The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/sports/2016-12-09/soccer-watch/

Soccer Watch

By Nick Barbaro, December 9, 2016, Sports

The 2016 soccer year is winding down on a lot of fronts. Here's a brief rundown:

In what has to be one of the better playoff series in MLS history, FC Toronto stormed back from a three-goal deficit last Wed­nes­day night to beat Montreal 7-5 on aggregate, and advanced to their first-ever MLS Cup final, this Saturday, Dec. 10, 7pm on Fox…

Southern California won the NCAA women's soccer title Sunday, beating top-ranked West Virginia, 3-1. The NCAA men's final four is this weekend in Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium, with the semifinals Friday – Denver-Wake Forest at 5pm, North Carolina-Stanford at 7:45pm – and the final at 1pm Sunday, all on ESPNU…

Also on TV: the FIFA Club World Cup, featuring the champions of each of six continents; with the tournament in Japan, game times are in the wee hours here on FS1: quarterfinals are Sunday morning, highlighted by Mexico's Club América taking on Korean champ Jeonbuk Hyundai at 1am. The big boys get involved in the semifinals Wednesday (Uruguay's Atlético Nacional) and Thursday (Spain's Real Madrid) at 4:30am, with the final next Sunday, Dec. 18…

North Korea won the U-20 Women's World Cup on Saturday, to add to their U-17 WC title from earlier in the year. The U.S., after a strong start in group play, slumped to a fourth-place finish, with few bright spots in the knockout round…

The European Champions League group stage concluded this week with no real surprises; 10 of the 16 teams in the knockout round are from Spain, England, and Germany, plus two each from Italy, France, and Portugal.

At press time, U.S. Soccer has delayed a decision on whether to re-sanction the faltering North American Soccer League as the official Division 2 league, or promote USL to that status. Interested parties include the USL's FC San Antonio, plus those hoping to revive the Austin Aztex, who were a USL member until last year.

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