LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 25: Landon Donovan #10 of the Los Angeles Galaxy controls the ball against the Philadelphia Union in the second half of the MLS match at StubHub Center on May 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

FOLLOW LIVE: San Jose welcome LA Galaxy to Stanford Stadium for California Clasico

Leave a comment

After two weeks of dedicating itself to World Cup-watching and Open Cup-playing, Major League Soccer is back, ready to continue its nine-match weekend tonight in Palo Alto, Calif. Making one of their rare appearances at Stanford Stadium, Clarence Goodson and the San Jose Earthquakes will welcome Landon Donovan and their Calfornia Cup rivals, the LA Galaxy.

NBCSN will broadcast the match tonight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern, with a free stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Los Angeles visits Northern California with 17 points on the season, five points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Because of early season scheduling that allowed them to participate in Champions League, the Galaxy have only played 12 games, five fewer than fifth place Vancouver. On points-per-game, Bruce Arena’s side has the fifth-best in the West, but ahead of their meeting with the Earthquakes, LA sits seventh.

San Jose is one point behind its rivals despite playing an extra match and will be without three of its key components. The team’s main attacking threat, Chris Wondolowski, is with the United States in Brazil, while one of the teams best defenders, Victor Bernárdez, is just returning after his time with Honduras. Shea Salinas, San Jose’s main provider, is out, leaving Mark Watson with a hole to fill on the left wing.

Arena’s not without his own concerns, given Omar Gonzalez is still at the World Cup, but the team will have its two best attackers. Landon Donovan, controversially left out of the U.S. national team, will be at the Galaxy’s disposal, while Ireland international Robbie Keane will be the most dangerous man on the field.

In front of what’s always a large crowd at Stanford Stadium, San Jose will be looking to give their fans a three-point welcome back to the MLS regular season. Los Angeles, on the other hand, will try to take advantage of its shorthanded hosts to continue its climb up the Western Conference ladder.

Here are your lineups:

San Jose: Busch; Barklage, Harden, Goodson, Stewart; Cato, Stephenson, Pierazzi, Cronin; Djalo, Lenhart

LA Galaxy: Penedo; Gargan, Opare, Meyer, Rogers; Husidic, Ishizaki, Sarvas, Donovan; Keane, Zardes

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.