THE SOCCER REPORT

Soccer Recap: Liverpool win FIFA Club World Cup, Dynamo eye Liga MX goalkeeper

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The year may be winding down but the soccer schedule sure isn't. The Premier League will have the spotlight for Boxing Day while a new Liga MX champion will be crowned. Below is a list of upcoming matches plus a review of the past week in the world's most popular sport.

Liverpool FC conquer first Club World Cup title

European Champions Liverpool joined the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup with a 2-1 win in stoppage time over Concacaf Champions Monterrey in the semifinal midweek. They would close out the deal with an extra time 1-0 win over South American Champions Flamengo. Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino was the hero with the late goals in both of the matches.

Monterrey defeated Asian Champions Al-Hilal 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the third place match. Monterrey now returns to Mexico with their sights set on the Liga MX final for the Apertura 2019 season.

Liga MX talent continues immigration to MLS

Lucas Zelarayan was the latest name this week to go from a Liga MX club to Major League Soccer this offseason. The former Tigres UANL midfielder joins Columbus Crew on a reported $8 million transfer fee.

Other Liga MX to MLS moves this offseason:

  • Alan Pulido - CD Guadalajara to Sporting Kansas City (~ $9.5 million)
  • Lucas Cavalini - Puebla to Vancouver Whitecaps FC ($6 million)
Among the transfer season hot stove between the two leagues are the Houston Dynamo who have shown interest in former U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper William Yarbrough, a two-time Liga MX champion with Club Leon. The move would reunite the Mexican-born goalie with new Dynamo coach Tab Ramos, a former USMNT assistant under Jurgen Klinsmann.

ESPN 97.5 FM host Glenn Davis has confirmed interest in the player by the Houston club, citing transfer fee negotiations as the "final hurdle." The Athletic's Jeff Reuter has added that a loan deal could be a possibility.

European Roundup

English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (49), 2. Leicester City (39), 3. Man City (38), 4. Chelsea (32), 5. Sheffield Utd (28), 6. Wolves (27)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. Aston Villa (15), 19. Norwich City (12), 20. Watford (12)

Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Assists leader: 10 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Spanish La Liga

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (39), 2. Real Madrid (37), 3. Sevilla (34), 4. Atletico Madrid (32), 5. Real Sociedad (31), 6. Getafe (30)

Bottom three: 18. Celta Vigo (14), 19. Leganes (13), 20. Espanyol (10)

Scoring leader: 13 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 6 - Four players tied

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. RB Leipzig (37), 2. Monchengladbach (35), 3. Bayern Munich (33), 4. Dortmund (30), 5. Schalke 04 (30), 6. Bayer 04 (28)

Bottom three: 16. Fortuna (15), 17. Werder Bremen (14), 18. Paderborn (12)

Scoring leader: 19 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 11 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Inter Milan (42), 2. Juventus (42), 3. Lazio (36), 4. Roma (35), 5. Atalanta (31), 6. Cagliari (29)

Bottom three: 18. Brescia (14), 19. SPAL (12), 20. Genoa (11)

Scoring leader: 17 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (45), 2. Marseille (38), 3. Rennes (33), 4. Lille (31)

Bottom three: 18. Amiens (17), 19. Nimes (12), 20. Toulouse (12)

Scoring leader: 13 - Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)

Assists leader: 7 - Three players tied

TV listings (All Times CT):

Thursday, December 26

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

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

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester United vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports)

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

7:30 p.m. - [Liga MX Final - 1st leg] Monterrey vs. Club America (FS1, FOX Deportes)

Friday, December 27

1:45 p.m. - [Premier League] Wolves vs. Manchester City (NBC Sports)

Saturday, December 28

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

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

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Norwich vs. Tottehnam (NBC)

1:45 p.m. - [Premier League] Burnley vs. Manchester United (NBC)

Saturday, December 29

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Arsenal vs. Chelsea (NBC Sports)

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

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX Final - 2nd leg] Club America vs. Monterrey (Univision, TUDN)

THE SOCCER REPORT

Soccer suspended worldwide by Coronavirus

The newly renamed BBVA Stadium. Photo courtesy of BBVA

In the span of a week, "the world's game" went from business as usual, while keeping a close eye on the Coronavirus situation, to most leagues stopping play altogether. The powers that be now look to solutions for some of the world's top competitions like the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League.

UPDATE: Both the UEFA EURO (European Championship) and CONMEBOL Copa America (South American Championship), the two most renowned international tournaments after the FIFA World Cup, announced the postponement of their 2020 editions on Tuesday. Both tournaments will now be played in the Summer of 2021.


Concacaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) also annnounced the suspension of it's international competitons, most importantly the Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament in late March. No announcement has been made yet as to what the fate will be for the Concacaf Nations League, the semifinals of which are scheduled to take place this June in Houston.

Here is the updates on the status of club football:

UEFA Champions League / Europa League

The UEFA Champions League and Europa League are suspended for the moment after due in big part to the inability of Italian teams to take part in the Round of 16 stage of either tournament. Some matches had already taken place with no spectators but the implementation of a nationwide quarantine in Italy and, subsequently, Spain have complicated the tournament to continue.

Update: UEFA hosted a videoconference with Presidents and General Secretaries of the 55 national associations, representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe on Tuesday to discuss the rest of the season.

The decision to postpone EURO 2020, and the colaboration for Copa America to do the same, was made to clear the schedule during the summer for club competitions. Now it's a wait and see but there is optimism to resume play as early as April and finish in late June or July.

CONMEBOL Libertadores / Copa Sudamericana

South America's club championships are on hold for the time being and will also benefit from the Copa America suspension to have a clear schedule this summer.

English Premier League

The Premier League went from expecting to play the weekend schedule to doing a 180 and announcing the suspension of the league after the news broke of Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta testing positive for Coronavirus.

Spain's La Liga

German Bundesliga

Italian Serie A

French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 has set April 15th as a target date for the best case scenario to comeback from the Coronavirus hiatus. The date takes into account two weeks of training before the league resumes.

Major League Soccer

National Women's Soccer League

Liga MX / Ascenso MX/ MX Femenil

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