Turns out patience was not a virtue for Austin FC fans.
After a two-week MLS break, the club still couldn't find its footing in goal as they fell 1-0 to No. 1 Seattle Sounders at Q2 Stadium.
Even as player wounds were patched and Seattle sent the youngest starting lineup in MLS history onto the Verde pitch, Austin's front line couldn't capitalize on their chances given and suffered their fifth scoreless match in six games.
Head coach Josh Wolff said he was feeling a number of emotions, most of which weren't positive, after the match.
"Frustration and disappointment...Seattle's a very good team, regardless of what players they put out there, so it's always going to be a challenge," Wolff said. "More disappointing was just the lack of structure. What we'd worked on the last 5-6 days, that was not on display in the first half."
Seattle put five teenagers on the pitch to start the match, including Obed Vargas, who, at 15, is the third-youngest player in the MLS record books to appear in a match. Meanwhile, Austin saw the return of starters Tomas Pochettino and Captain Alex Ring but were still missing starters Danny Pereira and Nick Lima.
Austin kept a slight advantage over the young Seattle team in the first half, maintaining 74% possession and solid passing game. When Raul Ruidiaz came onto the pitch, however, the tables turned for the home team.
No crystal ball was needed to predict a Ruidiaz goal, but no fortuneteller could've predicted a goal like that. After an Austin FC deflection, Ruidiaz showed off his stellar soccer IQ far behind the box and chipped it over Stuver's head. Ruidiaz is now the top scorer in MLS.
OH MY WORD
RAUL RUIDIAZ SEES THE KEEPER OFF THE LINE AND..... 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/J42xDEyZE4
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 23, 2021
Austin saw one reach goal for defender Julio Cascante, who dove into goal with his ball after a successful diving header. After a review, however, the goal was disallowed. Ruidiaz appeared to score yet another goal but was called offsides just seconds later.
The near-undefeated Seattle has now lost just one match in their 15-match season as they continue to top the MLS. Meanwhile, Austin's scorelessness could put the club in the hot seat as they continue to struggle to get the ball in the net.
Even with a decent defensive effort thus far this season, Wolff said that not scoring goals just won't cut it.
"From a goal-scoring standpoint...it's been lackluster and poor," Wolff said. "The reality is that we haven't scored goals, and defensively we've been fairly solid, but you've got to score goals to win games... tonight, it wasn't good enough, in any regard."
Here's a look at exactly what happened in Austin's second home loss:
Danny Pereira is one of six Austin FC players still out on injury tonight. (Austin FC/Twitter)
Austin FC has seen some much needed starters make a quick recovery over the break, including winger Jon Gallagher, but they've still got five players out on injury as they face the Sounders.
Here's who's still out of the mix:
- Nick Lima- right back
- Danny Pereira- midfield
- Danny Hoesen- striker
- Ben Sweat- left back
- Aaron Schoenfield- defense
Austin FC starting lineup
For the first time in a long time, Rodney Redes is starting back as right winger after scoring the lone goal against the Tigres last week. He and Kekuta Manneh will flank Cecilio Dominguez at striker.
Pochettino and Captain Alex Ring have once again brought some solidity to midfield. Pochettino edges closer to his first MLS goal every match, while Fagundez completes the trio with a fiery desire to score.
Austin's defense looks much the same, with Hector Jimenez still in at right back for an injured Nick Lima.
Seattle makes history with youngest-ever starting squad
1. Freddy Adu— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) July 23, 2021
2. Alphonso Davies
3. Obed Vargas
At 15 years and 351 days, Obed Vargas becomes the third-youngest player in @MLS history to appear in a match. #SoundersMatchday | #ATXvSEA pic.twitter.com/gb73w61XNz
The future of MLS is on the field.
Is this a slap in the face to Austin, a chance to get some young players some experience or just the result of injuries and international call-ups? Either way, Seattle is making history tonight as five teenagers hit the pitch for the first time in a regular season MLS match.
Among the youngest- ever- is Obed Vargas, a 15-year-old mifielder who is the third-youngest player in MLS history to appear in a match. Not far off is Austin FC's Diego Fagundez, who started as a 16-year-old himself.
They're holding up well against Austin, who has held on to possession and found a few very close chances but is once again fumbling in the final third. The Sounders have some of the lowest possession in the league but are also one of the most efficient, scoring second-most in the league per game.
Homegrown Manneh makes the first crack at goal
Winger Kekuta Manneh, the only player with roots in Austin, pulls an optical illusion as he expertly twists a header near goal off of a penalty kick. It's close enough to get the crowd riled up but not close enough to change the scoreboard.
At the half: few highlights, no goals against Sounders scrubs
Is Austin FC being outplayed by five teenagers and more Sounders scrubs? Not quite- the club holds 73% possession and has better passing accuracy- but it's definitely closer than players and head coach Josh Wolff would like.
Austin has had just four goals in five matches, and they were all in the same match. Wolff is likely feeling the pressure of a team that can't quite close near goal. On the bright side, the club is once again holding the No. 1 team in the league scoreless, even if it is their scrubs.
As Austin fought through the extra minute of halftime, fans in the supporters section sang Austin band Black Pumas' song "Colors" with none other than the band itself. They're still loud as ever as Austin fights to turn it around and take their second home win.
56' Gallagher makes a comeback
Austin subs in winger Jon Gallagher for the first time since he used his injured foot to score the club's first home goal. Gallagher could provide some much-needed juice to the Austin offense as both clubs fight for the first goal.
Meanwhile, Seattle is bringing in the big guns with striker Raul Ruidiaz, who is tied for the most goals in MLS this season. Austin will have a much harder time keeping the dam closed with Ruidiaz at the stead.
66' Ruidiaz scores for Seattle
OH MY WORD— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 23, 2021
RAUL RUIDIAZ SEES THE KEEPER OFF THE LINE AND..... 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/J42xDEyZE4
No crystal ball was needed to predict a Ruidiaz goal, but no fortuneteller could've predicted a goal like that. After an Austin FC deflection, Ruidiaz shows off his stellar soccer IQ far behind the box and chips it over Stuver's head. Ruidiaz is now the top scorer in MLS, and Austin is down 1-0 to Seattle for the first time.
76' Austin FC goal disallowed, Ruidiaz nearly makes it two
2 minutes, 2 goals disallowed. 😐— Austin FC (@AustinFC) July 23, 2021
Score remains 0-1.
It's not often that a player rolls in goal after the ball they score, but Austin FC defender Julio Cascante pulled it off perfectly. Cascante's diving header was enough to put the ball in the net, but his first Austin FC goal was disallowed.
The dominoes seemed to be tumbling down just minutes later when Ruidiaz appeared to get in yet another goal less than two minutes later, but his attempt was also called offsides.
A lot of excitement, but the score remains 1-0 Seattle.
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Five Austin companies joined Google's second Startups Black Founders Fund on Wednesday, earning $100,000 each as part of the $10 million initiative geared toward giving Black entrepreneurs access to funding for their startups.
The fund gave $100,000 to 50 founders nationwide, including Austin companies CustomerX.i, Journey Foods, Sandbox Commerce, The Mentor Method and Tadeblock.
The founders will receive the funding without giving up any ownership of their startups and will gain access to Google technical support including up to $120,000 in donated search Ads from Google.org and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits. The Austin companies will also join a select few—the fund is only two years old and last year rewarded 76 Black-led startups with up to $100,000 as well.
Google's Startup funds can be used to boost Black founders' companies into success—last year, founders raised up to $50 million in capital after recieving the funds, and 80% of the companies used their funds to create jobs.
Founders from last year's batch then paid it forward by nominating new companies and announcing the winners via Zoom.
Here's a look at those 5 founders in Austin:
Hakeem James- Customer X.I
Customer X.I founder Hakeem James wants to help small restaurants thrive.
Customer X.I founder Hakeem James wants to keep mom-and-pop shops alive. That's why he started his company to bridge "the gap between online and offline" and give restaurants and small businesses a centralized location to analyze their data against competitors.
"The question we ask internally: is it simple enough for my grandmother to use? For the record, my grandmother sometimes picks up the phone upside down," James told Microsoft.
The company's data can help businesses small and large better understand their customers—from their names to their drink choices—to build better relationships and customer loyalty.
But it hasn't been easy, especially as labor shortages and COVID safety policies affect restaurants during the pandemic. James said he heard about Google for Startups at Austin's entrepreneur hub, Capital Factory. He and the team will use the funding to create "freemium" plans as they seek to keep restaurants open.
"It has also allowed us to offer our products to restaurants that need it most on a freemium basis to keep their doors open and accelerate their growth when it has never been harder to do so," James said. "Being recognized and backed by Google is monumental for us; it is a signal to our partners of our growing success in the market and the expanded capacity we now have to serve our clients."
Riana Lynn- Journey Foods
Lynn said the startup fund will help level the playing field for Black entrepreneurs that may not get the funding they need.
"The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is a strong step in increasing the significant discrepancies in funding to many groups of founders, especially founders of color," Lynn said. "The funds will be used to add more science and engineering talent to our team and improve our impact in supply chains."
The company takes a step further back in the food industry process by merging research and development for food companies. Through comprehensive food data, Journey Foods helps provide insights on ingredients, pricing, manufacturing, and supply chain information to companies across the food industry.
From suppliers to packaging companies, Journey Foods hopes to reduce waste and costs by streamlining the food creation process.
Sterling Smith- Sandbox Commerce
Sandbox Commerce CEO Sterling Smith wasn't given a heads-up when he earned a spot in the Black Startups Fund- instead, he thought he was in his final interview.
Smith, who founded the app company in 2018, expressed his gratitude for the funding.
"Everyone involved, I really appreciate you guys betting on Sandbox," Smith said. "I can tell my mom now, right?"
Sandbox Commerce looks to create simple apps for companies without any technical or coding skills needed. The company looks to especially help the underdogs, including small businesses or underrepresented companies, in bridging the gap between computer skills and entrepreneurs.
Janice Omadeke- The Mentor Method
The Mentor Method is a consulting firm that helps companies recruit and retain employees through mentorship. (The Mentor Method/Facebook)
The Mentor Method, founded by Janice Omadeke, has been featured by Forbes and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its multi-step method of promoting employee retention and fulfillment. Omadeke has also won Capital Factory's $100k Female Founder competition award.
The company focuses on inclusivity, closing opportunity gaps and building talent through its mentorship method, which involves a matching algorithm that brings employees and mentors quickly together. The Mentor Method has been used by high-profile programs including the Department of Education and Glassdoor.
Omadeke said the startup will use its fund to create jobs, including a Product Coordinator, and boost an employee benefits package.
"The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund will help us scale faster and address the core needs of companies seeking to retain their employees," Omadeke said.
Mbiyimoh Ghogomu- Tradeblock
Now a company used by tens of thousands, Tradeblock had humble beginnings—it was once just an Instagram page for sneakerheads.
Founder Mbiyimoh Ghogomu teamed up with childhood friends Tony Malveaux and Darren Smith to transform the page throughout the pandemic and create a network for sneaker lovers to enjoy. With their motto "Kicks as Currency," sneakerheads can trade sneakers without ever touching their piggy bank.
For Ghogomu, the company and Black Starters fund are both about one thing-fostering community.
"Getting recognized by Google as part of the Black Founders Fund is a game-changer for us," Ghogomu said. "My co-founders and team have been working really hard to disrupt the sneaker x tech space and inspire community building. The funds, relationships and overall support that Tradeblock is gaining will take us to the next level."
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A member of the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) contacted council members asking for their home addresses despite a charter provision prohibiting the ICRC from considering such information in its mapping process, according to emails obtained by the Bulldog through a public information request.
Four council members or their staffers replied providing home addresses: Alison Alter, Paige Ellis, Mackenzie Kelly, and Leslie Pool, according to the emails dated August 9th to Aug. 17.
Austinites will once again be able to take a nonstop flight to London as Austin-Bergstrom International Airport resumes transatlantic travel this fall.
Starting Oct. 13, British Airways will offer its direct flight from ABIA to London-Heathrow Airport three times a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The airline, which has been operating in Austin since 2013, had halted service at the start of the pandemic over a year ago.
"We can't wait to welcome our customers back on board our Austin flights and we are honored to be playing our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart," said Marie Hilditch, British Airways' head of North America sales.
Safety protocols the airline is taking include:
- social distancing measures
- wearing of facemasks
- providing hand sanitizer stations
- cleaning all surfaces after every flight
- fully recycling the air once every two to three minutes through HEPA filters, which remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with over 99.9% efficiency
The announcement comes as COVID-19 testing requirements to enter the UK are scheduled to stop on Oct. 4. for vaccinated Americans.
Additionally, a Monday White House announcement allows fully vaccinated international travelers to enter the U.S. starting in early November with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The ban, which was implemented in 2020, restricted travelers from a number of European countries, Iran and China throughout the pandemic.