Local soccer supporters' group Chantico's Army, rededicated as Eberly's Army, host launch party, and more
Oops. I misread the USL PRO schedule (they list road teams first, strangely), and reported last week's loss at Richmond as the home opener for Orlando City (née Austin Aztex). In fact, Orlando's real home opener went considerably better: a 3-0 win over FC New York, with two goals from Max Griffin and one from Yordany Alvarez. The crowd of 7,933 in the 70,000-seat Citrus Bowl was more than the capacity of House Park, where the Aztex played. Their biggest crowd last year was 6,051.
The high school state championship tourney is in Georgetown this weekend; root for the Cedar Park Vista Ridge girls in 4A and the Round Rock McNeil boys in 5A. Thursday-Saturday, April 14-16, at Birkelbach Field behind Georgetown High School, 2275 N. Austin Ave. 11am, 1, 4, & 6pm each day; Thursday: 4A semifinals; Friday: 5A semifinals; Saturday: finals. ($10, adults; $5, student per day; $20-25, all-tourney.) See www.uiltexas.org/soccer for more info.
It'll be Schalke vs. Manchester United and Barcelona vs. Real Madrid (!) in the semifinals of the European Champions League, April 26-27 and May 3-4... The Spanish giants are set to play each other four times in 17 days – in the ECL, in league, and in the Copa del Rey... Real Salt Lake faces Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League final, April 20 and 27.
Man U knocking out Chelsea, 3-1, was the only semifinal that was remotely close; that result ended Chelsea's hopes for any title this year and may trigger a major overhaul of the veteran-laden squad and the end of coach Carlo Ancelotti's tenure.
On TV, April 16-17: Saturday is a juicy FA Cup semifinal, the Manchester derby featuring Man U vs. Man City, 11am on FSC. And at 2:55pm: El Clásico, Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com. And on Sunday, Arsenal vs. Liverpool (10am, FSC) is more or less an elimination game for both teams' hopes.
Stan Kroenke, owner of the MLS champion Colorado Rapids, has acquired controlling interest in London powerhouse Arsenal. That makes 10 of the 20 Premier League teams now majority-owned by foreigners – including five Americans. Kroenke expressed complete support for Gunners manager, Arsene Wenger.