News that kicked off 2020

Soccer Report: Dynamo sign Academy prodigy, Dash trade Ohai, Ronaldo scores hat-trick

Credit: Houston Dynamo

"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.

Premier League

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)

La Liga

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+)

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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