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Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, February 15, 2013, Sports

The Austin Aztex made their first 2013 roster announcement Wednesday – returning players include team captain Zack Pope, top scorer Kristopher Tyrpak, and assist leader Jesus "Chuy" Cortes, along with Travis Golden (starting central defender most of the season), Leone Cruz, Justin Franz, and Josh Mikulewicz. New additions to the squad: Damian Rosales (SMU), Oumar Djiba (Huston Tillotson), and Westlake High twin brothers Tucker and Walker Hume (Rollins), an attacker and defender who both stand 6 feet 5 inches. There'll be two more tryouts – a collegiate trial March 9-10, and open/community trial April 6 – see www.austinaztex.com for info. The season starts May 11 in Oklahoma City.

Gabriel Kadiev, a 19-year-old Chechnyan, became the first Muslim ever to play for the Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem last Sunday, despite violent protests prior to the game, including a fire that destroyed the team's offices two days before the game against Bnei Sakhnin, an Arab team whose players were escorted to and from the field by policemen on horseback. Kadiev received a standing ovation on entering, from Bietar supporters wanting to show that their majority is not racist. Beitar has strong ties to Israel's right-wing Likud party; their followers have included Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The European Champions League knockout stages kicked off this Tuesday-Wednesday, with no home wins among four games. Italian champs Juventus stole a 3-0 win at Glasgow Celtic; David Beckham's new team, Paris Saint-Germain, won 2-1 at Valencia; and Manchester United managed a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid, putting further pressure on Spain's proud champions, who are already pretty much out of the Spanish league race. This week (on FSC at 1:45pm), it's Bayern Munich at Arsenal on Tuesday, and Barcelona at AC Milan on Wednesday; the return legs follow two weeks later.

Quote of the month: U.S. National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the Wall Street Journal on his 2006 German national team: "We said the only way was, we got to attack, we got to go forward, maybe it's in our DNA, maybe it was wrongfully in our DNA in two world wars. Who knows that? I don't know; I was not even born yet."

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