THE SOCCER REPORT

Soccer Recap: Flamengo champions of South America, Man City comeback vs. Chelsea

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Copa Libertadores Final

Brazilian club Flamengo defeated Argentina's River Plate to claim the 2019 Copa Libertadores, the continental championship of South America. It is the second Libertadores in the club's history and first since 1981. River Plate held a 1-0 lead for 89 minutes before Gabriel Barbosa struck twice in the 89th minute and in second half stoppage time to turn the game on its head. Flamengo will represent CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, in December's FIFA Club World Cup.

The match was the first one-game final in the tournament's history and took place in Lima, Peru - moved from its original setting of Santiago, Chile due to the ongoing protests.

AFC Champions League

Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal claimed their third AFC Champions League title with a 2-1 aggregate win over Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds. Former MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco won Man of the Match honors for Al-Hilal, who now head to December's FIFA Club World Cup.

English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (37), 2. Leicester City (29), 3. Man City (28), 4. Chelsea (26), 5. Arsenal (19), 6. Sheffield Utd (18)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. Norwich City (10), 19. Southampton (9), 20. Watford (8)

Scoring leader: 12 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

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

Spanish La Liga

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (28), 2. Real Madrid (28), 3. Sevilla (27), 4. Atletico Madrid (25), 5. Athletic Bilbao (23), 6. Real Sociedad (23)

Bottom three: 18. Celta Vigo (12), 19. Espanyol (9), 20. Leganes (6)

Scoring leader: 10 - Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Assists leader: 5 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Monchengladbach (25), 2. RB Leipzig (24), 3. Bayern Munich (24), 4. Freiburg (22), 5. Schalke 04 (22), 6. Dortmund (20)

Bottom three: 16. Fortuna (11), 17. Cologne (7), 18. Paderborn (5)

Scoring leader: 16 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 7 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Juventus (35), 2. Inter Milan (34), 3. Lazio (27), 4. Cagliari (25), 5. Roma (25), 6. Atalanta (22)

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

Scoring leader: 15 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 9 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (33), 2. Marseille (25), 3. Angers (24), 4. Bordeaux (22)

Bottom three: 18. Metz (14), 19. Tolouse (12), 20. Nimes (11)

Scoring leader: 10 - Moussa Dembele (Lyon)

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

Liga MX

Liga MX Femenil

TV listings (All Times CT):

Tuesday, November 26

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Bayer Leverkusen (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

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

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

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid (Galavision)

Wednesday, November 27

11:55 a.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Valencia vs. Chelsea (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)

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

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

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Liverpool vs. Napoli (TNT, Galavision)

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Composite image by Brandon Strange.

In recent reports, there have been multiple rumors that the 76ers could make a push for James Harden if they can sign Mike D' Antoni as their head coach. As the 76ers fired Brett Brown in August, they are now looking for a culture change. So, it won't come as a surprise if the 76ers try to trade Joel Embiid for Harden. Hopefully, Daryl Morey recognizes the talent of Harden and rejects the idea of trading him.

Harden is easily the second greatest Rocket of in franchise history, including being second in scoring. In Harden's eight-year tenure with the Rockets, he has become an NBA MVP, made the All-NBA team seven times, three-time scoring champ, and an eight-time All-Star. Harden's resume with the Rockets is impressive, including going to Western Conference Finals twice. Ever since Harden came to Houston in 2012, he revamped the Rockets' franchise with eight consecutive playoff runs. Before Harden came to the Rockets, this franchise had missed the playoffs three times in a row.

Harden also attracted huge free agents like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook, which helped him succeed in his Rockets tenure. He has made the Rockets an attractive team to play on since being in Houston for eight years.

Even though Harden has been great with the Rockets, he has not reached the Finals yet. That has been the huge question mark on Harden's resume while playing for the Rockets. Honestly, there are certain moments when Harden has disappeared in big games. In 2015 versus the Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Semifinals, Harden shot 5 of 20 from the field, and was benched in the 4th quarter by Kevin McHale, as the Rockets were led by Josh Smith to force a Game 7 in Houston. Also, during the Spurs-Rockets Western Semifinals of 2017, Harden had another disappearance in Game 6. Harden shot 2 of 11 from the field with only 10 points as the Rockets lost to the Spurs 114-75 without Kawhi Leonard.

Despite those two horrible examples, Harden was extremely close in 2018 versus the Warriors but an injury to Paul's hamstring stopped the Rockets' momentum, as they lost in game 7 by missing 22 straight three-pointers. The following year, the Rockets lost to the Warriors again without Kevin Durant because Paul and Harden were not on the same page in the Western Semifinals. Things were not different this year, as the Rockets were overpowered by the Lakers 4-1.

Trading the 32-year-old Harden could be tempting because of the recent playoff failures, but he is a generational player. In the last 5 years, Harden has dominated the NBA with his elite scoring. Harden has averaged over 30 plus points per game in the last three seasons. He is also classified as one of the greatest scorers of all-time behind Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Wilt Chamberlin.

Stephen A. Smith lays out why he thinks Harden is the greatest scorer currently in the NBA in the video below.

James Harden is 'the greatest scorer in the NBA' - Stephen A. | First Take youtu.be

After all the things Harden has accomplished in Houston, is he still untouchable? Honestly, if Harden is traded, the culture for the Rockets will drastically change, especially with new players coming to Houston. In my opinion, Harden and Morey are very close but Morey is blinded by his own decisions because of Harden. Morey built this team around James and does anything to please him. He wanted to keep D'Antoni around because of Harden, which is not helpful for the Rockets. If the Rockets are going to win big, Morey has to be stronger with his own judgement of the team, and not Harden's.

If the Rockets decided to trade James Harden to the 76ers, they could receive Embiid and Josh Richardson, which is still good. The Rockets would get a big man, who is a superstar, and a great wing defender, which gave Harden problems two years when he played for the Heat. This would not be bad decision if the Rockets decided to move on from Harden.

Before Morey decides to pull the trigger, he needs to digest Harden's accolades, including his shortcomings. Hopefully, the right decision is made for the Rockets' organization.

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