Norwich City v Everton - Premier League

Additions of James McCarthy, Gareth Barry help Everton offset Fellaini loss

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For a team reputed to be a bit cash-strapped, Everton had an active deadline day, one fueled by Manchester United’s quest to sign their two most-prominent players: Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini. Bill Kenwright and Roberto Martínez were ultimately able to hold on to the one they truly wanted to keep, Baines, while getting a heavy chunk of change for the Belgian always destined to go. That however, left the Toffees with some work to replace the quality Fellaini took from the squad, and it was no surprise Martínez looked to his old stomping grounds to strengthen.

James McCarthy had been linked with Everton ever since his former boss took the Toffees’ job in early summer. The move just made sense. Dave Whelan, however, had Wigan hold out, at times approaching the same rebuking tone that Everton took while rejecting Manchester United. Ultimately, however, the Ireland international moved to Goodison Park for just over $20 million, though Whelan, always good for an honest evaluation, offered the obvious about Monday’s pomp:

“Why they leave it so late, I do not understand. But we have accepted the offer from Everton for James McCarthy.”

Earlier in the day, Whelan was equally candid (and more expansive) to the Irish Independent:

“Roberto is chasing James. If Everton sell Fellaini, they are going to come in again for our boy.

“It depends whether Fellaini goes today. I have heard that he’s definitely going.

“If Fellaini goes, Everton are going to get their £30m or whatever. Roberto knows what James is valued at, so they’ve got to come back in with the right amount. You’ve got to be talking £14m or maybe a little more.”

I suppose that’s the circumstance to go with McCarthy’s pomp.

The now former Latic isn’t the only midfield reinforcement Martínez was able to snag with his Fellaini money. Gareth Barry, a former regular at Manchester City who had missed out on the first three games of this season, heads for Everton, albeit on loan. Making City-level money, he would have otherwise been a poor fit for Everton, but with a deal worked out between the Toffees and the Sky Blues, Barry should help replace some of the defensive value lost with the Fellaini sale.

This is about as good Everton could have hoped for, should they lose one of their big two. In McCarthy, Barry, and Romelu Lukaku, Everton could even be better than they were Monday morning. Players have to bed in, and only one of them is on a permanent deal, but although the Toffees have lost Marouane Fellaini, there’s isn’t reason to think they’re worse for it.

USC wins NCAA women’s soccer national championship

Southern California's Morgan Andrews celebrates after scoring a goal against West Virginia during the first half in the NCAA Women's College Cup soccer final, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
AP Photo/Tony Avelar
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Katie Johnson broke a tie in the 75th minute and Southern California won the NCAA women’s soccer title Sunday, beating top-ranked West Virginia 3-1 at Avaya Stadium on Sunday.

The second-seeded Trojans (19-4-2) also won the College Cup in 2007.

The Mountaineers (23-2-2) lost for the first time since a 1-0 setback to Georgetown on Sept. 18. West Virginia had a 17-game unbeaten streak snapped, and allowed three goals for the first all season.

Johnson, who also had the winning goal in USC’s 1-0 semifinal victory over Georgetown on Friday, was wide open in front of the net when Leah Pruitt took a pass up the left sideline, beat defender Easther Mayi Kith, and delivered a perfect cross. Johnson simply rolled the ball into the goal to the right of goalkeeper Rylee Foster.

Johnson scored again off an assist from Nicole Molen in the 87th minute.

The Trojans got on the board just 1:22 into play after Julia Bingham directed a corner kick to the top of the penalty box, where Savannah Levin headed the ball forward to Morgan Andrews, whose header from 5 yards eluded Foster.

West Virginia’s Ashley Lawrence, a member of the 2016 Canadian Olympic team, tied it in the 66th minute when she ripped a shot from the top left corner of the penalty box just inside the near post.

After USC took the 2-1 lead, the Mountaineers nearly drew even in the 81st minute on a shot by Heather Kaleiohi that was stopped on a diving save by goalkeeper Sammy Prudhomme.

The Mountaineers outshot USC 21-8 and held a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.

The Trojans joined North Carolina (21 titles), Notre Dame (3) and Portland (3) as the only multiple winners of the College Cup.

USC won its 126th national team title on the same day its men’s water polo team lost 10-8 to Cal in the NCAA final just 45 miles away in Berkeley.

West Virginia, in its first College Cup final, was hoping to claim its first NCAA title in any sport besides its co-ed rifle team, which has won 18 national titles.

VIDEO: 70-yard volley from Chile is nearly impossible to believe

Alejandro Camargo, Universidad de Concepcion
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His name is Alejandro Camargo, and he scored what might just go down as the best goal of 2016 on Sunday: an impossibly perfect volley from well beyond the halfway line.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

Miguel Pinto is the opposing goalkeeper whose long-range clearance, which covered about 50 yards during the final seconds of Universidad de Concepcion’s clash with O’Higgins in the Chilean first division, was taken off the fly, first-time, by the Argentine midfielder to seal a 3-1 victory for the home side.

[ MORE: Serie A roundup — Roma, AC Milan win, still tied for 2nd ]

“The coach told us Pinto was always playing in advance of his goal, so I closed my eyes and hit it,” Camargo said after the game.

“Hit it and hope” has never looked so good.

Roma fans stay away from derby to protest new security barriers

A view of a huge section of empty seats as Roma fans desert derby in protest over security barriers, during a Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Roma, at the Rome Olympic stadium Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
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ROME (AP) Roma’s most ardent supporters stayed away from the derby match against Lazio in protest at barriers introduced at the start of last season in their area.

Normally filled with supporters waving huge banners, lighting flares and singing, half of the “curva sud” — southern end — of the Stadio Olimpico was left empty for Sunday’s match.

[ MORE: Serie A roundup — Roma, AC Milan win, still tied for 2nd ]

Three of Roma’s locally born standouts held a meeting with the “ultra” fans during the week. Captain Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi asked the supporters to return, and the club itself has also tried to resolve the matter.

But the appeals had no effect.

In contrast, Lazio fans filled the northern end of the stadium as usual.

The plexiglass barriers were put in place by city officials for security reasons.

VIDEO: “Behind The Badge: Watford FC” — Episode 2

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In Episode 2 of Behind the Badge: Watford FC, watch the players’ recovery after a win against Leicester, a look at the club’s one-of-a-kind internship program and a flashback to a memorable moment in Watford’s history.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

To watch past episodes of Behind The Badge, including last season’s edition featuring a look inside Crystal Palace, head over to the full archive by clicking here.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea top Man City; Arsenal, Spurs win big ]

First episode: Watch full episode, here
Second episode: Above video
Third episode: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Fourth episode: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN