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MLS Power Rankings — Week 4: Only six teams in action

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With the international week taking center stage, only six MLS sides found themselves on the field while the world’s brightest stars represented their respective countries.

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The Columbus Crew have turned around their form of a season ago through the opening four weeks, including last week’s win over the Portland Timbers, while Minnesota United continues to suffer from “New MLS team syndrome.” Check out PST’s updated power rankings below:


TEAM RANKING (Last Wk)

22 (21)

 

21 (22)

 

20 (21)

Minnesota United: Shortly after picking up their first point in MLS play, the Loons went out and laid an egg in New England, bringing their goals conceded total to 18 thus far.

DC United: Ben Olsen’s side is still the only team in MLS without a goal.

New England Revolution: it seems as though every team that plays Minnesota is going to have their fun, and the Revs took full advantage with a five-goal outburst at Gillette Stadium.

19 (20) Real Salt Lake: Mike Petke is the man in charge now in Salt Lake City, but can he do anything different than what Jeff Cassar did?
18 (17) Philadelphia Union: DC United looms and it would be the right opportunity to kickstart the Union’s season after a slow opening three weeks.
17 (16) Chicago Fire: The Fire haven’t been bad but they also haven’t been great considering the offseason moves. In an Eastern Conference that looks like it’ll be closely-contested throughout, the Fire cannot afford to drop too many points.
16 (15) Montreal Impact: It may not solely be losing Didier Drogba during the offseason, but the Impact don’t look like themselves at the moment.
15 (14) Vancouver Whitecaps: Kekuta Manneh is gone and the CCL is on the horizon after this weekend’s clash with the Fire.
14 (13) LA Galaxy: The five-time champions will look to keep their unbeaten road record alive when they head to Vancouver.
13 (12) Sporting Kansas City: With only one goal allowed three games, Sporing KC must turn its attention to its underperforming attack, which has two goals so far.
12 (19) Columbus Crew: Greg Berhalter’s men picked up a big 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers in Week 4, and the addition of Kekuta Manneh could be a game-changer for an already strong attack.
11 (11) Colorado Rapids: One of two teams out of action this week after rescheduling with FC Dallas, who is readying itself for CCL play.
10 (10) San Jose Earthquakes: A trip to New York City on Saturday presents a good early season test for the Earthquakes. The Quakes lost their lone meeting at Yankee Stadium in 2015, by a score of 3-2.
9 (9) Houston Dynamo: It’s been a solid start for Quioto and the Dynamo attack, but the club has to sure some things up defensively if it wants to win games more comfortably.
8 (8)
Orlando City: The Lions are one of four unbeatens through four weeks, and a trip to Columbus will prove how legitimate Jason Kreis’ side is.
7 (7) Seattle Sounders: With a red-hot Clint Dempsey returning from international duty, it’ll be exciting to see how the Sounders fare against newcomers Atlanta.
6 (6) New York City FC: Patrick Vieira appears to have a better backline on his hands at the moment, however, NYCFC’s attack has been 
5 (5) Toronto FC: A little slow out of the starting gates, but with all three matches on the road, the 2016 runners’ up will gladly take five points.
4 (4) New York Red Bulls: RSL defended and defended and defended some more, but the Red Bulls still couldn’t put one past Matt VanOekel.
3 (3) Atlanta United: A Friday night test in Seattle will be a good gauge of where this club is at early in the season, but boy have they been exciting to watch so far.
2 (1) Portland Timbers: The 2015 champs faced a very game Crew side and didn’t come out on top but there’s no shame in it considering Columbus’ recent form.
1 (2) FC Dallas: With no match over the weekend, the Texas side continues to prepare for its CONCACAF Champions League second leg against Pachuca.

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

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Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).

Men in Blazers POD: FA Cup recap, UCL final preview and more

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Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.

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Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal

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Santi Cazorla hasn’t played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ]

And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won’t feature for Arsenal again after six years at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal released a statement on Monday revealing the veteran midfielder won’t return to the club in 2018/19, which isn’t unexpected given the extent of his injury.

In his time with the Gunners, Cazorla made 180 appearances in all competitions for the club, and helped Arsenal win two FA Cups.

Cazorla was also a member of the Spanish national team squads that won back-to-back UEFA EURO competitions in 2008 and 2012.

Wolfsburg keeps Bundesliga spot with playoff win

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Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) over Holstein Kiel on Monday in the second leg of its German promotion playoff as the Bundesliga side kept its place in the top flight.

Robin Knoche scored the game-winner in the second leg, which ensured Wolfsburg’s stay in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2017/18 season.

The hosts boasted a number of quality chances in the first half, including David Kinsombi’s close-range shot that tested Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels with a save, however, Holstein couldn’t break through.

U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks went the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg, after the 25-year-old made nine starts this season for the German side in league play.