USMNT lineups announced as Costa Rican police assure timely arrival

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There was much talk of the Costa Rican taxi force collaborating to clog up the roads in an effort to make the US National Team’s travel to Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica a living hell.

That never materialized, at least not according to the USMNT, who took to twitter to thank the Costa Rican police for ensuring their arrival at the venue without hitch.

The police, according to Doug McIntyre of ESPN, lined the enterance to the stadium to make sure nobody could toss projectiles in the direction of the team.

As for the lineup, Jozy Altidore is only fit enough to make the bench as Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen to stick Clint Dempsey up front in the striker role with Landon Donovan slotted in behind him in a 4-2-3-1 lineup. Here it is:

Lineups:

United States – Howard; Orozco, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley; Bradley, Jones; Zusi, Donovan, F. Johnson; Dempsey.
Bench – Altidore, Beckerman, Bedoya, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Diskerud, Guzan, Jóhannsson, E. Johnson, Parkhurst, Rimando.

UPDATE: Michael Bradley sprained his left ankle during warmups, and is being replaced by Geoff Cameron in the starting lineup. A massive blow to the USMNT midfield. Hopefully it’s not a long-term issue and he can return against Mexico.

Costa Rica – Navas; G. Gonzalez, J. Acosta, Umana; Gamboa, Oviedo, Borges, Tejada, Bolanos, Campbell, Ruiz.

Couple of things to note. First, wow, Michael Orozco (officially his last name, no longer Orozco-Fiscal, per his passport) at right-back, beating out Michael Parkhurst and Geoff Cameron. Also, it’s officially Clint Dempsey’s 100th cap for the United States, so congratulations to him!

In terms of the Costa Rican lineup, it’s interesting to see Bryan Ruiz up front as a striker. He’s not naturally a striker, much like Clint. So there’s no true striker on the pitch for either side! This also means that Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío is pushed back to the bench.

The 2 Robbies podcast: Man City steps towards the title, Merseyside recap

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle dissect Derby Day, where Man City set the Premier League single season all time consecutive winning streak against rivals Man United, Jurgen Klopp had a bad day at the office against the blue half of Merseyside and Arsenal stutter again away from home.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

La Liga & Serie A: Suarez, Messi pace Barca; AC Milan tops Bologna

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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Villareal 0-2 Barcelona

The visitors struggled to break down Villareal’s back line throughout the opening 45 minutes, but the Blaugrana were aided by Raba’s second-half dismissal on Sunday. From there, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez helped Barca pick up its 12th win of the season and restore the club’s five-point lead over Valencia.

Messi’s goal — his 525th for the club — matched Gerd Muller’s Barca record on Sunday, while the finish was his 18th in all competitions this season.

Real Betis 0-1 Atletico Madrid

Saul Niguez scored his second goal of the La Liga season to help give Atletico an important road victory against Real Betis. Atleti now sits third in Spain’s top flight, but remains six points behind league leaders Barcelona.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Sociedad 0-2 Malaga
Levante 1-2 Athletic Bilbao


AC Milan 2-1 Bologna

Giacomo Bonaventura scored twice on Sunday to give AC Milan a victory at the San Siro. The midfielder opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, before Simone Verdi’s finish in the 23rd minute leveled the match for Bologna. Bonaventura tabbed his second goal of the day in the 76th minute to give the Rossoneri a win and keep the team inside the top seven. Milan currently sits on 24 points through 16 matches.

 

Elsewhere in Serie A

Chievo Verona 0-0 Roma
Napoli 0-0 Fiorentina
SPAL 2-2 Hellas Verona
Udinese 2-0 Benevento
Sassuolo 2-1 Crotone

Second-half burst gives Ajax big win over Dutch leaders PSV

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For only the second time this season, Dutch Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven have lost a league match.

Ajax stormed back for a 3-0 victory over PSV on Sunday in Der Topper, the long-standing rivalry between the two Dutch powerhouses.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from the Manchester Derby ]

The victory moves Ajax up to third place on 32 points this season, while PSV remains atop the league table on 39 points.

David Neres, Lasse Schöne and Donny van de Beek each scored in a span of 11 minutes after the halftime break to five the hosts a comfortable result.

Neres broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when he stunned PSV with a long-distance volley that couldn’t be dealt with by goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.

Schone then found the back of the net three minutes later, while Van de Beek capped off the outing with the dagger in the 72 minute.

Sunday’s win also gives Ajax a slim advantage over their rival in the all-time Eredivisie series, 54-24-53.

Stanford knocks off Indiana to capture third consecutive NCAA title

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Prior to this weekend, only one team in NCAA men’s soccer history had won three or more titles in consecutive years. Now, you can add Stanford to that list.

The Cardinal knocked off the Indiana Hoosiers, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium behind Sam Werner’s extra-time winner.

[ MORE: Kamara, Zimmerman amongst biggest MLS trade moves on Sunday ]

Werner, who also scored the second goal for the Cardinal in Friday night’s 2-0 victory against the Akron Zips, provided the finish in the second overtime after powering a shot over Hoosiers goalkeeper Trey Muse.

On the cold day in Chester, PA, both sides struggled to come up with chances on goal, with the Hoosiers managing just one shot on target in the match.

Prior to 2015, Stanford had never won a College Cup in school history, however, the Cardinal are now tied for sixth in NCAA history with their third championship.

The University of St. Louis has captured the most titles in men’s soccer, with 10, while Indiana’s eight championships rank second.