THE SOCCER REPORT

U.S. Women win fourth World Cup title; Brazil and Mexico kings of their region

Mexico are champions of Concacaf, Brazil are kings of CONMEBOL and the United States successfully defended their FIFA Women's World Cup title to cap off the week in soccer. With the African Cup of Nations entering the quarterfinal stage, international competition is winding down as preseason intensifies with European clubs.

Locally, the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash continue to battle the rigors of their respective seasons and are currently mid-table in the standings.

FIFA Women's World Cup

USA v Netherlands - FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ - THE FINAL www.youtube.com

The United States Women's National Team successfully completed their title defense with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the final on Sunday. Team USA defeated England 2-1 in the semifinal round earlier in the week. Sweden finished third with a 2-1 win over England.

USA is the most successful nation with four titles and only the second to repeat as champion since Germany at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. The team will be honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City on Wednesday.

Golden Ball - Megan Rapinoe (USA)

Golden Boot (Top Scorer) - Megan Rapinoe (USA)

Golden Glove (Top Goalkeeper) - Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)

FIFA Young Player Award - Giulia Gwinn (Germany)

FIFA Fair Play Award - France

Concacaf Gold Cup

90 in 90: United States vs. Mexico | 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Highlights www.youtube.com

Mexico are the champions of Concacaf after defeating the United States Men's National Team 1-0 at Soldier Field in Chicago. LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos had the game-winning goal that awarded Mexico their 8th Gold Cup trophy.

Golden Ball - Raúl Jiménez (Mexico)

Golden Boot - Jonathan David (Canada)

Golden Glove - Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

Best Young Player - Christian Pulisic (USA)

Fair Play Award - United States

CONMEBOL Copa America

Brasil vs. Perú: 3-1 Goals & Highlights | Copa América | Telemundo Deportes www.youtube.com

Hosts Brazil completed the task expected of them and hoisted the Copa America (South American Championship) for the ninth ocassion with a 3-1 win over Peru. Argentina finished third with a 2-1 win over Chile in a rematch of the two previous Copa America finals.

Golden Ball - Dani Alves (Brazil)

Golden Boot - Everton (Brazil)

Golden Glove - Alisson (Brazil)

Fair Play Award - Brazil

AFC Africa Cup of Nations

Egypt v South Africa Highlights - Total AFCON 2019 - R3 www.youtube.com

Liverpool star Mohammed Salah and hosts Egypt were eliminated from the tournament with a 1-0 loss to South Africa in the Round of 16. Defending champions Cameroon also exited the tournament, meaning a new champion will be crowned in over a week. The quarterfinals begin on Wednesday.

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Major League Soccer

Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls | HIGHLIGHTS - July 3, 2019 www.youtube.com

The Houston Dynamo snapped a three match road losing streak with a 4-0 home win over the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday. The road woes returned, however, with a 3-2 loss at expansion team FC Cincinnati.

East top seven: 1. Philadelphia (36), 2. D.C. United (31), 3. Atlanta (30), 4. Montreal (30), 5. NYCFC (29), 6. NY Red Bulls (28), 7. Toronto (23)

West top seven: 1. LAFC (43), 2. LA Galaxy (34), 3. Seattle (32), 4. Minnesota (30), 5. Dallas (29), 6. San Jose (28), 7. Houston (27)

Scoring leader: 19 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 12 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

National Women's Soccer League

Standings: 1. Reign FC (20), 2. North Carolina Courage (19), 3. Portland Thorns (19), 4. Washington Spirit (18), 5. Utah Royals (17), 6. Chicago Red Stars (14), 7. Houston Dash (13), 8. Orlando Pride (8), 9. Sky Blue FC (5)

Scoring leader: 9 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 4 - Jaelene Hinkle (NC Courage) / Lynn Williams (NC Courage) / Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

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Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, July 9

7:30 p.m. - [Friendly] Club America vs. Pumas UNAM (Univision Deportes)

Wednesday, July 10

11:00 a.m. - [Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals] Senegal vs. Benin (beIN SPORTS)

2:00 p.m. - [Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals] Nigeria vs. South Africa (beIN SPORTS)

Thursday, July 11

10:30 a.m. - [Friendly] - West Ham vs. Rheindorf Altach (ESPN3)

11:00 a.m. - [Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals] Ivory Coast vs. Algeria (beIN SPORTS)

1:30 p.m. - [Friendly] Tranmere Rovers vs. Liverpool FC (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals] Madagascar vs. Tunisia (beIN SPORTS)

Friday, July 12

10:30 a.m. - [Friendly] - Dortmund vs. Schweinberg (ESPN3)

2:00 p.m. - [Friendly] - Real Betis vs. Sheffield United (ESPN3)

6:00 p.m. - [MLS] D.C. United vs. New England Revolution (ESPN)

8:00 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo vs. LAFC (UniMás)

10:00 p.m. - [MLS] LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes (UniMás)

Saturday, July 13

11:00 a.m. - [Africa Cup of Nations semifinals] Senegal/Benin vs. Madagascar/Tunisia (beIN SPORTS)

2:00 p.m. - [Africa Cup of Nations semifinals] Ivory Coast/Algeria vs. Nigeria/South Africa (beIN SPORTS)

Sunday, July 14

2:55 p.m. - [MLS] Seattle Sounders FC vs. Atlanta United (ESPN)

5:30 p.m. - [MLS] New York Red Bulls vs. NYCFC (FS1)

Courtesy of Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo fell back to second-to-last place in the Western Conference after a 2-1 loss against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night at BC Place. Mauro Manotas struck for the second consecutive match but it would not be enough as fellow Colombian Fredy Montero notched a 90th minute winner for the Caps.

Here are five observations from the match:

1) A winnable game

Despite Whitecaps FC coming into this match two weeks removed from their last MLS match, the Dynamo were looking at a possibility of picking up their first three points ever in Vancouver. The Canadians simply haven't looked great and that's a big reason why they are still the last place team in the West.

Houston had plenty of opportunities early on with Tommy McNamara missing a golden chance in just the fourth minute of play. The team ended up out-shooting the Whitecaps 18-6 throughout the entire match but they lacked the quality to punish in the final third.

For a team that has been poor on the road (Dynamo have a combined 5 away wins since 2017), this was a great opportunity to pick up a road win.

2) Hard done by a handball

The definition of a handball changed in an update to the Laws of the Game earlier this year. As a result, referees have interpreted the rule to the letter of the law because the evaluation of a "deliberate" handball has been removed.

In this case, the referee awards the penalty even after going to the video review booth. The Dynamo were on the other side of a VAR decision on Wednesday when a Minnesota goal was annulled after video review.

Ultimately, the Dynamo could've avoided the entire controversy by putting their chances away and putting this match out of reach.

3) Manotas scores again

There's not much more that can be said about Dynamo leading scorer Mauro Manotas. Once again, he was well positioned to jump on an opportunistic chance to score. The improvement to his game can only come as he evolves into a scorer that can create his own chances more consistently. Other than that, he's been one of the Dynamo's top players for the past few years.

4) Late goal defeat

Fredy Montero, one of the better scorers in the history of the league, was on a goal drought since June. He ended that drought with a 90th minute winner, taking advantage of a Jose Bizama who put out his worst performance in a Dynamo jersey.

Late goal defeats are probably up there with anything else you'd describe Dynamo play in this decade. Add another to the list.

5) Arnaud's progression continues to be slow

It was always going to be a though ask for Davy Arnaud to provide a complete 180-degree change and make a charge for the playoffs. In his five games in charge, Arnaud has reinvigorated the locker room with a bit of confidence. He has also taken more of a safety net approach and not rushing to make drastic changes in his lineups and during matches.

Dynamo player of the game: Maynor Figueroa

Figueroa's strike from created the clearest opportunity for the Dynamo. It is that type of initiative that get teams back into this type of match. The Honduran national team captain has injected an impact of leadership and is fearless when he is on the field. Signed in the offseason for an annual salary of $70,250.00, Figueroa has been every bit worth every penny and, undeniably, a steal.

Next match:

Saturday, September 21 vs. Orlando City SC (9:00 p.m. CT, KUBE57)

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