Having a closed-door scrimmage wasn't enough to stop proud Verde fans, who watched from outside the gates of St. David's Performance Center as Austin FC defeated USL team San Antonio FC 5-1 to close out La Copita.
Austin FC tallied five goals in their first La Copita win, with forward Cecilio Dominguez scoring two goals, and forward Danny Hoesen, midfielder Tomas Pochettino and midfielder Alex Ring contributing one goal each.
The club finished out La Copita, which saw the three Texas MLS teams go head-to-head for the first time, with a 1-1-1 record.
Dominguez kicked off ATXFC's lead early in the scrimmage with a goal in the third minute of play, while Hoesen doubled the lead with a header in the 15th minute.
Pochettino put ATXFC up by three off a free kick in the 35th minute, and San Antonio FC responded for the first time in the scrimmage four minutes later.
Austin FC ended the first half with a 4-1 lead after Dominguez scored again in the 44th minute of play, while Ring put the final ball in the back of the net off a penalty kick in the 54th minute.
While midfielder Xan Kolmanic was able to make it to Austin and take to the pitch for the first time, forward Rodney Redes was out on injury due to a "ding" in his knee, head coach Josh Wolff said. Wolff said forward Aaron Schoenfield was also out on knee injury and may be on the bench for a little while.
ATXFC will have one final test against the Rio Grande FC Toros on Sunday before packing up to play their first-ever MLS match at LAFC on Saturday, April 17.
Wolff said that the team will face a big defensive challenge against LAFC.
LAFC has one of the best-attacking teams in the league," Wolff said. "They have some quality in and around goal just as we do, and they will punish you. And they've never been shy of putting up goals. I expect them to be one of the best, if notb the best team in the league this year."
The scrimmage will be even more closed than the ones preceding it- the team hasn't even disclosed what time the match will occur- but all MLS matches will be available on the Austin FC & Q2 Stadium app.
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Downtown may be mostly recovered from the pandemic but residents are shifting their priorities on what they want out of the city, according to the City Pulse Survey done by design firm Gensler.
After studying 7,500 people in 15 global markets, including our very own Austin, Gensler found that life in COVID has pushed city-dwellers to want more outdoor activities, social spaces and entertainment venues in bustling business districts.
Post-pandemic, the highest-rated downtown activities were shopping, visiting parks and just “hanging out.” The need for more public spaces like parks jumped from sixth on the list to second this year.
Although globally people view downtown as a business district for task-based activities, across the U.S., downtown districts are viewed more as a vehicle for entertainment. This is especially true for Austinites, where people surveyed said they would rather see more entertainment and cultural venues than shopping or public transit downtown.
For Melanie Gartman, a manager at construction software company Levelset who has been living in Austin for most of her life, the needs and wants of the average resident closely align with her own.
Austin clocked in second-most desirable downtown, tied with Charlotte, North Carolina. Like the 78% of Austinites in the survey, Gatman said she thinks Downtown Austin is hanging on to its lovable charm.
“Even now with fewer people out and about it's still very vibrant and lively. I feel like I saw life come back to downtown a lot sooner than I expected it to,” Gartman said. “It's still holding on a bit that Austin vibe and with the high rises coming in, it's scary that we could lose that. I think it's holding on better than I would have expected, especially within the last two years of everything that happened.”
As Austinites eased back into downtown, the first stop Gartman made was to go see music again. Since venues opened back up, Gartman and her loved ones have seen live music at their favorite venues: Moody Amphitheatre, Mohawk, The Parish and Empire Control Room.
Blackillac opened for Gary Clark Jr. at the Moody Amphitheater's first show back in August. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
Entertainment is most important for Gartman’s life in Austin—seeing Gary Clark Jr. in August brought normalcy back into her routine—and said our local downtown is the ideal out of other cities in Texas.
“I've always noticed that between Houston’s downtown and Austin’s, Houston's is so Monday to Friday, eight to five, maybe a post-work happy hour,” Gartman said. “Growing up, downtown (Austin) was always the place to go. It has always been the hub and I think Austin is unique in that way.”
Traffic in downtown areas is way down overall, even though concern over pandemic safety has taken a backseat. Shopping traffic has decreased by 28%, dining out and entertainment attendance dropped by 33% in the post-pandemic sphere.
Even though her office is located downtown, Gartman usually works from home. Her downtown visits tend to be for the purpose of entertainment and she said the lack of parking sometimes becomes problematic.
“I feel like all these high rises are taking over all the parking,” Gartman said. “It used to be for go-to parking, I would just park under I-35. No big deal. But now, that’s kind of scary, especially if you're by yourself. The party parking is a barrier to actually making it down there.”
But with the rise of the hybrid work model, it’s likely that the downtown sphere is going to change all across the U.S. For now, survey participants said they would like to see their downtown reduce traffic, add more green space, improve the cityscape and increase parking capacity as we shape the future of cities.
Akins Early College High School, 10701 S. 1st St., was on lockdown Wednesday morning as district police investigated a report of an "armed subject," Austin ISD Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez tweeted. The district has since deescalated the lockdown to a hold, where students can go to the restroom and be picked up if parents choose to do so.
Students and staff are safe and no shots were fired, according to police. Three students were identified to have caused the lockdown after a witness claimed one of them had a weapon; the three met up in the school restroom. No weapon was found on the three students. However, one of the students had two magazines with ammunition.
The three students were located and will not be returning to school tomorrow. Gonzalez said their punishment with the school or charges have not been identified since the investigation is in the early stages.
Additional officers will be on campus tomorrow. "We take these events seriously and we prepare so that at the end of the day, everyone can go home safe," Gonzalez said.
The Taylor Police Department is investigating an apparent murder-suicide that left four people dead on Tuesday.
Officers responded to a call at around 1 p.m. for a welfare check at 616 Symes St. in Taylor, Texas, where the Taylor Fire Department helped force entry into the home since it was locked, police said. Once inside, officers found four dead bodies. The names of the victims have not been released as police continue to contact relatives, but officers revealed they consisted of a 45-year-old woman, a 20-year-old woman, an 18-year-old man and a 57-year-old man.
Police believe the deaths to be a murder-suicide and are investigating with the help of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers.
Later that day, another murder was reported in Taylor, which police say is unrelated.
Police responded to a shooting at 2100 Whistling Way around 4 p.m. Tuesday. They said a family member found 33-year-old Jonathan Hitch with a gunshot wound to his head. It is being investigated as a suspicious death.