Bruin

MLS Snapshot: Houston Dynamo 1-0 DC United

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One game, 100 words or less:  With DC United looking for a spot at the top of not just the East but Major League Soccer, Houston held strong at home. The Dynamo were the best team from start to finish, and capitalized on a late mistake to pick up three points. It was a deserved victory for Houston who were the tougher, more physical, and quicker team.

Goals

Houston: Bruin 90′ + 1

Three moments that mattered:

21′ – Hamid says no – All match Bruin looked the most likely to score. He’d get one later, but for now, Bill Hamid wasn’t having it.  A cross to the far post (that sounds familiar) found Bruin’s head, and he targeted the underside of the bar. This time he put it on target, but Hamid leaped to tip it over, and he showed multiple times why he’s a top MLS goalkeeper.

39′ – Beast mode Bill – Houston eventually won, but Hamid has a shout for Man of the Match. Houston peppered his goal, and it took a late mistake to finally get one. Before the break, he maintained his stellar play. The Dynamo countered, and Giles Barnes eventually found himself one-on-one with Hamid. The keeper made himself big, and he kept the game scoreless

90′ + 1 – Fratricide – With Hamid standing strong all match, one bit of miscommunication and it all came crumbling down. Steve Birnbaum was looking to control the ball in his own box with Bruin pressuring, and Hamid got a little too close. The goalkeeper tripped his defender, and it left the goal mouth open for Bruin to ease the winner home.

Lineups

Houston – Hall; Taylor, Sarkodie, Hosrt, Beasley; Davis (Driver 88′), Clark, Garrido (Ownby 76′); Garcia, Bruin, Barnes (Owings 88′).
DC United – Hamid; Franklin, Birnbaum, Boswell, Kemp; Arnaud, Rolfe, Kitchen, Neal (Seaton 75′); Johnson, Silva (Martin 60′).

Three lessons going forward:

1. Bill Hamid is in the upper echelon – It’s pretty obvious now that the future of the USMNT goalkeeping situation could very well involve Bill Hamid. He was impressive all match as Houston slammed his goal with 20 shots, six on target. He’s one of the best in MLS, and things look up. The mistake is ugly, but it’s forgivable considering how he played the rest of the match.

2. The Houston Dynamo need Will Bruin – Bruin is one of the streakier strikers in the league, and has two different three-goal streaks in this season. Seeing how he gave Houston a dangerous option up front and ended up with a score, could he go on another mini-tear? The Dynamo need it. In the six games Bruin has scored in this season, the Dynamo have won five of them. They have six wins all season. Simple math.

3. It’s a long climb, but the Dynamo can do it – With 22 points, Houston remains in 8th place in the East. It hasn’t been pretty…actually, it’s been quite ugly…but we’ve seen it before from Houston. They have the quality to build a playoff run, but it’s going to be a journey. A long one.

Where this leaves them:

DC United – DC United had it all in front of them. Real Salt Lake drew, and Seattle lost.  But they couldn’t take advantage of those slip-ups, failing to grab the lead in the Supporter’s Shield. Instead, they’re still second in the East, with plenty of space over their shoulder.
Houston Dynamo – Still in 8th place, they have a 6-point gap between them and the playoffs. Six points is a long way in this clogged Eastern Conference.

WATCH: Kane’s first half hat trick includes gorgeous volley

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at White Hart Lane stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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Harry Kane spent the first half hour of Sunday’s tilt versus Stoke torturing the visiting Potters.

Kane opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Christian Eriksen bobbled Dele Alli‘s pass into the 18, but Ryan Shawcross‘ barely hit his clearance and Kane took a touch before belting home for the advantage.

[ WATCH: Spurs-Stoke live, replay ]

His second was lovely, bounding a low volley between the legs of Victor Wanyama and by a diving Lee Grant.

The third carried a bit of luck, with his low free kick taking a turn off the leg of wall end Peter Crouch to elude a lunging Grant. 3-0.

Here are the first and third, too:

Liverpool, Southampton lead EFL Cup Team of the Tournament

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The EFL Cup has named its team of the tournament ahead of Sunday morning’s final between Southampton and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool and Southampton lead the way with two players each, while finalists Manchester United have just one player in the team.

[ MORE: Whitecaps acquire Brek Shea ]

That’s Ander Herrera, who joins a midfield with Sofiane Boufal (Saints), Mohamed Diame (Newcastle United), and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

Up top are Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham, the latter for his work at Bristol City.

The back four is led by Saints’ Maya Yoshida and Hull City’s Harry Maguire, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Matty Pearson (Accrington Stanley) joining the unit.

The backstop is Leeds United’s Marco Silvestri.

Watch Live: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Stoke City (Lineups, Stream)

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Wifried Bony of Stoke City and Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur battle for possession during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur at Britannia Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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The penultimate Premier League match of the weekend pits Stoke City against third-place Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. EDT on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Jan Vertonghen is back alongside Toby Alderweireld in the heart of Spurs’ back line, and it’s no surprise that PL Download stars Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris also start.

Geoff Cameron‘s four-month layoff appears to be reaching its end, as the USMNT back is on the subs bench for Stoke City. He last played on Oct. 22.

LINEUPS

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Kane. Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Winks, Sissoko, Son, Janssen.

Stoke City: Grant; Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Whelan, Adam; Arnautovic, Allen, Ramadan; Crouch. Subs: Given; Muniesa, Berahino, Afellay, Diouf, Cameron, Imbula.

Sydney FC return to winning ways in A-League

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24:  Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic of Sydney FC makes a save as Bruno Fornaroli of City competes for the ball during the round 21 A-League match between Melbourne City and Sydney FC at AAMI Park on February 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
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SYDNEY (AP) Bobo scored twice as Sydney FC rebounded from its first loss in the A-League to beat Melbourne City 3-1 and continue atop the table.

[ MORE: Schmeichel speaks about Ranieri sacking, state of Leicester ]

Sydney’s ambitious attempt to become the first team to end the regular season unbeaten came unstuck last week when it was beaten by Western Sydney Wanderers in a fractious local derby, repercussions of which continued through the week. Wanderers were fined $20,000 by Football Federation Australia after its fans unfurled an obscene banner targeting Sydney coach Graham Arnold.

[ MORE: Chelsea, Everton extend unbeaten run in Saturday’s PL play ]

Sydney raised itself above that controversy on Friday with a comprehensive win over Melbourne City which briefly took it 11 points clear in first place.

Melbourne Victory restored the gap to eight points when it beat defending champion Adelaide United 2-1, and Perth leapfrogged Melbourne City into third place when it dumped the Wanderers 2-0.

Bobo opened Sydney’s scoring with a penalty, but City canceled that out only a minute later.

Sydney went in front again after the break, and Bobo sealed the win, set up by a superb through ball by Milos Ninkovic which highlighted their developing combination.

Midfielder Brandon O’Neil said Sydney was determined to leave behind the contention of their derby loss.

“When it all came out, the FFA and Western Sydney had to deal with it and it did,” O’Neil said. “It brought us together and we spoke about a few things, and nothing changed for us. We want to be premier (champions).”

Melbourne Victory’s win over Adelaide kept it in touch with Sydney with seven regular season rounds remaining.

Wellington kept its faint playoff hopes alive, staying in seventh place with a 2-1 win over Brisbane.