Austin FC's last hopes for nabbing an award in their inaugural season were dashed as in-state rival FC Dallas took home the "Copa Tejas" trophy with a 2-1 win on Saturday.
After a Sunday win over Texas foe Houston Dynamo, Austin FC seemed to dominate in the first half of the match. But the "fright night turned fight night," as coined by Austin FC commentator Michael Lahoud, soon turned sour after a Dallas goal and Hector Jimenez red card left the team tied 2-2 with 10 men to close the last half.
With the loss, Austin kept their six points in Copa Tejas, a supporters' award which gives MLS teams in Texas a chance to earn bragging rights and a massive silver trophy if they prove their "Best in Texas" status. The trophy, which was fittingly brought to Dallas for the final Copa Tejas match, will stay there in the hands of FC Dallas.
After losing a shot at last-minute playoff contention Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said the team was striving for the award for both their fans and themselves.
"Our guys put a lot into it, we talked about it," Wolff said. "It's the one that got away."
And Austin looked like they might have it in the bag in the first half of the match. After 30 minutes of scorelessness, fan favorite Diego Fagundez juked out an FC Dallas defense and sliced a curveball past traffic in the box to give Austin the lead in the match.
The triumph was short-lived, however, as Dallas star Jesus Ferreira tapped one in two minutes later off a close up cross from teammate Jader Obrien. As the "fight night" turned frightful for Austin, Ferreira put up some "Thriller" moves just after scoring his goal.
With both Texas teams tied at the half, it seemed either could win the Lone Star showdown. But an ill-fated red card after Austin FC defender Hector Jimenez pulled down an FC Dallas player in the 57th minute would haunt the Verde and Black as they were forced to play with 10 men for the remainder of the match.
Austin's Sebastian Driussi spooked the Dallas side with a near-miss on a bounced shot in the 73rd minute, but it was ultimately Dallas' Franco Jara who would put the nail in the coffin for the Texas championship match. In his first touch of the game, Jara found the back of the net in the 80th minute to give the home team their first lead of the match.
Twenty minutes after the fateful red card call, FC Dallas secured the MLS' first Copa Tejas title and plenty of bragging rights with a 2-1 win over the Verde and Black.
Austin is out of playoff contention, but they still have two key matches left to wrap up their first season as they take on Sporting Kansas City for their last home match on at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 3. The team's final match will be away against the Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 7.
Here's how FC Dallas nabbed that Copa Tejas trophy:
80' Austin falls back with 2-1 deficit
In his first touch of the match, FC Dallas' Franco Jara slots one into the top left corner of goal to give the home team their first lead in the 80th minute of play.
Twenty minutes after the fateful red card call, the match might once again become a "Fright Night" for Austin if their chance at Copa Tejas slips out of their grasps. The Verde and Black have 10 minutes—and 10 men—to make two goals and take home the silver cup.
73' Driussi's dribble almost gives Austin the lead
Despite being down a man, Austin FC has held the home team to a 1-1 tie for this Copa Tejas championship match and have come agonizingly close to grabbing another lead.
Sebastian Driussi is the latest Verde and Black player to take a crack at goal as Zan Kolmanic's cross puts him in prime position, but his shot bounces a bit too high to give Austin their second goal. Every missed shot is increasingly infuriating for each Texas team as they look to make the most of their opportunities.
Austin makes another substitution call and swaps Cecilio Dominguez for Tomas Pochettino.
57' Austin to play with 10 men after red card
Austin's fight for Copa Tejas just got that much harder as left back Hector Jimenez pulls down an FC Dallas defender and is issued a disastrous red card.
It could be a death sentence for Austin, and they'll have to play the final 30 minutes of the match with just 10 men. Forward Moussa Djitte is pulled off the pitch after an unusually quiet match and is replaced by defender Zan Kolmanic as head coach Josh Wolff recalibrate the team's strategy.
If Austin pulls this off, the Copa Tejas win will be even sweeter, but they haven't yet won a match with 10 men before
46' Dallas nearly gets a goal seconds in to 2nd half
Dallas nearly scores on their first second-half drive less than 20 seconds into the half. Jesus Ferreira is clearly hungry for more than just one goal tonight and finds himself unguarded a few feet away from Austin's keeper Brad Stuver, but Stuv is able to keep his wits and block the ball from becoming the home team's second goal of the night.
38' FC Dallas' Ferreira makes it even
Not even two minutes after Austin celebrated its first goal, Dallas midfielder Jesus Ferreira once again looks to strike back—and this time he succeeds.
A pass to FC Dallas' Jader Obrien slips past a dive from Austin's Sebastian Driussi. Obrien jets past Verde defense and gets next to Austin's left goalpost before passing to Ferreira, who taps it in to tie the match.
It's "Fright night turned fight night" at this October cup match, and Ferreira pulls a "Thriller" move as he ties it up before the half.
36' Austin scores first!
FC Dallas' pressure has shown some cracks in the match, and Austin's Diego Fagundez takes advantage of a slip up as he breezes away from a defender and shoots a curveball past plenty of traffic straight into the net just outside of the box. It's 1-0 Austin FC as the fight for Copa Tejas intensifies.
The goal is a 26-year-old Fagundez's 60th career MLS goal and his seventh with Austin FC as he once again ties as the Verde and Black's top scorer.
31' Ring nearly gives Austin the lead
Same, Alex. pic.twitter.com/GWnvakiOVM— Austin FC (@AustinFC) October 31, 2021
With half an hour of scorelessness, Austin FC's Alex Ring attempts to give his team the lead. Forward Cecilio Dominguez nabs the ball in the box but pulls off a sneaky pass back to a wide-open Ring, who shoots one just inches wide of the bottom left corner of goal.
Just a minute later, Dallas scoring machine Jesus Ferreira makes an attempt of his own with a close up shot that sails above goal.
Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff is once again holding down the gas with one of the team's best lineups hitting the field. Sunday's MLS Team of the Week player Captain Alex Ring once again holds down the midfield, with successful attacking options Sebastian Driussi, Moussa Djitte and Cecilia Dominguez taking the top.
Daniel Pereira is in for DP Tomas Pochettino alongside Diego Fagundez.
As the match kicked off just after 7 p.m., thousands of fans back in Austin are stuck with Twitter and website updates as Austin FC's streaming service says it is scheduled to begin an hour behind schedule.
The club quickly fixed this issue just two minutes after kickoff.
The battle for Copa Tejas
Here is the Copa Tejas trophy @FCDallas and @AustinFC are playing for tonight. And its a good looking piece of hardware!— Steve Davis (@SteveDavis90) October 30, 2021
Kick at 7 on TXA21 with me and
that other fella (@MFollowill ). pic.twitter.com/sXq8JqY1iR
Everything's bigger in Texas, including supporters' cup trophies. Copa Tejas, a gigantic silver cup made for the best MLS club in the Lone Star State.
Originally a battle between United Soccer League clubs, this year will be the first time an MLS duel will happen—and it could be Austin's for the taking.
Will Austin FC earn crucial bragging rights over rivals FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo this week?
If they win tonight, they'll take home the cup with nine points to the other teams' eight. If they draw or lose, it'll be FC Dallas who takes home the precious metal.
Fans have redirected their passions toward this cup after losing hopes at a last-second playoff run, and this cup could bring back some pride to the fledgling Verde team.
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It's official, jack-of-all-trades Matthew McConaughey is staying out of politics and not running for Texas governor.
In a video posted to social media on Sunday, the Academy award-winning actor set the record straight that he would not be running for governor after greatly considering so by listening and learning about Texas and U.S. politics.
"As a simple kid born in Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership. It's an inspiring and humbling path to ponder," McConaughey said. "It is also a path I am choosing not to take at this moment."
Instead, McConaughey says he will continue to invest in entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations he believes are supporting people in different ways.
The announcement puts an end to the months of speculation that he could announce a bid for governor. While he's previously called politics a "bag of rats" and little indicated he was mulling a run as the Dec. 13 deadline to file was approaching, he still fared well among some voters.
The latest poll by the University of Texas and Dallas Morning News showed he would beat Gov. Greg Abbott by eight percentage points in a head-to-head matchup and would fare even better alone against former congressman Beto O'Rourke, with nearly 50% of respondents choosing McConaughey.
The primaries for the election will take place in March before the November 2022 election for governor. So far, O'Rourke is running as a Democrat against Michael Cooper, president of the Beaumont NAACP, and Deirdre Gilbert, an educator from the Houston area. On the other side, Gov. Greg Abbott is up against conservative commentator Chad Prather and former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West.
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There is a fearless declaration of the obvious in “Being Texan: Essays, Recipes, and Advice for the Lone Star Way of Life,” a book that invites its readers to recall the power and panache of the late Texas Gov. Anne Richards, before getting schooled on no less than twenty types of taco.
Released this month, “Being Texan” is the first of several Texas Monthly titles to come in the build-up to the magazine's upcoming 50th anniversary in 2023. It is divided into four sections: Identity & Culture, Town & Country, Arts & Entertainment and Food & Drink.
In the introduction, titled “What Does it Mean to Be Texan?,” Texas Monthly editor Dan Goodgame addressed the eclectic aspirations of the book, writing: “Our modest goal was to craft a well-informed, thoughtful sampling of the best the state has to offer.” To this humble end, forty-two editors were utilized to cover fifty-five topics, which tackle everything from the various dress codes that make up “Texas chic” to Selena’s ongoing appeal.
The resulting richness is all over the map, running from Texas Monthly Senior Editor John Nova Lomax’s frustration over the frequent mispronunciations of Texas cities (“From Amarila to Wad-a-loop”) to Oscar Casares’s bittersweet essay on Dia de Los Muertos in the time of COVID (“Souls of the Departed”).
The book goes from silly to serious fast, and the pace might unseat some readers who would otherwise just enjoy the ride of pride that comes from being reminded that Texas gave the world Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, Dr. Pepper, Liquid Paper and the microchip.
So, in a book that switches from the state’s early instance on remaining a slave republic to a piece about collecting San Antonio ghost stories, it perhaps goes without saying that the essays on brisket and beer are the easiest to digest.
“Being Texan” does, in truth, contain some delicious and downright literary food writing.
Joe Galvan’s “Ode to the Raspa,” treats the summertime shaved ice staple as nothing less than a kind of edible ambassador of U.S. cuisine. “They serve as an important and necessary reminder of the fluctuating, imprecise words that American food inhabits,” he writes like some semiotics professor, before waxing poetic on how raspas embody childhood innocence as well as “the humidity of a July evening that finds itself at the bottom of a Styrofoam cup.”
But readers who are tempted to skim the section on “Strong Texas Women” or “The Evolution of Juneteenth” to get to Paula Forbes’ warning not to skip the processed cheese when slow cooking queso, will have missed out on some deep insight into what it means to embrace all the appealing and uneasy aspects of the state.
In “A Tale of Two High Schools,” Dan Q. Dao, details how, as a Vietnamese kid growing up in Houston, he employed the tropes of Texas culture as a tool of survival. “Perhaps out of a sense of self-preservation, I became enamored with the gilded mythology of Texas, from the folklore of the Alamo to the twang of country music. I wore cowboy boots, showed up for Friday night football games, and rarely missed a rodeo,” writes Dao, observing that: “Part of me believed that if I proclaimed my Texanness loudly enough, I would be spared the label of outsider.”
The dilemma of the homegrown Texas outsider is artfully explored in Skip Hollandsworth’s “Why McMurtry Matter,'' a meditation on the ironic popularity of Larry McMurtry, a writer who wrestled with his relationship to Texas--particularly the Hollywood myths and misconceptions that surrounded the state. Speaking about (to his mind) the perplexing success of “Lonesome Dove,” McMurtry said: “All I had wanted to do was write a novel that demythologized the West. Instead, it became the chief source of western mythology. Some things you cannot explain.”
There is much about Texas itself that seems hard to explain.
But David Courtney, a senior editor at Texas Monthly, does a good job of speculating on this rare amalgam of conservative pride and fearless experimentation that tends to run through the state, when he writes “Texans believe they possess something deep within themselves that sets them apart, and therefore they kind of do.”
Despite the surface-level accessibility of a book that addresses the cultural significance of Neiman Marcus and the extreme brand loyalty to Whataburger, “Being Texan” offers rare input regarding Texas and its citizenry, as well as handy advice for breaking in a pair of cowboy boots.
'Not a band, an experience': Musician Pete Monfre pushes the boundaries of making it in the music industry
In a city where live music is heralded above all else, Pete Monfre was surprised to find local musicians working for free that he quit the industry for 10 years in 2006.
Local musicians tended to be underpaid before COVID-19 sent the music industry reeling, but the fallout from the pandemic exasperated the existing problems. Musician and marketer Monfre knows—he’s been behind that shaking tip jar, trying to turn a profit while doing what he loves. He’s tackling the problem with a unique brand of live shows, which go against the grain, mix business with pleasure and help bring home the bacon.
The shows, called Stories from the Road, are an informal storytelling jam session at The Saxon Pub that encourages interaction between the artist and audience.
After a brief hiatus due to ongoing woes of the pandemic Stories from the Road came back to The Saxon Pub on Saturday. It was the first of 23 consecutive shows that didn’t sell out, which Monfre attributes to the break of not having shows.
“We called it Stories from the Road—not a band, an experience,” Monfre said. “We're not going to rehearse, we're not going to have a list, we're not going to prepare, every show is a one-off and you will never see it again.”
His shows start early at 6 p.m., with a rotating group of musicians playing blues or Americana who need not rehearse. This time it featured Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff on saxophone and harmonica, bassist Mark Epstein, drummer Kevin Hall and Adam Pryor on Hammond Organ.
You’ll probably end up spending a bit more than the typical show at the Saxon Pub, around $30 per person, but each show goes directly to supporting the artists that made it.
“Part of the mission was to advocate for fair wages for musicians and to help musicians understand their economic value,” Monfre said. “Now I can afford to pay musicians a modest guarantee and we call that the Fair Play approach to live music.”
Monfre moved to Austin as a young adult with the intention of “conquering the music industry” in 1981, which he told Austonia he did not do but did meet “a lot of interesting people.” He left Austin to tour for a few years, then moved to Milwaukee, where he continued to play music.
After returning to Austin in 2006, Monfre discovered some musicians were playing shows for free.
“I'm playing in Chicago and Michigan and hardcore blues places, and we don't play for free,” Monfre said. “So I actually quit for 10 years. There is no reason to play for free whatsoever if you just get the model right.”
Having already tried to conquer the music industry once, Monfre took a business-forward approach the second time. The model also caters to what he believes is an underserved group: working professionals who want to meet like-minded individuals but also be home by 9 p.m.
Chief Technology Officer for Economic Transformation Technologies David Smith, who has been coming to other Monfre shows since they started in 2016, said he enjoys the improvisational nature of the shows because it reminds him of old Austin.
“The Stories from the Road get back to the root of what music is: the fact that you can sit and jam, make music with musicians because they understand music, and that's the soul of Austin,” Smith said. “It really is a celebration of music.”
Monfre said the informality is what makes his shows so popular—you’ll hear the musicians ask the key for a song, take a request from the crowd, make a lighthearted jab at one another or create a song from scratch.
“They want to see the sausage being made, it's really funny I would have never thought it,” Monfre said.
Price (right) said he was happy the show ended early so he could make it home to Lampasas. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
“I am knocked out. It just really didn't get any better than what we just had—this band was so good, the crowd was so good,” Price said. “That's what Austin in the ‘60s and ‘70s was all about, just everybody throwing it together.”
Stories from the Road is returning to The Saxon Pub stage on Dec. 18, with a completely new group of musicians. The show, like always, will start at 6 p.m.
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