Mastroeni 2

Is the Pablo Mastroeni trade another smooth move from that wily Bruce Arena?

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If anyone else in Major League Soccer had traded for Pablo Mastroeni, I would strongly suspect they had made a mistake.

But as this is Bruce Arena, this looks like something to keep close eyes on.

Mastroeni, the former MLS All-Star and U.S. international, just went to Los Angeles in a trade after 12 years in Colorado – qualifying the midfield enforcer as an “institution” around Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

The Galaxy also got the rights to midfielder Baggio Husidic in the swap. Going the other way, the Rapids collect an international roster slot (through the end of the current season) and the Galaxy’s second-round pick in next year’s draft.

Clearly, the Rapids longtime captain, the team’s heart and soul, really, was a beloved figure for the Burgundy.

Mastroeni, 36, has had such a hard time staying on the field this year. Plus he missed most of last season dealing the effects of a concussion.

He was also going to have a hard time finding minutes going forward at DSG Park, where Hendry Thomas and rookie Dillon Powers have become trusted figures in central midfield roles.

But Arena has been a master of bringing in older players and making them fit into useful roles. Not all of them have contributed heavily (Frankie Hejduk, for instance), but a quite a few have proven to be major influences on successful teams. A few examples: Chris Birchall, Gregg Berhalter, Jovan Kirovski, Chris Klein and Eddie Lewis.

If Mastroeni can play a few games here and there, spelling Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, and be a 70th-minute guy who can help close out games when the Galaxy are ahead, this could prove another great move from Arena.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC
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Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]

Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).