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
Officially official. #Crew96 x @Lucazelarayan31 https://t.co/5ceL6unfyE— Columbus Crew SC (@Columbus Crew SC) 1576862798.0
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 Dynamowho 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.
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
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)
All of a sudden, the Houston Texans have won three straight and host the Jacksonville Jaguars for a highly anticipated game this weekend
If the Texans come away victorious, they will take possession of first place in the division, and be in position to host a home playoff game for the first time since 2019.
Which got us thinking, is this the best version of the Texans we've ever seen? Many would say the best Texans teams were the ones coached by Gary Kubiak with Matt Schaub at QB. Or some may say it was the Bill O'Brien 2019 team with Deshaun Watson pulling the trigger at QB.
Regardless of which era of the Texans you believe was the best, one thing is for sure. This year's team has us optimistic on several levels. Ownership seems to have figured things out with the Easterby days behind us. Nick Caserio is a serious candidate for Executive of the Year, CJ Stroud is a favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and has a chance to win MVP. And DeMeco Ryans has a legit shot at Coach of the Year.
But let's go even further. Has DeMeco done enough already to be considered the franchise's best coach? Many would say these questions are entirely premature, but are they really?
We could also make the argument that Tank Dell is already the third-best receiver in franchise history behind Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. He already has as many touchdowns (6) as Dre and Hopkins combined in their rookie seasons.
And let's make things even more interesting. Is CJ Stroud the best Houston QB since Warren Moon?
Be sure to watch the video above as we answer all these questions!