Britain Soccer Premier League

Sergio Aguero returns, hands Man City huge boost before title showdown

Leave a comment

With excitement already building ahead of Manchester City’s potential title decider against Liverpool on Sunday, (Watch live on NBCSN, 8:37 and online via Live Extra) City have been given a huge lift.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that top scorer Sergio Aguero is back in his squad, as the Argentine striker has been out for over a month with a hamstring injury.

source: AP
Aguero is fully fit and raring to go at Anfield on Sunday.

The last time Aguero played for the Citizens was in their 2-1 defeat away to FC Barcelona in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in March, and the man who scored the last-gasp goal to win the Premier League title in 2011-12 is now back and ready for the final seven games of the season.

Aguero has scored 26 times in 28 appearances this campaign and even though City boast a plethora of impressive attacking talents, they’ve missed their fox in the box. The 25-year-old striker missed Man City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium back in December — a similar upper-leg injury also keep him out for a month at the end of 2013 — so the Reds’ defenders will have to pay special attention to the razor-sharp attacker this time out. Aguero is trying to make up for lost time.

Speaking about the return of his countryman, City’s Argentine right back Pablo Zabaleta believes having Aguero 100 percent fit will give the team a massive boost heading into a season-defining stretch. Zabaleta also stated that Aguero’s return is similar to having Carlos Tevez back in the team when City last won the PL in 2012, but pointed out that other players have filled in admirably in Aguero’s absence.

“Have we missed Sergio? Yes, of course we have,” Zabaleta said. “You always you want the best players in the team and be fit for every game. But we know we also have important players like Dzeko, Yaya is having a great season, Silva, Nasri – we have a lot of talent up front. That is why, even without Sergio, we keep scoring goals. He is fit and he has been training well with the team this week, but he was not 100% to play against Southampton, so that is why the manager decided to leave him out – and let him be fully ready for Liverpool.”

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS playoff scenarios ]

Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.