The Austin Chronicle

Soccer Watch

February 13, 2015, Sports

Yes, the ATX Pro Challenge is going on, and there's more soccer talent in Austin this weekend than anywhere else in the country, but that's not the only soccer news this week, or even the only Austin Aztex news.

For starters, USL PRO is now simply the USL, the Aztex's league announced Tuesday, with a new logo, a new motto – "We Are United" – and confirmation that they will petition U.S. Soccer for Division 2 status "in the coming months." So, major turf war with the North American Soccer League (NASL), which currently contains many of the best-established minor-league clubs, but which lacks USL's affiliation with Major League Soccer.

Coincindentally, the Aztex on Monday announced their eighth and final 2015 preseason game, and it's a good one: the first-ever matchup with the San Antonio Scorpions, reigning NASL champions. The rivalry, already dubbed the Hill Country Derby, will be played at San Antonio's Toyota Field on Saturday, March 14, at 7:30pm. This should be fun; fans on both sides have been waiting for this match to be made, ever since both teams started. Let's get it on!... The U.S. Open Cup schedule has been released: The Aztex will play in that venerable national tournament starting in the second round, on May 20... The USL regular season, you may recall, opens March 28.

The U.S. Women continue their preparations for this summer's Women's World Cup, with a game at England, at 2pm Friday, live on Fox Sports and Univision. They'll be looking to improve on Sunday's performance, a 2-0 loss to France in which the Americans were clearly second-best. The WWC kicks off June 6 in Canada.

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