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 loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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