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MLS Power Rankings — Week 14: Galaxy climb after five unbeaten

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There’s no doubt which team continues to reign at the top of MLS, but several teams are making a push towards the top spot.

Meanwhile, the defending champions have fallen off mightily with four losses in their last six matches.

Here are PST’s latest MLS Power Rankings as we head into another busy weekend:

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TEAM RANKING (Last Wk)

22 (22)

21 (20)

 

20 (21)

D.C. United: They’ve moved off the bottom of the east for the time being but the Impact still have two games in hand.

Real Salt Lake: The Claret and Cobalt briefly came to life against the Union, but the Dynamo brought RSL back to reality after a five-goal thrashing.

 

Colorado Rapids: The Rapids haven’t been good this season but a win over Sporting KC is something the club can be very content with.

19 (16) Seattle Sounders: The Sounders are looking like the team from the first half of last season. They’ll hope to finish the way they did a year ago.
18 (7) Minnesota United: It’s going to be a long season for the Loons if they cannot fix their backline. The good news is the club is scoring more goals to at least make things interesting.
17 (17) New England Revolution: The Revs fought valiantly to come back against NYCFC, and a draw was well-deserved.
16 (19) Montreal Impact: A big win against Portland could kickstart a turnaround for the Impact.
15 (14)  Philadelphia Union: Jim Curtin’s side finally came back to earth after a difficult road match at RSL.
14 (11) Vancouver Whitecaps: A home loss against DC isn’t a good look for a Whitecaps side that had come to life over the past few weeks. 
13 (9) Portland Timbers: The Timbers attack doesn’t appear to be able to carry the team as of late while their defense has allowed 11 goals in the last five matches.
12 (15) Atlanta United: Wins against Houston and NYCFC over the last two weeks has Atlanta back in the mix.
11 (15) Orlando City: The Lions rebounded well on Wednesday against D.C. but Jason kreis’ side continues to be a different team away from home.
10 (7) San Jose Earthquakes: The Quakes have shown their vulnerable to conceding at the back as of late. They have just one win in their last four.
9 (12)  New York Red Bulls: Jesse Marsch’s group showed a glimpse of the team we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the past against the Revs.
8 (8) Columbus Crew: After suffering an absolute beatdown at the hands of Toronto, the Crew bounced back in a big way against the defending champions on Wednesday.
7 (13) LA Galaxy: The Galaxy are looking like the Galaxy we’ve become accustomed to seeing. Let’s see if they can sustain it.
6 (3)  New York City FC: Atlanta exposed Patrick Vieira’s men at the back before late-game horrors of the past haunted NYCFC on Wednesday against the Revolution.
5 (2) Sporting KC: Back-to-back losses for SKC (and without a goal in both).
4 (4) FC Dallas: It’s been a bit of a lull as of late for Dallas, but a Cali Clasico draw isn’t the worst thing in the world.
3 (6) Houston Dynamo: RSL has certainly had its struggles but the Dynamo are having no trouble putting goals past most of their opponents. 
 
2 (5) Chicago Fire: A solid road test in Orlando could really set this side apart in the Eastern Conference.
1 (1) Toronto FC: Greg Vanney’s side took care of a very strong Crew team… with ease. There’s no doubt this is the best side in MLS.

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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More midweek action is coming up in the Premier League. Let the festive fun continue.

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The full TV schedule for this weekend is below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” at for all the goals as they go in. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days. Enjoy.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Tuesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Burnley vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM

Wednesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Manchester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
2:45.m. ET: Southampton vs. Leicester City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Liverpool vs. West Brom – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League notes: Wanyama, Bolasie return after long layoffs, Sakho injured

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Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.

Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.

(more…)

Report: Sporting KC on verge of signing French midfielder Croizet

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Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.

According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.

Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.

It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.

Arsenal lands Ostersunds in Europa League draw

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Arsenal will face a team with an English connection in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.

The Gunners were paired with Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League knockout stage draw Monday, with matches set to be played on February 15 and February 22. Ostersund are managed by Englishman Graham Potter, who played in the Championship and lower in England before starting his managerial career with Ostersunds in 2010 in the fourth tier of Swedish soccer.

[READ: UCL draw+analysis]

Ostersunds surprised many earlier this year winning the Swedish Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and then advanced out of a group that included Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.

It represents an interesting draw for Arsenal, which will have to balance the squad during a tough February. The weekend prior to the first-leg match is the second leg of the North London derby against Tottenham, and following the second match with Ostersunds is a showdown with Manchester City.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the draw shook out: