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)

Paul Pogba and Manchester United look to extend their 11-match unbeaten streak in the UEFA Champions League. Credit: Adidas

The second week of February always brings supporters across the world a feeling of love with the reboot of the UEFA Champions League. Europe's club championship, and arguably the most important tournament in soccer after the FIFA World Cup, returns with the round of 16 as the road to the final in Madrid continues. A list of TV listings for this week's UCL and other matches can be found at the end of this article.

English Premier League

Manchester City v. Chelsea | PREMIER LEAGUE EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS | 2/10/19 | NBC Sports www.youtube.com

Sergio Agüero equaled the legendary Alan Shearer for most hat-tricks in the Premier League with his 11th such in Sunday's 6-0 win over Chelsea. The win puts City equal with Liverpool for first place, albeit with one extra match in the books, and dropped Chelsea down to sixth. The loss also benefits Manchester United, who are back in the top four after an 11-match unbeaten streak since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over as the interim manager. A top four finish guarantees teams a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League and the prize money that comes with it. Should Chelsea and Arsenal not be able to regain a top four spot, winning the UEFA Europa League would be their only way in.

Top six: 1. Manchester City (65), 2. Liverpool (65), 3. Tottenham (60), 4. Manchester United (51), 5. Arsenal (50), 6. Chelsea (50)

Scoring leader: 17 - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) / Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Assists leader: 10 - Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC)


Spain's La Liga

A 3-1 win in the Madrid Derby helped Real Madrid jump back into the top two and start thinking seriously about potentially catching rivals Barcelona for the top spot in the league, if certain results were to go their way. At least for this week, that was the case as Bacelona drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao.

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (51), 2. Real Madrid (45), 3. Atlético Madrid (44), 4. Sevilla (37), 5. Getafe (35), 6. Alaves (35)

Scoring leader: 21 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 10 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Dortmund (50), 2. Bayern Munich (45), 3. Monchengladbach (42), 4. RB Leipzig (38), 5. Eintracht Frankfurt (33), 6. Bayer Leverkusen (33)

Scoring leader: 14 - Luka Jović (Eintracht Frankfurt)

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

Italian Serie A

Sassuolo 0-3 Juventus | Ronaldo on Target as Champions Go 11 Points Clear | Serie A www.youtube.com

Top six: 1. Juventus (63), 2. Napoli (52), 3. Inter Milan (43), 4. Milan (39), 5. Atalanta (38), 6. Roma (38)

Scoring leader: 18 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

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

French Ligue 1

Top six: 1. PSG (59), 2. Lille (49), 3. Lyon (43), 4. Montpellier (37), 5. Saint-Étienne (37), 6. Marseille (37)

Scoring leader: 18 - Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

Assists leader: 8 - Nicolas Pepe (Lille) / Angel Di Maria (PSG) / Kenny Lala (Strasbourg)

Dutch Eredivisie

Top three: 1. PSV Eindhoven (56), 2. Ajax (50), 3. Feyenoord (42)

Scoring leader: 20 - Luuk de Jong (PSV)

Assists leader: 11 - Steven Bergwijn (PSV)

Belgian First Division A

Top three: 1. Genk (57), 2. Club Brugge (46), 3. Antwerp (45)

Scoring leader: 19 - Mbwana Samatta (Genk)

Assists leader: 12 - Hans Vanaken (Brugge)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Top three: 1. Porto (51), 2. Benfica (50), 3. Braga (49)

Scoring leader: 14 - Dyego Sousa (Braga)

Assists leader: 12 - Pizzi (Benfica)

Scottish Premier League

Top three: 1. Celtic (57), 2. Rangers (51), 3. Aberdeen (46)

Scoring leader: 15 - Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)

Assists leader: 9 - James Tavernier (Rangers)

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Major League Soccer

The Houston Dynamo continued their preseason preparations out in Tucson, AZ with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday against Minnesota United and a 3-2 win over Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night. They Dynamo enter their second and final week in the desert before focusing on their Concacaf Champions League match at Guatemalan club Guastatoya next Tuesday.

Liga MX

Top eight: 1. Monterrey (14), 2. Tigres UANL (13), 3. Leon (11), 4. Necaxa (11), 5. Chivas Guadalajara (11), 6. Atlas (10), 7. Pachuca (10), 8. Club America (9)

Scoring leader: 5 - Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey) / Brian Leonel Fernández (Necaxa)

Assists leader: 4 - Carlos Rodríguez (Monterrey) / Angel Mena (Cruz Azul)

Superliga Argentina

Top four: 1. Racing Club (42), 2. Defensa y Justicia (42), 3. Boca Juniors (32), 4. Atletico Tucuman (32)

Scoring leader: 14 - Lisandro Lopez (Racing)

Assists leader: 5 - Luis Miguel Rodriguez (Atletico Tucuman) / Mauro Zarate (Boca Juniors) / Walter Montillo (Tigre)

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Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, Feb. 12

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Manchester United vs. PSG (TNT/UniMas/Univision Deportes)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Roma vs. Porto (B/R Live/Galavision)

Wednesday, Feb. 13

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Ajax vs. Real Madrid (B/R Live/UniMas/Univision Deportes)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Tottenham vs. Dortmund (TNT/Galavision)

5:00 p.m. - [MLS Preseason] Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City (HoustonDynamo.com)

Thursday, Feb. 14

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] BATE vs. Arsenal (B/R Live)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Galatasaray vs. Benfica (B/R Live)

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

Friday, Feb. 15

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Augsburg vs. Bayern Munich (FS2)

Saturday, Feb. 16

6:30 a.m. - [FA Cup] Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Derby County (ESPN+)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke 04 vs. SC Freiburg (FS2)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Stuttgart vs. RB Leipzig (Univision Deportes)

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

11:30 a.m. - [FA Cup] Newport County vs. Manchester City (ESPN+)

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Hertha BSC Berlin vs. SV Werder Bremen (FS2)

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

Sunday, Feb. 17

5:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Girona (beIN Sports)

Monday, Feb. 18

1:30 p.m. - [FA Cup] Chelsea vs. Manchester United (ESPN+)

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