Soccer Recap: Houston Dynamo send off U.S. legend Beasley with win; four unbeaten in Europe's top leagues

Houston Dynamo supporters bid farewell to DaMarcus Beasley with a tifo comemorating his career. Courtesy: Houston Dynamo

The 2019 Major League Soccer season has come to an end and will commence after the upcoming FIFA International break. In Europe, four teams in the top five leagues have reached the break with an unbeaten record in league play. Here are the top stories from the week:

Major League Soccer

All 14 playoff spots are accounted for in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs (see standings below). With every match played simultaneously on Sunday, there was also plenty of drama in the golden boot race - won by LAFC's Carlos Vela with an MLS record 34 goals.

The Houston Dynamo sent off U.S. Men's National Team Legend DaMarcus Beasley with a 4-2 win over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy. Beasley is the only player to have featured in four FIFA World Cup tournaments for the USA and also enjoyed time at historic European clubs like PSV, Rangers and Manchester City.

Final Standings

East: 1. y - NYCFC (64), 2. x - Atlanta (58), 3. x - Philadelphia (55), 4. x - Toronto (50), 5. x - D.C. United (50), 6. x - NY Red Bulls (48), 7. x - New England (45), 8. Chicago (42), 9. Montreal (41), 10. Columbus (38), 11. Orlando (37), 12. Cincinnati (24)

West: 1. s - LAFC (72), 2. x - Seattle (56), 3. x - Real Salt Lake (53), 4. x - Minnesota (53), 5. x - LA Galaxy (51), 6. x - Portland (49), 7. x - Dallas (48), 8. San Jose (44), 9. Colorado (42), 10. Houston (40), 11. Kansas City (38), 12. Vancouver (34)

Golden Boot: 34 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Most Assists: 20 - Maxi Morales (NYCFC)

National Women's Soccer League

Only one match took place in league play due to the FIFA International window in the women's game - the Washington Spirit won 3-0 over last place Orlando. The Houston Dash, meanwhile, took their "off" week to travel down to Monterrey, Mexico to take on Liga MX Femenil side Tigres. Kealia Ohai scored in the opening minutes but, after many Dash changes at halftime, the Mexican champions would end up winning 2-1 after two second half goals.

Standings: 1. s - North Carolina Courage (46), 2. x - Chicago Red Stars (44), 3. x - Portland Thorns (39), 4. x - Reign FC (37), 5. Washington Spirit (33), 6. Utah Royals (31), 67. 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 8 Results

  • Brighton 3-0 Tottenham
  • Norwich 1-5 Aston Villa
  • Watford 0-0 Sheffield Utd
  • Burnley 1-0 Everton
  • Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City
  • West Ham 1-2 Crystal Palace
  • Southampton 1-4 Chelsea
  • Manchester City 0-2 Wolves
  • Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth
  • Newcastle 1-0 Manchester United

Top six: Liverpool (24), Man City (16), Arsenal (15), Leicester City (14),Chelsea (14), Crystal Palace (14)

Scoring leader: 8 - Sergio Aguero (Man City) / Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

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

Spanish La Liga

Top six: Real Madrid (18), FC Barcelona (16), Atletico Madrid (15), Granada (14), Real Sociedad (13), Sevilla (13)

Scoring leader: 6 - Gerard Moreno (Villareal) / Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) / Lorenzo Garica (Real Betis)

Assists leader: 3 - Several players tied

German Bundesliga

Top six: Monchengladbach (16), Wolfburg (15), Bayern Munich (14), Freiburg (14), RB Leipzig (14), Schalke 04 (14)

Scoring leader: 11 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 5 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)

Italian Serie A

Top six: Juventus (19), Inter Milan (18), Atalanta (16), Napoli (13), Roma (12), Lazio (11)

Scoring leader: 7 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 5 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top six: PSG (21), Nantes (19), Angers (16), Bordeaux (15), Lille (15), Reims (14)

Scoring leader: 7 - Victor Osimhen (Lille)

Assists leader: 5 - Islam Slimani (Monaco) / Yoann Court (Brest)

Netherlands Eredivisie

Top four: Ajax (23), PSV (23), AZ Alkmaar (20), Vitesse (20)

Scoring leader: 10 - Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)

Assists leader: 8 - Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

Mexican Liga MX

Top Eight: 1. Necaxa (24), 2. Santos Laguna (23), 3. Queretaro (21), 4. Club America (21), 5. Leon (20), 6. Tigres UANL (20), 7. Pachuca (18), 8. Pumas (18)

Scoring leader: 8 - Julio Furch (Santos) / Mauro Quiroga (Necaxa)

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

Argentina Superliga

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)

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Justin Verlander's struggles continue in the World Series. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

For the second straight year, the World Series was back in Houston. For the fifth time in franchise history, the Astros opened the Fall Classic with a loss in Game One.

It was a solo home run by J.T. Realmuto that was the final nail in the coffin for Houston, and lifted the Philadelphia Phillies over the Astros 6-5 in the opening game.

The Houston Astros turned to ace pitcher Justin Verlander for Game One to start the Fall Classic on the right note. Through the first three innings, it went as perfectly as it could for the Astros, which makes the loss sting a whole lot more. Verlander went through the Phillies order with no issues. He did not even give up a single hit.

Kyle Tucker got things rolling on offense for Houston. He hit a solo home run in the second inning, and then after a couple more base hits by Yuli Gurriel and Chas McCormick, Martin Maldonaldo made it 2-0 with a ground ball to center that brought Gurriel home.

Tucker continued to be an offensive force for the Astros when he launched another bomb, this time a three-run homer that made it 5-0 in favor of Houston in the third.

Then the tide turned against Verlander. An innocent single by Rhys Hoskins with one out was the Phillies’ first hit of the game. With two outs, a red-hot Bryce Harper singled in the fourth inning.

He was followed by Nick Castellanos, who also singled and brought Hoskins home. It was Alec Bohm that hit the first major punch to the Astros with a double that brought Harper and Castellanos home to score as well and made it 5-3 Astros.

In the fifth, Brandon Marsh doubled to left. Kyle Schwarber walked, and after a pop out by Hoskins, it was Realmuto who made it a brand new game for Philadelphia with a rocket fly ball that brought Marsh and Schwarber around to score and tied the game at five.

Verlander pitched 5.0 innings, allowed five earned runs, six hits, walked two batters and struck out five. Philadelphia starting pitcher Aaron Nola went only 4.1 innings, also allowing five earned runs, six hits, two walked batters and also had five strikeouts.

Luis Garcia was the losing pitcher. He gave up the home run to Realmuto in the 10th.

The Astros will turn to Framber Valdez in Game Two. Philadelphia will turn to Zack Wheeler.

For Houston, Jose Altuve’s postseason hitting struggles continued. In five at-bats, his lone hit came on a soft fly ball that found open space between the Phillies outfield and infield in the ninth.

Yordan Alvarez went 0-for-4. Tucker was the Houston player of the game. He hit two home runs in five at-bat appearances.

Houston had a final chance at tying or potentially stealing the win late with both Alex Bregman and Gurriel getting on base in the bottom of the 10th, but Aledmys Díaz grounded out and that was the game.

Up next: The Astros play Game 2 against the Phillies at 7 PM on Saturday night.

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