Guzan's impressive displays this season have seen top PL clubs knocking on the door.

Premier League Team of the Week: Ozil and Aguero shine

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There were a number of classy performances in last weekend’s Premier League, led by the stunning hat-trick of assists by Mesut Ozil and the derby day brace by Sergio Aguero.

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

The American put forth yet another sensational match in goal for the Villans, keeping their first clean sheet in 28 matches by parrying a top corner-bound shot by Gary Hooper in the 87th minute.

Defender: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

It was a master class performance by Vincent Kompany in Sunday’s derby victory over United, shutting down Wayne Rooney during the run of play and unleashing a beastly dummy run that opened up Samir Nasri to thump home the Citizens’ fourth goal of the match.

Defender: Dejan Lovren (Southampton)

The arrival of Dejan Lovren has been the difference at Southampton this season, shoring up a central defense that had a tendency to leak goals last year. On Saturday the Croatian led the Saints back line that kept Liverpool at bay and nodded home the match-winning header in the 53rd minute.

Defender: Leighton Baines (Everton)

Leighton Baines produced two incredible free-kicks to help Everton to help claim all three points from West Ham on Saturday. The full-back swerved the first into Jussi Jääskeläinen’s right corner and the second, from the nearly identical distance of 22 yards out, into the left corner.

Midfielder: Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion)

Steve Clarke’s late acquisition of Morgan Amalfitano on loan from Ligue 1 side Marseille proved a shrewd move as the Frenchman throttled home West Brom’s third goal of the contest with a powerful far-post strike that tore the side netting.

Midfielder: Stephane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion)

Speaking of shrewd moves by Steve Clarke, the West Brom manager snagged what may well prove to be one of the deals of the transfer window when he spent $10.4 million (£6.5m) to snap up Stephane Sessegnon from Sunderland. In the Benin international’s first match with the Midland’s club, he made Sunderland pay for their sale by scoring the opener that would prove to be all the Baggies needs to put the Black Cats away.

Midfielder: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

Three goals for Arsenal on Saturday and three assists for Mesut Ozil. Pretty standard, really.

Midfielder: Robbie Brady (Hull City)

Robbie Brady is proving himself quite the tricky little customer at Hull City. He’s quick, skilled and plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. And if he keeps scoring goals for the Tigers, you can expect the former Manchester United product to become a wanted man come next summer.

Forward: Loic Remy (Newcastle)

Loic Remy snagged himself a brace in Saturday’s 3-2 home loss to Hull City. The goals came through precise positioning as Remy looks to play that classic poacher role. But really though, the Frenchman should’ve had the equalizer – and his hat-trick – when he missed a sitter in the 91st minute.

Forward: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Sergio Aguero makes goalscoring an art. His opener on Sunday showed fantastic positioning, technique, concentration and balance. His second was testament to how well the Argentine reads the game. Aguero remains one of the world’s most potent finishers and will be near the top of the Premier League goalscoring list come next May.

Forward: Libor Kozak (Aston Villa) 

It took only two minutes for Libor Kozak to open his Premier League scoring account, poking home Aston Villa’s match-winner. Look for the big Czech to make an impact again next weekend as Christian Benteke’s hip injury may prevent him from taking part in the match against Manchester City.

VIDEO: Premier League Player of the Week – Matchday 9

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There was some eye-popping moments in the Premier League this weekend, yet still very little debate who shone brightest.

Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a pair of Goal of the Month competitors in the same day in the Potters’ 2-0 win at Hull City on Monday.

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The first was a curling wonder from distance, while the second came from a bit closer as the big-calfed Swiss attacker bamboozled the Hull wall and goalkeeper.

The Potters are up to 16th in the Premier League table with nine points.

Finnish fans celebrate surprise title for IFK Mariehamn

IFK Mariehamm
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HELSINKI (AP) Fans of IFK Mariehamn have gathered in the main square of the remote Finnish town to celebrate their team’s surprise league title.

“I feel very proud,” the club’s managing director, Peter Mattsson, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that “thousands” were expected to turn up for the party.

Watched by more than 4,000, Mariehamn clinched the Finnish title on Sunday with a 2-1 home victory over Ilves, from the industrial city of Tampere.

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Mariehamn held off 11 other teams, including the traditionally strong Helsinki club, HJK, and defending champion SJK from western Finland. It ended three points clear of second-placed HJK for its first league title.

Local media dubbed the team “Leicester” after the surprise English Premier League champions last season.

Mariehamn, which has a population of 11,500, is the capital of the Aland islands off the southwestern Finnish coast

Kroenke: “Very high” on Wenger who is “very hard” to replace

Jeff Fisher
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LONDON — Arsenal remains “very high” on Arsene Wenger and it will be “very hard” replacing the manager who is in the final year of his contract, owner Stan Kroenke told The Associated Press on Monday.

Wenger this month celebrated 20 years in charge of Arsenal and has offered no indication whether he wants to sign a new deal into next season.

The 67-year-old Frenchman became the Premier League’s longest serving manager when Alex Ferguson retired from Manchester United in 2013. United is now on its third manager in three years and has not competed for the Premier League title since Ferguson’s departure.

In a rare interview about Arsenal, Kroenke noted the tricky post-Ferguson succession at United while discussing the challenge of eventually replacing Wenger.

“You see it (at United), you bring up a comment like that,” Kroenke told the AP after Arsenal’s annual general meeting. “It’s very hard. He’s a great manager.”

Wenger signed his last three-year contract extension in 2014.

“We will sit down and discuss the future at the appropriate time,” Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick told shareholders at a meeting where Wenger didn’t address his contract situation in his speech.

Although Wenger has won the Premier League three times, the last success came in 2004 – a drought which frustrates fans.

“He’s been a wonderful influence on the club,” Kroenke said. “We are all very high on Arsene. We are (joint) top of the table right now.”

Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are only separated on goal difference at the summit. Despite Wenger only winning the FA Cup twice since 2004, the team is in the lucrative Champions League for the 19th successive year thanks to its runner-up finish last season. Wenger is yet to win European football’s top prize.

“I know a number of (sports team) owners that are very successful that say the same thing – the hardest thing to do is be consistently competitive at the top of the league,” said Kroenke, who also owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. “Arsene has always done that and Arsenal has always been in that position. We have always been competitive.

“We may not always win the things we want to win. We are very focused on winning for sure the league. Arsene’s been consistently at the top and I will tell you – it’s very, very hard to do if you look around sports.”


2016 MLS Cup playoffs bracket in full

TORONTO, ON - MAY 07:  Michael Bradley #4 and Jozy Altidore #17 of Toronto FC celebrate a goal by teammate Tsubasa Endoh #9 during the first half of an MLS soccer game against FC Dallas at BMO Field on May 7, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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With Major League Soccer’s Decision Day 2016 in the books, we now know who will battle it out for MLS Cup.

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Up first on Wednesday and Thursday are the four knockout round games, then the Conference semifinal first legs kick off this weekend.

We get into it thick and fast.

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The PST crew already selected their picks for the postseason and filled out their bracket. You can see that by clicking on the link above. FWIW, I have Toronto FC beating the Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup…

[ MORE: Ranking MLS playoff teams ]

Below is the MLS playoff bracket in full so you can make your picks and let us know who you went for in the comments section below.


MLS Playoff bracket, 2016

MLS Playoff bracket, 2016