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Premier League Team of the Week: Schurrle and Berbatov top list

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What a weekend it was in the Barclays Premier League. Here’s the Team of the Week:

Goalkeeper: John Ruddy (Norwich City)

Ruddy helped Norwich out of a hole against West Bromwich Albion, making a couple of vital saves to help preserve a key 2-0 win. It was Ruddy’s fifth clean sheet of the season and with it the Canaries steer clear of the dreaded relegation zone.

Defender: Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Big week for Kyle Walker and Spurs, winning their second consecutive match, a 2-1 victory over Sunderland.

Defender: Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle)

The Argentine led the Magpies back line in vital 1-0 win over Manchester United, Newcastle’s first at Old Trafford since 1971.

Defender: John Arne-Riise (Fulham)

Fulham finally showed signs of life this weekend and the Dane was fantastic at left-back, suffocating Andreas Wiemann, Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor.

Midfielder: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle)

Yohan Cabaye continued his fine season on Saturday, carefully placing his right-footed shot into the bottom corner to hand Newcastle a 1-0 win over United.

Midfielder: Leroy Fer (Norwich City)

Leroy Fer has been a revelation since arriving at Carrow Road and on Saturday he scored his third goal of the season to cap the Canaries impressive win over West Brom.

Midfielder: Steven Ireland (Stoke City)

When he’s up for it, Steven Ireland is a very good footballer. He’s been up for it most of this season but no game moreso than the stunning 3-2 win over Chelsea where he scored a goal before setting up the game-winner.

Midfielder: Adam Lallana (Southampton)

Adam Lallana kept his sharp form moving along against Manchester City where his jinking runs and devilish cuts heaped problems on the Citizens defense.

Forward: Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace)

Second goal in a week for Marouane Chamakh, who would’ve thought that possible?

Forward: Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)

Spending most of the season in the center circle, Dimitar Berbatov looked a rejuvenated man this past weekend, working hard and providing luscious service to his onrushing attack.

Forward: Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)

Schurrle did his best to keep Chelsea alive against Stoke but even his brace wasn’t enough to keep the Blues afloat.

 

Robben extends contract with Bayern Munich through June 2018

(L-R) Thomas Muller of Bayern Munchen, Philipp Lahm of Bayern Munchen, Arjen Robben of Bayern Munchen during the German Bundesliga match between Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Bayern München at Borussia Park on January 24, 2014 in Mönchengladbach, Germany.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
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BERLIN (AP) Arjen Robben has extended his contract with Bayern Munich for another year.

Bayern says the Netherlands winger’s contract will run until the end of June 2018.

[ MORE: Names to watch in Tuesday’s SuperDraft ]

Robben has been with the club for almost eight years, joining from Real Madrid in 2009.

He has scored 82 goals in 152 Bundesliga matches, 14 goals in 23 German Cup games and 21 goals in 53 Champions League matches, including the winning goal against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final.

Antonio Valencia extends Manchester United deal

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18:  Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea marshalls Luis Antonio Valencia of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on April 18, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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Antonio Valencia has a fan in Jose Mourinho.

The Manchester United fullback, 31, has added a year to his contract. Scheduled to become a free agent after this season, his contract now runs through 2018.

[ MORE: Chinese club claims big bids ]

Ecuador’s captain, Valencia arrived at United from Wigan in 2009 after spending time with El Nacional and Villarreal.

He has 21 goals in 270 appearances, and has played 2,042 minutes under Mourinho. This season, Valencia is averaging 2.4 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per match.

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Ten names to watch as the MLS SuperDraft concludes

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After three days of celebrating its first two rounds, Major League Soccer will complete its surprise-ridden 2017 SuperDraft on Tuesday with a 2 p.m. EDT conference call.

Friday’s first round featured fewer trades than many expected, and a bit of a stunner in its first overall pick: Minnesota United tabbed UCLA attacker Abu Danladi.

[ MORE: Chinese club claims big bids ]

Danladi would’ve gone soon after, however, with most of the surprises coming outside of the Top Six. Vancouver’s opted for outside back Jakob Nerwinski (UConn) at 7, Houston tabbed Hofstra’s Joe Holland at 10, and Colorado looked to its backyard for Denver’s Sam Hamilton.

That helped Brandon Aubrey slide to 21st, while Canada’s two Generation Adidas players, Adonijah Reid and Shamit Shome, dipped deep into the second round.

It also means some very productive college players, and supposed first round prospects, could be hungry steals when the draft returns today. Here’s some low-risk, high-reward players for rounds that sometimes see teams pass on individual picks altogether.

Chris Wingate, MID, New Hampshire — Engine room feature piece at UNH

Wulito Fernandes, FWD, UMass Lowell — Cape Verde striker has flair

Jorge Gomez Sanchez, FWD, Temple — 27 goals in two years is good

Chris Nanco, FWD, Syracuse — Showed big upside at MLS Combine

Brandt Bronico, MID, Charlotte — Steadied any worries at Combine

Daniel Deakin, FWD, South Carolina — English striker great at set pieces

Russell Cicerone, FWD, Buffalo — Combine overshadowed solid four years

Christian Thierjung, FWD, California — 18 goals last two seasons

Eddie Sanchez, MID, Portland — Game changer in WCC; Can it translate?

Jordan Wilson, DEF, Kentucky — Scottish center back did well at UK

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New rules crushed Chinese club’s Costa hopes

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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New Chinese Super League rules stopped the nation from acquiring four of the biggest names in the football world.

Tianjin Quanjian believed it had successful bids lined up for Chelsea’s Diego Costa in addition to Real Madrid frontman Karim Benzema, Monaco’s Radamel Falcao, and PSG’s Edinson Cavani.

[ MORE: Costa trains on his own ]

And Tianjin Quanjian owner Shu Yuhui says it had Falcao and Benfica forward Raul Jimenez signed and sealed before the new rules were announced. The club already has Korean midfielder Kwon Kyung-won, Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel, and Brazil’s Geuvânio on the books.

But the new rules, which will limit the amount of foreign players on a team to three, hampered his hopes. From the BBC:

But Chinese clubs will only be able to field three foreign players per game when the new season starts.

“This situation has brought a change to our signing plans,” said Shu.

“The online reports about Costa – it’s true we’d like him, and we made an offer for Cavani and were deep in negotiations,” said Shu.

So clearly Costa’s “back injury” seems more likely to be the burden of financial desires on his shoulders. That said, MLS commissioner Don Garber will crack a wry smile at the new rules.

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