CH14 doubles Zlatan's sales

Soccer: Chicharito's MLS impact, USWNT perfect in Olympic Qualifying, Houston in talks to host Concacaf Nations League

Photo: LA Galaxy

Liverpool continue to run rampant in England, Real Madrid have taken a solid hold of the top spot in Spain and transfer talk continues in Major League Soccer with less than a month left from the beginning of the 2020 season.

Houston Dynamo announce Liga MX friendly; GK Marko Maric arrives

It looks like Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas are here to stay after another transfer window has passed and both went unsold to European suitors. The Dynamo will need every bit of firepower they can get as they kick off the season on Feb. 29 against the LA Galaxy.

Offseason signing Marko Maric has arrived to the club and is expected to be the starting goalkeeper this season. You can learn more about the Croatian international in his interview on Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis.

Houston Dash continue offseason roster turnover

The Houston Dash have traded away fan favorites Amber Brooks and Sofia Huerta, both starters in 2019, to add to the offseason turnover that saw Kealia Ohai also traded earlier this offseason. What looks like a fresh start for all involved is shaping up to be James Clarkson's most challenging season yet in only his second year in the women's game.

USWNT open 2020 with sweep in Olympic Qualifying group matches in Houston

As expected, the United States Women's National Team went three for three at BBVA Stadium to start their Olympic Qualifying campaign. They await either Canada or Mexico in the semifinals for a spot at Tokyo 2020.

Results:

  • January 28 - USA 4-0 Haiti
  • January 31 - USA 8-0 Panama
  • February 3 - USA 6-0 Costa Rica
Upcoming Matches:
  • February 7 - USA vs. Canada/Mexico [win punches ticket to Tokyo Olympics]
  • February 9 - Olympic Qualifying Tournament Final

USMNT open 2020 with 1-0 win over Costa Rica

Eighteen-year-old Ulysses Llanez scored his first international goal in the U.S. Men's 1-0 win over a "B-team" Costa Rica in a non-FIFA date friendly at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California over the weekend. It was the first friendly of the year for the USMNT who culminate their annual January Camp with a W.

Impact of Chicharito arrival, another Mexican star  could be heading to MLS

The Mexican star and the national team's all-time goalscorer has been the talk of the MLS offseason with his arrival to the Los Angeles Galaxy. The former Chivas of Guadalajara, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker is slated to be the highest-paid player in league history and has already had "double" the impact on season ticket sales than when Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined the Galaxy. LA open the season on the road in Houston on Feb. 29.

Hernandez might not be the last Mexican star joining the league this winter as David Beckham's Inter Miami CF is about to sign Monterrey's Rodolfo Pizarro, according to reports including The Athletic's Paul Tenorio. MLS also signed reigning Liga MX joint goalscorer Alan Pulido this offseason, joining Sporting Kansas City.

Houston to host Concacaf Nations League semis in June

The Men's national teams of USA, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica are heading to Houston this summer for the semifinals of the Concacaf Nations League, as first reported out of Honduras. The latest report locally (from Glenn Davis) is that the matches could be hosted in two separate venues on the same night - as opposed to the usual doubleheaders at NRG for Concacaf Gold Cup action.

The Dynamo's BBVA Stadium would host USA vs. Honduras while Mexico vs. Costa Rica would take place at the Texans' NRG Stadium. The final would be at the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Negotiations are still taking place but an official announcement could come as early as this coming week, according to reports.

English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (73), 2. Man City (51), 3. Leicester City (49), 4. Chelsea (41), 5. Tottenham (37), 6. Sheffield (36)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. West Ham (24), 19. Watford (23), 20. Norwich City (18)

Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Assists leader: 15 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Top six: 1. Real Madrid (49), 2. FC Barcelona (46), 3. Getafe (39), 4. Sevilla (39), 5. Valencia (37), 6. Atletico Madrid (36)

Bottom three: 18. Leganes (18), 19. Celta Vigo (17), 20. Espanyol (15)

Scoring leader: 14 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 8 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Bayern Munich (42), 2. RB Leipzig (41), 3. Dortmund (39), 4. Monchengladbach (39), 5. Bayer Leverkusen (34), 6. Schalke 04 (24)

Bottom three: 16. Werder Bremen (17), 17. Fortuna (16), 18. Paderborn (15)

Scoring leader: 22 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 12 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Juventus (54), 2. Inter Milan (51), 3. Lazio (49), 4. Atalanta (39), 5. Roma (39), 6. Cagliari (32)

Bottom three: 18. Genoa (16), 19. Brescia (15), 20. SPAL (15)

Scoring leader: 25 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (55), 2. Marseille (43), 3. Rennes (40), 4. Lille (34)

Bottom three: 18. Amiens (19), 19. Nimes (18), 20. Toulouse (13)

Scoring leader: 15 - Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)

Assists leader: 8 - Angel Di Maria (PSG)

Liga MX

Clausura 2020

Top eight: 1. Leon (9), 2. Queretaro (9), 3. Pumas (8), 4. Juarez (7), 5. Necaxa (7), 6. Guadalajara (6), 7. Atletico San Luis (6), 8. Atlas (6)

Scoring leader: 5 - Angel Mena (Leon)

Assists leader: 3 - Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul)

Throwback moment: First MLS Jersey Unveiling

Ahead of this week's jersey unveiling in New York City for MLS' 25th season, here's a look back at the first ever jersey announcement. Current Houston Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos was the model for the NY/NJ MetroStars.

TV news: FOX Sports locks down Concacaf broadcasting rights

TV listings (All Times CT):

For full info on soccer TV listings and streaming services in the United States, visit worldsoccertalk.com

Tuesday, February 4

11:30 a.m. - [German Cup] Frankfurt vs. RB Leipzig (ESPN3, ESPN Deportes)

1:30 p.m. - [German Cup] Werder Bremen vs. Dortmund (ESPN3)

2:00 p.m. - [Ligue 1] Nantes vs. PSG (beIN Sports)

2:00 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Oxford United vs. Newcastle (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [Copa del Rey] Granada vs. Valencia (ESPN+)

Wednesday, February 5

11:30 a.m. - [German Cup] Bayer Leverkusen vs. Stuttgart (ESPN3)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim (ESPN3)

1:45 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Tottenham vs. Southampton (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Lazio vs. Hellas Verona (ESPN+)

Thursday, February 6

12:00 p.m. - [Copa del Rey] Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [Copa del Rey] Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona (ESPN+)

Friday, February 7

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

1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Roma vs. Bologna (ESPN+)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Puebla vs. Santos Laguna (TUDN)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Tijuana vs. Toluca (FS2)

Saturday, February 8

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Everton vs. Crystal Palace (NBC Sports)

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

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke 04 vs. Paderborn (TUDN)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Brighton vs. Watford (NBC Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayer Leverkusen vs. Dortmund (FS2, UniMas, TUDN)

1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Hellas Verona vs. Juventus (ESPN+)

5:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Cruz Azul vs. Pachuca (UniMas, TUDN, ESPN Deportes)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Tigres vs. Chivas (Univision, TUDN, ESPN Deportes)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Leon vs. Monterrey (Univision, TUDN)

Sunday, February 9

8:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Napoli vs. Lecce (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

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

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Cologne (FS1)

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

11:00 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig (FS2)

12:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Pumas UNAM vs. Club Atletico de San Luis (Univision, TUDN)

1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Inter vs. AC Milan (ESPN+)

6:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Queretaro vs. Club America (TUDN)

8:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] FC Juarez vs. Necaxa (TUDN)

Finale Istanbul is the Official Match Ball for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League knockout stages. Photo: adidas

Plenty of big name clubs will highlight this week's action in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona face off in the sport's premier rivalry and the 25th season of Major League Soccer gets underway. In the Serie A, matches were postponed over the weekend due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy.

Here is the week in soccer:

International Club competitions

UEFA Champions League

Round of 16 - First Leg

  • Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
  • Dortmund 2-1 PSG
  • Atalanta 4-1 Valencia
  • Tottenham 0-1 RB Leipzig

Concacaf Champions League

Round of 16 - First Leg

  • Portmore United 1-2 Cruz Azul
  • Motagua 1-1 Atlanta United
  • Leon 2-0 LAFC
  • Deportivo Saprissa 2-2 Montreal Impact
  • Alianza 2-1 Tigres UANL
  • Communicaciones 1-1 Club America
  • AD San Carlos 3-5 NYCFC
  • Olimpia 2-2 Seattle Sounders FC

English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (79), 2. Man City (57), 3. Leicester City (50), 4. Chelsea (44), 5. Manchester United (41), 6. Tottenham (40)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. West Ham (24), 19. Watford (24), 20. Norwich City (18)

Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) / Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Assists leader: 16 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (55), 2. Real Madrid (53), 3. Atletico Madrid (43), 4. Sevilla (43), 5. Getafe (42), 6. Real Sociedad (40)

Bottom three: 18. Mallorca (22), 19. Leganes (19), 20. Espanyol (19)

Scoring leader: 18 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 12 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Bayern Munich (49), 2. RB Leipzig (48), 3. Dortmund (45), 4. Monchengladbach (43), 5. Bayer Leverkusen (43), 6. Schalke 04 (36)

Bottom three: 16. Fortuna (20), 17. Werder Bremen (17), 18. Paderborn (16)

Scoring leader: 25 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 14 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund) / Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Juventus (60), 2. Lazio (59), 3. Inter Milan (54), 4. Atalanta (45), 5. Roma (42), 6. Napoli (36)

Bottom three: 18. Genoa (22), 19. Brescia (16), 20. SPAL (15)

Scoring leader: 27 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (65), 2. Marseille (52), 3. Rennes (44), 4. Lille (43)

Bottom three: 18. Nimes (27), 19. Amiens (22), 20. Toulouse (13)

Scoring leader: 16 - Kylian Mbappe (PSG) / Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)

Assists leader: 14 - Angel Di Maria (PSG)

Liga MX

Clausura 2020

Top eight: 1. Club America (16), 2. Leon (15), 3. Pumas UNAM (14), 4. Cruz Azul (13), 5. Queretaro (12), 6. Atletico San Luis (12), 7. Juarez (11), 8. Santos Laguna (11)

Scoring leader: 5 - Angel Mena (Leon) / Ariel Nahuelpan (Queretaro) / Jonathan Rodriguez (Cruz Azul)

Assists leader: 5 - Pablo Barrera (Pumas)

TV listings (All Times CT):

For full info on soccer TV listings and streaming services in the United States, visit worldsoccertalk.com

Tuesday, February 25

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

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Napoli vs. FC Barcelona (UniMas / TUDN, B/R Live)

6:30 p.m. - [Copa Sudamericana] River Plate vs. Deportivo Cali (beIN Sports)

7:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Atlanta United vs. Motagua (FS1, TUDN)

9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Cruz Azul vs. Portmore United (FS2, TUDN)

Wednesday, February 26

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

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

5:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] NYCFC vs. AD San Carlos (FS2, TUDN)

7:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Montreal lmpact vs. Deportivo Saprissa (FS2)

7:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Tigres UANL vs. Alianza (TUDN)

Thursday, February 27

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

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

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

9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] LAFC vs. Club Leon (FS1, TUDN)

9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Seattle Sounders FC vs. Olimpia (FS2)

Friday, February 28

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Dusseldorf vs. Hertha Berlin (FS2, FOX Deportes)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Norwich vs. Leicester City (NBC Sports)

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Sociedad vs. Valladolid (beIN Sports)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Monarcas Morelia vs. Cruz Azul (TUDN)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Club Tijuana vs. Puebla (FOX Deportes)

Saturday, February 29

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Brighton vs. Crystal Palace (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich, (FS1, UniMas, TUDN)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Dortmund vs. Freiburg (FS2, FOX Deportes)

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

9:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Valencia vs. Real Betis (beIN Sports)

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

2:30 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy (Univision)

5:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Pachuca vs. Queretaro (TUDN, ESPN Deportes)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] America vs. Necaxa (Univision)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Tigres UANL vs. Pumas UNAM (Univision)

Sunday, March 1

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Everton vs. Man United(NBC Sports)

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Wovles (NBC Sports Gold)

10:30 a.m. - [English League Cup Final] Manchester City vs. Aston Villa (NBC Sports)

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona (beIN Sports)

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