Soccer Watch

UT Longhorn soccer kicks off at 7pm Friday, Aug. 16, hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a free exhibition match at Mike A. Myers Stadium (behind Memorial Stadium at Red River & Manor Road). The Horns will be a very young squad, with seven freshmen, 11 sophomores, five juniors, and only two seniors. They should be stout on defense, though, led by goalkeeper Abby Smith, who missed about half of last season playing with the U.S. U-20 team, and junior middle defenders Brooke Gilbert and Julie Arnold. The Horns were picked to finish sixth in the nine-team Big 12 in a coaches poll; West Virginia, who return nine starters from last season, was tabbed the front-runner. Regular season tickets will be $7, or you can buy a $40 "Orange Card" good for every home game plus a Longhorns Nation T-shirt (while available); order by noon Friday, Aug. 23, at or 512/232-3865.

The fall season starts in earnest all across Europe this weekend, and NBC, which bought the rights to the English Premier League this season, is jumping in with both feet, showing no less than six of the opening weekend's 10 games live on either NBC or NBC Sports (with the other four, being played simultaneously, available on NBC Sports Live Extra). Saturday has Liverpool-Stoke City (6:45am), Arsenal-Aston Villa (9am), and Swansea City-Manchester United (11:30am, NBC); Sunday has Crystal Palace-Tottenham (7:30am), and Chelsea-Hull City (10am); Monday is Manchester United-Chelsea (2pm). The pattern continues through the season: At least for the next several weeks, every single EPL game, except those which are simultaneous, will be shown live on either NBC, NBCSN, or CNBC.

The U.S. national team got a second-half hat trick from star striker Jozy Altidore to storm back from a 2-0 halftime deficit, and beat Bosnia-Herzegovina, 4-3, Wednesday night in Sarajevo. Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann seems to be pushing all the right buttons, as a makeshift lineup extended the Yanks' record-winning streak to 12 games, in their final tune-up before World Cup qualifying resumes in early September.

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