THE SOCCER REPORT

Champions League, Boca-River, El Trafico highlight upcoming soccer schedule

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be featuring in his final MLS match. Photo: LA Galaxy

TV listings (All Times CT):

Tuesday, October 22

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Atletico Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Dinamo Zagreb (Galavision, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Manchester City vs. Atalanta (TNT, TUDNxtra)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid (UniMas, TUDN, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Olympiacos vs. Bayern Munich (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Club Brugge vs. Paris Saint-Germain (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Juventus vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Tottehnam Hotspur vs. Red Star Belgrade (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Boca Juniors vs. River Plate (beIN SPORTS)

Wednesday, October 23

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Ajax vs. Chelsea (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] RB Leipzig vs. Zenit St Petersburg (Galavision, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Inter Milan vs. Dortmund (TNT, Galavision)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Slavia Prague vs. FC Barcelona (UniMas, TUDN, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Red Bull Salzburg vs. Napoli (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Genk vs. Liverpool (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Benfica vs. Lyon (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Lille vs. Valencia (TUDNxtra, B/R Live)

6:00 p.m. - [MLS Cup Playoffs] New York City FC vs. Toronto FC (FS1, FOX Deportes)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Flamengo vs. Gremio (beIN SPORTS)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS Cup Playoffs] Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (FS1, FOX Deportes)

Thursday, October 24

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Partizan vs. Manchester United (UniMas, B/R Live)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Bratislava vs. Wolves (Galavision)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Sevilla vs. Dudelange (UniMas, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Frankfurt vs. Standard Liege (Galavision, B/R Live)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS Cup Playoffs] Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union (ESPN2)

9:30p.m. - [MLS Cup Playoffs] Los Angeles FC vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN)

Friday, October 25

2:00 p.m. - [NBC Sports] Southampton vs. Leicester City (NBC Sports)

Saturday, October 26

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester City vs. Aston Villa (NBC Sports)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Brighton vs. Everton (NBC Sports, Universo)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Burnley vs. Chelsea (NBC)

Sunday, October 27

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Newcastle vs. Wolves (NBC Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur (NBC Sports)

2:30 p.m. - [NWSL Championship] North Carolina Courage vs. Chicago Red Stars (ESPN)

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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