Hat trick allows Camilo to claim MLS’s Golden Boot

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He started the weekend chasing Marco Di Vaio and Mike Magee, a detail that will be left out of the final scoring charts. But with three goals tonight in Vancouver, Camilo Sanvezzo passed his Golden Boot rivals to claim Major League Soccer’s 2013 scoring title, delivering on the season’s final day to push his goal total to 22, claiming the title by one goal.

Vancouver went on to win 3-0, relegating Colorado to the Western Conference’s fifth seed. Vancouver finishes three points out of a playoff spot.

Magee had taken the lead earlier in the day with the opening goal at Red Bull Arena. Although his Chicago Fire had their postseason hopes crushed in Harrison, the Most Valuable Player favorite was positioned to celebrate a different individual success, carrying a two-goal edge on Camilo into the Whitecaps’ game with Colorado.

The Brazilian attacker halved Magee’s edge just before half time, converting from the spot after Marvell Wynne conceded a penalty. In the second half, bolstered by a Vancouver team intent on supporting their teammate, Sanvezzo sewed up the Golden Boot in the 74th minute, scoring from the edge of the six-yard box. His right-footed poke past Clint Irwin left Camilo even with Magee on 21 goals, the scoring title assured by his superior assist total (the first tiebreaker).

Ten minutes later, Camilo made sure the tiebreaker was irrelevant, running onto a bouncing ball to the right of Irwin’s goal and beating the Rapids keeper with a first-timer that left him on 22 goals.

He may not got the MVP consideration Magee and Di Vaio have received, but Camilo won the trio’s season-long shootout. With a night to shine at BC Place, the 25-year-old Brazilian delivered, his hat trick securing the 2013 scoring title.

The final Top Five:

  • 22 – Camilo Sanvezzo, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • 21 – Mike Magee, Chicago Fire/LA Galaxy
  • 20 – Marco Di Vaio, Montréal Impact
  • 15 – Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
  • 13 – Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution

Netherlands manager Danny Blind fired after Bulgaria loss

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The Netherlands are in real trouble, and the manager has paid the price.

The Dutch national team has parted ways with Danny Blind the day after a 2-0 loss to Bulgaria left the Dutch fourth in their World Cup qualification group halfway through.

The move garnering all the headlines from Saturday’s loss was Blind’s decision to start 17-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt. The Ajax youth product, who has just two Eredivisie starts to his credit, made two crucial errors and yanked at halftime, but the damage had been done. Spas Delev scored twice in the opening 20 minutes for Bulgaria, and that was all the home side needed as the Dutch offered little in front of goal.

Blind was also criticized for not getting Memphis Depay on the field as they chased the game. The Netherlands held 74% possession, but could only manage 3 shots on target. Depay has been in good form since his January move to Lyon, with five goals in his 10 Ligue 1 appearances.

This decision was something Blind saw coming. He told national broadcaster NOS immediately after the Bulgaria loss, “I blame myself. It can’t go on like this. Things have to change.”

“I need to think about [my future]. I do not throw the towel in here. I’m incredibly disappointed, especially since I had a good feeling about this match. It makes sense that I put myself in front of the mirror.”

However, the problems for the Dutch go far deeper than Danny Blind. They missed out on Euro 2016 largely thanks to the failed 2nd tenure for Guus Hiddink. His assistant Blind took over, but the results have been equally as poor. The Netherlands sit fourth in UEFA World Cup qualification Group A, with losses to Bulgaria and France plus a draw with Sweden. It’s not over for them though, as they sit three points back of a second place spot with five matches to go, and three of those five at home.

With the Netherlands still yet to play their friendly against Italy this coming week, former goalkeeper Fred Grim takes over on an interim basis. Grim collected 101 caps for the Netherlands, and has served as the Netherlands U-21 manager for the last two years. Before that, he took charge of his first full managerial job as head man of Dutch 2nd-tier club Almere City.

Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery, scores in England win

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Jermain Defoe’s friendship with terminally-ill Bradley Lowery has been special to watch unfold, and the Sunderland striker brought his little buddy to Wembley today.

Then he notched a match-winner.

Lowery walked Defoe out onto the field in a replica England kit before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and then Defoe scored his 20th goal for country.

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It was his first since 2013, the last year Defoe was called up for the Three Lions.

Here’s the goal, which was followed by a second-half Jamie Vardy tally as England stayed atop Group F with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

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Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

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Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).