Soccer Watch

Soccer Watch

Austin FC – er, excuse me, I guess they're still called Columbus Crew FC for now – advanced to the MLS Eastern Conference finals, where they'll host regular season champs Toronto Nov. 21 at their old park in Columbus. Meanwhile down here in Austin, enthusiasm reigns, with a couple of well-attended supporters group meetings (see for info), and a rally at City Hall at 6pm today, Thursday, Nov. 9, before the Austin City Council considers a resolution asking the city manager to identify city-owned sites that could be used for an MLS stadium and/or other facilities. Thus far, speculation continues to center on the Butler Shores site behind Zach Theatre at the mouth of Barton Creek, despite concerns about size, access, noise, and the fact that it would take a citywide vote to repurpose the dedicated parkland. In the latest twist, the baseball community has caught wind of the rumors, and South Austin Baseball recently sent out a notice advising their folks to "contact your local city council person and let them know your thoughts on the possibility of a Major League Soccer Stadium being built where the Oldest Little League in Texas has played since its beginning."

Austin gets to host two NCAA playoff games this weekend: The UT Longhorns host North Texas at Mike Myers Stadium on Friday at 5pm, and the St. Edward's men host Colorado School of Mines at 1pm Saturday at Lewis-Chen Family Field on the St. Ed's campus. Both teams are coming off conference tournament disappointments: St. Edward's men lost 1-0 in the Heartland Conference final at national No. 1 Midwestern State; UT went down in the Big 12 first round in a PK shootout. And both teams have already beaten their first-round NCAA opponent this season: UT beat UNT 1-0 up in Denton; St. Ed's buried the Orediggers 3-0 back in early September.

World Cup qualifiers around the world this week, Thu.-Wed., Nov. 9-15, to decide the last nine spots in WC2018, next summer in Russia. That includes eight European games, all showing on ESPN and Fox Sports, plus four intercontinental games and 11 games to finish group play in Africa, six showing on BeIN Sports. Here's the full WCQ schedule, with listings for the games that are available on TV.

Thursday, Nov. 9

Croatia vs. Greece (1:30pm, ESPN Deportes)

Northern Ireland vs. Switzerland (1:30pm, ESPN2)

Friday, Nov. 10

South Africa vs. Senegal (11am, BeIN Sports)

Algeria vs. Nigeria (1:20pm, BeIN Sports)

Sweden vs. Italy (1:30pm, Fox Sports 1)

Honduras vs. Australia

New Zealand vs. Peru (9pm, BeIN Sports)

Saturday, Nov. 11

Zambia vs. Cameroon

Gabon vs. Mali

DR Congo vs. Guinea

Côte d'Ivoire vs. Morocco (11:30am, BeIN Sports)

Tunisia vs. Libya

Denmark vs. Ireland Republic (1:30pm, FS2)

Sunday, Nov. 12

Congo vs. Uganda

Ghana vs. Egypt (9:30am, BeIN Sports)

Switzerland vs. Northern Ireland (11am, ESPN Deportes)

Greece vs. Croatia (1:30pm, ESPN Deportes)

Monday, Nov. 13

Italy vs. Sweden (1:30pm, FS1)

Tuesday, Nov. 14

Burkina Faso vs. Cape Verde Islands

Senegal vs. South Africa

Ireland Republic vs. Denmark (1:30pm, FS2)

Wednesday, Nov. 15

Australia vs. Honduras (3am, BeIN Sports)

Peru vs. New Zealand

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