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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    The Astros need to beat up on the lowly Rangers. Composite image by Jack Brame.

    Collectively so far this season the Astros would not make for very good garbage men. Meaning they haven't been so good at taking out the trash. Swept in a series at Detroit when the Tigers were terrible, swept at Minute Maid Park by the sorry Orioles, swept in an early season series at the Rangers. Presently the Rangers are an atrocity. A nine game losing streak has them 35-62, buried deeply in last place in the American League West, 23 games behind the Astros. So the Astros need to whip up on them in this weekend's three game set, before the Astros head west for a three city road trip with stops in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

    15. The number of home runs Jose Altuve has hit over his last 37 games. Multiply by four and that's a 60 homers in 148 games pace. Over those 37 games, Altuve is batting just .242. But slugging .577.

    .029. Carlos Correa's batting average dating back 10 games played. One hit in his last 34 at bats. 14 strikeouts and just one walk over the stretch. That is what you call a funk. Certainly not a way to curry 300 million dollar contract offers.

    The Rangers have just two 100 loss seasons in their history, their first two seasons after becoming the Rangers upon moving from Washington D.C. In 1972 the Ted Williams managed squad went 62-100, Ted quit, and the next year the Rangers finished 57-105. If the Astros sweep them this weekend, the Rangers will be on pace to lose 105 games.

    It will be a decade ago this October that the Rangers came as close to winning a World Series as any team has ever come without winning the Series. In 2011 the Rangers carried a three games to two lead into game six at St. Louis. The Rangers led game six 7-5 with two on, two out, and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals' David Freese drilled a ball toward the base of the right field wall. Rangers' right fielder Nelson Cruz didn't make an error but didn't play the ball well, going back awkwardly and reaching out at the last second as if afraid of the wall. It went for a two run triple to tie the game. Two innings later Freese hit a game winning homer to force game seven.

    The inning before that the Rangers again came within one strike of winning it all. A Josh Hamilton two run homer had the Rangers up 9-7 going to the bottom of the 10th. The Cards got within 9-8. With the tying run on second and two out, Rangers' Manager Ron Washington opted to intentionally walk Albert Pujols. Albert was still a tremendous player in 2011 (his last with the Redbirds), but he was not better than Lance Berkman that season, definitely not against right-handed pitching. Walking Pujols brought up Berkman to face right-hander Scott Feldman (a matchup of former Astro and future Astro). Berkman lined a two-two pitch to center field tying the game 9-9, ahead of Freese's 11th inning walk-off homer. One of the most incredible games in World Series history.

    NCAA

    Quite the story hitting that Texas and Oklahoma may be plotting to bolt the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. That neither UT, OU, nor the SEC denied it has smoke billowing. The Sooners have won the last six Big 12 football championships. The Longhorns last won in 2009. Oklahoma St., Kansas St., Baylor, TCU, all have more recently won at least a share of the conference title. An SEC UT could be looking at being in a division with Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M. UT marketing folks should be exploring a huge sponsorship deal with 7-Eleven. You know, Big Gulp. But as usual, follow the money.

    The week ahead…

    Wednesday: The Texans open training camp! Wait. Delete the exclamation point. Whither Deshaun Watson?

    Thursday: The NBA Draft. Unless the Rockets pull off a thunderbolt of a trade to move up to number one and select Cade Cunningham, the winds of opinion are blowing in the direction of the Rockets taking wing Jalen Green second overall pick. That would be fine. Green is generally considered the most potential-laden explosive scorer on the board. The Rockets can use just about everything, a premium wing scorer would be excellent.

    Friday: The MLB trade deadline. Does James Click bolster the Astros' shaky bullpen. The Astros have also been linked to Marlins' center fielder Starling Marte. Growing from his wretched start Myles Straw has been plenty acceptable. Free agent-to-be Marte would be a notable upgrade.

    Buzzer Beaters:

    1. First big beat the deadline win goes to the Rays. 41-year-old designated hitter Nelson Cruz still mashes. Simple frame of reference: he's been notably better than Yordan Alvarez this year.

    2. The delayed by a year 2020 Summer Olympics are underway. Any interest at all?

    3. Baseball's greatest Cruzes: Bronze-Jose Jr. Silver-Nelson Gold-Jose Sr.

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