Soccer Watch

The Aztex have found a home in the USSF Division II soccer league, and more

The U.S. Soccer Federation Division II soccer league was unveiled last Thursday, largely along the lines predicted here last week, with the Austin Aztex in a 12-team, two-conference league. The 2010 season will run from April through late September; the schedule should be announced soon. But first things first: If plans work out, the first games at House Park could be two very attractive preseason matchups in March. And before then, the Aztex need to reassemble a team, because their current roster has only seven players on it. To that end, the Aztex's 2010 Open Tryouts are coming up Feb. 13-14. Want to be a pro soccer player? This is the best chance you'll get this year; register online at by Friday, Feb. 5. $175.

Togo withdrew from the African Cup of Nations over the weekend, after their team bus was attacked by rebel forces in the Cabinda enclave of Angola, with the driver killed and two players injured. The rebels more or less apologized, saying they didn't mean to interfere with the tournament but were targeting the team's military escorts. On the field, U.S. World Cup opponent Algeria was shocked, 3-0, by Malawi, who had never before won an ACN game. And Mali came back from four goals down with 10 minutes to play to tie hosts Angola, 4-4.

It's not even mid-January, and we already know Barcelona won't have as good a year as they had last year – the defending champs got bounced from the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Dallas and Houston are among the 18 cities identified as potential official host cities in the formal U.S. bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The 18 cities, in alphabetical order: Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; New York; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Diego; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.

Fox Sports on Tuesday announced it'll launch a second soccer network, Fox Soccer Plus, with English, Italian, and other games previously available only through Setanta. Other games are starting to appear on ESPN (e.g., Liverpool at Stoke City, 6:30am this Saturday, Jan. 16).

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USSF Division II, Austin Aztex, African Cup of Nations

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