In the Box

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This fall certainly provides soccer fans with some great live soccer viewing in Texas.


These are top class events that one will not want to miss.

First, let's talk about Reliant Stadium where on Wednesday November 16 the Mexican National team returns to Houston to take on Eastern European side Bulgaria.

National pride is at a high right now after the recent U17 Mexican National team's winning performance at the FIFA Youth World Championships in Peru. It should be no different on this evening as Mexico will be celebrating their qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Celebration aside, this will be a very important preparation match for Mexico. Playing against European teams has always been a great measuring stick for the "tricolore" and it will be no different on this evening. The game will be a study in contrasting playing styles.

Reliant Stadium has been a memorable place for Mexico as they played in the first-ever soccer game in the facility against the United States back in 2003 in front of a sold-out crowd of close to 70,000 fans.

Expect another large World Cup Finals-like crowd to see Bulgaria led by former FIFA World Player of the Year Hristo Stoichkov who played for Barcelona in Spain and also in MLS with the Chicago Fire.

The Bulgarian squad should be sprinkled with Euro-stars like midfielder Stilian Petrov of Celtic in Scotland and forwards Dimitar Berbatov of Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and Martin Petrov of Atletico Madrid in Spain.

If you aren't able to go to Germany 2006 this will be the best opportunity for local fans to get World Cup fever in the comfort of their own backyard. As always these matches provide a great opportunity to get young players in front of world class soccer.

Oh and by the way , don't forget to tune in to my radio program "The Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis presented by Soccer4all" on ESPN 790 AM every Wednesday night. I will be giving out Mexico/Bulgaria tickets up until the game on November 16 and previewing the upcoming game.

Another option only a few days before on November 13 the best of the Eastern and Western Conferences in MLS will fight it out to see who takes home the MLS Cup in historic year ten at the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, TX. The soccer specific stadium the home of FC Dallas should be sold out for this event. The stadium will provide the intimacy much like the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca., that an MLS Cup Final deserves.

Who knows? Houston area products like Chris Gbandi and Arturo Alvarez could be playing in the final if FC Dallas gets there.

December 1-4 at the Aggie Soccer Complex on the campus of Texas AM University the NCAA Womens College Cup will be held. The Aggies have been a perennial top twenty team and have one of the top drawing soccer programs in the nation both male and female. Will they be there to potentially win it in their home stadium? Only time will tell.

With world class soccer coming to Reliant, MLS's best to meet in Frisco, and top women's collegiate teams to compete for a national title the choices are excellent.

It will be a history making fall for live soccer in Houston.  Start planning now and get out and support your game.

Davis is a nationally recognized broadcaster for HDNET where he partners up with former U.S. National Team defender Marcelo Balboa. He was one of the lead voices for ESPN during the 2002 World Cup and has called major international soccer matches for the Fox Network as well.  He is a weekly columnist for the Houston Chronicle and hosts the "Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis" radio show on ESPN 790 AM every Sunday from 5-6 pm.  Davis played soccer professionally for the Houston Dynamos where he was a league all star selection and team captain.

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