Austin FC may have scored big Sunday night, but they suffered even bigger losses as they gave up three back-to-back goals in a tumultuous 5-3 loss to rivals FC Dallas.
Despite scoring a near-record three times for the second match in a row, the club saw massive defensive woes as they gave up three goals in just seven minutes to end the first half.
"For about seven or eight minutes, for whatever reason, the focus and the intensity and the the willingness to compete evaporated," head coach Josh Wolff said. "It proved fatal."
Dallas frontmen Jesus Ferreira and Ricardo Pepi, both under 21, each scored a brace in the match as they brought their team to 2-0 over Austin.
Ferreira struck first in the match after capitalizing off a block from Austin keeper Brad Stuver. The lead was short-lived, however, as Austin's Julio Cascante scored his first goal with Austin FC with a header to tie the match 1-1 less than 15 minutes into play.
FC Dallas soon broke Austin FC's system, however, as they dismantled the home team's possession-heavy gameplay and broke their back line. Pepi struck next as he shot one in the bottom left corner to score his tenth goal of the season. Austin's defense quickly crumbled as both Ferreira and Pepi scored again in less than 10 minutes to bring the lead to 4-1 at the half.
With pressure mounting and a stadium in shock, Austin FC's Josh Wolff was given a near-impossible task to recover from the disastrous first half. Wolff attempted to pull off some damage control as he swapped defenders Julio Cascante and Zan Kolmanic for Jhohan Romana and Hector Jimenez to start the second half, but the red, white and blue would score once more in 53rd minute to bring the lead to 5-1.
Wolff said he was disappointed in the unprofessional performances from some of Austin's players as they failed to brush off their mistakes.
"The intensity was gone and (there was) a little bit of feeling sorry for ourselves, but you've got to get right back up and compete," Wolff said. "It's a professional game...and we have to match that. We didn't react the right way and we got punished. There were some really poor reactions on the field and that'll be addressed. We can't have players on the field react in that way."
Austin wasn't finished yet, however. Fan favorite Diego Fagundez narrowed the lead to 5-2 in the 57th minute with help from Designated Player Sebastian Driussi as he muscled past the FC Dallas keeper to score for the home team. With the goal, Fagundez is now tied with Cecilio Dominguez as the team's top goal-scorer.
Captain Alex Ring soon followed with a tricky header to make it 5-3, once again earning the support of the ever-present Verde fanbase.
ALEX RING! Comeback on? 3-5. This game is WILD.#ATXvDAL // Heineken #RivalryWeekpic.twitter.com/1JhX99ILPd
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 30, 2021
Wolff said he was still impressed with Fagundez' and Ring's attempts at a comeback.
"It's going to tough to find positives in that," Wolff said. "But obviously it's good to see them put it together and compete."
Wolff also provided a rare highlight for the match as transfer Moussa Djitte made his debut in the final minutes of play after months of preparation.
But despite Djitte's debut and attempts at a comeback, their efforts proved too little, too late in the rivalry match.
This marks Austin's biggest loss in club history as they gave up more goals than in any other match as the club once again sits tied at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Here's all the ups and downs of the match:
81' Djitte makes his debut
Austin FC may be down 5-3, but there's at least one highlight to take away from the match: Moussa Djitte, a striker who transferred from the French Ligue back in June, subbed in for Cecilio Dominguez in the 81st minute to make his debut with the team.
Djitte is expected to help alleviate Austin's scoring woes alongside fellow newcomer Sebastian Driussi. Perhaps he'll make even more of a mark on this game tonight.
68' Alex Ring heads it in!
We can always count on our Captain. This team doesn't stop fighting. pic.twitter.com/ZCNuXcf5ZK— Austin FC (@AustinFC) August 30, 2021
I think we can objectively agree that 5-3 isn't so bad, right?
While it may or may not be enough for a comeback win, a goal headed in by Captain Alex Ring serves as a huge morale booster for the team. Fans that already sent beer showers flying with a 5-2 score are spraying even more now as the stadium erupts into cheers. Austin FC is more than halfway to a comeback, and it's evident as momentum very slowly drifts back their way.
57' Goal No. 2 for Austin!
Looks like there's still some steam in Austin's sputtering tank. Fan favorite Diego Fagundez muscles past the FC Dallas keeper and injects some much-needed energy onto the pitch. Fagundez's goal is more of a morale boost than anything else, but it propels Fagundez to tie with Cecilio Dominguez as the team's top goal-scorer.
53' Dallas makes it 5-1
a fifth goal? sure, why not.— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 30, 2021
Looks like Austin's woes won't be left behind in the second half. This time, it's Dallas' Jáder Obrian who goes one-on-one with Stuver and comes out victorious as he gets one smoothly in the top left corner of goal. It's now 5-1 in Austin for the team's worst deficit to date.
46' Wolff swaps out the back line
After a messy first half, it's up to head coach Josh Wolff to clean up.
To start the second half, Wolff swaps defenders Julio Cascante and Zan Kolmanic for Jhohan Romana and Hector Jimenez in an attempt to bolster the failing back line. Wolff also brings Designated Player Tomas Pochettino in for Jon Gallagher as the team swaps to a more defensive mindset.
Three goals in four minutes is enough to have any team rattled. It's also enough for some fans to leave the stadium: there are a few more greeen seats than before to start the second half, though the majority have stayed put and are continuing to chant for their team.
Despite being at the bottom of the Western Conference, Austin's pride has never been shaken this severely. It will be interesting to see whether they can recover with the comeback of the century or leave their home pitch 0-2 against their rivals.
38' FC Dallas scores back-to-back goals
Jesús Ferreira's goal makes it a 3-1 lead pic.twitter.com/QulcsZNQAR— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 30, 2021
In the blink of an eye, Austin loses their momentum of the match as both Pepi and Ferreira score back-to-back goals at breakneck speed to make it 4-1 Dallas in the first half.
Austin once again lets the club build its way to the front of the pitch and invade the box. Despite deflections by Stuver and team, Dallas is able to take control in the match and up their lead by two more.
36' Dallas strikes back, gains 2-1 lead
Just as Austin seemed to gain some semblance of control, FC Dallas once again swung the pendulum their way as Dallas' Ricardo Pepi scores the club's second goal of the night and his tenth goal this season.
25' Pair of yellow cards as Austin continues to threaten goal
Putting on the pressure. pic.twitter.com/zU2uaTqLbX— Austin FC (@AustinFC) August 30, 2021
As per usual, Austin is holding on to the ball with 61% possession in the match. The control is starting to pay off: Austin's Alex Ring very nearly puts in a rare far-out shot to give the home team their first lead of the match.
While the team continues to work for another goal, two yellow cards are issued for each team. while Dallas' Szabolcs Schön is issued in the 17th minute, while Austin's Nick Lima is awarded a card in the 25th minute of play.
Cascante finds the equalizer!
Less than 15 minutes into the match, Austin FC has found the equalizer after defender Julio Cascante's header sails smoothly into goal. Zan Kolmanic's cross was perfectly put into play by Cascante, who tied up the match with his first goal of the season.
Dallas strikes first
FERREIRA STRIKES FIRST!! pic.twitter.com/ya6DptO4l9— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 30, 2021
Austin FC may have the upper hand in their home fortress, but it's FC Dallas who strikes first. Keeper Brad Stuver is able to block a first attempt, but Dallas' Jesus Ferreira gets it in on the rebound. It's FC Dallas up one once again.
Austin FC is sticking to what they know this week: the team's starting XI is the same as it was in their Timbers victory.
As always, keeper Brad Stuver will hold it down in goal, supplemented by defenders Matt Besler, Julio Cascante, Zan Kolmanic and Nick Lima.
Captain Alex Ring will keep the middle together alongside Diego Fagundez and Daniel Pereira, while newcomer Sebastian Driussi will go for goal alongside fellow Designated Player Cecilio Dominguez and forward Jon Gallagher.
Transfer Moussa Djitte has yet to get playing time despite being listed on the bench last week, but he may make his first appearance in the rivalry match.
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This Gemini season, starting today, is appropriately paradoxical, twisting and blending simple concerns with life’s bigger, faster and more fiery quests.
On Sunday, May 29, we’ll experience one of the year’s biggest calls to adventure in the Mars/Jupiter conjunction—a potent duo whose combined force will start to be especially strongly felt when Mars moves into Aries on May 24. Contrastingly, Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, will keep our mental temperament grounded and steady as they move slowly through the sensual, materially-oriented sign of Taurus for most of the month. These contrasting forces might be tricky to weave together—read ahead for tips on how your sign can find the right approach this month!
Gemini: May 21-June 20Gemini: May 21-June 20
Welcome to the season of your Solar Return, Gemini! This month will set the stage for your whole coming year, so it will be great to start it off on the right foot. The most important bit of cosmic context is Mercury moving slowly till the end of the month in the grounded sign of Taurus. This is an encouragement to savor your questions and conversations with the world, without needing to rush to answers and to mull over the elemental, fundamental aspects of your life. It would be great to give yourself perspective, especially by experiencing new environments and by moving through the world in a new manner. Allow yourself to be surprised! You might loosen some of your hardened beliefs, but don’t discount the trustworthiness or substance of the new ideas you may stumble upon.
Cancer: June 21-July 22Cancer: June 21-July 22
For you, Cancer, the paradoxes of Gemini season have to do with inwardness and outwardness. On the one hand, you can expect your inner world to be as active as ever, swirling with meaningful thoughts and experiences needing to be digested. On the other, this month features a strong call to get out of your shell, open up to the world at large, and bravely share yourself—perhaps even in an unprecedented way! In transitioning between these extremes, the Moon can be as good a guide as ever—heading into and out of the New Moon on the 30th, you might focus on articulating and envisioning this burgeoning impulse and nourishing the terrain for its growth. As we ramp up to the full moon on the 14th, you might find small ways to embody, communicate and make real this developing dream.
Leo: July 23-Aug 22Leo: July 23-Aug. 22
This Gemini Season is particularly intense for you, Leo, as it calls forth both a fiery, hungry spirit and a more serious, dedicated energy, aware of life’s hardships and limitations. These impulses herald a summer of growth and maturation, which would be great to get a good jump on. Just don’t let this process make you too heavyhearted or self-involved! Your friends, community, and experience of the broader social world at large can help soften and clarify this strong, fiery self that’s metamorphosing. You might rely upon this bigger, human perspective to help you progress smoothly and gracefully. Although it might require some extra humility, taking yourself less seriously can be a superpower. A lighthearted approach can be extraordinarily efficient and effective. It might be paradoxical, but consider that relying on a bigger, greater power than your own is your path to individual fullness.
Virgo: Aug. 23-Sept. 21Virgo: Aug. 23-Sept. 21
This Gemini season brings a charge for you to expand into more substantive and serious subjects, Virgo. Especially if you feel you’ve been playing small, this will provide an opportunity for you to grow into more meaningful and demanding work in the world. At times, this will feel hectic and harsh—there will be no shortage of fire this month. You, as much as anyone, though, can help find the right place and time for that fire, directing it where there’s a need for more energy and oomph. Lightheartedness can be really helpful in navigating and dancing with this heat—with a bit of humor and perspective, you can respond and adapt quickly and gracefully. By the end of the month, you should be able to feel like your view of and faith in the bigger picture has expanded.
Libra: Sept. 22-Oct. 23Libra: Sept. 22-Oct. 23
This Gemini season will provide ample opportunities for you to learn and grow through your relationships, Libra. We’re really looking at the full spectrum of potential experiences here—on the one hand, Mars’ entry into Aries can ignite flammable subjects, and people are generally likely to be on edge, assertive and protective. On the other, Venus’ conjunction with Uranus toward the end of the month can bring unexpected encounters and new forms of relationship into play. Throughout all of this, there’s a theme for the next year of growth through fiery, direct relationships. This is a step beyond just keeping the peace which may be discomforting, but consider that it may take your relationships to incredibly satisfying and enduring places.
Scorpio: Oct. 24-Nov. 21Scorpio: Oct. 24-Nov. 21
This Gemini season brings opportunities for sharpening both your wits and tools, Scorpio, although this may feel like a trial by fire. Although they may feel particularly urgent and exciting this month, many of these challenges and opportunities will last throughout the summer, so take your time to get your focus clear and settle into a groove. The real challenge and potential this month have to do with navigating subtle, intricate dynamics so that you aren’t flustered and know exactly where to put your effort. In order to develop this discernment, you can definitely rely on trusted allies, who can act as mirrors, triangulation points and simple safe havens amid the storm. This is a strategic necessity, but be sure to give thanks and enjoy the simple goodness of companionship, too!
Sagittarius: Nov. 22-Dec. 21Sagittarius: Nov. 22-Dec. 21
The sharp, powerful impulses and stimulation of this Gemini season are pushing you to the development of your free will, Sagittarius—a spirit of playful, proud independence and spontaneity. There are a couple of ways that you might think about this. First, that courage is necessary to truly live out your convictions and ideals, as well as a way to ultimately best serve the world. Truth isn’t always soft or easy. On the other hand, this isn’t too complex and is keyed to cutting through stagnation. There’s a sort of simplicity and instinctive wisdom that you can draw upon and develop into this month, letting things happen. If you need to, you can think of this as an act of trust, or faith in a basic goodness and natural, flowing order of things.
Capricorn: Dec. 22-Jan. 19Capricorn: Dec. 22-Jan. 19
The motion and activity of this Gemini season can quickly develop your values and taste, Capricorn, as you strip back ordinary and inherited ways of thinking and open your eyes to life’s beauty. This simple and vibrant beauty will stimulate your desire to savor life’s goodness and strive for the highest quality experience possible. Along the way, your fixed, limited ideas about what is possible can fall away, even as the new and extraordinary may require incredible strength and devotion from you. Although these are lofty ideals, they’ll have a lot to do with your tangible, everyday experience of your body and sense of home—this is a primal, almost wild energy being rekindled. Alongside this intense fire comes a certain risk, so make sure to enter into this new adventure step by step, without injuring yourself or anyone else.
Aquarius: Jan. 20-Feb. 18Aquarius: Jan. 20-Feb. 18
This Gemini season can help you learn how to feel more rooted and alive in life’s simple aspects, Aquarius. Although this can certainly take place in tandem with new teachers, these don’t have to be big gurus—rather, your curiosity, delight, and common sense might be the best guides. In this regard, your quality of perception, thought and the well-being of your inner child can all make great strides. Through the first part of the month, this will likely feel exciting and overwhelming. As we approach our new moon, though, you can get a better sense of where you need to be settling into more focus and definition in your life. This back and forth between a growing sense of clarity and inner authority and a stronger capacity to be firm and to the point will continue to deepen throughout the summer.
Pisces: Feb. 19-March 20Pisces: Feb. 19-March 20
This Gemini season is focused on helping you develop a stronger sense of connection to the world around you, Pisces. Although this can take place by rearranging and bringing more life into your body and environment, an initial spirit of fresh possibility and willingness to release what is stale and outgrown is a necessity. In doing so, you can land upon a greater sense of capability and being resourced for life’s adaptations and evolutions. This will certainly be a month of growth in your material world and relationship with your body, but the serious litmus test is how settled you feel internally—the quality and clarity of your thoughts and inner world. Ideally, though this summer you’ll develop a stronger trust in yourself and an easier interface between your inner riches and outer quality of experience.
Aries: March 21-April 19Aries: March 21-April 19
The Mars/Jupiter conjunction is especially important for you, Aries, as it happens in your home sign. This signifies a spark of expansion that will play out over the coming year. Here, Jupiter is calling you into new ventures and adventures, to level up and act on the big dreams and desires brewing inside of you. Thus, this month is a great time to initiate some bigger change, to take some jump, leap or healthy risk. Although you don’t want to let this moment slip away, please don’t get impulsive or headstrong—make sure you’ve got at least a bit of a plan. Ideally, whatever you’re aiming at will require a good bit of care, and you can expect that much of this opportune, fertile energy will continue and develop throughout the next year.
Taurus: April 20-May 20Taurus: April 20-May 20
The start of the coming month will challenge you to keep up the pace, Taurus, so that it can consolidate into a healthy rhythm. Finding the right stride, you can find yourself breathing more easily, and maybe let yourself loosen your grip or take your hands off the handlebars, trusting your sense of balance and the strength in your legs. This can set the stage for an opportune spell at the end of Gemini Season, as your ruler Venus makes a conjunction with Uranus—you might keep an eye out for spontaneous side adventures, ways to create space for synchronicity, or simple moments where life is calling you into new ways of being. Ideally, these will feel like clear upgrades, but if you need to think of them as experiments or trial runs, that’s totally okay, too.
Austin police have charged Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, a local cyclist, for the murder of Moriah "Mo" Wilson.
Wilson, a rising star in the gravel and mountain bike community, was found dead with gunshot wounds inside an East Austin home on the night of May 11 when she was in town for the weekend Gravel Locos race in Hico, Texas.
Police believe Wilson was having a relationship with a man Armstrong was also in a relationship with. The man, another gravel cyclist, Colin Strickland, has since issued a statement on the murder.
In his statement, he said he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson in October 2021 before he resumed his relationship with Armstrong, but that he remained friends with Wilson. "There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime. I am sorry, and I simply cannot make sense of this unfathomable tragedy.
NEW: Austin professional cyclist Colin Strickland has just released a statement about the murder of cyclist Moriah Wilson, clarifying his relationship with her and expressing “torture about my proximity to this horrible crime.” pic.twitter.com/KnIna3mWrE
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) May 20, 2022
Wilson, a 25-year-old Vermont native living in Colorado, had won a slew of races becoming a fan favorite. She had just become a full-time racer this year.
Anyone with information on this crime can contact Austin police at 512-974-TIPS or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 512-472-8477.
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