LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19:  Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates victory after the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on December 19, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Premier League Power Rankings: Week 17

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With the holidays right around the corner, and Boxing Day fixtures in the Premier League nearly upon us, the races in each part of the table are now set, and teams will be looking for every little advantage they can procure.

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To be honest, we didn’t learn a whole lot from this past week’s fixtures except a few things: Liverpool is fine, Manchester City has life, and Spurs could be in trouble.

[ MORE: PST’s Player Power Rankings for Weeks 17 ]

The relegation battle is one of the more intriguing scenarios right now, with a good five teams looking like they’ll be the ones to battle it out. The back half of the Champions League fight could prove entertaining as well, should Chelsea run away with the title. Here’s where we stand.

TEAM RANKING
Hull City logo 20 (18) Hull City: Last league win was Nov. 6. Bad news. Could be doomed.
burnley fc crest 19 (15) Burnley: Sean Dyche can only survive on performances alone for so long. Need results and need them now.
source:
18 (20) Swansea City: An absolutely gutting 3-0 loss to Middlesbrough last time out has put Bradley back in the crosshairs. They need transfers and they need them now.
source: 17 (19) Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew is gone, and now the quick rebuild begins. A Jan 3 meeting with Swansea looks crucial.
source: 16 (14) Sunderland: Monumental win over Watford means they’re a point away from pulling off the drop. Problems persist, but results appearing. Tough stretch now versus Man Utd, Liverpool.
source: 15 (12) Watford: Brutal, brutal loss to Sunderland. 6 losses in their last 7. They may be 12th in the table, but this team desperately needs to prove they belong there.
200px-Middlesbrough_crest 14 (16) Middlesbrough: With 2 wins in their last 4, a Boxing Day matchup with Burnley could truly separate them from the relegation scrap.
source: 13 (14) Leicester City: A soft schedule ahead provides the opportunity for the Foxes to pull themselves out of the doldrums. Can they do it?
logo_westham
12 (13) West Ham United: The Hammers got past Hull, and now could truly cement a comeback by beating Swansea before having to face the Champions plus both Manchester sides.
source: 11 (11) Stoke City: Mark Hughes has done well to eliminate losing from the vocabulary of late. Can they shock either Liverpool or Chelsea?
source: 10 (9) Everton: The Liverpool loss was as deflating as they come, and a Boxing Day meeting with Leicester will be a good litmus test for the coming new year.
source: 9 (8) Bournemouth: On the heels of a historic game, they fell flat in a derby. A step back.
source: 8 (7)
West Bromwich Albion: Beating bad teams, losing to good ones. They face Arsenal, Southampton, and Spurs in their next 4. Make-or-break for their top-half hopes.
source: 7 (10) Southampton: With Europe over, this team’s form has picked up. Where have we heard that before? Hardly moving up 3 places on the Bournemouth win alone, this team is suddenly dangerous.
source: 6 (5) Tottenham Hotspur: Had to claw back to beat Burnley. Players are signing contract extensions left and right, but the on-field signs are not good.
source: 5 (4) Manchester United: Quietly, this team has won three straight PL games and hasn’t lost in any competition since November 3.
Logo_Manchester_City 4 (5) Manchester City: Many are still unconvinced, but Pep needed a statement win and got it. Beating Arsenal revives the title chase.
source: 3 (2) Arsenal: Two straight losses has this team trending in the wrong direction at the wrong time.
source: 2 (3) Liverpool: With defending an issue, the team stepped up for a gritty 1-0 win over Everton, and they’re back in second in the table and the rankings. As Klopp said, they’re “on fire”
source: 1 (1) Chelsea: Eleven straight wins will do that for a team.

MLS: Le Toux to join D.C., Timbers set to acquire Myers and more

Sebastien Le Toux, Tony Beltran
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Two teams are set to bring in experienced players ahead of the new season, while another veteran has said his goodbye to his former club.

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D.C. United has reportedly signed veteran forward Sebastian Le Toux after spending last season with the Philadelphia Union and the Colorado Rapids.

According to SB Nation’s Black and Red United, Le Toux has inked a one-year deal with D.C. United. Le Toux has scored 57 goals in his time in MLS, with 50 of those goals coming with the Union.

Le Toux has also previously played for the New York Red Bulls, Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders.


Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers are reportedly set to sign long-time Sporting KC defender Chance Myers, who spent the last nine seasons with the Western Conference side.

The 29-year-old had made 147 appearances for Sporting KC since joining MLS, while adding two goals over that span.


Dax McCarty posted a heartfelt message to New York Red Bulls fans, players and staff following the veteran’s move to the Chicago Fire.

The midfielder was recently traded to the Eastern Conference side after the spending the last five-and-half years with the Red Bulls, where McCarty served as the team’s captain.

Gerrard urges Liverpool to “try and bid for Van Dijk”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Virgil van Dijk of Southampton celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Virgil Van Dijk‘s quick rise in the Premier League has caught the attention of many around England, and one of the division’s greats has high hopes the Dutchman will join his former side in the future.

[ MORE: Saints wallop Leicester in complete effort ]

Steven Gerrard has suggested that Liverpool come out and pursue Van Dijk, who joined Southampton back in 2015 from Scottish side Celtic.

Gerrard — who is set to take a coaching position with Liverpool’s academy — believes the budding star would be a strong fit for the Reds, however, the ex-midfielder realizes it’ll be a hard sell.

“Who I think we need, I would go and try and bid for Van Dijk from Southampton,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “But we’ve had enough of their players so that will probably go down like a lead balloon.”

The 25-year-old has made waves in England’s top flight after quickly proving to be one of the division’s top defenders and helping guide the Saints towards the top half of the table since his arrival.

Report: San Diego making push to become future MLS expansion site

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With the NFL no longer the biggest show in town, San Diego could be bringing another football to the city in the near future.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Hyndman provides assist in Rangers debut win ]

According to NBC 7 San Diego, FS Investors founder Mike Stone and former Qualcomm Vice Chairman Steve Altman are prepared to reveal their proposal on Monday that will bring a future MLS franchise to San Diego.

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The proposed move includes a stadium plan that will reside where the Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium currently sits. With the NFL franchise now playing in Los Angeles, the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball are the only remaining professional team in the area, out of the five major sports in the U.S.

NBC 7 is also reporting that a future San Diego team would share its facility with the San Diego State Aztecs football team.

MLS is currently up to 22 teams entering the 2017 season, while Los Angeles FC is also tabbed to enter the league next year. David Beckham’s Miami project is also considered to be the league’s 24th team, and MLS is likely to hold off on further announcements regarding expansion until later in 2017.

If San Diego were to be chosen as an expansion site, the club would become the fourth to call California home in the current state of MLS, joining the San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and LA FC (2018).

In addition to San Diego, several other cities are currently vying to enter MLS in the future, including St. Louis, Cincinnati, Sacramento and Charlotte.

Hull’s Ryan Mason hospitalized following collision with Gary Cahill

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Ryan Mason of Hull City lies injured after the collision with Gary Cahill of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge on January 22, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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Ryan Mason has undergone surgery following a scary collision with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill on Sunday.

[ MORE: Chelsea goes eight points clear at top of PL ]

The Hull City midfielder was injured after knocking heads with Cahill during first half of the 2-0 defeat to the Blues. Nine minutes of first-half stoppage time were needed after Mason stayed down on the pitch at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Xhaka’s red card makes him most sent-off player in Europe ]

It has been confirmed by the club that Mason suffered a skull fracture, while it is has also been speculated that the 25-year-old could have had bleeding on his brain.

Mason will remain hospitalized for the “next few days,” according to the Tigers.

“The Club can confirm that Ryan Mason sustained a skull fracture in our fixture at Chelsea this afternoon. He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he has undergone surgery.

“Ryan is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days.
“Everyone at the Club would like to express their sincere thanks for the excellent and swift care given to Ryan by both the Accident and Emergency department and Neurosurgery Unit at St Mary’s Hospital.

“A further update will be issued tomorrow.”

While Mason was forced off during the match due to the injury, Cahill managed to continue for Chelsea and scored the game’s second goal.