THE SOCCER REPORT

Soccer Recap: USA, Netherlands winners during international break; Pochettino, Maradona sacked

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Twenty European countries have booked their place for next year's EURO 2020, the inaugural Concacaf Nations League is in the books and Brazil won the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Among the other top stories in soccer this week:

  • Soccer Legend Diego Maradona resigns as coach of Argentina's Gimnasia two months after taking the job
  • Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur part ways with Manager Mauricio Pochettino just six months after participating in first UEFA Champions League Final
  • U.S. Soccer Legend Landon Donovan to debut coaching career in 2020
  • Houston Dynamo announced the acquisition of former Liga MX forward Darwin Quintero
  • Mexican clubs face off at BBVA Stadium in friendly as Rayados of Monterrey defeated Club America, 2-1

2019 FIFA U17 World Cup

Brazil came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Mexico on Sunday night and win the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019™ at Brasilia's Estadio Bezerrao. Falling beh...

Concacaf Nations League

Highlights 🎥: @USMNT 🇺🇸defeats @CanadaSoccer 🇨🇦 4-1 in Orlando in #CNL League A #FollowTheDream

UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying

Countries qualified to EURO 2020

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Finland
  • France (World Cup champion)
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal (defending champion)
  • Rep. Czech
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Swiss
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Wales

International Friendlies

Messi y Luis Suárez empatan el Clásico del Río de la Plata. Messi anotando de penal, en un juego que mostró otro lado de Suárez: su tiro libre. Edinson Cavan...

USL Championship

Louisville City FC squared off with Real Monarchs SLC in the 2019 USL Championship Final on Sunday night at Lynn Stadium.

Liga MX

El conjunto Rayado comenzó perdiendo el encuentro frente a las Águilas del América pero tras empatar los de Monterrey superaron a los de Coapa dando la vuelt...

Liga MX Femenil

TV listings (All Times CT):

Friday, November 22

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Borussia Dortmund vs. SC Paderborn 07 (FS2, FOX Deportes)

1:45 p.m. - [Ligue 1] PSG vs. Lille (beIN Sports)

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Levante vs. Mallorca (beIN SPORTS en Español)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Puebla vs. Necaxa (TUDN)

Saturday, November 23

6:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Leganes vs. FC Barcelona (beIN SPORTS)

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

8:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Atalanta vs. Juventus (ESPNews, ESPN Deportes)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Fortuna Düsseldorf vs. FC Bayern Munich (FS1, Univision, TUDN)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg (FS2, FOX Deportes)

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

9:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Real Betis vs. Valencia (beIN SPORTS)

11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] A.C. Milan vs. Napoli (ESPN+)

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

11:30 a.m. - [La Liga] Granada vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN SPORTS)

1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Torino vs. Inter Milan (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad (beIN SPORTS)

2:00 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores Final] Flamengo vs. River Plate (beIN SPORTS)

5:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Queretaro vs. Morelia (UniMas)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Cruz Azul vs. Atletico de San Luis (Univision, TUDN)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Pachuca vs. Pumas UNAM (Univision, TUDN)

Sunday, November 24

8:00 a.m. - [Ligue 1] Bordeaux vs. Monaco (beIN Sports)

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

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

11:00 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Hoffenheim vs. Mainz (FS1)

11:00 a.m. - [Liga MX] Toluca vs. Santos Laguna (Univision, TUDN)

6:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Juarez vs. Tigres UANL (TUDN)

Monday, November 25

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

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Aston Villa vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports)

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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