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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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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