THE SOCCER REPORT

Soccer roundup: Premier League returns, Zlatan slams MLS playoff system

Liverpool supporters in Houston packed Hugh O'Connors pub in the Marq'E for the opening match of the Premier League season.

The start of the 2019/20 Premier League season left plenty of stories for soccer fans to digest but it wasn't the only thing to talk about. The French top division also kicked off, Zlatan Ibrahimovic used the word "s***" to describe Major League Soccer's regular season structure and Wayne Rooney is headed back to England after the conclusion of the current domestic season.

Here are the top stories you need to know from the past week:

English Premier League

Every goal from Premier League 2019/20 Matchweek 1 | NBC Sports www.youtube.com

UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool kicked off the new season with a 4-1 win at home while defending PL champions Manchester City followed that up with a 5-0 win at West Ham. The season is expected to be another two team race between them but Manchester United had something to say about that with a 4-0 win over Chelsea in the most touted match of the week. U.S. Men's National Team's Christian Pulisic and Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard made their debuts with the club as player and manager, respectively.

Matchday 1 Results

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

French Ligue 1

Top buts 1ère journée - Ligue 1 Conforama / 2019-20 www.youtube.com

The trio of Cavani, Mbappe and Di Maria scored for champions Paris Saint-Germain as the Neymar saga continues behind the scenes. The Brazilian has been rumored to leave the French giants for a return to Spain with either his former club Barcelona or their hated rivals Real Madrid. Elsewhere in France, 19-year-old American Tim Weah made his debut with Lille after a $11.4 million move from PSG back in June.

Matchday 1 - Top Results

  • Monaco 0-3 Lyon
  • Marseille 0-2 Stade Reims
  • Dijon 1-2 St-Ettiene
  • Lille 2-1 Nantes
  • PSG 3-0 Nimes

Netherlands Eredivisie

Matchday 2 - Top Results

  • Ajax 5-0 Emmen
  • Waalwijk 0-2 AZ Alkmaar
  • Heerenveen 1-1 Feyenoord
  • PSV 3-1 Den Haag

Scottish Premier League

Matchday 2 - Top Results

  • Motherwell 2-5 Celtic
  • Rangers 6-1 Hibernian
International Champions Cup (European preseason)

FC Barcelona – SCC Napoli (4-0) HIGHLIGHTS www.youtube.com

FC Barcelona faced off against Napoli in back-to-back friendlies during the past week. Barcelona won the first encounter in Miami's Hard Rock Stadium by a 2-1 scoreline and the second with a 4-0 thumping at "The Big House" in Michigan.

Atletico Madrid defeated Juventus 2-1 in Stockholm, Sweden to conclude the preseason International Champions Cup.
Major League Soccer (USA/Canada)
Two of the bigger stars in the league made headlines for different reasons. First came the news of D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney returning to England in January with Championship side Derby County as a player-coach. Rooney was absent from D.C.'s 2-1 win over LA Galaxy on Sunday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made news midweek after criticizing the regular season format in MLS. The news came a day before the Galaxy announced Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon as its latest signing.

The Houston Dynamo, on their behalf, continued their poor road form with back-to-back losses at NYCFC and Philadelphia in the span of four days. The Dynamo return home to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

East top seven: 1. Philadelphia (45), 2. Atlanta (42), 3. D.C. United (39), 4. NYCFC (38), 5. NY Red Bulls (37), 6. New England (34), 7. Montreal (33)

West top seven: 1. LAFC (55), 2. Seattle (39), 3. Minnesota (38), 4. San Jose (38), 5. LA Galaxy (37), 6. Real Salt Lake (37), 7. Dallas (36)

Scoring leader: 23 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 15 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Liga MX

Top Eight: 1. Santos Laguna (12), 2. Queretaro (10), 3. Club America (10), 4. Tigres UANL (9), 5. Atlas (9), 6. Guadalajara (7), 7. Tijuana (7), 8. Pumas UNAM (6)

Scoring leader: 4 - Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Brian Lozano (Santos)

Assists leader: 4 - Luis Quinones (Tigres)

----------------------------------------------

National Women's Soccer League

Highlights: Orlando Pride vs. Houston Dash | August 10, 2019 www.youtube.com

The Houston Dash picked up a 1-0 win at Orlando to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Standings: 1. Portland Thorns (30), 2. Chicago Red Stars (29), 3. North Carolina Courage (28), 4. Reign FC (26), 5. Utah Royals (24), 6. Houston Dash (22), 7. Washington Spirit (21), 8. Orlando Pride (11), 9. Sky Blue FC (9)

Scoring leader: 12 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 5 - Lynn Williams (North Carolina)

------------

Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, August 13

1:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League Qualyfing] Copenhagen vs. Red Star Belgrade (B/R Live)

1:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League Qualyfing] Ferencváros vs. Dinamo Zagreb (B/R Live)

Wednesday, August 14

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Super Cup] Liverpool vs. Chelsea (TNT, Univision)

7:00 p.m. - [Campeones Cup] Atlanta United vs. Club America (ESPN2, TUDN)

Thursday, August 15

4:00 p.m. - [Women's International Champions Cup] Atletico Madrid vs. Lyon (ESPN+)

6:30 p.m. - [Women's International Champions Cup] Man City vs. North Carolina Courage (ESPN+)

Friday, August 16

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayern Munich vs. Hertha Berlin (FS2)

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

Saturday, August 17

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Arsenal vs. Burnley (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Borussia Dortmund vs. Augsburg (FS1, UniMas)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Southampton vs. Liverpool (NBC Sports)

10:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Celta Vigo vs. Real Madrid (beIN Sports)

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

8:00 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids (KUBE57)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS] LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC (ESPN2)

Sunday, August 18

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Sheffield United vs. Crystal Palace (NBC Sports)

10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Chelsea vs. Leicester City (NBC Sports)

Monday, August 19

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




Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans outmatched when it counts against Steelers

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Another game, another loss for the Texans. This time it was only a seven point loss to the Steelers as they fell 28-21 in Pittsburgh. This time around, Bill O'Brien looked to be on his game as far as decision-making was concerned. However, there is still room for improvement.

One thing that I did appreciate that O'Brien did was have trust in the offensive line. The Steelers pass rush could be problematic, but their defense overall is very stout. That's how they were able to nearly make the playoffs last year with a Duck at quarterback. While the Texans did give up five sacks, they weren't all due to poor offensive line play. The Texans lost 33 yards on those five sacks. Tytus Howard and Zach Fulton handled themselves fairly well after looking like turnstiles the first two games. O'Brien called longer developing pass plays and play action in spite of this and it paid off with Deshaun Watson and his receivers putting up 264 yards in the air.

There also wasn't an instance of Bumbling Bill this game. At the end of the first half, there was a minute and fourteen seconds left. The Texans were down 17-14 and had all three timeouts with the ball on their 25-yard line. Classic Bumbling Bill situation right? Wrong! Not only was the play-calling on point, but the players executed and the timeout situation was handled perfectly. First timeout was used after getting to midfield with 47 seconds left. Timeout number two was used after a 20 yard gain after the previous play. A 15 yard gain later to the Steeler 14-yard line and timeout number three was used with 28 seconds left. This set up perfectly for them to call a multitude of plays. They only needed one as Watson found Will Fuller in the end zone on a jump ball in which Fuller rose up and was physical enough to grab the ball over the defender. They went up 21-17 at the half.

Bill O'Brien's teams were 37-3 when leading at halftime. I say "were" because they lost this one after not scoring a single point in the second half. This was more on the defense not being able to fight its way out of a wet paper bag, and a lack of execution by the offense. Specifically, the run defense has been atrocious and Watson either needs quicker reads or to stop holding onto the ball so long by making quicker decisions. That's on coaching to put players in positions to succeed, but also the players to execute.

Ultimately, this was on O'Brien the general manager more than O'Brien the coach. This roster is woefully outmatched. The only time an outmatched roster can compete consistently is in college football with a wacky offense. It just doesn't happen in the NFL. Hey, at least Bumbling Bill didn't rear his butt chin today. Today's Culture Map play call menu was brought to you by Pour Behavior. I suggest getting over there and checking out their daily specials.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome