Soccer Watch

The UT Longhorns beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3-0 in a preseason exhibition last Friday; they got a pair of goals from junior forward Olivia Brook and another from soph Katie Glenn, but were rarely tested on defense, where they used all three veteran goalies. The Horns open the season for real this Friday, Aug. 19, taking on Seattle at 7pm.

The top-ranked U.S. Women will leave the Olympics with no medals, after being bounced in the quarterfinals by their former coach Pia Sundhage and Sweden, despite outshooting the Swedes, 27-6. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo had a bit of a meltdown after what was likely her last major tournament – calling Sundhage and the Swedes "cowards" for their defensive shell – but the Swedes went out and did it again, holding high-flying host Brazil to a scoreless draw in the semifinal, and winning another PK shootout, despite again being outshot 32-6. They'll play for a gold medal despite winning only one of their five games so far, and finishing third in their group. It'll be an all-European final, as Germany shut down previously perfect Canada in the other semi. The medal games are Friday, Aug. 19: Brazil-Canada play for the bronze medal at 11am, followed by Germany-Sweden at 3:30pm.

On the men's side, at this point last week, everyone thought Brazil might be three and out after two scoreless draws against inferior competition. How things have turned around since then. Marta and the women may be out, but Neymar and the men have scored 12 goals in three impressive shutout wins, to storm into what should be a scintillating gold medal match against an equally impressive Germany. That's on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 3:30pm, after Nigeria-Honduras play for the bronze at 11am.

The English Premier League got underway last weekend, with last year's surprise champion Leicester City getting upset by newly promoted Hull. Catch all the EPL action every weekend, shown live across various NBC networks.

The European Champions League playoff stage started this week, as well – even before most leagues have begun their seasons; the return legs are next Tue.-Wed., Aug. 23-24, with several games televised each day at 1:45pm.

The CONCACAF Champions League group stage, meanwhile, continues next Tue.-Thu., at which point the stage will be halfway through, and we should have a pretty good idea if the Mexican and MLS clubs will again have a lock on the final eight.

Major League Soccer will announce on Friday that the FC Minnesota Loons will become the newest MLS franchise, joining the league next season along with Atlanta.

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More Soccer Watch
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Nick Barbaro, April 19, 2019

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