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Soccer Watch

The Houston Dynamo explodes in Costa Rica, and more

The Houston Dynamo open their season on the road this week, at Puntarenas in Costa Rica, in a CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal. It'll be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel, 1:30pm Wednesday, Feb. 21. The return leg will be played in College Station, Thursday, March 1, 8pm. Tickets at Ticketmaster; www.houstondynamo.com.

The European Champions League Round of 16 gets under way next week as well. ESPN2 will apparently show games live every day of the 2007 season, focusing on British teams; on Tuesday, Feb. 20, they have Arsenal at PSV Eindhoven, 1:30pm. On Wednesday, it's Chelsea at Porto, also 1:30pm. Other matchups: Roma-Lyon, Real Madrid-Bayern Munich, Inter Milan-Valencia, Barcelona-Liverpool, Celtic-Milan, Lille-Man Utd.

The FA Cup Round of 16 is this weekend, after Arsenal and Middlesbrough just secured the last spots Wednesday.

World Cup champs Italy have knocked Brazil off the top of FIFA's world rankings after a record 55-month reign. It's Italy's first time at No. 1 since 1993. The U.S. is 28th.

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