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Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, Fri., July 12, 2013

The Austin Aztex didn't have the game they wanted Friday night at House Park, but they got the result they needed, as Andres Cuero's two second-half headers produced a 2-1 comeback win over the feisty West Texas Sockers, solidifying the Aztex's playoff position, and keeping them in position for home-field advantage in the playoffs. Cuero now leads the team in scoring with seven goals and two assists, all coming in the last six games.

Next up: the Aztex regular season finale is this Saturday night, July 13, at 7:30pm at House Park, hosting Oklahoma City. The Aztex will be playing not just for the Mid South Division title (which they could clinch Saturday), but for the right to host the Southern Conference Final Four in Austin on July 26 and 28, instead of having to travel to Florida. If they win out in their last three games, the Aztex will finish with the best record in the conference; any less than that, and the door is open for the Panama City Beach Pirates (gotta love the name) to claim that honor, and the playoff hosting bid that goes with it. The Aztex finish with a road trip to West Texas and El Paso, July 18-20, and after the ill-tempered affair Friday night, that July 18 date in Midland could be very interesting indeed.

There are a couple of international tournaments on TV this week: the U-20 World Cup final, France-Uru­guay, is Saturday afternoon (12:45pm, ESPN), and the U.S.A. has Gold Cup matches against Cuba (2pm Saturday, July 13, Fox) and Costa Rica (7pm Tuesday, FSC). The U.S. opened with a 6-1 win over Belize Tuesday evening, highlighted by two guys who haven't seen much national team action of late: Chris Wondo­lowski hit a first-half hat trick, and Landon Donovan chipped in a goal and two assists.

Women's pro soccer is back! In perhaps its last program addition before it goes off the air, FOX Soccer kicks off its NWSL coverage with the Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit (7:30pm Sunday, July 14). FSC will carry six regular season games, plus playoffs Aug. 24 & 31... Fox Soccer is expected to go off the air in Septem­ber, with most of its prime programming moving to the new Fox Sports 1.

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