New England were so happy to be awarded a stoppage time penalty kick, they probably didn’t stop to think about the opposition. Nick Rimando is the one MLS goalkeeper you don’t want to face when you’re standing over a potential late game-tying goal; when the only things between you and an equalizer is 12 yards and one of the best penalty kick stoppers in Major League Soccer history.
It was Saer Sene that drew the no-win scenario on Wednesday. If he makes it, yeah, that’s what he’s supposed to do. There’s a reason why we usually say players “miss” penalties as opposed to having them “saved.” You’re expected to convert. How many players walk away from a missed conversion thinking “He made a great stop”? Usually, it’s “I should have gone the other way.”
It was the 92nd minute. Real Salt Lake had scored goals in the 77th (Devon Sandoval) and 89th (Olmes Garcia) to take a 2-1 lead, overturning the lead New England took in the 51st minute in through Ryan Guy. That’s when referee Juan Carlos Rivero stepped in, awarding a dubious penalty that saw Carlos Salciedo sent off with his second yellow card. New England had their chance to salvage a result.
Saer lined up a left-footed try, but as you’ll see, Rimando moved first, jumping right into the path of the eventual shot:
It was Rimando’s second penalty save of the season, his 19th in 60 career tries, and most importantly, it saved two points for Real Salt Lake – two points that vault RSL second in the Western Conference. For a team that carried a much-changed and injured roster into the season’s first months, 17 points in 11 games was about all they could reasonably expect come May 8.
For New England, we’ll have to see how they recover. Through much of the game, they seemed the side most likely to take full points, with Guy’s goal hinting this just wasn’t RSL’s night. But Salt Lake’s comeback leaves Jay Heap’s team with nine points from as many games. Perhaps more concerning: A defense that’d only given up six goals in eight games found a way to concede twice in the match’s final 13 minutes.
MOSCOW (AP) Claudio Bravo is fit again and could start in goal against Australia at the Confederations Cup on Sunday, Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said Saturday.
Bravo – who is Chile’s joint most-capped player with Alexis Sanchez – hasn’t played since April 27, when he injured his calf for Manchester City in a derby game with Manchester United.
“Claudio is fit, he’s managed to train the last couple of days just like his other teammates,” Pizzi said. “He’s ready and available to play.”
Pizzi brushed off concerns about a lack of match fitness, saying that “quite obviously we take into account that factor” but players like Bravo are “are of such good quality that it isn’t that important they haven’t played in the last couple of months.”
Stand-in Johnny Herrera played in Chile’s 2-0 group stage win over Cameroon and Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Germany.
Gary Medel was substituted with a minor injury while playing in defense for Chile against Germany. Teammate Francisco Silva said Saturday that Medel had complained of “a very small muscle contraction issue” but was now fit.
Pizzi said he will aim to tire out Australia with Chile’s trademark all-action style, even though his team struggled for energy in the latter stages against Germany.
“This energy drop we had in the second half didn’t damage us too much because the opposing team couldn’t maintain a high pace because of the demands we’d imposed on them,” Pizzi said of the Germany game.
“We’re going to try to get (the Australians) tired as well and use this to beat our opponent, and we hope this is going to translate into goals.”
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) American forward Bobby Wood extended his contract with Bundesliga side Hamburger SV on Saturday to 2021.
Wood, who joined Hamburg from second-tier Union Berlin, scored five goals and set up two more in 28 Bundesliga games. He had 17 goals in 31 second-division games for Union the season before.
“Not only his goals count for us, but his readiness to run and challenge,” Hamburg sporting director Jens Todt said. “Bobby is a key player for our offense and a real team player.”
Wood has eight goals in 32 appearances for the United States.
The game in 100 words (or less): The only thing standing in the way of New York City FC avenging their infamous 7-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls with a lopsided demolition job of their own, on Saturday, was an otherworldly goalkeeping performance from Luis Robles. It was the Red Bulls shot-stopper, with his four saves on the afternoon (three of them coming in spectacular fashion), who kept Jesse Marsch’s side within touching distance for more than an hour. Jack Harrison was denied early on by Robles, but got the better of him not long later for the game’s opening goal. Heroics from Robles kept the score at 1-0 for another 32 minutes, before Ben Sweat’s (accidental?) header made it 2-0 in the 65th minute. The Red Bulls, on the other hand, managed their first shot on target in the 80th minute. That’s three wins in a row for NYCFC, who go seven points clear of their Hudson River rivals and keep Toronto FC in sight at the top of the league table, five points ahead.
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Three moments that mattered
18′ — Robles goes full-stretch to deny Harrison — David Villa’s vision and Rodney Wallace‘s hold-play created the chance for Harrison, but Luis Robles’ acrobatics denied the 20-year-old Englishman in spectacular fashion.
33′ — Harrison not to be denied this time — Sweat delivered the ball to Harrison near the top of the box, and the second-year man did everything right with what’s a really, really difficult chance to take — facing away from goal, first-time, ball traveling across the goalkeeper, upper-90 to the far post.
65′ — Sweat loops a header past Robles for 2-0 — Sweat probably didn’t mean it, but the ball hit the back of the net, and that’s all that matters. Not a bad time to score your first MLS goal, either.
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Man of the match: Luis Robles
Goalscorers: Harrison (33′), Sweat (65′)
Watford has completed the capture of 22-year-old central midfielder Will Hughes, a fantastic transfer for one of England’s younger talents.
Hughes, despite his young age, racked up 189 appearances for Derby County (despite missing significant time in 2015 for an ACL tear) and now gets his first shot at the Premier League, and with it potentially a chance to push his way into the England fold. Hughes has been a staple for the England youth system, making 22 appearances for the country’s U-21 side but is yet to feature for the senior team.
The fee for the transfer was undisclosed but reports have tabbed the amount at around $10 million.
Hughes came close to making the Premier League with Derby County on multiple occasions, reaching the Championship playoffs in both 2014 and 2016. Now, he’ll battle the likes of Valon Behrami, Tom Cleverley, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure for a spot in Watford’s midfield.
The club release confirmed that Hughes has not yet completed his medical, and will do so when he returns to the U.K. from competing in the U-21 European Championships in Poland.