THE SOCCER REPORT

River-Boca on tap, Houston Dynamo playoff hopes end

River Plate product Tomas Martinez has been a staple of Dynamo lineups in 2019. Credit: Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo are officially eliminated from playoff contention, sentencing their absence from the MLS Cup Playoffs in five of the past six seasons. The Dash are off this week but will be heading down to Monterrey, Mexico for a friendly with Liga MX side Tigres on Saturday night.

On the global scale, one of the most heated rivalries in the sport takes place on Tuesday night as Argentina's River Plate and Boca Juniors face off in the Copa Libertadores semifinals. The matchup is a rematch of the Libertadores finals from last year, a series that had to be finished in Spain because it was not deemed safe to conclude in Argentina.

Here is a review of the past week in soccer:

Major League Soccer

Last Wednesday, LAFC demolished the Houston Dynamo by a scoreline of 3-1 to clinch the best record in MLS and home field throughout the playoffs. The Supporters Shield is the two-year club's first major trophy. Four other Western Conference teams clinched a playoff spot, leaving only two to be decided for the final day of the regular season.

In the East, NYCFC clinched the top spot and a bye in the first round. New England defeated NYCFC on Sunday to secure the final playoff spot in the conference.

Every match will be played simultaneously on Sunday in MLS' "Decision Day." Aside from the final two playoff berths, seeding in the playoffs is also to be decided. Spots 2-4 in each conference host in the first round.

With two goals this week, Carlos Vela tied the single-season scoring record (31) set by Atlata's Josef Martinez in 2018. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not far behind in the Golden Boot race with 29 as the Galaxy come to Houston on Sunday.

East top seven: 1. y - NYCFC (61), 2. x - Atlanta (55), 3. x - Philadelphia (55), 4. x - D.C. United (49), 5. x - NY Red Bulls (48), 6. x - Toronto (47), 7. x - New England (45)

West top seven (and playoff hopefuls): 1. s - LAFC (69), 2. x - Minnesota (53), 3. x - Seattle (53), 4. x - LA Galaxy (51), 5. x - Real Salt Lake (50), 6. Portland (46), 7. Dallas (45), 8. San Jose (44), 9. Colorado (42)

Scoring leader: 31 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 20 - Maxi Morales (NYCFC)

National Women's Soccer League

The four teams in the NWSL playoffs have been decided with only the semifinal matchups to be decided as the league enters it's final two weeks. The Houston Dash will miss out on the postseason once more, a feat never accomplished in club history.

Standings: 1. s - North Carolina Courage (46), 2. x - Chicago Red Stars (44), 3. x - Portland Thorns (39), 4. x - Reign FC (37), 5. Utah Royals (31), 6. Washington Spirit (30), 7. Houston Dash (26), 8. Sky Blue FC (20), 9. Orlando Pride (15)

Scoring leader: 18 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 8 - Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

English Premier League

Matchday 7 Results

  • Sheffield Utd 0-1 Liverpool
  • Crystal Palace 2-0 Norwich City
  • Aston Villa 2-2 Burnley
  • Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham
  • Wolves 2-0 Watford
  • Tottenham 2-1 Southampton
  • Chelsea 1-0 Brighton
  • Everton 1-3 Manchester City
  • Leicester City 5-0 Newcastle
  • Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal

Top six: Liverpool (21), Man City (16), Leicester City (14), Arsenal (12), West Ham (12), Tottenham (11)

Scoring leader: 8 - Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Assists leader: 8 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Matchday 6 Results

  • Valladolid 1-1 Granada
  • Real Betis 3-1 Levante
  • FC Barcelona 2-1 Villareal
  • RCD Mallorca 0-2 Atletico Madrid
  • Leganes 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
  • Valencia 3-3 Getafe
  • Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna
  • Eibar 3-2 Sevilla
  • Celta Vigo 1-1 Espanyol
  • Real Sociedad 3-0 Alaves

Matchday 7 Results

  • Villareal 5-1 Real Betis
  • Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Valencia
  • Getafe 0-2 FC Barcelona
  • Granada 1-0 Leganes
  • Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid
  • Espanyol 0-2 Valladolid
  • Eibar 2-0 Celta Vigo
  • Alaves 2-0 RCD Mallorca
  • Levante 1-1 Osasuna
  • Sevilla 3-2 Real Sociedad

Top six: Real Madrid (15), Granada (14), Atletico Madrid (14), FC Barcelona (13), Real Sociedad (13), Sevilla (13)

Scoring leader: 6 - Gerard Moreno (Villareal)

Assists leader: 3 - Five players tied

German Bundesliga

Matchday 6 Results

  • Union Berlin 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Hoffenheim 0-3 Monchengladbach
  • Mainz 0-1 Wolfsburg
  • Augsburg 0-3 Bayer Leverkusen
  • Paderborn 2-3 Bayern Munich
  • RB Leipzig 1-3 Schalke 04
  • Dortmund 2-2 Werder Bremen
  • Fortuna 1-2 Freiburg
  • Cologne 0-4 Hertha Berlin

Top six: Bayern Munich (14), RB Leipzig (13), Freiburg (13), Schalke 04 (13), Monchengladbach (13), Bayer Leverkusen (13)

Scoring leader: 10 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 4 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)

Italian Serie A

Matchday 5 Results

  • Hellas Verona 0-0 Udinese
  • Brescia 1-2 Juventus
  • Roma 0-2 Atalanta
  • SPAL 1-3 Lecce
  • Napoli 0-1 Cagliari
  • Genoa 0-0 Bologna
  • Fiorentina 2-1 Sampdoria
  • Parma 1-0 Sassuolo
  • Inter Milan 1-0 Lazio
  • Torino 2-1 AC Milan

Matchday 6 Results

  • Juventus 2-0 SPAL
  • Sampdoria 1-3 Inter Milan
  • Sassuolo 1-4 Atalanta
  • Napoli 2-1 Brescia
  • Lazio 4-0 Genoa
  • Udinese 1-0 Bolognia
  • Lecce 0-1 Roma
  • Cagliari 1-1 Hellas Verona
  • AC Milan 1-3 Fiorentina
  • Parma 3-2 Torino

Top six: Inter Milan (18), Juventus (16), Atalanta (13), Napoli (12), Roma (11), Lazio (10)

Scoring leader: 5 - Four players tied

Assists leader: 4 - Three players tied

French Ligue 1

Matchday 7 Results

  • Dijon 0-0 Marseille
  • Monaco 3-1 Nice
  • Brest 2-2 Lyon
  • St-Etienne 0-1 Metz
  • Amiens 1-3 Bordeaux
  • Nantes 1-0 Rennes
  • Montpellier 1-0 Nimes
  • Toulouse 0-2 Angers
  • Lille 2-0 Strasbourg
  • PSG 0-2 Stade Reims

Matchday 8 Results

  • Lyon 0-1 Nantes
  • Bordeaux 0-1 PSG
  • Stade Reims 1-2 Dijon
  • Metz 2-2 Toulouse
  • Monaco 4-1 Brest
  • Angers 1-1 Amiens
  • Nice 1-1 Lille
  • Strasbourg 1-0 Montpellier
  • Nimes 0-1 St-Etienne
  • Marseille 1-1 Rennes

Top six: PSG (18), Angers (16), Nantes (16), Lille (14), Marseille (13), Nice (13)

Scoring leader: 6 - Three players tied

Assists leader: 4 - Islam Slimani (Monaco)

Netherlands Eredivisie

Matchday 8 - Top Results

  • Ajax 2-0 Groningen
  • Waalwijk 1-2 Vitesse
  • Zwolle 0-2 PSV
  • AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Heracles
  • Feyenoord 5-1 Twente

Top four: Ajax (20), PSV (20), AZ Alkmaar (19), Vitesse (17)

Scoring leader: 8 - Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)

Assists leader: 8 - Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Matchday 7 - Top Results

  • Benfica 1-0 Setubal
  • Famalicao 3-1 Belenenses
  • Vitoria 1-0 Pacos Ferreira
  • Rio Ave 0-1 Porto
  • Aves 0-1 Sporting CP

Top four: Famalicao(19), Benfica (18), Porto (18), Vitoria (12)

Scoring leader: 6 - Pizzi (Benfica) / Ze Luis (Porto)

Assists leader: 4 - Bruno Fernandes (Sporting)

Scottish Premiership

Matchday 7 - Top Results

  • Hibernian 1-1 Celtic
  • Rangers 5-0 Aberdeen
  • St. Johnstone 0-1 Motherwell

Top four: Celtic (19), Rangers (18), Motherwell (13), Aberdeen (11)

Scoring leader: 6 - Jermain Defoe (Rangers) / Ryan Christie (Celtic)

Assists leader: 4 - James Forrest (Celtic)

Mexican Liga MX

Matchday 11 Results

  • Queretaro 1-2 Necaxa
  • Tigres 0-1 Puebla
  • Leon 1-1 Atlas
  • Guadalajara 2-4 Pachuca
  • Santos 5-0 Veracruz
  • Juarez 1-1 Club America
  • Cruz Azul 1-1 Monterrey
  • Tijuana 3-2 Monarcas
  • Toluca 3-1 Atletico San Luis

Matchday 12 Results

  • Puebla 2-1 Leon
  • Atlas 2-0 Queretaro
  • Pachuca 2-0 Cruz Azul
  • Necaxa 0-0 Juarez
  • Monterrey 0-2 Tigres
  • Club America 4-1 Guadalajara
  • Pumas 2-0 Santos
  • Atletico San Luis 2-3 Tijuana
  • Veracruz 1-1 Toluca

Top Eight: 1. Santos Laguna (23), 2. Necaxa (21), 3. Club America (21), 4. Leon (19), 5. Pachuca (18), 6. Queretaro (18), 7. Tigres (17), 8. Pumas (17)

Scoring leader: 8 - Julio Furch (Santos)

Assists leader: 8 - Miller Bolanos (Tijuana)

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

Liga MX Femenil

Matchday 13 Results

  • Necaxa 0-1 Queretaro
  • Juarez 1-2 UANL
  • Atlas 2-2 Cruz Azul
  • UNAM 1-1 Monarcas
  • Veracruz 1-1 Guadalajara
  • America 2-1 Pachuca
  • Santos 0-0 Puebla
  • Atletico San Luis 1-2 Leon
  • Tijuana 2-1 Toluca

Top Eight: 1. Monterrey (30), 2. Pachuca (26), 3. Tigres (25), 4. Guadalajara (23), 5. Atlas (21), 6. America (21), 7. Tijuana (21), 8. Monarcas (18)

Scoring leader: 13 - Mónica Monsiváis (Monterrey)

Argentina Superliga

Matchday 8 Results

  • Aldosivi 1-2 Union
  • Patronato 1-1 Lanus
  • Arsenal 3-0 Estudiantes
  • Gimnasia 0-2 River Plate
  • Boca 1-1 Newells
  • Banfield 0-1 San Lorenzo
  • Huracan 0-0 Atletico Tucuman
  • Velez 0-1 Defensa y Justicia
  • Rosario Central 1-1 Racing Club
  • Independiente 3-2 Talleres Cordoba
  • Cordoba 1-0 Godoy Cruz
  • Colon 1-0 Argentinos Juniors

Top four: Boca (18), San Lorenzo (16), Talleres Cordoba (16), Arsenal Sarandi (15)

Scoring leader: 4 - Bruno Pitton (San Lorenzo) / Nicolas Dominguez (Velez)

Assists leader: 3 - Mathias Abero Villan (Patronato)

Argentina Female

The first matchday in Argentina's female football featured the first Boca vs. River matchup of the professional era.

Matchday 1 Results

  • Villa 1-5 Rosario Central
  • Gimnasia 2-0 Huracan
  • Platense 1-5 Racing Club
  • Estudiantes 3-1 Belgrano
  • SAT 1-0 El Porvenir
  • Boca Juniors 5-0 River Plate
  • Lanus 1-3 San Lorenzo
  • Urquiza 2-1 Independiente

Top four: SAT (3), Boca Juniors (3) Racing Club (3), Rosario Central (3)

TV listings (All Times CT):

Tuesday, October 1

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Real Madrid vs. Club Brugge (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

1:45 p.m. - [English Championship] Leeds vs. West Bromwich (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Tottenham vs. Bayern Munich (TNT, Galavision)

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

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Galatasaray vs. PSG (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Atletico Madrid (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Manchester City vs. Dinamo Zagreb (B/R Live)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] River Plate vs. Boca Juniors (beIN SPORTS)

Wednesday, October 2

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Slavia Prague vs. Borussia Dortmund (TNT, Galavision)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Genk vs. Napoli (UniMas, TUDN)

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

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Liverpool vs. Salzburg (Galavision, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] RB Leipzig vs. Lyon (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Valencia vs. Ajax (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Lille vs. Chelsea (B/R Live)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Gremio vs. Flamengo (beIN SPORTS)

Thursday, October 3

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] AZ Alkmaar vs. Manchester United (TUDN, B/R Live)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Feyenoord vs. Porto (Galavision, B/R Live)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Wolfsburg vs. Roma (B/R Live)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Besiktas vs. Wolves (UniMas, B/R Live)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Young Boys vs. Rangers (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Sevilla vs. APOEL (UniMas, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Sporting CP vs. LASK (Galavision, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Arsenal vs. Standard Liege (TUDN, B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Rosenborg vs. PSV Eindhoven (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Celtic vs. Cluj (B/R Live)

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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