The Soccer Report

Man City gets first PL loss since January; Houston Dash to play Tigres Femenil in Mexico

The Houston Dash are headed to Mexico to face the Liga MX Femenil Champions. Credit: Houston Dash

With the FIFA international break over, leagues around the world resumed their calendar and with it many interesting results. Major League Soccer didn't have a big pause during the international fixtures so the league just resumed business as usual (although Zlatan was one of the many who disapproved).

Here are the top stories from around the globe:

English Premier League

Matchday 5 Results

  • Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle
  • Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City
  • Sheffield Utd 0-1 Southampton
  • Brighton 1-1 Burnley
  • Wolves 2-5 Chelsea
  • Tottenham 4-0 Crystal Palace
  • Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City
  • Bournemouth 3-1 Everton
  • Watford 2-2 Arsenal
  • Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

Top six: Liverpool (15), Man City (10), Tottenham (8), Man Utd (8), Leicester City (8), Chelsea (8)

Scoring leader: 7 - Sergio Aguero (Man City) / Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

Assists leader: 5 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Matchday 4 Results

  • Mallorca 0-0 Athletic Bilbao
  • Real Madrid 3-2 Levante
  • Leganes 0-3 Villareal
  • Real Sociedad 2-0 Atletico Madrid
  • Barcelona 5-2 Valencia
  • Eibar 1-2 RCD Espanyol
  • Alaves 0-1 Sevilla
  • Celta Vigo 0-2 Granada
  • Valladolid 1-1 Osasuna
  • Real Betis 1-1 Getafe

Top six: Sevilla (10), Atletico Madrid (9), Real Madrid (8), Athletic Bilbao (8), Barcelona (7), Granada (7)

Scoring leader: 5 - Gerard Moreno (Villareal)

Assists leader: 3 - Ander Capa (Bilbao) / Angel Montoro Sanchez (Granada)

German Bundesliga

Matchday 4 Results

  • Fortuna 1-1 Wolfsburg
  • Cologne 0-1 Monchengladbach
  • Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen
  • Mainz 2-1 Hertha Berlin
  • Union Berlin 1-2 Werder Bremen
  • Augsburg 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich
  • Hoffenheim 0-3 Freiburg
  • Paderborn 1-5 Schalke 04

Top six: RB Leipzig (10), Dortmund (9), Freiburg (9), Bayern Munich (8), Wolfburg (8), Schalke 04 (7)

Scoring leader: 7 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 4 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)

Italian Serie A

Matchday 3 Results

  • Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus
  • Napoli 2-0 Sampdoria
  • Inter Milan 1-0 Udinese
  • Genoa 1-2 Atalanta
  • SPAL 1-0 Lazio
  • Brescia 3-4 Bologna
  • Parma 1-3 Cagliari
  • Roma 4-2 Sassuolo
  • Hellas Verona 0-1 AC Milan
  • Torino 1-0 Lecce

Top six: Inter Milan (9), Bologna (7), Juventus (7), Napoli (6), Atalanta (6), Torino (6)

Scoring leader: 5 - Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)

Assists leader: 3 - Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo) / Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)

French Ligue 1

Matchday 5 Results

  • Lille 2-1 Angers
  • Amiens 2-2 Lyon
  • PSG 1-0 Strasbourg
  • Montpellier 2-1 Nice
  • Dijon 0-0 Nimes
  • Bordeaux 2-0 Nice
  • Brest 0-0 Rennes
  • Nantes 1-0 Reims
  • St-Etienne 2-2 Toulouse
  • Monaco 3-4 Marseille

Top six: PSG (12), Rennes (10), Nantes (10), Marseille (10), Lille (9), Nice (9)

Scoring leader: 5 - Moussa Dembele (Lyon) / Victor Osimhen (Lille)

Assists leader: 3 - Thiago Mendes (Lyon)

Portuguese Liga Nos

Matchday 5 - Top Results

  • Setubal 1-0 Braga
  • Benfica 2-0 Gil Vicente
  • Portimonense 2-3 Porto
  • Boavista 1-1 Sporting

Top four: Familicao (13), Benfica (12), Porto (12), Boavista (9)

Scoring leader: 6 - Pizzi (Benfica)

Assists leader: 4 - Bruno Fernandes (Sporting)

Netherlands Eredivisie

Matchday 6 - Top Results

  • Ajax 4-1 Herenveen
  • AZ Alkmaar 5-1 Sparta
  • PSV 5-0 Vitesse
  • Feyenoord 3-2 Den Haag

Top four: Ajax (13), PSV (13), Twente (12), Vitesse (11)

Scoring leader: 6 - Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)

Assists leader: 5 - Bryan Smeets (Sparta) / Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

Scottish Premiership

Matchday 5 - Top Results

  • Hamilton 0-1 Celtic
  • Hearts 2-3 Motherwell
  • Rangers 3-1 Livingston

Top four: Celtic (15), Rangers (12), Motherwell (10), Aberdeen (8)

Scoring leader: 4 - Liam Donelly (Motherwell) / Ryan Christie (Celtic)

Assists leader: 3 - James Forrest (Celtic)

Major League Soccer

East top seven: 1. NYCFC (57), 2. Philadelphia (52), 3. Atlanta (48), 4. Toronto (45), 5. D.C. United (45), 6. New York Red Bulls (41), 7. New England (40)

West top seven: 1. x - LAFC (64), 2. Seattle (49), 3. Minnesota (48), 4. Real Salt Lake (46), 5. LA Galaxy (45), 6. San Jose (44), 7. Portland (43)

Scoring leader: 28 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 18 - Maxi Morales (NYCFC)

Mexican Liga MX

Matchday 9 Results

  • Puebla 1-3 Atletico San Luis
  • Veracruz 0-0 Cruz Azul
  • Xolos 1-1 Tigres UANL
  • Monterrey 0-2 Necaxa
  • Guadalajara 1-0 Atlas
  • Leon 3-1 Juarez
  • Club America 1-1 Pumas UNAM
  • Toluca 0-2 Morelia
  • Santos 0-0 Pachuca

Top Eight: 1. Necaxa (17), 2. Queretaro (17), 3. Santos Lagua (17), 4. Club America (16), 5. Leon (15), 6. Tigres UANL (14), 7. Atleti San Luis (14), 8. Monarcas (13)

Scoring leader: 7 - Julio Furch (Santos)

Assists leader: 4 - Luis Quinones (Tigres) / Osvaldo Martinez (Atlas)

Argentina Superliga

Matchday 6 Results

  • Arsenal 4-1 Union
  • Cordoba 1-2 Defensa y Justicia
  • Godoy Cruz 0-1 Argentinos Juniors
  • Colon 2-1 San Lorenzo
  • Huracan 0-4 River Plate
  • Gimnasia 1-2 Racing Club
  • Banfield 0-1 Talleres Cordoba
  • Rosario Central 1-1 Newell's
  • Independiente 2-2 Lanus
  • Boca Juniors 1-0 Estudiantes
  • Aldosivi 1-1 Patronato
  • Velez 1-0 Atletico Tucuman

Top four: Boca (10), San Lorenzo (10), Arsenal Sarandi (9), Rosario Central (8)

National Women's Soccer League

The Houston Dash pulled themselves six points behind the fourth and final playoff spot with a 2-1 win over Utah Royals on Friday night at BBVA Stadium. The Dash play Tuesday night with an opportunity to continue to close the gap in a tough test against defending champion NC Courage.

The Dash will also become the first NWSL side to play a friendly in Mexico after announcing an October 5 friendly at Liga MX Femenil Champion Tigres UANL.

Standings: 1. North Carolina Courage (40), 2. Chicago Red Stars (38), 3. Portland Thorns (36), 4. Utah Royals (31), 5. Reign FC (31), 6. Washington Spirit (26), 7. Houston Dash (25), 8. Sky Blue FC (16), 9. Orlando Pride (14)

Scoring leader: 16 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 7 - Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, September 17

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Inter Milan vs. Slavia Prague (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Dortmund vs. Barcelona (UniMas, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Napoli vs. Liverpool (TNT, Galavision)

7:30 p.m. - [NWSL] NC Courage vs. Houston Dash (ESPNews)

Wednesday, September 18

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Brugge vs. Galatasaray (Galavision)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Olympiacos vs. Spurs (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Atletico Madrid vs. Juventus (Galavision)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] PSG vs. Real Madrid (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

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Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March. Photo via: NRG Park/Facebook

Football players, coaches and general managers have come and gone, but only one person has been running the business side of the Texans, well, even before they were the Texans. Jamey Rootes has been President of the Houston Texans since 1999, when an NFL team in Houston was still just a gleam in owner Bob McNair's eyes. That's before the team adopted the name "Texans" in 2000, before there was NRG Stadium, which opened as Reliant Stadium in 2000, and before they became serial champs of the AFC South, six titles between 2011-2019.

The precise date was Oct. 6, 1999 when NFL owners voted 29-0 to award the NFL's 32nd and newest franchise to Houston. Not only that, Houston was awarded the 2004 Super Bowl. Rootes, 34 years old with no NFL experience, had his work cut out for him. Before taking the job in Houston, Rootes was team president, general manager and CEO of selling peanuts and popcorn for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

Major League Soccer, with all due respect, is not nearly a national obsession like the National Football League.

"I wasn't intimidated," Rootes said. "There's a quote that I love, 'Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.' I've always been a purpose-driven person. As for the step up to the NFL, I went from knowing nothing at the start of my time in Columbus to five years later thinking, OK, I've got this sports thing down. Actually, I had a very significant reduction in my responsibilities in Houston. When I was in Columbus, I ran the stadium, I ran the team's business, I was the general manager so I did the talent side of it, too. When I came to Houston, all I had to do was the business, so that was great."

Rootes has captured his remarkable journey from the soccer team at Clemson to grad school at Indiana University to the business world at IBM and Proctor & Gamble to the Clemson Crew, to ultimately being named President of the Houston Texans in his new book, The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, available next week.

I've known Rootes from his day one with the Texans, but I still had to ask: everybody knows what the general manager does, and what the head coach does. What exactly does the President of an NFL team worth $3.3 billion do?

"I like to use the parallel of a pharmaceutical company to describe my job. There are two sides to that company. First you put scientists in one building and you leave them alone. They create products, which is what our football team is. The football side has a coach and general manager and all the people who prepare the team to play on Sunday. But getting that product to market is done by the business side, traditional business disciplines. Those are the things that fall to me. Basically, everything between the white lines is run by the football side. Everything outside of those lines, I do," Rootes said.

Between 1999 and 2002, when the Texans played their first game (let the record show the Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboy, 19-10), the team was essentially a massive start-up project. First orders of business for Rootes involved building a new stadium, developing relationships with suppliers, contractors and government officials, preparing for a Super Bowl and, most important, developing a relationship with fans.

Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March, but it's really an accumulation of lessons learned and behind-the-scenes stories about building the Texans from scratch into one of the most admired and valuable franchises in all of sports.

"I've always been a meticulous note-taker. I've kept every presentation I've ever done. I took all of my notes and concepts and put those down on paper," Rootes said. "To be a good leader, you need a wild imagination. You can show me a blank piece of paper, but I don't see it as blank. To me, it's a finished product that hasn't been created yet," Rootes said.

Rootes lays out his leadership strategy in seven chapters: Are You a Manager or a Leader, Get the Right People on Your Team, Build a Winning Culture, Create Raving Fans, a Winning Playbook for Adversity and Success, Your Leadership Playbook and Play to Win.

He learned lesson No. 1 the hard way. A friend once counseled Rootes, "your staff doesn't like the way you're all up in their business, you need to back off." Rootes took that advice to heart.

"It was an epiphany. I wasn't a leader. That's when I truly began thinking about leadership. I say this all the time, I don't do anything. All I do is create an environment where exceptional people can be their very best self. I know what's going on. I'm fully informed. I leave every game day exhausted. I get there early. I do the things I need to do. I kiss babies. I shake hands. I present checks. I entertain clients. I'm dialed in. It absolutely wears me out because I love this organization so much. I am so proud of what we've been able to do for this great city of Houston."

I asked Rootes, as someone who lives for Game Day and a packed NRG Stadium, are you devastated by 2020, the year of COVID-19 and small crowds limited by Centers for Disease Control guidelines?

"I don't look at it that way. I think there's a song by 10,000 Maniacs that said, these are the days that you'll remember. I told my staff, I know you're all going through hell right now, but later on in life, you'll talk about this year. Things that are important are memorable, for the positive and those things that leave a scar. You learn from adversity and you're a better person for enduring it. Victor Frankl said 'We can discover meaning in life in three different ways, by creating a work or doing a deed, experiencing something or encountering someone, and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.' Suffering is part of life. He should know, he survived a Nazi concentration camp," Rootes said.

H-E-B President Scott McClelland wrote the forward to The Winning Game Plan. Rootes dedicates the book to late Texans owner Bob McNair. Rootes' book is a fun read. All I kept thinking was, where was this book when I needed it? And before you buy too much into Rootes as a leader, consider that Rootes admits that he had to ask for wife Melissa's permission before he could accept the Texans job.

Personal note: I believe that a big part of leadership is the ability to keep a promise. Several years ago, I was riding my bicycle with my dog Lilly on a leash. It was the only way I could keep up with her. Well, one time Lilly saw a squirrel and pulled me off my bicycle. I tumbled a few times and rolled next to the curb. When I looked up, there was Jamey Rootes. I told him, "There's no need for you to tell anybody about this." He never said a word.

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