Huh? Messiah College's Nick Blossey was voted the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Division III Men's Tournament, even though he didn't play a minute of the entire tournament. Explanation below.
The Austin Aztex will play their inaugural USL-1 (pro) season at Nelson Field (next to Reagan High, off Highway 290); the long-awaited announcement came late last week. Also, the Aztex announced Kieron Bernard as their second signing to the pro squad. Dec. 15 is the early registration deadline for the Aztex's first-ever youth soccer camps, to be held Dec. 22-24 & 29-31. English soccer great and Aztex USL-1 head coach Adrian Heath will oversee the camps, which are designed for children ages 5-14. Cost is $120 per camper; register online at www.austinaztex.com.Also below: Dallas youth soccer's role in the NCAA Final Four, the U.S. wins another World Cup, Champions League results, and more.
How influential is Dallas youth soccer? When the NCAA Men's Final Four is played this weekend in Frisco, north of Dallas, there's a definite Atlantic Coast Conference flavor to the field, but all four teams have important starters who came out of one of the big Dallas programs. Ale Ivo (St. John's) and Omar Gonzalez (Maryland) both played for the Dallas Texans, while Corben Bone (Wake Forest) and Cameron Brown (North Carolina) were teammates on Solar. Bone and Gonzales, in particular, are two of the very top pro prospects in the current college ranks. The semifinals are Friday, 4:30 & 7pm, with the final Sunday, Dec. 14, noon; all three games are being shown live on ESPN2 and ESPNU.
NCAA Women: For the second time in three years, North Carolina ruined a perfect season for Notre Dame, winning the title game, 2-1, on an 88th-minute goal. The Tar Heels – who beat previously undefeated UCLA to get to the final – have their 19th title in the sport's 27 years; five of the last eight have come against the Irish in the final.
The U.S. won the U-20 Women's World Cup, beating Germany, 1-0, in the semifinal, and then North Korea, 2-1, in the title game in Chile. UCLA's Sydney Leroux was MVP.
European Champions League group play concluded this Wednesday with no surprises, and Chelsea, Roma, and Greek champion Panathinaikos taking the final spots in the final 16 – which includes all four English teams, all four Spanish, three Italians, two Portuguese, a German, a French, and a Greek. If you're looking for a tie-breaker, England had two group-winners; all four Spaniards were group runners-up.
Group Winners: Roma, Panathinaikos, Sporting Lisbon, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Münich, Porto, Juventus
Runners-up: Chelsea, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Villarreal, Lyon, Arsenal, Real Madrid
Third Place finishers (go to UEFA Cup round of 32): Bordeaux, Werder Bremen, Shakhtar Donetsk, Marseille, Aalborg, Fiorentina, Dynamo Kiev, Zenit St Petersburg
Answer to "Huh?" Blossey, a reserve goalkeeper who hadn't played during the entire tournament, came off the bench for the championship game shootout, stopping three shots to lead Messiah to a 3-0 win on penalty kicks over Stevens Institute, and the NCAA Div.3 title.European Champions League Results
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