What did Josh Wolff say at halftime?
Whatever changes the Austin FC head coach made, it worked: Austin FC transformed a stumbling first half into an adrenaline-fueled 3-1 victory for their first-ever MLS win against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.
While Austin FC fans, many of whom were in Denver to see the match first-hand, were hoping for the club's first goal, they weren't expecting the explosive 10-minute stretch that saw Diego Fagundez make history and Cecilio Dominguez get a chance at a hat trick.
After a flat first half, it was Fagundez who realized the club's first-ever goal as he snuck one in behind Rapids GK William Yarborough to hit the bottom left corner. Newbie Daniel Pereira, who shone in his second professional appearance, brought an impressive drive up the pitch to log the club's first assist.
THIS. RIGHT. HERE.
History for our Club. History for the ATX. pic.twitter.com/FepuI4pgVx
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) April 25, 2021
Before anyone could catch their breath, Dominguez showed the crowd why he wears the No. 10 jersey as he joined Fagundez with the game-winning goal. Dominguez confidently knocked one in in the 67th minute of play, sprinting off the pitch and jumping into the arms of his teammates on the bench. The club had secured its first lead in its short history. For once, La Murga's instruments were silent as they too joined into the celebratory roar.
Wolff said that Dominguez was a driving factor in the club's momentous win.
"I think that energy became contagious around the field," Wolff said. "And most of that was driven by Cecilio, he came in and really gave a good impact to kick off the second half and that bled into everything."
But one goal wasn't enough for Dominguez, who returned once again to the opposite corner to drive in another for the team four minutes later. He may have upped the score to 3-1, but more importantly, Dominguez and Fagundez had hit the gas and let the Rapids know that they weren't letting up.
The final whistle blew, and Austin FC took their first victory 3-1.
Wolff said it was satisfying to see the club reach their full potential.
"Once we had a bit of momentum, I think it was clear as to as to what we were capable of doing," Wolff said. "And a lot of credit goes to the players, they worked their butts off and got everything they deserve."
The #denVERDE crew may be leaving the Dick's Sporting Goods Stadium with smiles on their faces tonight, but it didn't seem like the match would go the Verde way in the first half.
In a last-minute lineup change, Austin FC's DP Tomas Pochettino was very suddenly benched due to a request by the MLS, with the league citing issues in registration as the reason for their request.
Defender Matt Besler, another starter, was out due to the birth of his son, and Rodney Redes was swapped for Jared Stroud as the club switched into a 4-4-2 format.
Welcome to the world Miller James Besler 💙 4/23/21. Can't wait to bring you home to meet your sisters. #BeslerFamilyof5 #FOE pic.twitter.com/WZH3ikfGH8
— Matt Besler (@MattBesler) April 25, 2021
Despite the mysterious changes, Austin FC appeared to be off to a good start against the Rapids, who were also looking for their first goal of the season.
LB Ben Sweat was helping lead good charges at both wings, sending up crosses that threatened Rapids GK William Yarborough. However, after fending off an attack from forward Michael Barrios, Sweat suffered what appeared to be a knee injury. Twenty-one-year-old Zan Kolmanic took to the pitch and continued where Sweat left off, but his crosses weren't enough to aid a team that was lacking in communication and struggling to make plays in the final third.
Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki capitalized on the club's discomfort and sent in a signature set piece to make Colorado's first goal of the season in the 36th minute of play.
Austin FC was unable to answer or even get a shot on target until the 45th minute of play, when Pereira made an attempt that gave the club just enough hope to formulate a rallying cry at halftime.
Three goals later, Austin FC left their second-ever match with a win—and the attention of the entire MLS. But the club still needs to work on cohesion and consistent attacks before its members can let in a collective sigh of relief.
"It's a momentous occasion for the city and for this organization," Wolff said. "Moments of the game were up and down, but they grinded. A lot of good feelings right now. A lot of firsts and we'll continue those throughout the year."
Now, it's time for celebration, but the club will need to keep that energy as they plan for another road match against Minnesota FC on Saturday, May 1.
- Before kickoff: the ultimate guide to all things Austin FC - austonia ›
- Austonia tours Austin FC's brand-new Q2 Stadium - austonia ›
- Sebastian Berhalter is Austin FC's youngest team member - austonia ›
- Watch parties and where to view Austin FC's first-ever match - austonia ›
- Austin FC looks to get a win streak going against Minnesota - austonia ›
- Diego Fagundez showed his Verde colors with Austin FC's first goal - austonia ›
- Austin FC beats Minnesota 1-0 for first-ever win streak - austonia ›
- With a fast pass to the starting XI, Žan Kolmanič rises to the challenge - austonia ›
- Austin FC is looking for a three-match win streak at Kansas City - austonia ›
- Jared Stroud is a playmaker and fan supporter at Austin FC - austonia ›
Expect some whiplash this week, Austinites: with an expected high of 103 degrees, Monday is predicted to be the hottest day of the year, but a midweek cold front is on the way to bring that first glimpse of fall.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport could see its first 100-degree temperature this year on Monday as temperatures citywide are expected to exceed this year's record of 102 degrees.
The cold front arrives Tuesday afternoon to evening.#atx #atxwx #cbsaustinwx https://t.co/rQni6ug3y4 pic.twitter.com/PoFeHPYtnM
— Chikage Windler WX (@ChikageWeather) September 20, 2021
After a typical summery Tuesday with highs in the mid-90s, Wednesday will welcome the first signs of fall as a cold front drops lows into the 50s.
Expect more wind and a chance of rain come Tuesday with a 40% chance of scattered storms. The cold front, which should last through Friday, will bring drier, crisper air that could cause fire hazards on Wednesday.
Highs will be in the upper 80s and lows in the 50s and lower 60s for the front's final two mornings.
After near record heat today, a cold front arrives tomorrow! Hang in there South-Central Texas, we have almost made it. pic.twitter.com/yd9UbNo7hY
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) September 20, 2021
- 5 places to visit in Austin this summer - austonia ›
- 5 new Austin eats for you to try this summer - austonia ›
- Top summer travel destinations and where Austin ranks - austonia ›
- Heat wave shows up in Austin this weekend—and stays - austonia ›
- Beat the heat at these iconic swimming holes in and around Austin ... ›
- Seattle and Austin swap weather forecasts this week - austonia ›
Around 75 dogs died in a fire Saturday night at Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, according to the Georgetown Fire Department, leaving dozens of owners to mourn the losses of their furry companions.
The fire department arrived on the scene less than five minutes after 911 calls started flooding in at 10:56 p.m. At their arrival, they found flames and clouds of smoke, according to GFD Chief John Sullivan.
Twenty-five firefighters were on the scene, hoping to save as many lives as possible, initially trying to open some ventilation and control the smoke, though they were unable to save any dogs. Sullivan said his heart goes out to the families of the victims of the fire.
"I've been doing this for 29 years and this is the first incident that I've had where we've lost so many pets," Sullivan said. "I hate to use that term because, to me, a pet is a lot more than a pet—it is the closest friend. I wish I could convey my internal emotions adequately. I just wish I could go back in time to make it better."
Families of the fallen pets, who are believed to have died from smoke inhalation, have created a memorial outside the pet resort's fence complete with flowers, photos, notes and beloved toys of their friends.
No people were discovered at the scene—Ponderosa's boarding policies state that the staff feels that pets sleep better at night when no employees are there, so the pets are left unattended at night.
The fire department is still working to discover what caused the fire. Despite fire and smoke damage to the inside, the outer metal exterior survived the blaze. Based on the type of construction and occupancy type, the building was not required to have a sprinkler system.
"Quite frankly, I view my personal pet as probably my closest confidant, friend and the one that doesn't judge, so my heart just breaks," Sullivan said.
The fire claimed the lives of dog duo Bunny and Clyde, leaving owners and newlywed couple Don and Pam Richard devastated and angry KXAN reports, saying they wouldn't have left the dogs had they known they would be left unattended at night.
The Richard family is planning to petition the city of Georgetown, making it so that animals in professional care are never left unattended again.
- 9 dog-friendly Austin eateries that will give you a new leash on life ›
- Dog-killing algae confirmed in Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake ... ›
- Animal rights activist Jeanne Daniels destroys the Tarrytown ... ›
After months of speculation, a new report says political personality Beto O'Rourke is mulling a run for Texas governor that he will announce later this year.
Sources tell Axios the former congressman is preparing his campaign for the 2022 election, where he will likely vie for the position against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. The only other candidate that has announced he will take on Abbott for governor is former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West—no Democrats have announced they are running as of yet.
"No decision has been made," Axios reports David Wysong, O'Rourke's former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, said. "He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."
A new poll from The Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler shows O'Rourke is narrowing the gap between himself and Abbott's prospects for governor. In the poll, 37% said they'd vote for O'Rourke over Abbott, while 42% said they'd vote for Abbott.
Abbott has been in the hot seat due to his handling of COVID-19 and the signing of landmark legislation into law, including new abortion and voting rights laws; 54% of poll respondents voted they think the state is headed in the "wrong direction." Still, Texas hasn't had a Democrat as governor since the 90s.
O'Rourke's people-focused approach to the 2018 Senator race, which he lost to Sen. Ted Cruz, gave him a widespread following and many hoped he'd throw his hat into the ring since he said he was considering it earlier this year.
"We hope that he's going to run," Gilberto Hinojosa, the state chair of the Democratic Party, told Axios. "We think he'll be our strongest candidate. We think he can beat Abbott because he's vulnerable."