THE SOCCER REPORT

UEFA Champions League Final caps off European soccer season

Courtesy Adidas

The 2018-19 season has reached the end of the schedule before a busy summer of international competition kicks off. The Premier League will be on display in all-English European finals with the Europa League crowning its champion on Wednesday followed by the Champions League final on Saturday.

UEFA Champions League

Liverpool F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur will have the face off in the UEFA Champions League final - soccer's equivalent to the Super Bowl - in the neutral site of Madrid on Saturday to crown a new champion in European football. Liverpool, the winningest English club in European competition, are looking for their sixth UCL trophy while Tottenham aim to lift it for the first time in their 136-year history.

  • Saturday, June 1 - 2 p.m. CT [TNT, Univision]

UEFA Europa League

London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea will face off in the final of Europe's secondary competition (equivalent to the NIT in college basketball) with a trophy on the line and, for Arsenal, a spot in next year's Champions League. Chelsea have already qualified for Europe's top tournament via league play but a trophy and denying their crosstown neighbors that honor would taste like sweet victory. For Arsenal, it's a must win to play in the UCL and a win over Chelsea would just be the cherry on top.

  • Wednesday, May 29 - 2 p.m. CT [TNT, UniMas]

English Premier League

While the Premier League concluded a few weeks ago, one spot was still up for grabs for next season. That spot would be reserved for the return of a famed English club to the top flight as Aston Villa, a two-time European champion, defeated Derby County in the promotion play-off final at Wembley.

Up the road in Manchester, United fans were treated to a rematch of the famed 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich that saw the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson back on the sidelines and legends like Peter Schmeichel, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and David Beckham back on the field in a 5-0 win over Bayer legends led by Lothar Matthaus.

Spain's La Liga

Valencia capped off an impressive season by defeating FC Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final. The domestic cup win denied the league champions Barcelona from completing the domestic double and gave Valencia fans their first taste of silverware since the 2007-08 season.

German Bundesliga

Over in Germany, Bayern Munich competed the domestic double by defeating RB Leipzig 3-0 in the DFB Pokal final.

The Bundesliga champions, who will be visiting Houston in July, were not the only ones to celebrate as Union Berlin fans stormed the field after seeing their team gain promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in club history. Union and Stuttgard tied 2-2 in the relegation playoffs but the former won the series thanks to the away goals tiebreaker.

Italian Serie A

Atalanta and Inter Milan secured their spots in next year's Champions League by finishing third and fourth in the league standings while A.C. Milan and Roma are forced to settle for Europa League. Fabio Quagliarella finishes the season as the golden boot champion.

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Major League Soccer

East top seven: 1.D.C. United (25), 2. Philadelphia (24), 3. NY Red Bulls (21), 4. Montreal (21), 5. Atlanta (20), 6. NYCFC (19), 7. Toronto (17)

West top seven: 1. LAFC (34), 2. Seattle (26), 3. LA Galaxy (25), 4. Houston (23), 5. Minnesota (21), 6. Real Salt Lake (19), 7. FC Dallas (18)

Scoring leader: 15- Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 9 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Liga MX

Tigres UANL end the season at the pinnacle of Mexican soccer by outlasting Leon 1-0 in the two-match final series to determine the Clausura 2019 champion. Tigres collects it's fifth league title this decade and fifth under Manager Ricardo Ferretti, who ties Ignacio Trelles as the manager with most Mexican league titles (7).

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U.S. Women's National Team

The U.S. Women finished their domestic preparation ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup with a 3-0 win over Mexico at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. Team USA now sets their sights on defending their World title as they look to win their fourth World Cup.

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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