Kelyn Rowe 2

Everything there but the end product for New England against Vancouver

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Remember what we said on Thursday about New England: Pe progress would be more important than the result. Though fans may rightly worry about a team that’s gone 270 minutes without scoring this season, the underlying parts showed improvement. In today’s 0-0 draw against visiting Vancouver, both the Revolution’s attack and defense showed signs of becoming their 2013 selves.

Going forward, the benefits of having Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, and Saer Sene on the field at the same time were obvious. The trio’s ability to link up at the edge of the attacking third meant New England were a threat all day, with Sene’s ability to come in from the right and augment play helping offset the influence of Vancouver’s Nigel Reo-Coker and Matías Laba. When we (read: I) use clichés like “able to consistently create chance,” this is when we’re talking about. After being starved of the ball last week in Philadelphia, New England held the better (if not necessarily more) possession on Saturday.

Unfortunately, that didn’t produce a goal, even if Teal Bunbury had two opportunities to open the scoring in the first half. But on both a long header from Chris Tierney and a beautiful cross from Rowe, Bunbury failed to show the aggression New England needs. On Tierney’s ball headed past the defense, Bunbury hesitated as David Ousted come off his line, allowing the Vancouver No. 1 to suffocate the chance. Later, Bunbury let Rowe’s cross get caught in his feet, failing to test Ousted on another good ball. Two chances. No shots.

At the other end of the field, a defense led but the newly restored José Gonçalves went largely untested, but avoiding the mistakes the group had made in Houston and Philadelphia, the back four still showed progress. There was no overrunning of crosses to gift chances for Will Bruin. There was so misreading of passes to let Leonardo Fernandes set up goals for Sebastien Le Toux. The defense may not have had to do much, but they didn’t give much, either.

Aside from the lack of a goal, it was exactly the type of performance New England needed, but from a team still trying to assess if Bunbury can replace Juan Agudelo, perhaps this was the result we should have predicted. It was too much to ask the Revolution to go from zero to hero in one week. Baby steps are enough this early in the season.

With a strong performance on Saturday, the Revolution were able to identify their one, big problem area. That’s progress.

Albert Ruiz scores fastest hat trick to start game in NCAA history

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After being named the NCAA Soccer Men’s Player of the Week, Spanish junior Albert Ruiz went out and set the base for a repeat.

The Florida Gulf Coast striker scored three goals in three minutes and 19 seconds on Tuesday, and the Eagles are battering visiting Rutgers.

[ MORE: Pochettino happy with “must win” defeat of CSKA ]

Not only that, but three goals all came before the game was 10 minutes old (9:02 to be exact). The team’s Twitter account says that’s a record to start a game, besting the record was set by Indiana’s Steve Burks on Oct. 6, 1973. Burks scored his three goals by the 11:41 mark of the first half.

If you look at the clock, too, we think it’s more like nine minutes on the dot.

Ruiz scored seven times in 11 games as a sophomore, and is battering that impressive mark this year. It’s not even halftime at FGCU, and he’s up to 11 goals in his ninth game of the season. That puts him into a tie with Buffalo’s Russell Cicerone for the most goals in men’s D1 soccer (and Ruiz has more than 45 minutes to play).

The 6-foot-2 forward is going to be attracting a lot of attention, especially considering this is his second hat trick in 10 days.

PST Extra: Breaking down the 1v2 clash between Spurs, Man City

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Manchester City visits White Hart Lane for a match-up of this early season’s first and second place Premier League clubs.

City will have one less day of rest than its Premier League rivals, though both are coming off road matches in Europe.

Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 1-0 on Tuesday, while Man City is battling Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany a day later.

[ MORE: Pochettino happy with “must win” defeat of CSKA ]

A win would pull Spurs to within a point of the leaders, while a City victory would guarantee, at-worst, a five-point table advantage for Pep Guardiola‘s bunch.

Kickoff is at 9:15 a.m. ET Sunday, and our own Joe Prince-Wright has the preview for you with the latest PST Extra (above).

Spurs: Pochettino pleased with “must win”, Son admits “a lucky time”

Tottenham's Son Heung-min is hugged by Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino after he scored 1-0 during the Champions League Group E soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Tottenham Hotspur, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
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While it’s easy to call any match “must win” after you’ve won, there’s little doubt how badly Spurs needed their 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Champions League roundup ]

After making the long hike to Russia, Spurs controlled the match. Both Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min were lively but couldn’t break down the CSKA back line until Son finished a late chance.

From the BBC:

“That was a very important victory. Important to be in the race for the next round of the Champions League. This was a must win game, we are second in the group now but it is still all open.”

And Son admits it was a bit fortunate, as his shot was slowed by Akinfeev before inching across the line.

“This is a good time but also a lucky time. I try every game to score. We are very happy to win this game.”

Spurs are a point behind Monaco, who won at White Hart Lane in both teams’ Group E openers. Next up is a tricky visit from Bayer Leverkusen.

Ranieri laughs off England speculation with quip about bookmakers

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Claudio Ranieri, Manager of Leicester City speaks during a Leicester City press conference ahead of their Champions League match against FC Porto at The King Power Stadium on September 26, 2016 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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When it comes to quotes, Claudio Ranieri is one of the best.

The Leicester City manager was put on the spot after Tuesday’s 1-0 UEFA Champions League win over Porto, and handled it well.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Pulisic, BVB best Madrid ]

Asked about his name appearing on betting sites as a favorite to replace disgraced England boss Sam Allardycewho left the job Tuesday — Ranieri responded with a nod to Leicester’s long odds-defying Premier League title run.