The Soccer Report

Dynamo greet fans with open practice; U.S. Men's National Team to visit Houston on March 26

Houston Dynamo Defender DaMarcus Beasley speaks with the media following an open scrimmage at BBVA Compass Stadium.

European clubs capped off a busy start to the year and now focus their attention to Thursday's transfer deadline day - the soccer equivalent of the "trade deadline" famous in American sports. For the elite clubs, it will be their last opportunity to reinforce their squads before the UEFA Champions League resumes in mid-February.

As always, scroll down to the bottom of this article for notable matches coming up this week.

English Premier League

Clubs in England took a week from league play to take part in cup action this week. Third place Tottenham's depth was tested this week but could not pass the test, crashing out of both the English Football League Cup (semifinals loss on penalties to Chelsea) and the FA Cup (fourth Round loss to Crystal Palace). With injuries to important players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Spurs will be tested in their efforts to stay in the top four.

Premier League action resumes on Tuesday with Newcastle-Manchester City and Liverpool-Leicester City as top matchups.

Top six: 1. Liverpool (60), 2. Manchester City (56), 3. Tottenham (51), 4. Chelsea (47), 5. Arsenal (44), 6. Manchester United (44)

Scoring leader: 16 - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Assists leader: 10 - Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC)

Spain's La Liga

Highlights Girona FC vs FC Barcelona (0-2) youtu.be

The top four in Spain march on with three points a piece but the big question will be if Barcelona can even slip in what's left of the season, at least enough to make the title race interesting. The defending champions bolstered their squad with the addition of forward Kevin-Prince Boateng and made bigger headlines with the €75 million purchase of 21-year-old Frenkie de Jong (who won't join the team until the summer). Atletico Madrid, on their end, signed former Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata on a loan from Chelsea in an attempt to boost their attack and title aspirations.

By the way, Messi continues to dominate the league in goals and assists.

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (49), 2. Atlético Madrid (44), 3. Real Madrid (39), 4. Sevilla (36), 5. Alavés (32), 6. Getafe (31)

Scoring leader: 19 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 10 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Two former MLS prodigies made their debuts in the Bundesliga. Canada's 18-year-old starlet Alphonso Davies got about 15 minutes of play time in Bayern Munich's 4-1 win over Stuttgart while U.S. Men's National Team 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams was named a starter and went full ninety in RB Leipzig's 4-0 win at Fortuna. What about Christian Pulisic? He had the day off, watching from the bench as leaders Dortmund handled Hannover 96 with a 5-1 home win.

Top six: 1. Dortmund (48), 2. Bayern Munich (42), 3. Monchengladbach (39), 4. RB Leipzig (34), 5. Eintracht Frankfurt (31), 6. Hoffenheim (28)

Scoring leader: 13 - Luka Jović (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Assists leader: 9 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund / Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Juventus (59), 2. Napoli (48), 3. Inter Milan (40), 4. Milan (35), 5. Roma (34), 6. Sampdoria (33)

Scoring leader: 16 - Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria)

Assists leader: 8 - Suso (A.C. Milan)

French Ligue 1

Top six: 1. PSG (56), 2. Lille (43), 3. Lyon (40), 4. Saint-Étienne (36), 5. Strasbourg (35), 6. Montpellier (35)

Scoring leader: 18 - Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

Assists leader: 8 - Angel Di Maria (PSG) / Memphis Depay (Lyon)

Dutch Eredivisie

Top three: 1. PSV Eindhoven (52), 2. Ajax (47), 3. Feyenoord (39)

Scoring leader: 15 - Luuk de Jong (PSV)

Assists leader: 10 - Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord)

Belgian First Division A

Top three: 1. Genk (51), 2. Club Brugge (44), 3. Antwerp (42)

Scoring leader: 16 - Mbwana Samatta (Genk)

Assists leader: 12 - Hans Vanaken (Brugge)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Top three: 1. Porto (46), 2. Benfica (41), 3. Braga (40)

Scoring leader: 12 - Dyego Sousa (Braga)

Assists leader: 7 - Pizzi (Benfica)

Scottish Premier League

Top three: 1. Celtic (48), 2. Rangers (45), 3. Kilmarnock (45)

Scoring leader: 32 - Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)

Assists leader: 8 - James Tavernier (Rangers)

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Major League Soccer

Dynamo preseason begins with high expectations | The SLICE youtu.be


The Dynamo continued their preseason with an open scrimmage against their farm team RGVFC on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. The team will continue their preparations ahead of their annual trip to Tucson, Arizona for MLS preseason friendlies. The Dynamo return to action on February 19 in their Concacaf Champions League bout at Guatemalan side Guastatoya.

Liga MX

Monterrey vs. America | 2018-19 Liga MX Highlights youtu.be



Top eight: 1. Monterrey (10), 2. Chivas Guadalajara (9), 3. Tigres UANL (7), 4. Atlas (7), 5. Necaxa (7), 6. Cruz Azul (7), 7. Santos Laguna (7), 8. Toluca FC (6)

Scoring leader: 4 - Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey) / Leonardo Ramos (Lobos BUAP)

Assists leader: 4 - Carlos Rodríguez (Monterrey)

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U.S. Men's National Team

MNT vs. Panama: Highlights - Jan. 27, 2019 www.youtube.com

The U.S Men officially kicked off their road to Qatar 2022 with their first match under new Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. With seven debutants, the U.S. handled Panama with a 3-0 win in Glendale, Arizona. The roster featured off-season MLS players since the European based players were unable to participate in January camp due to FIFA restrictions.

The USMNT return to action in March during a FIFA International window - meaning European club players are eligible to participate - with one of their matches to be played on March 26 at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium.


U.S. Women's National Team

WNT vs. Spain: Highlights - Jan. 22, 2019 www.youtube.com

The U.S. Women continued their preparations for this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup with a 1-0 win at Spain to cap off a two-match tour of Europe. The Women will next be in action in one month with matches against Japan, England and Brazil in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup.

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Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, Jan. 29

8:00 a.m. - [AFC Asian Cup] Qatar vs. United Arab Emirates (DAZN)

1:00 p.m. - [Portuguese League] Benfica vs. Boavista (GolTV)

1:45 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Milan vs. Napoli (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Manchester United vs. Burnley (NBC Sports)

Wednesday, Jan. 30

10:30 a.m. - [Coppa Italia] Fiorentina vs. Roma (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Atalanta vs. Juventus (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [Premier League] Bournemouth vs. Chelsea (NBC Sports)

1:45 p.m. - [Scottish Cup] Cowdenbeath vs. Rangers (ESPN+)

2:30 p.m. - [Copa Del Rey] FC Barcelona vs. Sevilla (beIN SPORTS)

6:00 p.m. - [Argentine Superliga] Godoy Cruz vs. River Plate (Fanatiz)

Thursday, Jan. 31

2:00 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Inter Milan vs. Lazio (ESPN+)

2:30 p.m. - [Copa del Rey] Girona vs. Real Madrid (beIN Sports)

6:00 p.m. - [Argentine Superliga] San Martin vs. Boca Juniors (Fanatiz)

Friday, Feb. 1

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Hannover 96 vs. RB Leipzig (FS2/FOX Deportes)

Saturday, Feb. 2

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Dortmund (FS1/FOX Deportes)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich (FS2/Univision Deportes)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Chelsea vs. Huddersfield Town (NBC Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [La Liga] FC Barcelona vs. Valencia (beIN Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Cardiff City vs. Bournemouth (NBC)

1:30 p.m. - [Serie A] Juventus vs. Parma (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [La Liga] Celta vs. Sevilla (beIN Sports)

2:30 p.m. - [International Friendly] USA vs. Costa Rica (FOX/UniMás/Univision Deportes)

Sunday, Feb. 3

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Leicester City vs. Manchester United (NBC Sports)

9:15 a.m. - [La Liga] Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports)

10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester City vs. Arsenal (NBC Sports)

11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Inter Milan vs. Bologna (ESPNews/ESPN Deportes)

1:45 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Alaves (beIN Sports)

Monday, Feb. 4

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] West Ham vs. Liverpool (NBC Sports)

Minnesota United FC, who debuted their new stadium earlier this month, were one of the latest MLS expansion teams. (Credit: Minnesota United)

Every week brings us closer to the climax of leagues around the world as we also make our way to a summer full of interesting international story lines. Scroll down to catch up on the week in soccer with a watch list of important matches awaiting you at the end.

Top stories:

  • Liverpool/Egypt forward Mohamed Salah and Orlando Pride/USA forward Alex Morgan named to TIME's 100 Most Influential list
  • UEFA Champions League semifinals: Spurs vs. Ajax; Liverpool vs. Barcelona
  • UEFA Europa League semifinals: Arsenal vs. Valencia; Chelsea vs. Frankfurt
  • Concacaf Champions League finals begins Tuesday
  • Copa Libertadores group stage resumes on Tuesday
  • MLS announces expansion to 30 teams; Academies seek solidarity payments

UEFA Champions League

Juventus, Manchester City, Manchester United and Porto were the latest casualties after failing to advance to the Champions League semifinals. Cristiano Ronaldo's Juve were taken down at home by young Ajax while both Manchester clubs failed to get past Barcelona and Tottenham. Liverpool, who carried a 2-0 first leg win ended up demolishing Porto in Portugal 4-1 for a 6-1 aggregate score. The closest encounter was between Manchester City and Tottenham, a back and forth affair that was decided by video replay in stoppage time.


UEFA Europa League

The race also continues in Europe's secondary competition to crown a champions, and award with it the coveted Champions League spot for next season. With Arsenal and Chelsea not assured a top four spot in the Premier League, this trophy could serve as insurance.


English Premier League

The race for the title continues between Liverpool and Manchester City while the last two spots for the Champions League are being disputed by four teams.

Top six: 1. Liverpool (88), 2. Manchester City (86), 3. Tottenham (67), 4. Chelsea (67), 5. Arsenal (66), 6. Manchester United (64)

Scoring leader: 19 - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) / Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) / Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Assists leader: 13 - Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC)

Spain's La Liga

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (77), 2. Atlético Madrid (68), 3. Real Madrid (64), 4. Getafe (54), 5. Valencia (52), 6. Sevilla (52)

Scoring leader: 33 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 13 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Bayern Munich (70), 2. Dortmund (69), 3. RB Leipzig (61), 4. Eintracht Frankfurt (53), 5. Monchengladbach (51), 6. Hoffenheim (50)

Scoring leader: 21 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 13 - Jadon Sancho (Dortumund)

Italian Serie A

After weeks of prolonging the inevitable, Juventus clinched their 8th straight Italian league title and 37th over all with 2-1 home win over Fiorentina. In the process, Cristiano Ronaldo became achieved a feat made by no other player in becoming the first to win the league in England, Spain and Italy.


Top six: 1. (C) - Juventus (87), 2. Napoli (67), 3. Inter Milan (61), 4. Milan (56), 5. Atalanta (56), 6. Roma (55)

Scoring leader: 22 - Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria)

Assists leader: 10 - Dries Mertens (Napoli)

French Ligue 1

PSG finally crowned themselves champions of this season after being denied for three weeks straight. Mbappe delivered a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Monaco as Neymar made his first appearance in return from injury. It is PSG's 8th Ligue 1 title and 6th out of the last seven seasons.

Top six: 1. (C) - PSG (84), 2. Lille (65), 3. Lyon (59), 4. Saint-Étienne (56), 5. Marseille (54), 6. Montpellier (51)

Scoring leader: 30 - Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

Assists leader: 12 - Teji Savanier (Nimes)

Dutch Eredivisie

Top three: 1. Ajax (77), 2. PSV Eindhoven (77), 3. Feyenoord (59)

Belgian First Division A

Championship Round: 1. Genk (44), 2. Club Brugge (38), 3. Antwerp (35), 4. Standard Liege (33), 5. Anderlecht (27), 6. Gent (26)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Top three: 1. Benfica (75), 2. Porto (75), 3. Sporting CP (67)

Scottish Premier League

Championship: 1. Celtic (78), 2. Rangers (69), 3. Aberdeen(58)

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Concacaf Champions League

The champion of the region awaits to be crowned in a battle of crosstown rivals, and the region's two most expensive teams when Tigres UANL and Monterrey will face off in a home-and-home series over the next two weeks.

Major League Soccer

East top seven: 1. D.C. United (14), 2. Toronto (13), 3. Philadelphia (13), 4. Columbus (13), 5. Orlando (11), 6. Montreal (11), 7. Chicago (9)

West top seven: 1. LAFC (22), 2. LA Galaxy (18), 3. Seattle (16), 4. FC Dallas (16), 5. Houston (13), 6. Minnesota (10), 7. Real Salt Lake (10)

Scoring leader: 10 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 5 - Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto) / Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC) / Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Liga MX

Top eight: 1. Leon (38), 2. Tigres UANL (33), 3. Monterrey (29), 4. Cruz Azul (26), 5. Necaxa (25), 6. Pachuca (25), 7. Club America (23), 8. Puebla (23)

Scoring leader: 14 - Angel Mena (Leon)

Assists leader: 9 - Angel Mena (Leon)

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National Women's Soccer League

Standings: 1. North Carolina Courage (4), 2. Portland Thorns (4), 3. Houston Dash (4), 4. Utah Royals (3), 5. Washington Spirit (3), 6. Chicago Red Stars (2), 7. Seattle Reign (2), 8. Orlando Pride (1), 9. Sky Blue FC (0)

Scoring leader: 3 - Crystal Dunn (North Carolina) / Christine Sinclair (Portland)

Assists leader: 2 - Meghan Klingenberg (Portland)

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Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, Apr. 23

1:45 p.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Brighton (NBC Sports)

1:45 p.m. - [Eredivisie] Ajax vs. Vitesse (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Hamburg vs. RB Leipzig (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes)

2:30 p.m. - [La Liga] Alaves vs. Barcelona (beIN Sports)

5:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Libertad vs. Gremio (beIN Sports)

9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Tigres UANL vs. Monterrey (YahooSports.com, Univision Deportes)

Wednesday, Apr. 24

12:30 p.m. - [La Liga] Atletico Madrid vs. Valencia (beIN Sports)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Werder Bremen vs. Bayern Munich (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes)

1:45 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Milan vs. Lazio (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Manchester United vs. Manchester City (NBC Sports)

5:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Palestino vs. River Plate (beIN Sports)

Thursday, Apr. 25

1:45 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Atalanta vs. Fiorentina (ESPN+)

2:30 p.m. - [La Liga] Getafe vs. Real Madrid (beIN Sports)

Friday, Apr. 26

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Augsburg vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen (FS2)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Liverpool vs. Huddersfield (NBC Sports)

Saturday, Apr. 27

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. West Ham (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Budesliga] Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Schalke 04 (FS2, UniMas)

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

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Southampton vs. Bournemouth (CNBC)

9:15 a.m. - [La Liga] Atletico Madrid vs. Real Valladolid (beIN Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Brighton vs. Newcastle (NBC)

11:30 a.m. - [Budesliga] VfB Stuttgart vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (FS2)

1:45 p.m. - [La Liga] Barcelona vs. Levante (beIN Sports)

2:30 p.m. - [MLS] FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Twitter, Univision)

7:30 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew SC (KUBE57)

Sunday, Apr. 28

6:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Leicester vs. Arsenal (NBC Sports)

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Burnley vs. Manchester City (NBC Sports)

10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester United vs. Chelsea (NBC Sports)

11:00 a.m. - [Budesliga] Nurnberg vs. Bayern Munich (FS2, FOX Deportes)

12:30 p.m. - [MLS] Minnesota United FC vs. D.C. United (FS1)

1:45 p.m. - [La Liga] Rayo Vallecano vs. Real Madrid (beIN Sports)

2:30 p.m. - [MLS] Seattle Sounders FC vs. LAFC (ESPN)

5:00 p.m. - [NWSL] Houston Dash vs. North Carolina Courage (YahooSports.com)

Monday, Apr. 29

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Betis vs. Espanyol (beIN Sports)

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