THE SOCCER REPORT
Messi’s Argentina legacy on the line versus Brazil; USA face England in Women's World Cup semis
There may be no bigger rivalry in international soccer than that of Brazil and Argentina. Now put a spot in the South American championship final on the line and one of the all-time greats as the villain of the story. That's exactly what will go down on Tuesday when Copa America hosts Brazil host Lionel Messi's Argentina. Messi is known for his decorated club career with FC Barcelona but is highly scrutinized, especially by his own people, for his lack of silverware with his home country.
The Copa America final will be one of three international finals to take place on Sunday, by the way, with the champion of the FIFA Women's World Cup and the Concacaf Gold Cup (Men's championship for North America, Central America and the Caribbean) taking place on the same day.
For all the details, here is the latest in the soccer world:
FIFA Women's World Cup
International women's soccer is down to the last four teams of the competition, including the defending champion United States. Team USA takes on England, with Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly on the roster, on Tuesday in the first semifinal. The champion will be decided Sunday against the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between the Netherlands and Sweden.
Tournament favorites Mexico survived Costa Rica in the quarterfinals after a dramatic 5-4 win on penalties in front of a sellout crowd of 70,788 on Saturday at NRG Stadium. They face Haiti on Tuesday night after the Caribbean team came back to defeat Canada, 3-2, in the first game of Saturday night's doubleheader.
Defending champions Team USA had their close call against Curacao but got to the semis with a 1-0 win. They will meet Jamaica in Wednesday's semifinal in a rematch of the 2017 final.
The South America men's championship is also down to the last four. Hosts Brazil faces off against arch-rival Argentina and defending champion Chile meets 2018 FIFA World Cup sweetheart Peru.
Africa Cup of Nations
Africa is also hosting their continental championship in international soccer this summer. The group stage final matchday will be on Tuesday and the knockout stage begins on Friday. Hosts Egypt will be a good bet the rest of the way after going a perfect 3-0-0 in their group matches.
Major League Soccer
The Houston Dynamo dropped to seventh place in the West after losing three straight road games in the span of a week [4-0 at Portland Timbers, 2-0 at San Jose Earthquakes and 2-1 at New England Revolution]. The Dynamo return home to BBVA Stadium, where they are unbeaten in MLS matches with a 6-0-3 record, to host the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
East top seven: 1. Philadelphia (32), 2. D.C. United (31), 3. Montreal (30), 4. Atlanta (29), 5. NY Red Bulls (27), 6. NYCFC (26), 7. Toronto (23)
West top seven: 1. LAFC (37), 2. LA Galaxy (31), 3. Seattle (29), 4. Dallas (26), 5. San Jose (25), 6. Minnesota (24), 7. Houston (24)
Scoring leader: 16 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Assists leader: 11 - Maxi Moralez (NYCFC)
National Women's Soccer League
Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai reached 100 NWSL matches in a 2-1 home loss to the Portland Thorns at BBVA Stadium on Saturday. The Dash travel to North Carolina this week to take on defending champions NC Courage on Friday night.
Standings: 1. Portland Thorns (19), 2. Washington Spirit (18), 3. Reign FC (17), 4. Utah Royals (17), 5. North Carolina Courage (16), 6. Chicago Red Stars (14), 7. Houston Dash (13), 8. Orlando Pride (5), 9. Sky Blue FC (2)
Scoring leader: 9 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)
Assists leader: 4 - Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)
Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):
Tuesday, July 2
2:00 p.m. - [FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal] USA vs. England (FOX, Telemundo)
7:30 p.m. - [Copa America semifinal] Brazil vs. Argentina (ESPN+, Telemundo)
9:30 p.m. - [Gold Cup semifinal] Mexico vs. Haiti (FS1, Univision)
Wednesday, July 3
2:00 p.m. - [FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal] Netherlands vs. Sweden (FS1, Telemundo)
7:30 p.m. - [Copa America semifinal] Chile vs. Peru (ESPN+, Telemundo)
8:30 p.m. - [Gold Cup semifinal] USA vs. Jamaica (FS1, Univision)
Thursday, July 4
9:30 p.m. - [MLS] LA Galaxy vs. Toronto FC (ESPN+)
Saturday, July 6
10 a.m. - FIFA Women's World Cup 3rd Place (FOX, Telemundo)
2 p.m. - Copa America 3rd Place (ESPN+, Telemundo)
Sunday, July 7
10 a.m. - FIFA Women's World Cup Final (FOX, Telemundo)
3 p.m. - Copa America Final (ESPN+, Telemundo)
8 p.m. - Gold Cup Final (FS1, Univision)