Sports

Soccer Watch

Lightning play twice at home this week, and more

Just four games into a 16-game season, a very young Austin Lightning squad faces a big test this weekend, hosting the top two teams in their Premier Development League Mid-South Division. A tough loss last weekend in Dallas knocked the Lightning out of U.S. Open Cup qualifying; now it's time to concentrate on the league race, as they host the Laredo Heat Friday and the El Paso Patriots Saturday, both games at 7:30pm at House Park Stadium, Lamar & 12th, $5, $3 kids, kids under 5 free. www.austinlightningsoccer.com.

Austin Anarchist Soccer is having a benefit Saturday to set up a fund to send players to the Anti-Racist World Cup in Italy in July. The Austin team that went last year was the first North American team in the tournament's 10-year history. Benefit's at the Rhizome Collective, 300 Allen, in East Austin; Sat., May 26, 10pm-2am: bands, beer, Zapatista coffee, T-shirts, raffle, movies. www.mondialiantirazzisti.org.

Chelsea nipped Manchester United, 1-0, in the FA Cup final, on a very late goal by Premiership top scorer Didier Drogba, gaining some consolation from Premiership champ Man U and their player-of-the-year Cristiano Ronaldo. It was a largely uninspired display; is that the best the vaunted English league has to offer?

That's not a purely rhetorical question, and it may be that Liverpool had an answer to it Wednesday night in the Champions League final against AC Milan. But I don't know, because I chose to tape the game to watch after we go to press. You probably already know who won, anyway. More Euro observations at austinchronicle.com/soccer.

Colombian champs Cúcuta became the first team to clinch a spot in the Copa Libertadores semifinals. Mexico's Club America is still alive as well; they're playing Santos in São Paulo, Brazil, as we go to press Wednesday, then they face Pachuca in the Mexican League championship finals this Friday and Sunday, before the Libertadores' semifinals start next Wednesday. Whew.

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