season, Mourinho’s recent tendencies of dropping the attacker suggest that the long-time England goalscorer will find a new destination.

Koeman has reinvigorated Everton since his arrival over the summer, bringing the Toffees up to sixth in the PL.

Dynamo officially name Wilmer Cabrera as head coach

Wilmer Cabrera
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Following a third straight year without playoff soccer, the Houston Dynamo have turned to face in an attempt to revitalize the club.

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The Dynamo announced on Friday that the team has hired Wilmer Cabrera as the organization’s fourth head coach in franchise history, following a recent coaching stint with the Dynamo’s USL affiliate Rio Grande Valley FC Toros.

“I am excited to join the Houston Dynamo. It’s a great club with a great history, and I am ready for the challenge,” Cabrera said via a press release from the club. “I look forward to working with the ownership group, management, our staff and the players to return the Dynamo to the level that the club and our fans deserve and expect.”

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Cabrera, 48, holds a wealth of experience as both a player and manager, which includes his playing days with the Colombia national team during the 1980s and 1990s. The former defender previously managed now-defunct MLS side Chivas USA as well as the U.S. Under-17 national team.