There's another A-Rod (besides Alex Rodriguez and Andy Roddick) on the sporting scene that doesn't get much overall media coverege in the United States, but a lack of talent certainly isn't the reason why.

The Philadelphia Independence's workhorse player has scored 13 goals in the 2010 WPS season, but none will be as important as the sweet, left-footed shot that sent her team past the Washington Freedom in a playoff game on Sunday.

Rodriguez is one of those players that has always been "there or thereabouts" when it comes to the women's soccer scene in America. She doesn't get the hype for her playing abilities of a Mia Hamm (from a past era) or an Abby Wambach, whom she faced in Sunday's game, but any team looking to win could do worse than having Rodriguez in its line-up.

The Independence is counting on her (hopefully) for two more games to help deliver a championship in its inaugural season. Teams on a roll are hard to stop come playoff time, and this could be a case of Philly catching some lightning in a bottle. Here's hoping ...


When Manchester United signed Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur a few seasons ago, there were predictions that he would become the next Eric Cantona for the club.

Cantona, a French attacker, made Old Trafford his personal stage for many seasons, and his flair and showmanship made him one of United's all-time fan favorites.

But Berbatov's spell with the Red Devils has certainly been hit-and-miss. A goalscoring machine as the go-to guy at Spurs, he has struggled to impose himself as a true No. 9 in Manchester.

Until yesterday, that is. Berbatov scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Liverpool. Two of the goals (the bookends, so to speak) came via headers, but it was Berbatov's second that will be talked about for years to come. With his back toward the goal, he controlled the ball and then unleashed an overhead shot so quickly as to be considered stunning.

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina was rooted to his position as the ball lasered on to the crossbar to Reina's left and bounced down and over the goal-line. A goal for the ages, really, and with Berbatov (who will never be accused of being the most fit person on the pitch) known to enjoy a cigarette or two, maybe he's on his way to Cantona-like eccentricities ... as well as status ... at the club.