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Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, Fri., Aug. 23, 2013

The Texas Longhorns open their regular season Friday night, hosting the Georgia Bulldogs at 7pm at Myers Stadium, off Red River at Manor Road. Tickets are $7, or buy a $40 "Orange Card" good for every home game, if you order by noon Friday, at www.texassports.com or 512/232-3865. All of the Horns' home games will also be shown live on the Longhorn network... The Horns warmed up last Friday by swamping the A&M-Corpus Christi Island­ers, 6-1 – the most goals they've scored in six years... Various preseason rankings have the Big 12's Baylor, West Virginia, and Texas Tech among the top 25... St. Edward's debuted at No. 20 in Women's Div. II.

Save the date: the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival brings two evenings of independent films and panel discussion, hosted by the UT Sport Devel­opment Lab, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8. This is the first Austin edition of an event that's built a pretty good track record in NYC since 2009. $15; $25 for a 2-day pass (UT $12/$20). More info at www.sportdev.utexas.org/ksaustin.

Champions League action got serious this week, with some of Europe's giants entering in the playoff round, with spots in the lucrative group stage on the line. A few highlights: Shakhter Karagandy stunned Glasgow Celtic, 2-0, to become the first Kazakh team to win a game at this level. Lyon got dumped, 0-2 at home, by Spani­ards Real Sociedad, Arsenal spanked Fenerbahçe, 3-0 in Istanbul. Return legs are this coming Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug. 27-28, 1:45pm on the new Fox Sports 1 network, which also has the group stage games (Sept. 17-Dec. 11)... Meanwhile in CONCACAF CL, MLS teams went 3-1-1 in the first week of action, with L.A. and Kansas City winning, Houston eking out a scoreless draw in Trinidad, and Montreal beating San Jose in an all-MLS matchup.

Ratings for the first weekend of NBC's blanket coverage of the English Premier League "exceeded anything we could have dreamed of," said NBC programming head Jon Miller – an overall 0.5, with Swansea-Man U drawing almost 800,000 households. Austin's 1.8 overnight rating was third highest in the nation, after D.C. and Tulsa.

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