Soccer Watch

Angela Kelly named new head coach for Texas soccer, and more

New UT head coach Angela Kelly
New UT head coach Angela Kelly (Photo courtesy of UT Athletics Department)

Saturday morning, the UT Longhorns announced that head soccer coach Chris Petrucelli had been "reassigned in the department"; effective Monday, the new coach is Angela Kelly (pictured), head coach at the University of Tennessee for the past 12 years. Petrucelli had considerable success in his 13 years at UT, but he hasn't been able to take the program to the next level of being a consistent Top 25 threat, and the team's failure this year to either challenge for a conference title or earn an NCAA bid, despite bringing in some high-powered transfer talent, made it time for a change. Kelly's Vols have been near the top of the Southeastern Conference each year, but her greatest success thus far came as a player: During her four years at North Carolina (1991-94), the Tar Heels went 97-1-1 and won four ACC regular-season titles, four ACC tournaments, and four national championships, with Kelly playing in every game and making various all-tournament, all-conference, and all-American squads. She also won a couple of national championships as a pro and was on the Canadian national team for nine years, including as a full-time starter in the 1995 World Cup.

Barcelona is back on top of the world with a 4-0 thrashing of South American champ Santos in the final of the Club World Cup Sunday. Said Santos' teenage star Neymar: "Today we learned how you play soccer."

After a run of dominating success in European competition in recent years, English teams have largely disappointed this fall. Of the eight English teams in the Europa League and Champions League, only three advanced out of the group stages that ended this week. Knockout rounds in both competitions start mid-February.

Cult of personality: Abby Wambach was named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year on Tuesday – the first soccer player, male or female, to win that title... David Beckham signed the "contract of the century" the same day, leaving MLS and the LA Galaxy for Qatari-owned Paris St. Germain.

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