Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
Email Jon to talk about soccer.
EUROPE | The dream is over for Roma; they won't win 38 straight in Serie A this season. After winning their first ten matches of 2013-14 - and allowing just one goal in the process - the Italian leaders were held to a 1-1 draw at Torino. Alessandro Cerci, who came up through the Roma youth ranks, scored in the second half to equalize for Torino, and Roma couldn't find a way through to grab that eleventh straight win.
Surprisingly, the draw leaves Roma just three points clear of Napoli and Juventus in the table. It appears that it will be a top-heavy race in Italy this year.
MLS PLAYOFFS | Don't count Houston out yet. They won the play-in game in the Eastern Conference, and Sunday, they charged back from a two-goal halftime deficit against New York to earn a 2-2 draw and give themselves a chance heading into next week's second leg. Omar Cummings scored in the 92nd minute to get the draw, after New York's Jamison Olave had been sent off and Ricardo Clark had scored for the Dynamo.
Out West, Sean Franklin scored in the second half to lift the LA Galaxy over Real Salt Lake, 1-0, in the Galaxy's first game of their double title defense.
The semifinals conclude this week. Wednesday, New York and Houston tangle again, and Sporting KC tries to erase a one-goal deficit at home against New England. Thursday, RSL hopes for a home win against LA, and Seattle faces the unenviable task of going to Portland one goal down.
ENGLAND | Tottenham and Everton played to a scoreless draw, but the truly boring game of the day was between Cardiff and Swansea, a match that did not live up to the hype as the first all-Welsh match in Premier League history. Steven Caulker scored in the 62nd minute to ensure his immortality in Cardiff and clinch a 1-0 win, but there were very few chances in the match, which bored the pants off of everyone not located in Wales.
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