International club football returns to our TV sets in February with the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg matches kicking off on Tuesday. In Concacaf, their version of the Champions League kicks off with the marquee match of the opening stage pitting Liga MX's Club Leon vs. MLS' LAFC.
A recap of the week that was followed by the upcoming TV schedule:
English Premier League
Top six: 1. Liverpool (76), 2. Man City (51), 3. Leicester City (50), 4. Chelsea (41), 5. Tottenham (40), 6. Sheffield (39)
Bottom three (relegation): 18. West Ham (24), 19. Watford (24), 20. Norwich City (18)
Scoring leader: 17 - Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Assists leader: 15 - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Spanish La Liga
Top six: 1. Real Madrid (53), 2. FC Barcelona (52), 3. Getafe (42), 4. Atletico Madrid (40), 5. Sevilla (40), 6. Villarreal (38)
Bottom three: 18. Mallorca (21), 19. Leganes (19), 20. Espanyol (19)
Scoring leader: 14 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Assists leader: 12 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Top six: 1. Bayern Munich (46), 2. RB Leipzig (45), 3. Dortmund (42), 4. Monchengladbach (42), 5. Bayer Leverkusen (40), 6. Schalke 04 (36)
Bottom three: 16. Fortuna (17), 17. Werder Bremen (17), 18. Paderborn (16)
Scoring leader: 23 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Assists leader: 14 - Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Italian Serie A
Top six: 1. Juventus (57), 2. Lazio (56), 3. Inter Milan (54), 4. Atalanta (45), 5. Roma (39), 6. Hellas Verona (35)
Bottom three: 18. Genoa (22), 19. Brescia (16), 20. SPAL (15)
Scoring leader: 26 - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)Assists leader: 11 - Luis Alberto (Lazio)
French Ligue 1
Top four: 1. PSG (62), 2. Marseille (52), 3. Rennes (41), 4. Lille (40)
Bottom three: 18. Dijon (26), 19. Amiens (21), 20. Toulouse (13)
Scoring leader: 16 - Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)
Assists leader: 12 - Angel Di Maria (PSG)
Rodolfo Pizarro, #InterMiamiCF's new Designated Player is here. 🗞️https://t.co/NwCxRQzyRC https://t.co/fAr1pdr3Pw— Inter Miami CF (@Inter Miami CF) 1581984000.0
The influx of Mexican stars to Major League Soccer continues. Rodolfo Pizarro is the latest name to cross the border as the former Chivas and Monterrey star will now feature for David Beckham's Inter Miami CF. The move, which has been its own transfer saga, finally became official on Monday.
Of local interest, the Houston Dynamo played New York Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw in Tucson, Arizona as part of their "spring training" before the season kicks off on February 29th at BBVA Stadium. The Dynamo have two friendlies this week to wrap up preseason.
Top eight: 1. Pumas (14), 2. Club America (13), 3. Leon (12), 4. Queretaro (12), 5. Juarez (11), 6. Cruz Azul (10), 7. Atletico San Luis (9), 8. Necaxa (8)
Scoring leader: 5 - Angel Mena (Leon) / Ariel Nahuelpan (Queretaro) / Jonathan Rodriguez (Cruz Azul)
TV listings (All Times CT):
For full info on soccer TV listings and streaming services in the United States, visit worldsoccertalk.com
Tuesday, February 18
2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)
2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Dortmund vs. PSG (Galavision, B/R Live)
9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Club Leon vs. LAFC (FS2)
9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Motagua vs. Atlanta United (FOX Soccer Plus)
Wednesday, February 19
1:30 p.m. - [Premier League] Man City vs. West Ham (NBC Sports)
2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig (TNT, UniMas, TUDN)
2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Atalanta vs. Valencia (Galavision, B/R Live)
5:00 p.m. - [MLS preseason] Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake (HoustonDynamo.com/Live)
7:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Saprissa vs. Montreal Impact (FS2)
Thursday, February 20
12:00 p.m. / 2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Round of 32 first leg matches (B/R Live)
7:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] San Carlos vs. New York City FC (FS2)
9:00 p.m. - [Concacaf Champions League] Olimpia vs. Seattle Sounders FC (FS2)
Friday, February 21
1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayern Munich vs. Paderborn (FOX Soccer Plus)
1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Brescia vs. Napoli (ESPN+)
7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Atlas vs. Pachuca (TUDN)
9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Club Tijuana vs. Chivas (FOX Deportes)
Saturday, February 22
6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Chelsea vs. Tottenham (NBC Sports)
8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Werder Bremen vs. Dortmund (FS1)
8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hoffenheim (FS2, TUDN)
9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Sheffield United vs. Brighton (NBC Sports)
9:00 a.m. - [La Liga] FC Barcelona vs. Eibar (beIN Sports)
11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Leicester City vs. Man City (NBC)
11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] SPAL vs. Juventus (ESPN+)
11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke 04 vs. RB Leipzig (FS2, TUDN)
2:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Levante vs. Real Madrid (beIN Sports)
5:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Club Leon vs. Necaxa (TUDN, ESPN Deportes)
6:00 p.m. - [MLS preseason] Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew SC (HoustonDynamo.com/Live)
7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Cruz Azul vs. Tigres (Univision, TUDN, ESPN Deportes)
9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Monterrey vs. America (FOX Deportes)
Sunday, February 23
8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Man United vs. Watford (NBC Sports)
8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Wolves vs. Norwich (CNBC)
10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Arsenal vs. Everton (NBC Sports)
Monday, February 24
3:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Liverpool vs. West Ham (NBC Sports)
Astros GM Dana Brown has recently discussed how the club is going to approach free agency on the team's flagship station, and based on his comments, it doesn't sound the Astros are going to spend a lot of money.
He mentioned being “creative” with their strategy and maybe exploring some trade possibilities. Which is why we were surprised to hear from Jon Heyman that the Astros may have interest in Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, or another “elite” starting pitcher.
Phillies are still looking at top starters after bringing back Aaron Nola. They have company, as at least the Red Sox, Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Astros are looking for an elite starter (and many more than just those teams are on Yamamoto, who’s only 25).
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 20, 2023
With the team right up against the tax threshold, a signing like this would certainly push them over, unless they find a way to dump some salary that's already on the books.
But the report that Houston is looking for an elite starter, certainly caught our attention. Mainly, because Dana Brown's comments about backup catcher and bullpen help being the priority, with starting pitching being more of a pipe dream considering the budget constraints.
A move like this would likely require someone like Alex Bregman being traded to make the money work. So is Jon Heyman off the mark with this report, or is Dana Brown quietly looking to add an elite starter?
Plus, just this week the Phillies signed Aaron Nola to a 7-year $172 million contract. Framber Valdez is looking for a long-term deal with 2 years remaining of club control. Will Framber's agent use this contract as a benchmark for what is client is looking for?
Don't miss the video above as we make sense of these recent reports!
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