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.

LIVE, FA Cup semifinal: Man United v Tottenham

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Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur clash in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley on Saturday (12:15 p.m. ET kick off) with both Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho aiming to keep alive their only remaining hope of winning a trophy this season.

[ LIVE: Updates from Wembley ]

For Spurs, they are certainly used to playing at Wembley after calling it home all season long while their new stadium is completed. Yet Harry Kane and Co. know they will keep hearing about how they need to win a trophy to prove themselves as Spurs have gone 10 years without a piece of silverware.

Mourinho is the master of grinding out wins in these kind of situations but United were dominated by Spurs at Wembley back in January in the PL and were lucky to escape with just a 2-0 defeat.

[ MORE: Minute-by-minute on United v Spurs ]

Click on the links above to follow the action live, while we will have reaction and analysis live from Wembley right here on Pro Soccer Talk.

Klopp puts Liverpool’s blown lead down to unwatered grass

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Jurgen Klopp puts Liverpool’s blown two-goal lead at 20th place West Bromwich Albion down to water.

[ RECAP: WBA 2-2 Liverpool ]

The Reds boss, who rested Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and his usual fullbacks, is peeved that West Brom didn’t water the Hawthorns pitch at halftime.

Liverpool went ahead 2-0 late in the second half when Mohamed Salah equalled the single season Premier League goal record.

But the Baggies struck twice in the final 11 minutes and out shot the Reds 13-9 over 90 minutes to pluck a point.

That sort of performance can serve them well in the Championship, Klopp said, clearly displeased with both teams.

“It was a difficult game as the pitch got drier and drier,” he said. “West Brom decided not to water the pitch at half-time and that makes it difficult. It makes a massive difference. A team like West Brom do not need a wet pitch, they can do it next year playing on a dry pitch in the Championship.”

This wasn’t about dry turf, but Klopp will have wanted to avoid discussing Liverpool’s quarter-hour regression to a side that struggles to defend and blows lead.

All that said, he only had one of his preferred back four on the field, and a UEFA Champions League date with Roma ahead on Tuesday. But competitors are competitors and cannot dodge distaste for dropped points.

He’ll be fine given a few days, saying the match stings now but won’t affect their upcoming Anfield night in the UCL.

Watch Live: Watford vs. Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace can all but clinch Premier League safety with an away win over Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Palace’s twin tower strikers Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth are on the bench against the Hornets, who have captain Troy Deeney and Stefano Okaka up top.

LINEUPS

Watford: Karnezis; Mariappa, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Hughes, Capoue, Doucouré, Pereyra; Deeney, Okaka. Subs: Gomes, Britos, Femenía, Janmaat, Richarlison, Sinclair, Gray.

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Loftus-Cheek, Milivojevic, Cabaye, McArthur, Townsend, Zaha. Subs: Speroni, Kelly, Wan-Bissaka, Riedewald, Lee, Benteke, Sorloth.

West Brom 2-2 Liverpool: Baggies fight back

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  • Salah equals Liverpool’s club-record of 31 PL goals in a single season
  • Liverpool unbeaten in last 10 PL games v. West Brom
  • West Brom eight points from safety 

West Bromwich Albion fought back from 2-0 down late on to draw 2-2 against Liverpool at the Hawthorns on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp‘s men threw away three points.

Liverpool led 2-0 with goals from Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah but West Brom fought back in the final 10 minutes as Jake Livermore hooked home and Salomon Rondon equalized with a header.

Despite the point West Brom are still eight points off safety with three games to go and remain bottom of the table as they can be relegated on Sunday if results for Swansea and Crystal Palace go against them. Liverpool lost ground in the race for second place with the late collapse.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool got off to a perfect start as a short corner set Mane free and his cross into the box found Georginio Wijnaldum who set up Ings to slam home his first PL goal for Liverpool since 2015. What a moment for the England international who has been through injury hell.

Soon after Salah cut inside from the right and curled an effort towards the top corner which was deflected just wide.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Ings nodded over a difficult chance, Salah sent a free kick just wide and Ings had another effort well smothered by Ben Foster, but West Brom battled their way back into the game as James McClean‘s effort across goal was almost tapped home by Jay Rodriguez.

Liverpool were just about worthy of their half time lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The second half featured a few flash points early on as Craig Dawson appeared to bring down Ings in the box but nothing was given, then Ahmed Hegazi appeared to punch Ings off the ball but referee Stuart Attwell missed the incident.

Salah then seemed to put the game beyond doubt as he finished off a through ball from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to give Liverpool a 2-0 lead and take this tally to 41 for the season in all competitions.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

West Brom gave themselves hope late on as a looped ball to the back post found Rodriguez and he hooked it back in for Livermore to make it 2-1.

The Baggies then equalized as Rondon headed home to set up a wild finish, but they couldn’t grab a dramatic winner as their relegation from the Premier League is all but confirmed.