THE SOCCER REPORT

Soccer Recap: Messi, Rapinoe named Ballon d'Or winners, Liga MX playoffs down to four

Lionel Messi is the only player to win six Ballon d'Or trophies. Credit: Getty Images

Messi wins record 6th Ballon d'Or, Rapinoe wins first

Lionel Messi is back on top of the men's soccer pyramid as the "best in the world" after winning the famed Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) award for the first time since 2015 - breaking a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo for most all-time with six. Ronaldo finished third in the 2019 voting with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk finishing second.

In the women's category, USA forward Megan Rapinoe was named the winner ahead of England's Lucy Bronze and fellow USA teammate Alex Morgan. It is only the second year that a Women's Ballon d'Or is awarded.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded since 1956 by France Football magazine and is considered the standard for recognizing the world's best player, even over FIFA's annual Player of the Year award.

English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (40), 2. Leicester City (32), 3. Man City (29), 4. Chelsea (26), 5. Tottenham (20), 6. Wolves (20)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. Southampton (12), 19. Norwich City (11), 20. Watford (8)

Scoring leader: 13 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

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

Spanish La Liga

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (31), 2. Real Madrid (31), 3. Sevilla (30), 4. Real Sociedad (26), 5. Athletic Bilbao (26), 6. Atletico Madrid (25)

Bottom three: 18. Celta Vigo (13), 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 (28), 2. RB Leipzig (27), 3. Schalke 04 (25), 4. Bayern Munich (24), 5. Dortmund (23), 6. Freiburg (22)

Bottom three: 16. Hertha Berlin (11), 17. Cologne (8), 18. Paderborn (5)

Scoring leader: 16 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 8 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Inter Milan (37), 2. Juventus (36), 3. Lazio (30), 4. Cagliari (28), 5. Roma (28), 6. Atalanta (25)

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

Scoring leader: 17 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 9 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

French Ligue 1

Top four: 1. PSG (33), 2. Marseille (28), 3. Angers (24), 4. Bordeaux (23)

Bottom three: 18. Dijon (15), 19. Nimes (12), 20. Tolouse (12)

Scoring leader: 10 - Moussa Dembele (Lyon)

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

Liga MX Playoffs

The playoffs stage in Mexican football kicked off with the quarter-finals, a round in which all top four seeds feel over the two-leg series.

Quarterfinal results:

  • Club Leon 4-5 agg. Monarcas Morelia
  • Queretaro 2-6 agg. Necaxa
  • Santos Laguna 3-6 agg. Monterrey
  • Club America 2-4 agg. Tigres UANL

Liga MX Femenil Playoffs

The final of the female Liga MX division kicked off it's two leg series with a 1-1 draw between Monterrey rivals Tigres UANL and Rayadas in front of a league-record 41,615 attendance. The return leg is scheduled for Saturday, December 7 at Estadio BBVA.

Real Madrid visited Houston last July as part of the 2019 International Champions Cup. Manuel Gonzalez / DTUSA

The 2020 MLS SuperDraft brought a few more additions to the Houston Dynamo, bringing the number of players under contract to 25 as of Tuesday morning. South of the border, the Clausura 2020 season got underway in Liga MX and cup action dominates the talk over in Europe.

Here are the top stories of the weekend:

Houston Dynamo add Croatian GK, select four MLS SuperDraft

The Dynamo officially announced the signing of GK Marko Marić from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Monday. The Austrian born player who has played internationally for Croatia is expected to be the starting man in goal this season. The signing was first reported by KXLN's Lester Gretsch back in December.

The club also selected four players in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, two in Rounds 1 & 2 on Thursday followed by the other two in Round 3 & 4 on Monday. The selections, which still have to come to terms on a contract, are as follows:

  • Rd 1, #8 overall - F Garrett McLaughlin (SMU)
  • Rd 2, #34 overall - M Luka Prpa (Marquette)
  • Rd 3, #70 overall - GK Duncan Turnball (Notre Dame)
  • Rd 4, #86 overall - F Kyle Edwards (UTRGV)

For a full list of Matt Jordan's selections in the SuperDraft during his Dynamo tenure click here. Also, check out the top five draft picks in club history.


English Premier League

Top six: 1. Liverpool (61), 2. Man City (47), 3. Leicester City (45), 4. Chelsea (39), 5. Man Utd (34), 6. Sheffield (32)

Bottom three (relegation): 18. Aston Villa (21), 19. Bournemouth (20), 20. Norwich City (14)

Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Assists leader: 14 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Real Madrid win Spanish Super Cup

FC Barcelona sack Manager Ernesto Valverde

Mexican star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez linked to LA Galaxy

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. Juventus (48), 2. Inter Milan (46), 3. Lazio (42), 4. Atalanta (35), 5. Roma (34), 6. Cagliari (29)

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

Scoring leader: 20 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)

Liga MX Clausura 2020 kicks off

The second half of the Liga MX calendar year kicked off over the weekend with only four teams not participating in the first week, Apertura 2019 finalists Monterrey and Club America among them. The teams that took three points in their first outing of the year were Leon, Chivas Guadalajara, Atlas, Pumas UNAM, Xolos of Tijuana and Toluca.

TV listings (All Times CT):

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

Tuesday, January 14

8:00 a.m. - [Coppa Italia] Napoli vs. Perugia (ESPN+)

11:00 a.m. - [Coppa Italia] Lazio vs. Cremonese (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Inter vs. Cagliari (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Tottenham vs. Middlesbrough (ESPN+)

Wednesday, January 15

11:00 a.m. - [Coppa Italia] Milan vs. SPAL (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Juventus vs. Udinese (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [English FA Cup] Manchester United vs. Wolves (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [Ligue 1] Monaco vs. PSG (beINSports)

Thursday, January 16

2:00 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Parma vs. Roma (ESPN+)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] FC Juarez vs. Pumas UNAM (TUDN)

Friday, January 17

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke 04 vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (FS2, TUDN)

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Leganes vs. Getafe (beIN Sports)

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

Saturday, January 18

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

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Augsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund (FS1, FOX Deportes)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Hoffenheim vs. Frankfurt (FS2, TUDN)

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

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

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

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] RB Leipzig vs. FC Union Berlin (FS2, FOX Deportes)

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

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Eibar vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports)

5:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Monterrey vs. Monarcas Morelia (FOX Deportes)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Pachuca vs. C.D. Guadalajara (Univision, TUDN)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Club America vs. Tigres (Univision, TUDN)

Sunday, January 19

5:30 a.m. - [Serie A] A.C. Milan vs. Udinese (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

8:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Lecce vs. Inter (ESPN+)

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Burnley vs. Leicester City (NBC Sports)

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

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

11:00 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Paderborn vs. Bayer Leverkusen (FS2, FOX Deportes)

11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Genoa vs. AS Roma (ESPN+)

11:30 a.m. - [Liga MX] Toluca vs. Necaxa (Univision, TUDN)

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

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

3:30 p.m. - [Liga MX] Queretaro vs. Tijuana (TUDN)

6:45 p.m. - [Liga MX] Santos Laguna vs. Leon (FOX Deportes)

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