Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, Fri., July 4, 2014

Striking fear in opponents' hearts ...
Striking fear in opponents' hearts ...

If the Austin Aztex meet the Laredo Heat again this season, it'll be in the PDL playoffs, and I'm guessing that'll be none too soon for their taste. The teams split a pair of gritty, ill-tempered games this past week, with the Heat's 1-0 win Saturday at House Park breaking a long unbeaten streak at home, then the Aztex taking a 2-1 decision down in Laredo on Tuesday, on goals by Adam Black and Andrew Fox, with Austin goalkeeper Devin Perales getting his second assist in three games.

The Aztex now face three games in seven days, with a lot of travel in between. They're at the Midland/Odessa Sockers, Saturday evening, then back on the road in the opposite direction for a game in Houston on Monday, before returning home to host Midland in a return match at 7:30pm, Friday, July 11. The Aztex can clinch their second straight PDL Mid South Division title by winning either of those games with the ­second-place Sockers, who are themselves riding a six-game unbeaten streak, and trying to hold off Laredo for second place, and a spot in the playoffs... Yours truly will be in goal for that game on the 11th – in a pregame contest where folks take penalty kicks for a chance to win fabulous prizes, plus glory; see austinchronicle.com/contests for details.

Brazilian star Kaká, winner of the 2007 Ballon d'Or, has left AC Milan for Orlando City (née Austin Aztex), which begins play in MLS in 2015. The 32-year-old will be on loan to his boyhood club, Brazil's São Paulo, until then... And as the World Cup goes on for some, and ends for others, there are lots more high-profile player moves going on: Uruguay's Luis Suárez looks to be on his way from Liverpool to Barcelona; rumor is that it was Barça who convinced Suárez to finally admit to, and apologize for, his unauthorized snack during the World Cup game against Italy... Chelsea has finally signed Diego Costa from Atlético Madrid... Monaco is preparing to lose Radamel Falcao to Real Madrid... Fellow Colombi­an James Rodriguez, the 22-year-old currently leading the World Cup in scoring, may leave Monaco as well; his agent says a number of big clubs have been sniffing around.

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