Get your first look at the defending national champion Austin Aztex this Friday, as they head a few miles up I-35 to kick off their 2014 preseason playing Southwestern University (7pm, Friday, April 4 in Georgetown; free). The Aztex added three more returning players this week: Sito Seoane, Travis Golden, and Mikey Ambrose. Seoane, the Playoff MVP in the Aztex' title run last year, was one of the last players cut from the Houston Dynamo, despite scoring twice for them in preseason games. Golden, a Bowie High grad, likewise failed to catch on after being drafted by DC United. The Aztex roster is now at 16 players, 13 of whom are returning. Their title defense begins at House Park on Saturday, May 10 against the Houston Dutch Lions.
Bring Major League Soccer to Austin has announced a logo/color swatch contest, with an April 15 deadline: Submit a logo using the name Austin FC, plus a color scheme (no maroon or burnt orange), distinct from all existing MLS teams, and send it to email@example.com; 16 finalists will be selected, and pitted against one another in online voting, with the winner getting $500 (plus, of course, their design on Lionel Messi's chest sometime next decade). Details at www.facebook.com/mlsaustin.
High school playoffs are underway, with some 14 local teams in second- and third-round action today and Friday. ... European Champions League quarterfinal return legs are this coming Tuesday-Wednesday, April 8-9 (live on Fox Sports 1 & 2, 1:45pm each day).