The Austin Aztex continue to step up their game, literally and organizationally. Two weeks ago it was going up two levels, to host the First Division Atlanta Silverbacks in the U.S. Open Cup; this weekend they skip right on past the MLS level, to take on Monterrey's UANL Tigres of Mexico's Primera División – a rare chance to see true world-class football right here in River City. Sunday, June 29, 7pm, $35 reserved, $30 general admission, kids $20.
That's the capper on three consecutive nights of Aztex games this weekend, June 27-29. First come El Paso (Friday, 7:30pm) and then Baton Rouge (Saturday 7:30pm). $8 (kids $5).
And then the PDL season is over all too soon: the final home games are next Thursday and Sunday, July 3 and 6. Round Rock High Dragon Stadium, 300 North Lake Creek Drive (just west of I-35 and RR 620).
Euro2008 continues to provide thrills and late goals; the Sunday, June 29 final (1:45pm, ABC, ABC-HD) pits Germany against the Spain-Russia winner (Thursday, 1:45pm, ESPN2, ESPN2-HD).
The U.S. men eased into the semifinal group stage of CONCACAF World Cup 2010 qualifying on Sunday, beating Barbados 1-0 (9-0 total over two games). They face Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, and Guatemala in the next group.
Group 2: Mexico, Jamaica, Honduras, Canada
Group 3: Costa Rica, Suriname, El Salvador, Haiti
The U.S. opens the regional semifinals on Aug. 20 at Guatemala, then plays Sept. 6 or 7 at Cuba, the team's first match there. The first home game is Sept. 10 against Trinidad and Tobago in Illinois, then Cuba on Oct. 11 at Washington, at Trinidad and Tobago Oct. 15, and against Guatemala Nov. 19 in Colorado.
Asian champ Iraq was knocked out of WC qualifying on Sunday, losing to Qatar, 1-0, on the last day of the Asian semifinal round. Advancing to the final round: Australia, Qatar, Japan, Bahrain, South Korea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Iran, and the UAE.
The U.S. women won their fourth tournament of the year and improved to 17-0-1 under coach Pia Sundhage, beating Canada 1-0 in the 2008 Peace Queen Cup final.
Copa Libertadores two-legged final is June 25 and July 2: Brazil's Fluminense – who scored three late goals to overhaul Argentine rival Boca Juniors in the semis – faces Ecuadorean outsider LDU Quito.
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