Soccer Watch

Aztex bow out of playoffs, and more

The Austin Aztex's season ended last Saturday with a 3-2 playoff loss to the Montreal Impact at House Park. It was a fair enough result – Montreal's very good, and the Aztex didn't seem quite in sync – but, oh, it's still so painful. I'll write more about it in coming weeks, as decisions start to be pondered: about next season's roster, about the future of USSF Division 2, and even about the team's long-term stadium plans, now that House Park is locked in for the next three seasons. The Aztex's postseason awards included Eddie Johnson being voted Player of the Year by both the fans and players, Max Griffin hailed as Rookie of the Year, Miguel Gallardo getting the Community Relations Award for his community and youth work, and backup keeper Sean Kelley earning Clubman of the Year for his contributions to the team on and off the field... D-2 playoff semifinals are Oct. 14 & 17: Montreal faces the Carolina Railhawks, and the Van­couver Whitecaps take on the Puerto Rico Islanders. The championship series will be Oct. 23 & 30.

The UT women (8-3-3, 1-2-2) finally got their first Big 12 win on Sunday with a 1-0 over Baylor; they're on the road this week at Missouri and Iowa State, before ending the regular season with home games against Oklahoma and Top 10 programs Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.

St. Edward's women (10-0-1) moved up to No. 8 in the country in Division II after beating UT-Permian Basin, 4-0, on Saturday. Now comes a five-game homestand, starting with St. Mary's (Thursday, Oct. 14, 4pm), Texas A&M-International (Saturday, Oct. 16, 1pm), and Newman (Thursday, Oct. 21, 4pm).

In Euro2012 qualifying this weekend, England was held to a scoreless draw by Montenegro, but the biggest news was the game that wasn't played, as Serbian rioters forced the cancellation of their team's game in Genoa, six minutes in; Italy will likely be awarded a 3-0 forfeit win. Qualifying play will resume March 25, 2011... European Champions League play picks up this Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 19-20, with several games shown live and delayed on FSC... And CONCACAF Champions League group play ends this week, Oct. 19-21, with the D-2 Puerto Rico Islanders probably needing a win in Honduras on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals in February.

Remember a few months ago, when the World Cup in South Africa was supposed to herald Africa's emergence into the 21st century global community? Well, after last weekend's qualifying matches for the African Cup of Nations, let's just say things are still a little quirky on the land mass formerly known as the Dark Continent. Consider: The marquee game, South Africa at Sierra Leone, went unseen, because the TV equipment never made it to the game; Egypt's loss at Niger is being blamed on the witch doctor who led a black goat onto the field before the game; Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo were threatened by a cholera epidemic; Nigeria was banned from international play by the sport's ruling body, then provisionally unbanned just in time to lose to Guinea; the Zimbabwean coach was deported four days before their game; and Group D favorites Algeria were shocked by the little-seen Central African Republic – the first win since 1973 for the team known as the Low-Ubangui Fawns.

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Eddie Johnson, Miguel Gallardo, Max Griffin

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