MLS roundup: Free-kick fever infects MLS; Seattle the last point-less side

Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News via AP
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A few late-night thoughts on the majority of Week 3 of the 2016 Major League Soccer season, which featured an inordinate amount of stunning free-kick goals…

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Yep. FOUR free kick goals tonight.

A video posted by Major League Soccer (@mls) on

New York Red Bulls 4-3 Houston DynamoFULL RECAP

Entertainment doesn’t necessarily equal quality, and no one will mistake the former for the latter in this seven-goal thriller which featured some of the worst defensive gaffes — elementary whiffs on simple clearances — and a late comeback by the Red Bulls to win their first points of the 2016 season. For brevity’s sake, just click the link above and watch the highlights.

FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal ImpactFULL RECAP

Don’t count anyone out in March, and don’t ever crown anyone in March in MLS either. Based on last week’s results, FC Dallas were a dumpster fire destined to miss the playoffs, and the Impact were MLS Cup champions-elect. The great thing about MLS is this: if you don’t like your team’s form, wait a week, it’ll change. The most important thing for FCD on the night: the clean sheet, seven shorts days after shipping five goals.

[ MORE: New York City FC 0-1 Orlando City SC — Friday night ]

Seattle Sounders 1-2 Vancouver WhitecapsFULL RECAP

Three games played, and the Seattle Sounders have zero points to show for their efforts. Far worse is the manner in which they handed the Whitecaps both of their goals Saturday night — from the penalty spot. Sure, the first penalty was never a penalty and Blas Perez baited Chad Marshall into the second, but the visitors created, essentially, nothing to score twice on the night, and left with all three points — too similar to their season-opening loss to Sporting Kansas City and last week’s loss to Real Salt Lake.

Portland Timbers 2-2 Real Salt LakeFULL RECAP

For more thoughts on RSL’s penchant for capitulation, head over to the recap. For more on the magic of Providence Park, consider this: the Timbers scored 10 times (in 17 games) in the 75th minute or later at home in 2015. They’ve done it three times (in two games) already this season, including twice Saturday night to steal a point from RSL. Of all the demoralizing things in sports, holding a late lead at Providence Park and knowing it’s only going to slip away, then watching it slip away, has to be one of the most demoralizing.

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LA Galaxy 3-1 San Jose EarthquakesFULL RECAP

Steven Gerrard left Saturday’s victory over the Earthquakes with fewer than three full minutes on the clock, to be replaced by Baggio Husidic. Whatever you think of Gerrard’s time in MLS thus far — no one’s been more critical than yours truly — that’s a massive drop-off… I think. At this point, who knows what to make of Gerrard? Who knows what to make of the Galaxy. I’m waiting to see them play someone other than San Jose or the Colorado Rapids or D.C. United before I form a definitive opinion on the league’s first seven-Designated Player team.

Chicago Fire 0-0 Columbus Crew SCFULL RECAP

I wrote in the game recap about how the Fire are a wayward franchise at the moment. I’ll expound Monday in my weekly MLS column about Crew SC’s early-season struggles — I’ve a theory or two — and what it’s going to take for Gregg Berhalter to right that ship. For now, the less said about this game, the better.

Newcastle vs Manchester United: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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No, you didn’t turn back the hands of time; We’ve got a proper top-four battle between Manchester United and Newcastle United at the latter’s St. James’ Park on Sunday (watch live, 11am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

There are significant injury or absence concerns for both teams as Casemiro and Joelinton are both suspended, Miguel Almiron out, and Raphael Varane, Marcus Rashford, and Christian Eriksen in question.

STREAM LIVE NEWCASTLE vs MANCHESTER UNITED

Man United will enter the match in third place, three points clear of fifth-place Newcastle. Both have played 26 matches this Premier League season, two fewer than fourth-place Tottenham.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle vs Manchester United.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Newcastle vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Newcastle vs Manchester United video preview, predictions


Key storylines & star players

So we know the stars: Bruno Fernandes, Bruno Guimaraes, Antony, Alekander Isak. But who’s going to step up if Botman or Pope can’t go for Newcastle? Will Fred and Scott McTominay be able to pull off a top performance should Sabitzer join Casemiro on the shelf? Is Harry Maguire going to deliver the goods if Varane cannot go?

Injuries, man. They cause so many questions!


Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Sven Botman (other), Nick Pope (thigh), Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh), Joelinton (suspension) Anthony Gordon (ankle). OUT: Emil Krafth (knee), Ryan Fraser (other), Miguel Almiron (thigh).

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Christian Eriksen (ankle), Marcel Sabitzer (knee), Anthony Martial (groin), Raphael Varane (other), Marcus Rashford (ankle). OUT: Donny van de Beek (knee), Casemiro (suspension), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle), Mason Greenwood (other).

Premier League winners – Full list of every champion

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The Premier League winners are yet to be determined for the 2022-23 season but there is going to be one epic battle to decide who are crowned champions.

With Arsenal leading the way but Manchester City set to hunt them down in the final months of the current campaign, it makes you think back to some of the great teams, and champs, in years gone by.

From Manchester United’s legendary treble winning side to the Leicester City fairytale and Arsenal’s Invincibles, there have been so many amazing title winners over the 30 seasons of the Premier League.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Below you will find a list of every Premier League winner since the league was formed in 1992-93, with just seven teams being able to call themselves champions since then.


Premier League winners – List of every champion

1992-93: Manchester United
1993-94: Manchester United
1994-95: Blackburn Rovers
1995-96: Manchester United
1996-97: Manchester United
1997-98: Arsenal
1998-99: Manchester United
1999-00: Manchester United
2000-01: Manchester United
2001-02: Arsenal
2002-03: Manchester United
2003-04: Arsenal
2004-05: Chelsea
2005-06: Chelsea
2006-07: Manchester United
2007-08: Manchester United
2008-09: Manchester United
2009-10: Chelsea
2010-11: Manchester United
2011-12: Manchester City
2012-13: Manchester United
2013-14: Manchester City
2014-15: Chelsea
2015-16: Leicester City
2016-17: Chelsea
2017-18: Manchester City
2018-19: Manchester City
2019-20: Liverpool
2020-21: Manchester City
2021-22: Manchester City
2022-23: TBD


West Ham vs Southampton: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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West Ham and Southampton clash in a huge relegation six-pointer at London Stadium on Sunday, with the Hammers and Saints separated by just one point.

STREAM LIVE WEST HAM v SOUTHAMPTON

How are the Hammers in this situation? Well, they’ve won just two of their last 14 Premier League games and the pressure is mounting on David Moyes as his side sit in the relegation zone with 12 games of the season to go following their 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa last time out in the league. They have won all eight of their UEFA Conference League games as they’ve reached the quarterfinal (they play Belgian side Gent in the last eight) but their league form has suffered badly. Five of their six Premier League wins this season have come at home though, so they will be hoping the home fans get behind them early on in this one.

As for Southampton, well, they are scrapping. Interim head coach Ruben Selles saw his side fight back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 late on against Tottenham last time out and that draw felt like a win. Can Saints keep the positive momentum going? They have become better defensively but time is running out and although they are just two points from safety they have played at least one more game than all of the teams around them. They have a tough remaining schedule but have fared well against the big boys this season and they drew with West Ham in the return game back in October as this looks like a very even matchup.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Here’s everything you need for West Ham vs Southampton.


How to watch West Ham vs Southampton live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Declan Rice is the main man for West Ham and he is doing his best to dig in and drive them forward. Other than that, Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca and Danny Ings all need to find some form, and fast, if they’re going to drag West Ham up the table and away from this relegation battle they were never supposed to be anywhere near.

Southampton’s main man James Ward-Prowse is also dragging Saints through games and an unlikely resurgence from the fit-again Theo Walcott has played a big role in them picking up plenty of points since Selles took charge. The young duo of Romeo Lavia and Armel Bella-Kotchap continue to progress nicely in midfield and defense respectively and Saints now feel like they have a chance of getting out of the bottom three.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Lukasz Fabianski (face), Michail Antonio (calf), Vladimir Coufal (foot), Emerson (illness), Nayef Aguerd (hip), Gianluca Scamacca (knee)

Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Juan Larios (thigh), Armel Bella-Kotchap (shoulder), Valentino Livramento (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Che Adams (calf), Mohammed Salisu (knock)



Premier League title race: Current form, key fixtures, injuries, odds, predictions

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The Premier League title race is going down to the wire in the 2022-23 season and there are some huge games coming up between now and the final day on May 28.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Can Arsenal win the first Premier League title since 2003-04? Will Manchester City win three in a row to make it five titles in the last six seasons under Pep Guardiola?

For a while it looked like Manchester United could come from nowhere to stun everyone and secure their first title in a decade, but they have regressed in recent weeks and it is now truly a two-horse race between Arsenal and Man City.

Below is a look at the key fixtures, current form, odds and predictions for the contenders to be crowned Premier League champions.


Remaining fixtures for title contenders

Arsenal (72 points through 29 games): Liverpool (A), West Ham (A), Southampton (H), Man City (A), Chelsea (H), Newcastle (A), Brighton (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Wolves (H)

Manchester City (64 points through 28 games): Southampton (A), Leicester City (H), Brighton (A), Arsenal (H), Fulham (A), Leeds (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), West Ham (H), Brentford (A)


Key fixtures that will decide the Premier League title

Saturday, April 1: Manchester City 4-1 Liverpool – Recap, video highlights, player ratings
Sunday, April 9: Arsenal vs Liverpool – 11:30am ET
Wednesday, April 26: Manchester City vs Arsenal – 3pm ET
Saturday, April 29: Arsenal vs Chelsea – 12:30pm ET
Saturday, May 6: Newcastle vs Arsenal – 10am ET
Saturday, May 20: Manchester City vs Chelsea – 10am ET


Current form (As of March 20, 2023)

Arsenal’s last 5 results: WWWWW
Manchester City’s last 5 results: WWWWD


Current Premier League table

Premier League standings

Head to NBC Sports’s soccer standings home page


Key injuries

Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (no return date), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), William Saliba (back)

Manchester City: Erling Haaland (groin), Phil Foden (appendectomy)


Premier League title odds (As of March 24, 2023)

(Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM ) BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links.

Arsenal: -165
Manchester City: +138
Manchester United: +10000


Prediction for Premier League title race

1. Manchester City – 87 points (Win the title on goal difference)
2. Arsenal – 87 points
3. Manchester United – 75 points