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)

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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)

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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)




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Houston gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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