The Austin Chronicle

Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, August 26, 2016, Sports

A summer full of dramatic international action hit a fitting climax with Brazil's emotional win on the last full day of the Rio Olympics. Neymar's cathartic victory scream is a moment that will stay with fans for a long, long time. And suddenly, with that, we're on into the fall season, which started up at a lot of levels, around the world, on that same weekend the Olympics ended.

The UT Longhorns lost their season opener – for the first time in the Angela Kelly era – 1-0 to Seattle last Friday; this weekend they host the College of Charleston Friday, Aug. 26, at 7:30pm, and Detroit at 2pm, Sunday, Aug. 28. Both games are the second half of double-headers, with Sam Houston State playing an earlier game each day.

In Europe, most leagues started their season this past weekend as well, and the European Champions League playoff stage concluded, with Roma and Villarreal already ousted from the competition, with their seasons barely begun. So Italy will have just two teams in the CL group stage this fall, and Spain just three; England and Germany will have four each.

And just on the horizon is another international break: World Cup qualifying for the U.S. men Sept. 2 & 6, with the U.S. needing a win and a draw against St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago to clinch a spot in the hexagonal final round, heading toward 2018 in Russia. European WCQ will start then as well. And so, by the way, will the smaller local colleges, notably the St. Edward's men and women, each ranked 14th in the nation in NCAA DII.

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