Austin Aztex in the news, and more
There are several different bits of Austin Aztex news this week, all of it good:
• Aztex phenom Kekuta Manneh is reportedly the first youth player to sign an MLS contract under this year's Generation Adidas program. The Gambian-born Manneh already had a tryout with the L.A. Galaxy earlier this year, while still a junior at Lake Travis High. He'll turn 18 next week... Aztex midfielder Dillon Powers was also on the short list of 17 names sent to MLS coaches this week as players available for the MLS SuperDraft. I'm pretty sure no other PDL club was so well represented.
• It was confirmed this week that the Aztex will compete in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, due to their top-two finish in the PDL Mid South last year. That national tournament, one of the oldest in the world, pits teams from amateur levels all the way up through MLS, in a knockout format. Best-case scenario: a first-ever match-up with the San Antonio Scorpions in the second round, with the winner taking on the Houston Dynamo.
• The United Soccer Leagues Organizational & Executive Honors awards were presented Dec. 14 at the league's winter meeting in Clearwater, Fla. The Aztex came away with two of the nine PDL honors, the only team in the 73-team league to do so. They were cited for marketing excellence, while Director of Operations Ric Granryd earned the Betsy McAdams Key Grip Award, recognizing a club staffer who "exemplifies excellence in their work." Here, here... Also: Reportedly, the PDL Mid South will get a new team in Oklahoma City in 2013.
Plans for the new National Women's Soccer League, to be administered by U.S. Soccer, are firming up. The NWSL will begin in the spring of 2013 with eight teams: Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit, Western New York Flash, and Seattle (unnamed).
Brazil's Corinthians beat Chelsea, 1-0, on Sunday to win the Club World Cup in Japan.