THE SOCCER REPORT

Messi, Rapinoe headline FIFA Football Awards winners; Houston Dash end home schedule on ESPN2

Credit: Adidas

Monday's FIFA Football Awards winners left plenty to talk about, and debate, as Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe were named The BEST players in their category. On the local spotlight, the Houston Dynamo picked up a second win under Interim Manager Davy Arnaud while the Houston Dash prepare to close out the season with a nationally televised home match on Wednesday.

Here is the recap of the previous week followed by a schedule of upcoming matches:

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019

The 2019 edition of FIFA's annual award ceremony took place Monday night in Milan. The following are the winners of each category:

Men's Player: Lionel Messi
Women's Player: Megan Rapinoe
Men's Coach: Jurgen Klopp
Women's Coach: Jill Ellis
Men's Goalkeeper: Alisson
Women's Goalkeeper: Sari van Veenendaal
Puskás Award: Daniel Zsori
Fan Award: Silvia Grecco
Fair Play Award: Marcelo Bielsa

Men's World11: Alisson; Matthijs de Ligt, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk; Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi

Women's World11: Sari van Veenendaal; Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O'Hara, Wendie Renard; Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle; Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe

Major League Soccer

The race to the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs continues with two weeks left in the regular season. Houston, mathematically still in contention, avoided elimination with a 2-1 comeback win over Orlando City on Saturday night at BBVA Stadium. The Dynamo traveled to Los Angeles on Monday and will play twice this week - Wednesday at LAFC and Sunday at Real Salt Lake.

Sunday's matches will air simultaneously by conference. The matches in the East will air at 4 p.m. CT with the West matches following at 6:30 p.m. CT. FS1 will feature a doubleheader with updates from all matches.

East top seven: 1. x - NYCFC (58), 2. x - Atlanta (54), 3. x - Philadelphia (52), 4. x - D.C. United (48), 5. x - NY Red Bulls (47), 6. x - Toronto (46), 7. New England (41)

West top seven: 1. x - LAFC (65), 2. Seattle (50), 3. Minnesota (49), 4. LA Galaxy (48), 5. Real Salt Lake (47), 6. FC Dallas (45), 7. San Jose (44)

Scoring leader: 29 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 19 - Maxi Morales (NYCFC)

National Women's Soccer League

Standings: 1. s - North Carolina Courage (46), 2. x - Chicago Red Stars (41), 3. x - Portland Thorns (39), 4. Utah Royals (31), 5. Reign FC (31), 6. Washington Spirit (26), 7. Houston Dash (25), 8. Sky Blue FC (19), 9. Orlando Pride (14)

Scoring leader: 18 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 8 - Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

UEFA Champions League

Group Stage - Matchday 1 Standings

    Group A: PSG (3), Club Brugge (1), Galatasaray (1), Real Madrid (0)

    Group B: Bayern Munich (3), Tottenham (1), Olympiacos (1), Red Star Belgrade (0)

    Group C: Dinamo Zagreb (3), Man City (3), Shakhtar Donetsk (0), Atalanta (0)

    Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow (3), Juventus (1), Atletico Madird (1), Bayer Leverkusen (0)

    Group E: Red Bull Salzburg (3), Napoli (3), Liverpool (0), Genk (0)

    Group F: Slavia Prague (1), Inter Milan (1), FC Barcelona (1), Dortmund (1)

    Group G: RB Leipzig (93), Zenit (1), Lyon (1), Benfica (0)

    Group H: Ajax (3), Valencia (3), Chelsea (0), Lille (0)

    English Premier League

    Matchday 6 Results

    • Southampton 1-3 Bournemouth
    • Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham
    • Burnley 2-0 Norwich City
    • Everton 0-2 Sheffield Utd
    • Man City 8-0 Watford
    • Newcastle 0-0 Brighton
    • West Ham 2-0 Man United
    • Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolves
    • Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
    • Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool

    Top six: Liverpool (18), Man City (13), Leicester City (11), Arsenal (11), West Ham (11), Bournemouth (10)

    Scoring leader: 8 - Sergio Aguero (Man City)

    Assists leader: 7 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

    Spanish La Liga

    Matchday 5 Results

    • Osasuna 0-0 Real Betis
    • Villareal 2-0 Valladolid
    • Levante 0-0 Eibar
    • Atletico Madrid 0-0 Celta Vigo
    • Granada 2-0 FC Barcelona
    • Getafe 4-2 Mallorca
    • Espanyol 1-3 Real Sociedad
    • Valencia 1-1 Leganes
    • Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Alaves
    • Sevilla 0-1 Real Madrid

    Top six: Athletic Bilbao (11), Real Madrid (11), Granada (10), Real Sociedad (10), Sevilla (10), Atletico Madrid (10)

    Scoring leader: 5 - Gerard Moreno (Villareal) / Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

    Assists leader: 3 - Ander Capa (Bilbao) / Angel Montoro Sanchez (Granada) / Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)

    German Bundesliga

    Matchday 5 Results

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

    Top six: RB Leipzig (13), Bayern Munich (11), Dortmund (10), Freiburg (10), Schalke 04 (10), Monchengladbach (10)

    Scoring leader: 9 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

    Assists leader: 4 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)

    Italian Serie A

    Matchday 4 Results

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

    Top six: Inter Milan (12), Juventus (10), Napoli (9), Roma (8), Lazio (7), Atalanta (7)

    Scoring leader: 5 - Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)

    Assists leader: 4 - Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)

    French Ligue 1

    Matchday 6 Results

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

    Top six: PSG (15), Angers (12), Nice (12), Rennes (11), Marseille (11), Lille (910)

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

    Assists leader: 3 - Four players tied

    Netherlands Eredivisie

    Matchday 7 - Top Results

    • Twente 2-3 Heracles
    • Vitesse 4-2 Fortuna Sittard
    • FC Emmen 3-3 Feyenoord
    • Den Haag 0-1 AZ Alkmaar
    • PSV 1-1 Ajax

    Top four: Ajax (14), PSV (14), Vitesse (14), AZ Alkmaar (13)

    Scoring leader: 7 - Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)

    Assists leader: 6 - Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

    Portuguese Liga Nos

    Matchday 6 - Top Results

    • Belenenses 0-2 Rio Ave
    • Moreirense 1-2 Benfica
    • Porto 2-0 Santa Clara
    • Sporting 1-2 Famalicao

    Top four: Famalicao(16), Benfica (15), Porto (15), Rio Ave (10)

    Scoring leader: 6 - Pizzi (Benfica) / Ze Luis (Porto)

    Assists leader: 4 - Bruno Fernandes (Sporting)

    Scottish Premiership

    Matchday 5 - Top Results

    • Motherwell 1-2 Ross County
    • Livingston 0-2 Aberdeen
    • St. Johnstone 0-4 Rangers
    • Celtic 3-1 Kilmarnock

    Top four: Celtic (18), Rangers (15), Aberdeen (11), Motherwell (10)

    Scoring leader: 5 - Jermain Defoe (Rangers) / Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) / Ryan Christie (Celtic)

    Assists leader: 4 - James Forrest (Celtic)

    Mexican Liga MX

    Matchday 10 Results

    • Atlas 0-1 Toluca
    • Monarcas 1-0 Chivas Guadalajara
    • Necaxa 2-4 Leon
    • Atletico San Luis 2-3 Santos Laguna
    • Monterrey 3-2 Puebla
    • Pachuca 4-1 Xolos Tijuana
    • Club America 2-2 Queretaro
    • Pumas UNAM 1-1 Cruz Azul
    • CD Juarez 2-0 Veracruz

    Top Eight: 1. Santos Laguna (20), 2. Leon (18), 3. Queretaro (18), 4. Necaxa (17), 5. Club America (17), 6. Monarcas (16), 7. Monterrey (15), 8. Tigres UANL (14)

    Scoring leader: 8 - Julio Furch (Santos)

    Assists leader: 4 - Four players tied

    Liga MX clubs Tigres UANL and Santos will face off in a club friendly in Houston during the October FIFA International window. Tickets on sale at BBVAStadium.com

    Argentina Superliga

    Matchday 7 Results

    • Union 0-0 Rosario Central
    • Argentinos Juniors 3-1 Cordoba
    • Estudiantes 1-0 Patronato
    • Defensa y Justicia 0-1 Huracan
    • San Lorenzo 0-2 Boca Juniors
    • Atletico Tucuman 0-1 Independiente
    • Newell's 2-0 Aldosivi
    • Godoy Cruz 0-2 Banfield
    • Lanus 3-2 Colon
    • Racing Club 2-1 Arsenal
    • River Plate 1-2 Velez
    • Talleres Cordoba 2-1 Gimnasia

    Top four: Boca (17), Talleres (16), Argentinos Juniors (15), Lanus (14)

    Scoring leader: 4 - Nicolas Dominguez (Velez)

    Assists leader: 2 - Several players tied

    Soccer on the radio:

    Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis airs every Tuesday 7-9 p.m. on KFNC 97.5 FM - ESPN Houston. This week's guests include Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis and former U.S. Women's National Team player and national broadcaster Aly Wagner.

    TV listings (All Times CT):

    Tuesday, September 24

    12:00 p.m. - [Serie A] Hellas Verona vs. Udinese (ESPN+)

    1:45 p.m. - [English League Cup] Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest (ESPN+)

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

    1:45 p.m. - [English League Cup] Preston vs. Man City (ESPN+)

    2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] FC Barcelona vs. Villarreal (beIN Sports)

    2:00 p.m. - [Serie A] Brescia vs. Juventus (ESPN+)

    Wednesday, September 25

    11:30 a.m. - [Eredivisie] PSV vs. Groningen (ESPN+)

    12:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Mallorca vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports)

    12:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Roma vs. Atalanta (beIN Sports)

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

    1:45 p.m. - [English League Cup] MK Dons vs. Liverpool (ESPN+)

    2:00 p.m. - [English League Cup] Man United vs. Rochdale (ESPN+)

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

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

    7:30 p.m. - [NWSL] Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit (ESPN2)

    9:30 p.m. - [MLS] LAFC vs. Houston Dynamo (KUBE 57)

    Saturday, September 28

    6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Sheffield United vs. Liverpool (NBC Sports, Universo)

    6:30 a.m. - [Scottish Premiership] Hibernian vs. Celtic (B/R Live)

    8:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Juventus vs. SPAL (ESPN+)

    8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Paderborn vs. Bayern Munich (FS2, TUDN)

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

    9:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Getafe vs. Barcelona (beIN Sports)

    10:30 a.m. - [Ligue 1] Bordeaux vs. PSG (beIN Sports)

    11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Sampdoria vs. Inter (ESPN+)

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

    11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Dortmund vs. Bremen (FS2)

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

    6:00 p.m. - [Superliga Argentina] Boca Juniors vs. Newell's Old Boys (Fanatiz)

    7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Monterrey vs. Tigres UANL (FOX Deportes)

    9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Club America vs. Guadalajara (Univision, TUDN)

    Sunday, September 29

    8:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Udinese vs. Bologna (ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes)

    10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Leicester vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports, Telemundo)

    9:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Getafe vs. Barcelona (beIN Sports)

    11:00 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Cologne vs. Hertha Berlin (FS2)

    1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Milan vs. Fiorentina (ESPN+)

    2:00 p.m. - [Primeira Liga] Rio Ave vs. Porto (GolTV)

    4:00 p.m. - [MLS] NY Red Bulls vs. D.C. United - with Eastern Conf updates (FS1)

    6:30 p.m. - [MLS] Minnesota vs. LAFC - with Western Conf updates (FS1)

    Monday, September 30

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

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    Photo via: WikiCommons.

    This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

    Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

    One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

    As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

    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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