Soccer Watch

Aztex near first-ever playoff appearance, and more

The Austin Aztex will play the first playoff game in their history this week, on the road in either Montreal or Puerto Rico. The Aztex got goals from four different players Saturday night to beat St. Louis 4-2 in their final regular-season home game and retake first place in the league. They finish the regular season this weekend at Carolina (Friday, Oct. 1, 6pm) and Montreal (Sunday, Oct. 3, 1pm), needing a win or two draws to clinch first place and the top seed in the eight-team playoffs starting next weekend. However ...

A stadium conflict in Puerto Rico has thrown a kink into the playoff schedule: If the Aztex earn the top seed, they'll be at Puerto Rico Thursday, Oct. 7, and host their home playoff game Sunday, Oct. 10, 7:30pm. If they slip this weekend and finish behind Rochester, however, they'll face Montreal in the first round, away on Wednesday and home on Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:30pm... Remember, you can watch all road games at or at watch parties at Mister Tramps (8565 Research)... Eddie Johnson, Max Griffin, and Jamie Watson remain second, third, and fourth in scoring in the league heading into the final weekend.

The UT Longhorns opened Big 12 play last weekend with a 2-1 loss at Nebraska and a scoreless draw at Colo­rado. This week they host UW-Milwaukee, Friday, Oct. 1, 7pm (call 232-3865 by 4pm Thursday to buy a bundle pack – $5 for a game ticket and a Texas Athletics T-shirt), before resuming Big 12 play next Friday against Texas Tech.

The St. Edward's women (6-0-1) are back in the Top 10 in the nation after Sunday's 1-0 win over Angelo State; they open Heartland Conference play this week in Dallas.

In CONCACAF Champions League group play this week, Real Salt Lake and Mexico's Cruz Azul and Monterrey were the first teams to claim spots in the quarterfinals. The Puerto Rico Islanders (the Aztex's likely playoff foes) are trying to keep their Champions League campaign alive as we go to press Wednesday night, hosting Mexican power Toluca. The group stage finishes up Oct. 21... European Champions League group play continued this week, highlighted by Manchester United's 1-0 away win over Valencia.

South Korea edged Japan in a penalty-kick shoot-out to win the Under-17 Women's World Cup, its first-ever FIFA championship... FC Gold Pride won the Women's Pro Soccer title Sunday with a 4-0 win over Philadelphia, with Christine Sinclair scoring twice, and Marta scoring one and setting up the other three.

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Austin Aztex, Eddie Johnson, Max Griffin, Jamie Watson

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