It's a busy time on all fronts in the soccer world, with MLS heading into its final weeks, domestic leagues just underway throughout the rest of the world, Champions League action in Europe and the Americas, and the next-to-last major weekend of World Cup qualifying. Meanwhile:
The first Austin edition of the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival is this weekend: two evenings of independent films and panel discussions, hosted by the UT Sport Development Lab, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8. $15; $25 for a 2-day pass (UT $12/$20); group rates available. See more info at www.sportdev.utexas.org/ksaustin.
Saturday, Sept. 7: Keep Soccer Weird: The Battle for Authenticity in the Modern Game: The Four Year Plan, a documentary about the traumatic restructuring of the London club Queens Park Rangers, plus the German short "Meister vs. Meister," 6:30-9pm at the UT Student Activity Center Auditorium, 2201 Speedway. Panel discussion to follow.
Sunday, Sept. 8: Soccer and Conflict Resolution: Student Selections: After the Cup: Sons of Sakhnin United, a doc about Israel's first mixed Arab/Jewish team, plus the short "Ana's Playground." 5-7:30pm at UT's Texas Union Theater, 2247 Guadalupe. Panel discussion to follow.
The Texas Longhorns dropped a pair of one-goal decisions on the road at Oregon and Oregon State last week, despite outshooting their opponents by a good margin in both games; they're back home this week, hosting Samford (7pm, Friday) and Illinois State (noon, Sunday) at Myers Stadium. Both games are also live on the Longhorn Network.
The St. Edward's men and women both start their seasons this week as well, hosting Colorado School of Mines and Fort Lewis, and Southern Nazarene and Texas Women's, respectively, on Friday and Sunday; see listings, above, for details. (4pm, 4:30pm, 1:30pm, 2pm).
There's World Cup qualifying around the world this weekend, primarily on Friday and Tuesday. The U.S. is at Costa Rica Friday night (8:30pm, BeIN Sport network) and hosting Mexico on Tuesday (7pm, ESPN). Jurgen Klinsmann's men will be looking to clinch their spot in Brazil next summer, and to extend their record 11-game winning streak. Tons of other games from Europe and South America are on cable networks both days.
Lastly, congratulations to the Portland Thorns, inaugural champions of the National Women's Soccer League.