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Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, Fri., June 14, 2013

It's been a real team effort so far this year for the Austin Aztex. They've defended well as a team, kept their shape on attack, opened up passing lanes for each other – and the reward has been five wins in five PDL games, and each night the goal-scoring glory goes to someone new. Seven different Aztex have scored so far, but none had scored in more than one game until Saturday night in Houston, when Tucker Hume's diving header, deep into extra time, gave the Aztex a 2-1 win and a 5-0 record in the PDL Mid South.

The Aztex will put that record on the line Saturday night against the El Paso Patriots (Saturday, June 15, 7:30pm, at House Park). The Patriots are a team I really got to hate last year during their two appearances at House Park. This year, with a new coach, but most of the same players, I'm not sure what to expect – except I believe that we will win... El Paso will be playing their second game in two nights – they're at Laredo Friday, kicking off at 8:15pm... The Aztex have just three home games left after this one: Sat., June 29 (vs. Houston); Sun., July 5 (vs. West Texas); Sat., July 13 (vs. Oklahoma City).

In World Cup Qualifying, the U.S. swept a pair of games Friday and Tuesday – 2-1 at Jamaica, and 2-0 over Panama in Seattle – to vault to the front of the six-team final group. And against Panama, in front of 40,000-plus absolutely crazed Seattle fans, the U.S. finally looked like it was becoming the dominant force it was supposed to be under Jürgen Klins­mann. Last week I asked, "Is there method in Klinsmann's madness?" Well, we shall see, but for now, the Magic 8-Ball says, "Signs Point to Yes." Or maybe it's all just Jozy Altidore, who's suddenly a monster... Meanwhile, Mexico continues to disappoint; with another pair of scoreless home wins, they've now scored three goals in six games – and none at home... The U.S. hosts Honduras in Salt Lake City this Tuesday, June 18, 8pm, on ESPN; that'll be pretty much the last WCQ action until September.

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