THE SOCCER REPORT

Chelsea host Manchester United in Carabao Cup; Houston Dynamo, USWNT name new managers

Christian Pulisic became the second American to score a hat-trick in the Premier League after doing so for Chelsea aginst Burnley. Photo: Getty Images

The Houston Dynamo officially announced the appointment of former U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Tab Ramos as the club's new Head Coach last Friday. Ramos arrived in the Bayou City on Monday and has begun to plan for the 2020 Major League Soccer season.

The Dynamo were not the only ones with a new manager as the U.S. Women's National Team announced the appointment of two-time NWSL Championship winning coach Vlatko Andonovski. The 2019 NWSL Coach of the Year takes over for Jill Ellis, who took the USWNT to back-to-back FIFA Women's World Cup titles.

The U.S. Men also had positive news of their own to share. Sergiño Dest, the 18-year-old Ajax defender, revealed his intent to play for the United States over the Netherlands. Dest had played with the USMNT earlier this year but is yet to be permamently tied through an appearance in an official encounter. Dest also played with the youth national teams of Team USA, including under Ramos at the 2019 U-20 FIFA World Cup.

Here is the rest of the soccer ongoings from the past week:

Major League Soccer

The MLS Cup Playoffs have one finalist decided after Seattle Sounders upset LAFC on Tuesday night. Seattle will play for the championship at Atlanta or will host Toronto, depending on the results of Wednesday night's match.

Conference semifinals results

  • New York City FC 1-2 Toronto FC
  • Atlanta United 2-0 Philadelphia Union
  • Los Angeles FC 5-3 LA Galaxy
  • Seattle Sounders 2-0 Real Salt Lake
Conference finals results
  • Los Angeles FC 1-3 Seattle Sounders
  • Atlanta United vs. Toronto [to be played Wednesday]
MLS Cup Final - November 10th 2:00 p.m. CT

National Women's Soccer League

The 2019 NWSL season came to an end as the North Carolina Courage succesfully defended their title with a 4-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars.

English Premier League

After weeks of concern from U.S. Men's National Team fans over the playing time of Christian Pulisic, the 21-year-old American prodigy scored his first goal for Chelsea F.C. - delivering three in the process. Pulisic became the second U.S. player with a hat-trick in the EPL and the first since Clint Dempsey.

The Premier League resumes this coming weekend but first, English clubs are taking part in the League Cup - known also as the Carabao Cup - during the midweek slate.

Top six: Liverpool (28), Man City (22), Leicester City (20), Chelsea (20), Arsenal (16), Crystal Palace (15)

Scoring leader: 9 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Assists leader: 9 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Updated through October 29 matches

Top six: Barcelona (22), Granada (20), Atletico Madrid (20), Real Sociedad (19), Sevilla (19), Real Madrid (18)

Scoring leader: 7 - Gerard Moreno (Villareal) / Lorenzo Garica (Real Betis)

Assists leader: 4 - Leo Messi (Barcelona) / Santi Cazorla (Villareal)

German Bundesliga

Top six: Monchengladbach (19), Bayern Munich (18), Freiburg (17), Wolfsburg (17), Dortmund (16), RB Leipzig (15)

Scoring leader: 13 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 5 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund) / Thorgan Hazard (Dortmund)

Italian Serie A

Top six: Inter Milan (25), Juventus (23), Atalanta (20), Napoli (17), Roma (16), Lazio (15)

Scoring leader: 10 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 5 - Four players tied

French Ligue 1

Top six: PSG (27), Nantes (19), Lille (18), Reims (18), Brest (17), Angers (17)

Scoring leader: 9 - Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)

Assists leader: 6 - Islam Slimani (Monaco) / Yoann Court (Brest)

TV listings (All Times CT):

Wednesday, October 23

1:00 p.m. - [Serie A] Napoli vs. Atalanta (ESPN+)

1:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Valencia vs. Sevilla (beIN Sports)

2:30 p.m. - [English League Cup] Liverpool vs. Arsenal (ESPN+)

2:45 p.m. - [English League Cup] Aston Villa vs. Wolves (ESPN+)

2:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Dortmund vs. Gladbach (ESPN3)

2:45 p.m. - [German Cup] St Pauli vs. Frankfurt (ESPN3)

3:00 p.m. - [Serie A] Juventus vs. Genoa (ESPN+)

3:00 p.m. - [Serie A] Udinese vs. Roma (ESPN+)

3:00 p.m. - [English League Cup] Chelsea vs. Man United (ESPN+)

3:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Leganes (beIN SPORTS)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS Cup Playoffs] Atlanta United FC vs. Toronto FC (FS1, FOX Deportes)

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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