News that kicked off 2020
Soccer Report: Dynamo sign Academy prodigy, Dash trade Ohai, Ronaldo scores hat-trick
"The Beautiful Game" never sleeps and that was the case to kick off the new year. The Premier League took the spotlight with New Year's Day action followed by the return of La Liga and Serie A from the holiday break.
Domestically, transfer news continue to dominate the radar in Major League Soccer and the National Women's Soccer League. The 2020 MLS SuperDraft (college draft) will take place on Thursday.
Here are the top stories of the weekend:
Houston Dynamo sign Homegrown Marcelo Palomino
Reported first by Glenn Davis, the Dynamo made the signing of Academy product Marcelo Palomino official on Monday. The midfielder joined the club's youth system as an 11-year-old in 2012 and was part of the U.S. Youth National Team pool from Under-14 to Under-19, crossing paths with current Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos.
The three-time Dynamo Academy Player of the Year left the club over a year ago, despite having a contract offer from the Dynamo, and went on to trials in Portugal and Germany. Most recently, he was playing in Houston with the USL2 side Albion Hurricanes FC who are coached by former MLS midfielder Josh Gardner.
Signing Palomino is a win for a club that has a reputation of not producing enough professional players in a city fervent with a soccer culture. It would appear, at least on the surface, that the hiring of Ramos was the ultimate convincing factor for the player to put pen to paper.
Liga MX GK William Yarbrough no longer a target for Dynamo
The Dynamo are no longer interested in acquiring two-time Liga MX champion and former U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper William Yarbrough, as reported by KXLN's Lester Gretsch. After failing to agree on a transfer fee for the Mexican-born keeper, the Dynamo went on to sign the Austrian-Croatian Marko Maric. The Dynamo will reportedly sign a goalkeeper in the coming weeks, according to The Athletic.
Houston Dash trade Kealia Ohai to Chicago Red Stars for defender Katie Naughton
Kealia Ohai will depart after six seasons with the Houston Dash, reportedly requesting a trade. Ohai was the club's first ever draft pick and went on to score 28 goals in 114 appearances.
"My goal is to become the very best player I could possibly be and I feel like, in order for that to happen, I need a new environment," said Ohai via her social media accounts.
Chicago Red Stars made the NWSL Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and finished 2019 as the runners-up. The Houston Dash have never made the playoffs in their six seasons.
Dash re-sign goalscorer, FIFA Women's World Cup participant Rachel Daly
Some good news for Dash fans is the re-signing of FIFA Women's World Cup veteran Rachel Daly. Since arriving in 2016, Daly has scored 24 goals in 80 matches. The Englishwoman represented her home country at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, where the Lionesses finished as semifinalists.
The news was announced by Head Coach James Clarkson last Thursday during a fan event hosted by Keeper Notes at Pitch 25. An official announcement from the club is imminent.
The congested scheduling continues in the Premier League as teams opened 2020 with New Year's Day action. While the league took a break over the weekend, English clubs took were active in FA Cup action.
Top six: 1. Liverpool (58), 2. Leicester City (45), 3. Man City (44), 4. Chelsea (36), 5. Man Utd (31), 6. Tottenham (30)
Bottom three (relegation): 18. Bournemouth (20), 19. Watford (19), 20. Norwich City (14)
Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Assists leader: 12 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are once again tied at the top after RCD Espanyol took a 2-2 result in the Barcelona derby.
Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (40), 2. Real Madrid (40), 3. Atletico Madrid (35), 4. Sevilla (35), 5. Real Sociedad (31), 6. Valencia (31)
Bottom three: 18. Mallorca (15), 19. Leganes (14), 20. Espanyol (11)
Scoring leader: 13 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Assists leader: 7 - Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona)
Italian Serie A
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to lead defending champions Juventus to a 4-0 win against Cagliari. Inter Milan, who picked up a 3-1 win at Napoli, remain at the top of the standings due to goal difference.
Top six: 1. Inter Milan (45), 2. Juventus (45), 3. Lazio (39), 4. Roma (35), 5. Atalanta (34), 6. Cagliari (29)
Bottom three: 18. Brescia (14), 19. Genoa (14), 20. SPAL (12)
Scoring leader: 19 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)
Zlatan debuts in A.C. Milan return
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was back on the pitch for the first time since his final appearance with LA Galaxy in Houston last October. The Swede came on as a substitute but could not help Milan to a win in his debut. Milan and Sampdoria played to a scoreless draw at the San Siro.
2006 FIFA World Cup Winner Daniele De Rossi retires
Roma Legend De Rossi has called time on his career after a short stint in Argentina with Boca Juniors. The Italian midfielder hangs up his boots at the age of 36 with a decorated career that includes winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
2010 FIFA World Cup Winner David Villa retires
Spanish Legend David Villa, arguably the greatest striker produced by his country, also played has called time on his career. El Guaje left in style by picking up his 15th professional trophy after winning the Emperor's Cup with Japan's Vissel Kobe. Villa won the FIFA World Cup and EURO 2008 with Spain. At the club level, he won three La Liga titles, three Copa Del Rey titles and one UEFA Champions League.
Throwback moment: Dynamo Head Coach Tab Ramos reflects on being first MLS signing
January 3rd marked 25 years since Houston Dynamo Manager Tab Ramos became the first ever signing in Major League Soccer history. Attached is a clip of his thoughts on the matter, the full interview with Glenn Davis can be seen here.
Ratings bit: Liga MX final draws top spot
TV listings (All Times CT):
For full info on soccer TV listings and streaming services in the United States, visit worldsoccertalk.com
Tuesday, January 7
2:00 p.m. - [English League Cup] Manchester United vs. Manchester City (ESPN+)
Wednesday, January 8
1:00 p.m. - [Spanish Supercopa] Real Madrid vs. Valencia (ESPN Deportes)
2:00 p.m. - [English League Cup] Leicester City vs. Aston Villa (ESPN+)
2:00 p.m. - [Coupe de la Ligue] PSG vs. St-Etienne (beINSports)
Thursday, January 9
11:00 a.m. - 2020 MLS SuperDraft (Twitter)
1:00 p.m. - [Spanish Supercopa] FC Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid (ESPN Deportes)
2:00 p.m. - [Coppa Italia] Torino vs. Genoa (ESPN+)
Friday, January 10
1:45 p.m. - [Ligue 1] Rennes vs. Marseille (beIN Sports)
2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Sheffield United vs. West Ham (NBC Sports)
9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Monarcas Morelia vs. Toluca (TUDN)
9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Tijuana vs. Santos Laguna (FOX Deportes)
Saturday, January 11
6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal (NBC Sports)
8:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Cagliari vs. AC Milan (ESPN+)
9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Chelsea vs. Burnley (NBC Sports)
11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Lazio vs. Napoli (ESPN+)
11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Liverpool (NBC)
1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Inter Milan vs. Atalanta (ESPN+)
5:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Cruz Azul vs. Atlas (TUDN)
7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Guadalajara vs. FC Juarez (TUDN)
Sunday, January 12
8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Bournemouth vs. Watford (NBC Sports)
10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Aston Villa vs. Man City (NBC Sports)
11:30 a.m. - [Spanish Supercopa] Real Madrid vs. Valencia vs. FC Barcelona/Atletico Madrid (ESPN Deportes)
1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Roma vs. Juventus (ESPN+)