Bruce Arena

Bruce Arena handed long-term contract extension by LA Galaxy

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On Thursday the LA Galaxy announced that they’ve extended Bruce Arena’s stay as Head Coach and General Manager, as one of the top coaches in U.S. history will continue to be a fixture in Major League Soccer for many years to come.

Arena, 62, has signed a “multi-year contract extension” after enjoying several seasons of success since joining LA in 2008. Since then the Galaxy have made three MLS Cup finals, winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, while also winning the Western Conference title in three of the last five seasons and capturing the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2010 and 2010.

Since 2008, Arena has a 82-46-44 regular season record, as the Californian outfit have become the most recognizable brand in U.S. soccer.

Speaking about Arena’s decision to extend his current deal Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG which owns the Galaxy, shared his delight.

“We are very pleased to sign Bruce Arena to a multi-year contract extension,” Beckerman said in a club statement. “Bruce is one of the finest coaches in the history of soccer in the United States. His commitment to the LA Galaxy, the club’s winning tradition and continued excellence on and off the field is unrivaled. We look forward to the team’s continued success under Bruce’s management.”

A brash character who does things his own way, Arena is a man who often divides opinion across the U.S. soccer spectrum. But you just can’t argue with his record over a long and glittering career as a coach in MLS.

Arena recently became the first coach in MLS history to win four MLS Cup titles and has been named MLS Coach of the Year three times. Coaching D.C. United, the U.S. national team and now the LA Galaxy, Arena has become an institution on the U.S. soccer scene spanning over two decades. As coach of the USMNT, Arena led the Nats to the FIFA World Cup twice, including an historic quarterfinal berth in 2002 in Japan/Korea and during his time in charge of the national team he compiled a 71-30-29 all-time record.

“I’m honored to remain in this role with the preeminent soccer club in the United States,” Arena said. “I appreciate the continued support and confidence from Mr. Anschutz, Mr. Beckerman, Chris Klein and my staff and players as we head into the 2014 season.”

With Arena on board for the foreseeable future, what does this mean for the LA club? More success, more domination and likely more trophies.

Arena’s stranglehold as MLS most-respected and driven coach is unlikely to diminish during the twilight of his coaching career. if anything we’ve seen a more outspoken and heated Arena in the past few MLS seasons, but his ability to find the best young talent and manage star names, like DPs Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and David Beckham, will hold him in good stead with the Galaxy.

A talented crop of youngsters, Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, Zardes and Omar Gonzalez have broken into the team under Arena’s tutelage and despite Villarreal on loan to Cruz Azul during the 2014 MLS season, expect Arena’s emphasis to still be on blending youth with experience as the Galaxy look to add another MLS Cup to the trophy cabinet.

Arena’s new deal means more of the same for LA. Success.

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