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Soccer Watch

High school state finals, Landon Donovan comes home

The UIL (high school) state finals will be held in Round Rock next week, Wed-Sat, April 13-16, at the RRISD Athletic Complex at 10211 W. Parmer. No Austin teams will be there, but some other area squads are still in contention. In this week's action, the Cedar Park boys beat Westlake, 3-2, in a double-OT thriller, to make the 5A regional semifinals against Dallas Jesuit. Georgetown's girls are in the regional semis as well, taking on North Mesquite. In 4A, the McCallum boys lost in the regional semifinals, 3-2, to Mission Veterans Memorial. And on the girls' side, the regional final is a crosstown affair, pitting New Braunfels against New Braunfels Canyon.

The MLS season started last weekend. ESPN and ABC have an expanded broadcast schedule this year; ESPN2's game of the week features Chivas USA, one of two expansion teams this season, visiting the San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday, April 9, 3pm. The big MLS news this week was off the field, however: Landon Donovan is back in the league after just nine games with top-flight German club Bayer Leverkusen, where he and the club were mutually disappointed in each other. That was a match doomed from the start; despite some brave talk, this California boy just didn't have the heart to play in a frozen Baltic industrial city.

Champions League quarterfinals got under way this week: Liverpool beat Juventus, 2-1, but the Italians salvaged a late away goal to stay very much alive for the return leg in Torino. Dutch champs PSV Eindhoven likewise got a late away goal to tie favored Lyon, 1-1. AC Milan looked very strong in dominating their crosstown rivals Inter, 2-0. And Chelsea absolutely crushed Bayern Munich 4-2, but it really wasn't that close. The return legs are next Tuesday and Wednesday, and ESPN2 will have games both days: Chelsea at Munich on Tuesday, April 12; and Liverpool at Juventus, Wednesday, April 13, both at 1:30pm.

CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals are under way as we go to press. In this North American club championship, D.C. United takes on Pumas of Mexico, and Costa Ricans Saprissa face Monterrey. It takes place this Wednesday and next, April 13, when Fox Soccer Channel will show the D.C. game at 8:30pm.

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