Sports

Soccer Watch

MLS scours Europe for talent, and more

It was a huge weekend in the English Premier League, with the top four teams facing off against one another in a pair of matches that went a long way to shaping the way the last couple of months of the season are going to shape up. At the start of the weekend you had Manchester United with a 6-point lead on struggling Chelsea, with Liverpool and Arsenal a distinctly second tier, another 8 and 9 points back and just a game or two ahead of the midtable pack. Then came:

Saturday in Liverpool, where a Chelsea win would've brought the defending champs within 3 points of the league lead and opened an insurmountable gap over the third place Merseysiders. Instead, the host Reds got two early goals and then seemed to have no trouble shutting down the suddenly toothless Londoners.

Sunday in London was a gem of a game; Arsenal preserved their unbeaten home record with two beautiful late goals, including a game-winner deep in extra time from a resurgent Thierry Henry, to derail Man U's coronation. And suddenly, what looked like a two-team race at the start of the weekend promises to become a four-way dogfight down the stretch.

The U.S. national team had a good first outing under interim coach Bob Bradley Saturday, coming from behind to beat Denmark, 3-1, on Landon Donovan's first international goal in a year and a half (albeit on a shaky penalty kick), and second-half winners from two youngsters in their national team debuts – Jonathan Bornstein, and Dallas' Kenny Cooper.

And in MLS news, Claudio Reyna will join the N.Y. Red Bulls after being released by Manchester City. And the Chicago Fire report that they've made a bid to bring French butthead Zinedine Zidane out of retirement, but "the feedback we've all gotten is that he has retired." Similar offers are being mulled for Diego Maradona, Pele, Johan Cruyff, and the recently deceased Ferenc Puskas.

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