Liverpool gain nine-point lead over City

Soccer Recap: Seattle wins MLS Cup, Liverpool top Man City, Bayern Munich stomp Dortmund

Credit: Major League Soccer

Seattle Sounders FC return to the pinnacle of American soccer after defeating Toronto FC 3-1 in front of 69,274 spectators on Sunday - a new record for a sporting event at CenturyLink Field. Across the Atlantic, Liverpool widened the gap between themselves and defending champions Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Among the other top stories this week:

  • USWNT picked up 3-2 win vs. Sweden, 6-0 win over Costa Rica in Andonovski's debut as Head Coach
  • Judge grants class action status to USWNT in gender discrimination lawsuit
  • Ecuador's Independiente del Valle wins 2019 Copa Sudamericana
  • Barcelona / Real Madrid tied atop La Liga
  • Bayern Munich rout rivals Dortmund

Major League Soccer

The 2019 MLS season concluded with the MLS Cup championship game on Sunday. Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC met in the final for the third time in the last four years. Seattle defeated Toronto by a 3-1 scoreline to collect their second MLS Cup - joining the Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City with two league titles (only LA Galaxy and D.C. United have more with five and four, respectively).

2019 Major League Soccer Awards

  • MLS Cup Champion: Seattle Sounders FC
  • MLS Supporters Shield Champion: Los Angeles FC
  • Most Valuable Player: Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC)
  • Defender of the Year: Ike Opara (Minnesota United FC)
  • Goalkeeper of the Year: Vito Mannone (Minnesota United FC)
  • Coach of the Year: Bob Bradley (Los Angeles FC)
  • Rookie of the Year: Andre Shinyashiki (Colorado Rapids)
  • Newcomer of the Year: Carles Gil (New England Revolution)
  • Comeback Player of the Year: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
  • Golden Boot: Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC) with 34 goals [MLS record]
  • Humanitarian of the Year: Matt Lampson (LA Galaxy)
  • Referee of the Year: Allen Chapman
  • Assistant Referee of the Year: Brian Dunn
  • Goal of the Year: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United FC)
  • Save of the Year: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
2019 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper - Vito Mannone (Minnesota United FC) / Defenders - Ike Opara (Minnesota United FC), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC) / Midfielders - Eduard Atuesta (LAFC), Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Maxi Moralez (New York City FC), Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC) / Forwards - Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United FC), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

The offseason is officially underway with a temporary trade window until Wednesday, followed by a series of offseason drafts. It is important to note that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire and will be an additional story to follow.

English Premier League

Most of the focus in the Premier League was on the battle of the top two teams from last season. Liverpool expanded the gap in the title race to a nine-point lead over Manchester City after a 3-1 win at home.

Top six: Liverpool (34), Leicester City (26), Chelsea (26), Man City (25), Sheffield Utd (17), Arsenal (17)

Scoring leader: 11 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

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

Spanish La Liga

Lionel Messi scored three in Barcelona's 4-1 win over Celta Vigo. Real Madrid collected a 4-0 win at Eibar. The two Spanish giants share the top of the table on points and are on a collision course towards their December 18th meeting.

Top six: FC Barcelona (25), Real Madrid (25), Atletico Madrid (24), Sevilla (24), Real Sociedad (23), Athletic Bilbao (20)

Scoring leader: 9 - Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Assists leader: 4 - Several players tied

German Bundesliga

Bayern Munich looks to be back on the right course, responding to the dismissal of their Head Coach Niko Kovac with a 4-0 win over rivals Borussia Dortmund. Borussia Monchengladbach lead the Bundesliga standings at the moment.

Top six: Monchengladbach (25), RB Leipzig (21), Bayern Munich (21), Freiburg (21), Hoffenheim (20), Dortmund (19)

Scoring leader: 16 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 6 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Thorgan Hazard (Dortmund)

Italian Serie A

Top six: Juventus (32), Inter Milan (31), Lazio (24), Cagliari (24), Atalanta (22), Roma (22)

Scoring leader: 14 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 8 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top six: PSG (30), Marseille (22), Angers (21), St-Etiene (21), Lille (19), Montpellier (19)

Scoring leader: 9 - Moussa Dembele (Lyon), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)

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

U.S. Women begin new era

Newly appointed U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski got his first wins in a pair of friendlies after a 3-2 win over Sweden and a 6-0 rout of Costa Rica.

Copa Sudamericana

Ecuador's Independiente del Valle defeated Argentine side Club Atlético Colón with a 3-1 result at the Estadio General Pablo Rojas in Asunción, Paraguay on Saturday. This marked the first time the tournament was decided by a one match final in a neutral location. It is also Independiente del Valle's first international title. The Copa Sudamericana is South America's secondary international tournament, similar to the UEFA Europa League.

TV listings (All Times CT):

Tuesday, November 12

1:00 p.m. - [International Friendly] Netherlands vs. Slovenia (GolTV)

Wednesday, November 13

10:00 a.m. - [AFCON qualifying] Cameroon vs. Cape Verde (beIN SPORTS)

Thursday, November 14

10:00 a.m. - [AFCON qualifying] Egypt vs. Kenya (beIN SPORTS)

11:00 a.m. - [EURO qualifying] Turkey vs. Iceland (ESPN2, TUDN)

1:00 p.m. - [AFCON qualifying] Ghana vs. South Africa (beIN SPORTS)

1:45 p.m. - [EURO qualifying] Czech Republic vs. Kosovo (ESPNEWS)

1:45 p.m. - [EURO qualifying] France vs. Moldova (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [EURO qualifying] France vs. Moldova (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [EURO qualifying] Portugal vs. Lithuania (TUDN)

Friday, November 15

6:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Nations League] France vs. Moldova (ESPN2, UniMas, TUDN)

8:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Nations League] Portugal vs. Lithuania (Univision, TUDN)

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STEELERS 28, TEXANS 21

5 observations from the Texans loss to the Steelers

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The Texans are 0-3 after at least putting up some fight before they were dominated in the second half in a 28-21 loss to Pittsburgh. It was once thing to get wasted by the Chiefs and Ravens, and the Steelers are better than them as well, but at some point you have to beat these teams. Three tries, three failures. And it was not as close as the score. They were outgained 387-260, out-first downed 25-13, out-possessed 36:51-23:09.

Here are five thoughts from the game:

1) Once again, Watson just wasn't good enough. We pointed out how Deshaun Watson had not been elite over his last 10 games. Make it 11. He was terrific in the first half, but the Steelers adjusted and shut him down in the second half. Watson threw a pick on third and long in the fourth quarter, but it really was not an awful play - he was trying to make something happen on a tough down. It essentially functioned as a short punt. But he did nothing the rest of the half. It did not help that they had no running game (see No. 2) and untimely penalties hurt as well, but the Texans need Watson to win games for them, and to do that, he needs to be great. He was 19 of 27 for 264 yards, two touchdowns, the pick and was sacked five times. Good. Not great. And not good enough.

2) The running game is a real problem on both sides of the ball. The Texans defense for the third week in a row could not stop the run, allowing 173 yards and an average of 4.9 per carry. Conversely, the Texans managed just 29 yards on 15 carries, a pathetic 1.9 per tote. You simply can't win football games like that.

3) This is what the defense will be. Don't laugh; the defense actually played OK - for what they are. This is a below average unit lacking talent at all levels. They did get two sacks, but for the most part they just aren't good enough to stop solid NFL offenses. They will have to get a few stops here and there and rely on their offense for the Texans to win games. (Of course, they can't really rely on the offense, can they?) They don't get turnovers, they don't stop the run, they con't cover well. The guys on the field are playing hard and OK for what they are, but this defense simply lacks any real difference makers other than J.J. Watt, who can be neutralized since he has no help.

4) Tight ends will always be a bane of this defense. The Steelers tight ends finished with eight catches including Eric Ebron's touchdown. The Texans have never been able to stop tight ends, other than a brief stretch when they had Tayshaun Gipson on the team last year. There really is no reason to complain about this, because it will never change.

5) Today's O'Brien blame goes to...O'Brien the GM. He did nothing to fix his defense in the off-season, and that unit isn't getting it down. Yes, we could also bring up his horrific offense, getting out-adjusted at halftime, but then that is O'Brien the coach. The GM gets the blame today.

The McNairs love him, so he will be fine, but any other coach/GM would be firmly on the hot seat.

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