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Soccer Watch

Lightning win exciting home debut, and more

Sometime last Saturday night at House Park, the Austin Lightning's Fanáticos' drum section tabbed midfielder Nick Torres with a new nickname: "Bazooka." Torres' rocket-powered right foot nailed two world-class kicks to bring the Lightning from behind to beat New Orleans, 3-1: a screaming, 25-yard free kick into the upper corner of the net, which the keeper didn't even move on, and a nicely executed indirect free kick, as Marcel Uriarte tapped the spot kick to just outside the defensive wall and Torres banged it into the bottom corner. The insurance goal came from 17-year-old Ross Burki, who ran onto the field as a late sub in his first Premier Development League game ever, kept running down the sideline, took a drop pass from Uriarte, and hit the net, even before the announcer had a chance to announce the substitution. What a debut! The Lightning are on the road this weekend; the next home game is in two weeks against the Laredo Heat.

Sevilla won their second straight UEFA Cup title on Wednesday, beating fellow Spaniards Espanyol in a penalty-kick shoot-out after an electrifying, end-to-end 2-2 draw through regulation and overtime.

The English FA Cup final (Chelsea-Manchester United) is Saturday morning, with a 10am kickoff. It's pay-per-view only, so Fadó ought to be hopping.

Then next week is the Champions League final, live from Athens on ESPN2, 1:25pm Wednesday, May 23. It's AC Milan and Liverpool, a rematch of the brilliant final from two years ago, when the Italians went up 3-0 in the first half, only to have the Reds come back to tie and eventually win in penalties. Needless to say, Milan are spoiling for revenge.

Bob Bradley was officially named head coach of the U.S. men's national team Wednesday; he's been carrying the "interim" title since replacing Bruce Arena late last year. It's about time.

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