USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter made the rounds

Soccer really does matter - and it could matter even more

U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter. Getty Images.

We had the USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter on the show Wednesday morning. What a great guy and get for the show. The U.S. team will be here taking on Chile on March 26. Hopefully it will go better than the last time they were here.

Houston's soccer ambassador Glenn Davis opened a press conference later that day by saying that it was an historic morning. Never before had a Houston sports radio show done three straight segments on soccer. Glenn called me that night and was gushing about how great it was. There may not be a nicer guy in the sports world.

My soccer knowledge is extremely limited and you have to be very careful around soccer guy (not Glenn Davis. He's too nice to be a jerk. I'm talking about soccer snob) because he will light you up if you take the tiniest misstep. Do not call it a field or a game or ever say zero. Soccer snob hates zero. Zero must have done something ugly to his sister because he doesn't want anything to do with zero.

My knowledge of the game is basically 5-year old soccer. My son JT played it then but the other parents asked us to stop bringing him because all he did was run around and knock over the little girls. That is not an exaggeration.

He did grow up on the video game FIFA though and became a huge Cristiano Ronaldo fan so we watched a bunch of Real Madrid games. We also get into the World Cup every four years.

I've been to a few Dynamo games. BBVA is one of our best stadiums. Their first manager Dominic Kinnear was a great guy. He was on the show a bunch and liked to give us the business. Then we had their next manager Owen Coyle on on a weekly basis. His Irish accent was so thick that I couldn't understand anything he said. Our producer Del wrote the questions for me. I'd ask a question then wait until he finished and ask the next. He could have threatened to kill me for all I knew. Couldn't understand a word.

I went and watched our national team play Argentina at NRG a few years ago. That wasn't very exciting. We didn't stand a chance. The difference between the two programs was obvious even to a soccer moron like me. It really wasn't all that surprising that the U.S. didn't qualify for the World Cup. We weren't very good.

And here we are: a new coach and a couple of good young players. Will it make a difference? I hope so. Every four years when the World Cup comes around I hear how soccer is going to take over the States; how baseball and basketball need to step it up or soccer will pass them in popularity. And then the World Cup ends and we're back to watching baseball and basketball again and soccer takes its place in the background.

That the MLS is more or less a second division for soccer doesn't help. We are a major league country. Don't ask us to watch minor league anything. We won't.

We did watch the Dynamo when they were winning titles but they haven't been doing that for a while. They sure could use a star or two. They haven't really had anyone recognizable since Brian Ching. They had a full house for the Tigres game this week. Unfortunately they were mostly all Tigres fans. That's got to change.

A really good U.S. team can change that. We're waiting for soccer to explode here but the only way that's going to happen is if our team makes a deep run in the World Cup. Give us something to cheer about and we will. Soccer guy might not like us all jumping on the bandwagon but I know Glenn Davis won't mind. He works tirelessly to promote the sport he loves in a city that just hasn't been all that receptive lately.

We will be though if Gregg Berhalter just gives us a reason to.

Mauro Manotas scored twice to put a stop to the Dynamo's four-match losing streak. (Credit: Houston Dynamo)

The Houston Dynamo put an end to a four-match losing streak with a 2-2 result at home against the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. It was the first match under Interim Head Coach Davy Arnaud after the firing of the previous manager earlier in the week. In the bigger picture of still making the playoffs, the Dynamo will need to start winning again and see results fall their way as soon as possible. The team's next match is Sunday (7:00 p.m.) at rival FC Dallas.

The Women's local team, the Houston Dash, had a bye week and will be back at home against Sky Blue FC and former Dash Carli Lloyd on Saturday night.

The Leagues Cup tournament continues with Mexican powerhouses Tigres UANL and Club America facing off in the semifinals at BBVA Stadium on Tuesday night. The match has been announced as sold out however tickets are still being sold - the cheapest being a $45 standing room only ticket.

Here are the rest of the top stories from the past week:

English Premier League

Every goal from Premier League 2019/20 Matchweek 2 | NBC Sports www.youtube.com

Matchday 2 Results

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

Spanish La Liga

Highlights Athletic Club vs FC Barcelona (1-0) www.youtube.com

Matchday 1 Results

  • Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona
  • Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid
  • Valencia 1-1 Real Sociedad
  • RCD Mallorca 2-1 Eibar
  • Leganes 0-1 Osasuna
  • Villareal 4-4 Granada
  • Alaves 1-0 Levante
  • Espanyol 0-2 Sevilla
  • Real Betis 1-2 Valladolid
  • Atletico Madrid 1-0 Getafe

German Bundesliga

Emotional Fan Choreography - Union Berlin's Touching Tribute To Deceased Fans www.youtube.com

Matchday 1 Results

  • Bayern Munich 2-2 Hertha Berlin
  • Freiburg 3-0 Mainz
  • Dortmund 5-1 Augsburg
  • Wolfsburg 2-0 Cologne
  • Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Paderborn
  • Werder Bremen 1-3 Fortuna
  • Mönchengladbach 0-0 Schalke 04
  • Eintracht 1-0 Hoffenheim
  • Union Berlin 0-4 RB Leipzig

French Ligue 1

Matchday 2 - Top Results

  • Lyon 6-0 Angers
  • Nantes 0-0 Marseille
  • Metz 3-0 Monaco
  • Amiens 1-0 Lille
  • Rennes 2-1 PSG

Netherlands Eredivisie

Matchday 3 - Top Results

  • VVV-Venlo 1-4 Ajax
  • AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Groningen
  • Feyenoord 1-1 Utrecht
  • Heracles 0-2 PSV
Major League Soccer

LAFC became the first club of the 2019 season that has clinched a spot in the playoffs. Atlanta United had a big week, winning the Campeones Cup (MLS vs. Liga MX Supercup) 3-2 over Club America on Wednesday, that finished with a 2-0 away win at Portland Timbers in an MLS Cup 2018 rematch.

This following week features plenty of rivalry games including LAFC vs. LA Galaxy and Dallas vs. Houston in the Texas Derby.

East top seven: 1. Atlanta (45), 2. Philadelphia (45), 3. NYCFC (41), 4. D.C. United (39), 5. NY Red Bulls (38), 6. New England (35), 7. Montreal (34)

West top seven: 1. x - LAFC (58), 2. Minnesota (42), 3. LA Galaxy (41), 4. Real Salt Lake (40), 5. Seattle (40), 6. San Jose (38), 7. Portland (37)

Scoring leader: 24 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 16 - Maxi Morales (NYCFC)


Liga MX

Top Eight: 1. Queretaro (13), 2. Club America (13), 3. Santos Laguna (12), 4. Tigres UANL (10), 5. Pumas (9), 6. Monterrey 9), 7. Atlas (9), 8. Cruz Azul (8)

Scoring leader: 4 - 4 players tied

Assists leader: 4 - Luis Quinones (Tigres)

Superliga Argentina

El debut de De Rossi en la Bombonera www.youtube.com

Roma legend De Rossi made his long awaited debut at home for Boca Juniors in the 2-0 league win over Aldosivi. The 18-year Serie A veteran could make his debut in Copa Libertadores on Wednesday.

Matchday 3 - Top Results

  • Newell's 2-0 Union
  • San Lorenzo 2-2 Rosario Central
  • Racing Club 1-6 River Plate
  • Defensa y Justicia 0-3 Arsenal Sarandi
  • Boca Juniors 2-0 Aldosivi
  • Estudiantes 3-0 Independiente

National Women's Soccer League

Standings: 1. Portland Thorns (33), 2. Chicago Red Stars (29), 3. North Carolina Courage (28), 4. Utah Royals (27), 5. Reign FC (27), 6. Houston Dash (22), 7. Washington Spirit (21), 8. Sky Blue FC (13), 9. Orlando Pride (11)

Scoring leader: 12 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 5 - Lynn Williams (North Carolina) / Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

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Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, August 20

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

7:30 p.m. - [Leagues Cup] Club America vs. Tigres (ESPN2, TUDN)

9:30 p.m. - [Leagues Cup] LA Galaxy vs. Cruz Azul (ESPN2, TUDN)

Wednesday, August 21

5:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] LDU Quito vs. Boca Juniors (beIN Sports)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS] DC United vs. NY Red Bulls (UniMas, TUDN)

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

9:30 p.m. - [MLS] LAFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (UniMas, TUDN)

Thursday, August 22

5:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] River Plate vs. Cerro Porteño (beIN Sports)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Sudamericana] Corinthians vs. Fluminense (beIN Sports)

8:30 p.m. - [MLS] Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United (ESPN)

Friday, August 23

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Koln vs. Borussia Dortmund (FS2)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Aston Villa vs. Everton (NBC Sports)

3:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Levante vs. Villarreal (beIN Sports)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS] Orlando City vs. Atlanta United (ESPN)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS] Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders (ESPN)

Saturday, August 24

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

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Dusseldorf vs. Bayer Leverkusen (FS1, TUDN)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace (NBC Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Liverpool vs. Arsenal (NBC)

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke vs. Bayern Munich (FS1, TUDN)

12:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Valladolid (beIN Sports)

6:00 p.m. - [MLS] NYCFC vs. NY Red Bulls (ESPN2)

7:30 p.m. - [NWSL] Houston Dash vs. Sky Blue FC (YahooSports.com)

Sunday, August 18

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Bournemouth vs. Manchester City (NBC Sports)

10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports)

12:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Leganes vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports)

3:00 p.m. - [NWSL] Portland Thorns vs. Chicago Red Stars (ESPNews)

5:00 p.m. - [MLS] FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew (FS1)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS] FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo (FS1)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS] LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (FS1)

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