Soccer Watch

In a third-round U.S. Open Cup shocker, USL teams won all seven matches against NASL teams last Wednesday, bolstering the third division USL's claim to be considered at least equal, if not ahead of, the second-division NASL. That includes the USL's Austin Aztex, who beat the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions for the second time this year. In all, 12 USL teams advanced to join the MLS clubs in the 32-team fourth-round bracket, along with one amateur team and just two NASL clubs. The Aztex now face the Houston Dynamo at 8pm on Wednesday, June 17, at BBVA Compass Stadium. The winner gets the Seattle-Portland winner a couple of weeks later, on the way toward a postseason title game.

No news at press time on the Austin Aztex's stadium search, but House Park is definitely out for the season. Word on a new home is expected within days... Back in USL play, the Aztex dropped a 1-0 decision in OKC to start their four-game road trip. Next up: Sacra­mento this weekend, Portland next, and then Houston. Next home game is June 20.

Austin Charity Shield 2015: local Arsenal and Liverpool supporter groups play their annual soccer match this Saturday, at 9:30am at Onion Creek Soccer Complex, followed by a reception at Black Sheep Lodge, 2108 S. Lamar, as a fundraiser for the Aztex Soccer Foundation. Presumably, that's where they'll watch the...

Champions League Final: The finale of the European football season is this Saturday, D-Day in Berlin (1:30pm on Fox). Both Juventus and Barcelona already won their national league and cup trophies, so the winner gets the rare "treble." Meanwhile, Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini meet on the field for the first time since the Uruguayan's infamous World Cup bite last summer. And speaking of World Cups...

The Women's World Cup kicks off this Saturday, June 6, in Canada. If you're not excited now, I promise you will be once the U.S. Women get a few games under their belt. See the Soccer Watch WWC primer, above right.

The Men's Under-20 WC is ongoing in New Zealand as well, also live on Fox Sports. Are they showing anything but soccer this month?

Sepp Blatter and FIFA. I've been writing about this boobocracy since before the Chronicle had a website. What is there to add now?

The Women's World Cup

A Canada 2015 Primer

June 6-July 5, in cities across the country, from Vancouver, BC to Moncton, NB.
Kickoffs range from noon-9pm. Fox networks will show all 52 games live in HD.

Overall betting favorites:
USA 3-1, Germany 4-1, Brazil 8-1, France 8-1, Japan 8-1, Canada 14-1, Sweden 16-1, England 25-1, Norway 33-1, Australia 50-1

Group Stage, June 6-17
There are 24 teams, in six four-team groups, playing three games in round-robin format.
Top two in each group, plus top four third-place teams, advance to a knockout round.

Groups & Current World Rankings
A: Canada (8), Holland (12), China (16), New Zealand (17)
B: Germany (1), Norway (11), Thailand (29), Ivory Coast (67)
C: Japan (4), Switzerland (19), Ecuador (48), Cameroon (53)
D: USA (2), Sweden (5), Australia (10), Nigeria (33)
E: Brazil (7), Spain (14), S. Korea (18), Costa Rica (37)
F: France (3), England (6), Mexico (25), Colombia (28)

USA Games
Australia, Mon., June 8, 6:30pm; Sweden, Fri., June 12, 7pm; Nigeria, Tue., June 16, 7pm
Round of 16: Sat.-Tue., June 20-23
Quarterfinals: Fri.-Sat., June 26-27
Semifinals: Tue.-Wed., June 30-July 1
Third Place: Sat., July 4, 3pm
Championship Final: Sun., July 5, 6pm

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