Manchester United executives and owners ring the opening bell at the NY Stock Exchange

Manchester United hit record revenue levels following commercial success

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Remind me again why Manchester United only brought in one expensive signing in the summer transfer window?

It certainly wasn’t because cash-flow has been a problem, just look at these figures.

On Wednesday Manchester United announced that for the 12 months to June they reached record revenue figures, with over $540 million reaching the Premier League club. Earlier this year the club was also floated on the New York Stock Exchange.

American businessmen the Glazer family put the increase down to a huge rise in commercial revenue, as sponsorship deals went through the roof. Record merchandising and product licensing also saw revenue lines sky-rocket, as United made a net profit of $215 million.

(MORE: Real Madrid oust Manchester United as worlds richest team)

Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward was delighted with the results after he took over from previous incumbent David Gill.

“We are very proud of our results,” Woodward said. “Our commercial business continues to be a very powerful engine of growth enabling the team to continue to be successful. We won our 20th English League title last season and are delighted to have David Moyes lead our football team into a new and exciting chapter. We look forward to a successful 2013-14, both on and off the pitch.”

United have certainly been busy off the field in the past 12 months, as sponsorship for all kinds of things began to pop up. We had ‘Mr. Potato’ as their official snack-partner, Russian airline Aeroflot is now involved, and US car manufacture Chevrolet who will be the club’s shirt sponsor for next season. Some have laughed at the huge number of sponsorship deals United have signed in the past few months, but it’s having the desired outcome… so why not cash in? Every other club or sports franchise in the world would do the same if they had United’s allure and attractiveness from a business standpoint.

In all, commercial revenue is up 30 percent and as United continue to become a global success story off the pitch, they will hope some of that success continues to happen on the pitch, too.

But does all this financial success put more or less pressure on David Moyes to succeed in his first season in charge at Old Trafford?

I think it actually helps him out. Moyes shouldn’t bat an eyelid at these figures. The only thing he should know is that United are in a terrific position in terms of future outlook, and although the club has had plenty of debt piled onto it by the Glazers, Manchester United could easily recoup that with the correct business plan in place.

Moyes’ job is easy. Focus on the soccer. Everything else will look after itself. And, commercially, it’s doing more than that… it’s thriving.

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