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Three points to make on a huge goal at Red Bull Arena


At this point, it really doesn’t matter why Tim Cahill had so badly misplaced his scoring form over the man’s initial few months around Red Bull Arena.

He has found the sweet spot, and his latest goal saved the day for the Red Bulls. Thanks largely to their Aussie international – with a big assist from center back Jamison Olave, who was an absolute force along the home team’s back line Sunday – the Red Bulls grabbed all three points in their only meeting of 2013 against the two-time defending champion Galaxy.

There’s plenty to talk about on the game’s only goal (which is below on video):

Jamison Olave played a role on Cahill’s strike: Red Bulls center back Jamison Olave played a role in the goal that was easy to miss in all the hulabaloo over Cahill and whether LA’s goalkeeper erred, etc.

Olave cleaned out Omar Gonzalez from behind as the Galaxy center back, so dominant in the air, prepared to deal with Juninho’s floating free kick. As Gonzalez tumbled, he hit fellow center back A.J. DeLaGarza. So there went the Galaxy’s main resistance, especially considering that …

Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was stuck to his line: I’ve said before, Carlo Cudicini is not the upgrade in goal that  fans around the HDC might have expected, especially considering the Italian vet was coming from one of the better clubs in one of the world’s better leagues. (He was the third man for Spurs.)

Juninho’s free kick from about 45 yards dropped inside the Galaxy goal area. That’s the goalkeeper’s ball, especially when coming from such a distance. A few Galaxy teammates seemed to make the point, too.

Cahill’s scoring form: Cahill had just one goal in his first 20 appearances for New York, a rate of production so meager that chatter was increasingly quickly about whether Cahill’s arrival was nearing the “bust” zone.

Never mind all that. He has four goals now in New York’s last five matches.  By the way, three have been game-winners.  So, along with everything else Cahill contributes to the Red Bulls’ cause, we can tamp down that simmering little brush fire of a debate for now.

Here’s the goal:


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)
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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)
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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.