THE SOCCER REPORT

Dynamo tie LA Galaxy in sold out opener; Real Madrid take El Clasico and La Liga lead

Mauro Manotas' goal earned the Dynamo their first point of the season. Photo: Manuel Gonzalez / Deporte Total USA

MLS is back with its 25th season and the opening weekend had plenty of big goals and special moments. Over in Europe, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona met in the sport's most talked about rivalry worldwide.

Here is a recap of last week's top action:

International Club competitions

UEFA Champions League

Round of 16 - First Leg

  • Chelsea 0-3 Bayern Munich
  • Napoli 1-1 FC Barcelona
  • Lyon 1-0 Juventus
  • Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester City
Concacaf Champions League

Round of 16 - Second Leg

  • Atlanta United 3-0 Motagua (ATL advances 4-1)
  • Cruz Azul 4-0 Portmore United (CAZ advances 6-1)
  • New York City FC 1-0 AD San Carlos (NYC advances 6-3)
  • Montreal Impact 0-0 Saprissa (MTL advances, 2-2 agg, on away goals)
  • Tigres UANL 4-2 Alianza FC (TIG advances 5-4)
  • Club America 1-1 Comunicaciones (2-2 agg., AME advances 5-3 on pens.)
  • Seattle Sounders FC 2-2 Olimpia (4-4 agg., OLI advances 4-2 on pens.)
  • LAFC 3-0 Club Leon (LAFC advances 3-2)
Quarterfinals take place March 10-18

English Premier League

Liverpool FC's bid for an undefeated season ended at the hands of Watford, who jump out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 victory.

Top six: 1. Liverpool (79), 2. Man City (57), 3. Leicester City (50), 4. Chelsea (45), 5. Manchester United (42), 6. Wolves (42)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. Bournemouth (27), 19. Aston Villa (25), 20. Norwich City (21)

Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) / Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Assists leader: 16 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

With goals from Vinicius and Mariano, Real Madrid took a 2-0 win in El Clasico and the lead at the top of the table in La Liga.

Top six: 1. Real Madrid (56), 2. FC Barcelona (55), 3. Sevilla (46), 4. Getafe (45), 5. Atletico Madrid (44), 6. Real Sociedad (43)

Bottom three: 18. Mallorca (22), 19. Leganes (20), 20. Espanyol (20)

Scoring leader: 18 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 12 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Bayern Munich (52), 2. RB Leipzig (49), 3. Dortmund (48), 4. Monchengladbach (46), 5. Bayer Leverkusen (44), 6. Schalke 04 (36)

Bottom three: 16. Fortuna (21), 17. Werder Bremen (17), 18. Paderborn (16)

Scoring leader: 25 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 16 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Lazio (62), 2. Juventus (60), 3. Inter Milan (54), 4. Atalanta (48), 5. Roma (45), 6. Napoli (39)

Bottom three: 18. Genoa (22), 19. Brescia (16), 20. SPAL (15)

Scoring leader: 27 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 12 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (68), 2. Marseille (55), 3. Rennes (47), 4. Lille (46)

Bottom three: 18. Nimes (27), 19. Amiens (22), 20. Toulouse (13)

Scoring leader: 18 - Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Assists leader: 14 - Angel Di Maria (PSG)

Major League Soccer

The 25th season of MLS got underway with a soccer game with American football lines... just like the good old days (thanks to XFL at D.C. United's Audi Field).

The Houston Dynamo hosted LA Galaxy and the signing of the offseason in Mexican superstar Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward stole the spotlight but it would be the South American goalscorers who would get on the scoresheet. Cristian Pavon opened the scoring for LA while Mauro Manotas earned the point for the Dynamo - match ended in a 1-1 tie. Alberth Elis and offseason signing Darwin Quintero were among the players who missed the sold out home opener due to injury.

Over 59,000 packed Nissan Stadium in Nashville for the expansion side's opening match against Atlanta United, with the visitors taking a 2-1 victory. David Beckham's Inter Miami, the other expansion team this year, lost 1-0 at LAFC on Sunday.

Liga MX

Clausura 2020

Top eight: 1. Cruz Azul (16), 2. Club America (16), 3. Leon (15), 4. Juarez (14), 5. Pumas UNAM (14), 6. Santos Laguna (14), 7. Queretaro (13), 8. CD Guadalajara (12)

Scoring leader: 7 - Jonathan Rodriguez (Cruz Azul) / Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres UANL)

Assists leader: 5 - Pablo Barrera (Pumas)

TV listings (All Times CT):

For full info on soccer TV listings and streaming services in the United States, visit worldsoccertalk.com

Tuesday, March 3

1:45 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Chelsea vs. Liverpool (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Schalke 04 vs. Bayern Munich (ESPNU, ESPN Deportes)

4:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Defensa y Justicia vs. Santos (beIN Sports)

6:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] America de Cali vs. Gremio (beIN Sports Connect)

Wednesday, March 4

1:45 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Sheffield Wednesday vs. Man City (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Spurs vs. Norwich (ESPN+)

Thursday, March 5

1:45 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Derby vs. Man United (ESPN+)

6:00 p.m. - [SheBelieves Cup] USWNT vs. England (ESPN2, TUDN)

Friday, March 6

8:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Pumas UNAM vs. Club América (TUDN)

Saturday, March 7

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

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Wolfsburg vs. RB Leipzig (FS1, FOX Deportes)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Arsenal vs. West Ham (NBC Sports)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Wolves vs. Brighton (CNBC)

9:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla (beIN Sports)

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

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

7:30 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo at Sporting KC (KUBE57)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Atlas vs. Chivas (Univision)

Sunday, March 8

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

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

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

Monday, March 9

3:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Leicester City vs. Aston Villa (NBC Sports)

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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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