Aztex Roster Hunt Begins in Earnest, and More

Coach Adrian Heath is on the road scouting players for the Aztex's inaugural season, and more

Aztex head coach Adrian Heath
Aztex head coach Adrian Heath

Busy days for Austin Aztex head coach Adrian Heath. He was at the United Soccer League's Player Showcase in Charleston, S.C., this week – checking out some 90 prospects in nine games over three days, he was about "footballed out," he said Wednesday. The next two weeks he oversees the Aztex' first-ever youth soccer camps (Dec. 22-24 and Dec. 29-31; see details here), but the focus remains on building a roster for the Aztex's first season in the USL First Division, which starts just about four months from now, in early April.

Below: Dynamo trades Dwayne De Rosario and Maryland wins NCAA Men's national championship…

There's an MLS combine soon after the first of the year, several tryouts and meetings with individual players the Aztex have their eyes on, plus public tryouts in Southern California on Jan. 10-11 and here in Austin Feb. 7-8 (register online by Jan. 19). By then, we should have a pretty good idea just how the team will be shaping up. … The Aztex and Austin Toros teamed with Lift Up America and Tyson Foods to donate 15 tons of protein to the Capital Area Food Bank; Aztex players and the Toros dance team helped unload the food at the food bank Wednesday morning.

In the first big move of Major League Soccer's offseason, the Houston Dynamo traded popular star Dwayne De Rosario to his hometown Toronto FC last week in exchange for Trinidad defender Julius James and money. Hard to imagine the Dynamo without D-Ro, but this gives them flexibility under the salary cap, plus a young defender who fills one of their biggest needs: back-line speed.

Maryland won the NCAA Men's national championship Sunday in Frisco, Texas, beating North Carolina, 1-0. Dallas product Omar Gonzalez of Maryland was named Outstanding Defensive Player of the tournament.

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