Soccer Watch

Soccer Watch
Photo by James Goulden

The Austin Aztex open play in the U.S. Open Cup this Wed., May 20, facing either the NTX Rayados or Laredo Heat, who are playing in the first round as we go to press. Laredo was a fierce rival back in the Premier Development League days, and the Rayados are the Dallas Premier rec team that knocked the Aztex out of the Cup last year, so either way, it's an easy game to get up for. The winner moves on to a third-round game the next Wed., May 27; that might well be a Hill Country Derby matchup with the San Antonio Scorpions. (That will likely be decided by the time you read this; check for that news.) The winner of that one would likely get an MLS team in the fourth round. The U.S. Open Cup is in its 102nd year, one of the longest-running sporting events in the world; it features all 47 U.S. pro teams from three leagues, plus 44 amateur teams from all levels of U.S. Soccer. Wed., May 20, 8pm at House Park, 13th & Lamar.

Back to USL league play: The Aztex finished their four-game home stand last Saturday with a dramatic 3-2 comeback win over Salt Lake City, equalizing in the 88th minute on a powerful header from defender Kalen Ryden, then getting a 92nd-minute winner from Trevin Caesar, with late sub Mozzi Gyorio assisting on both goals. The Aztex are on the road this weekend at Arizona, who beat them, 1-0, a month ago, but have been winless in four games since. Then after the Open Cup game, they'll host Tulsa on Sat., May 23, 8pm.

The European Champions League finalists were decided this week, as Barcelona finished off Bayern Munich, while Italian champion Juventus stunned defending European champ Real Madrid with a second-half goal. The final is June 6 in Berlin. Europa League semis finish up today, Thu., May 14, 1:30pm on Fox Sports 1.

Countdown: Just three weeks until the kickoff of the Women's World Cup in Canada. The U.S. women continue their preparations, taking on Mexico at 8pm Sun., May 17, live on FOX Sports 1, following up on last weekend's dominant 3-0 win over Ireland.

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