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)




Arsenal are back in good spirits after first win in 10 matches. Credit: Adidas

Action rolls in Europe after a weekend that featured the Manchester Derby, only to be followed by the end of the UEFA Champions League group stage and a pre-El Clasico La Liga weekend. This week also features the start of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.

Off the field, the draw to determine the quarterfinal matchups of the 2020 Concacaf Champions League took place in Mexico CIty on Monday night. The tournament will kick off in February and crown a new champion in May to determine the region's representative in the 2020 Club World Cup.

Major League Soccer clubs in the CCL will begin their preseason on January 11, one week before the rest of the league.

English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (46), 2. Leicester City (38), 3. Man City (32), 4. Chelsea (29), 5. Man Utd (24), 6. Wolves (24)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. Southampton (15), 19. Norwich City (11), 20. Watford (9)

Scoring leader: 16 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Assists leader: 9 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (34), 2. Real Madrid (34), 3. Sevilla (31), 4. Real Sociedad (27), 5. Getafe (27), 6. Athletic Bilbao (26)

Bottom three: 18. Celta Vigo (13), 19. Leganes (9), 20. Espanyol (9)

Scoring leader: 12 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 6 - Rodrigo (Valencia)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Monchengladbach (31), 2. RB Leipzig (30), 3. Dortmund (26), 4. Schalke 04 (25), 5. Freiburg (25), 6. Bayer Leverkusen (25)

Bottom three: 16. Fortuna (12), 17. Paderborn (8), 18. Cologne (8)

Scoring leader: 16 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 9 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Inter Milan (38), 2. Juventus (36), 3. Lazio (33), 4. Cagliari (29), 5. Roma (29), 6. Atalanta (28)

Bottom three: 18. Genoa (10), 19. SPAL (9), 20. Brescia (7)

Scoring leader: 17 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (39), 2. Marseille (34), 3. Lille (28), 4. Rennes (27)

Bottom three: 18. Metz (15), 19. Tolouse (12), 20. Nimes (12)

Scoring leader: 11 - Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)

Assists leader: 7 - Islam Slimani (Monaco) / Yoann Court (Brest)

Liga MX Playoffs

Monterrey and Club America each punched their ticket to the Liga MX Apertura 2019 final over the weekend. The two will have to wait until Monterrey are done with the FIFA Club World Cup participation to resume the playoffs on Dec. 26.

Quarterfinal results:

  • Club Leon 4-5 agg. Monarcas Morelia
  • Queretaro 2-6 agg. Necaxa
  • Santos Laguna 3-6 agg. Monterrey
  • Club America 2-4 agg. Tigres UANL
Semifinal results:
  • Necaxa 1-3 agg. Monterrey
  • Club America 2-2 agg. Monarcas Morelia, America advance on higher seed tiebreaker
Final schedule:
  • First leg: Dec. 26 at Estadio BBVA, Monterrey
  • Second leg: Dec. 29 at Estadio Azteca, Mexico

Liga MX Femenil Final

Monterrey's female team, "Rayadas," lifted their first Liga MX Femenil title after a 1-0 win over rivals Tigres UANL in the second leg of the final, 2-1 on aggregate. The series drew an attendance of 41,615 in the first leg on Nov. 29 and 38,251 in Sunday's second leg.

TV listings (All Times CT):

Tuesday, December 10

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] RB Salzburg vs. Liverpool (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Napoli vs. Genk (Galavision)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Inter Milan vs. FC Barcelona (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Ajax vs. Valencia (Galavision)

Wednesday, December 11

11:30 a.m. - [FIFA Club World Cup / Playoff] Al Sadd vs. Hienghène (FS2, FOX Deportes)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Dinamo Zagreb vs. Man City (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Atalanta (Galavision)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Brugge vs. Real Madrid (UniMas, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Bayer Leverkusen vs. Juventus (TNT, Galavision)

Thursday, December 12

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Standard Liege vs. Arsenal (UniMas)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Europa League] APOEL vs. Sevilla (TUDN)

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Europa League] LASK vs. Sporting CP (Galavision)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Manchester United vs. AZ Alkmaar (UniMas)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Wolves vs. Besiktas (TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Porto vs. Feyenoord (Galavision)

Friday, December 13

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Hoffenheim vs. FC Augsburg (FS2, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Alaves vs. Leganes (beIN SPORTS en Español)

Saturday, December 14

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

8:00 a.m. - [FIFA Club World Cup / Quarterfinal] Al-Hilal vs. ES Tunis (FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayern Munich vs. SV Werder Bremen (FS1)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Mainz 05 vs. Borussia Dortmund (FS2, TUDN)

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

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

11:30 a.m. - [FIFA Club World Cup / Quarterfinal] Monterrey vs. Al Sadd or Hienghène (FS2)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Southampton vs. West Ham (NBC)

1:30 p.m. - [La Liga] Atletico Madrid vs. Osasuna (beIN SPORTS)

Sunday, December 15

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Wolves vs. Spurs (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (FS1)

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

11:00 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke 04 vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (FS1)

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

Monday, December 16

6:00 a.m. - Draw for UEFA Champions League and Europa League knockout stage (UEFA.com, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Crystal Palace vs. Brighton (NBC Sports)

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