Even with the sudden absence of its first Designated Player, Austin FC broke through with a 1-0 victory to Minnesota United at its home fortress, Q2 Stadium, on Sunday evening.
The win marks the club's third of the season, and the Verde and Black are now fourth in the MLS West with a 3-2-1 overall record.
Here are the top three takeaways from the match:
Building a fortress
Austin you know what this means. 🕺 pic.twitter.com/VQ3gJHvt1D— Austin FC (@AustinFC) April 11, 2022
It had been a few weeks since the ten-goal frenzy that set Austin FC's second season into motion—and after two straight draws and a loss, a bit of sluggishness seemed to return to some of the Austin roster and fanbase.
After a first half that some unnamed (and unamused) writers in the press box labeled the "most boring half of soccer" they'd seen, Austin FC's hard work pulled through in a solid second half, capped by another gorgeous Urruti goal, to solidify the win.
From its "Building The Legend" motto to direct quotes from players and head coach Josh Wolff, Austin has long promised to build a steadfast fortress at Q2 Stadium. And they've pulled it off so far—the club is 7-1-1 in its last nine home matches, and all three of Austin's wins this season have been played inside Q2's walls.
This week, MLS contributor Ari Liljenwall wrote that the stadium is "among the league's most challenging venues for visiting teams," and it has a famed roaring crowd to boot. Thanks to everyone from ardent "La Murga de Austin" band members to everyday fans, Q2 Stadium has had a 20,500-strong crowd for 21 straight weeks and has held the longest streak of sold-out matches in MLS for several weeks straight.
If the club continues to establish dominance at home, it won't be long before the Austin stadium strikes fear (or envy, or both?) in opposing teams for seasons to come.
Life without Ceci
Dominguez will miss today's match due to a pending MLS investigation for possible "off-field misconduct." https://t.co/VtF8fsWlNC— Austonia (@austonianews) April 10, 2022
It's been two games now without Austin FC's first Designated Player, Cecilio Dominguez, and there may be many more matches without him ahead.
One of Austin's most consistent starters, Dominguez has been absent for the lineup for two very different reasons. On Thursday, the winger celebrated obtaining his green card after taking a trip to Paraguay last week; by Friday, he was announced as suspended indefinitely from the Verde and Black roster pending an investigation into "possible off-field misconduct."
MLS and the club have been unclear about what alleged misconduct occurred or how long this could take, but one thing is clear: Austin FC will need to learn how to operate without one of its key players.
Dominguez tied for the most goals scored last season and was on track to do so once more, scoring twice in his five matches played.
Just after he seemed to finally master the club's strongest—and fullest—lineup to date, head coach Josh Wolff has some tinkering to do, and he'll likely need to rethink at least some of his team's offensive strategy.
Luckily, Austin's roster is in tip-top shape. And the club doesn't seem to have lost any of its mojo so far, pulling off a win and an admittedly lackluster draw in his absence. The key will likely come in the form of striker Maxi Urruti, who has scored two of Austin's three goals in that time frame, and Ethan Finlay, the veteran crossing guru who will step up in Dominguez's spot at the wing.
A true striker emerges
Maxi doesn't forgive. 👏 pic.twitter.com/JuL0XcLacJ— Austin FC (@AustinFC) April 11, 2022
For the second match in a row, Austin FC's Maxi Urruti was able to pull out his signature archer post-goal celebration with another highlight reel-worthy goal to help win the match.
Urruti's savvy one-touch shot edged Austin FC over its opponent. And after months—and entire seasons—without a clear striker for the team, he seems ready to fill those long-missing shoes.
With the latest goal, Urruti has racked up two goals and an assist in five starts with the team. He's been impactful both on and off the stat board, supporting fellow goalscorers Sebastian Driussi, Ethan Finlay and Diego Fagundez up front as well.
And if he keeps this momentum, he'll be vital to the team both before and after the Dominguez investigation and could become a fixture to Austin's ever-improving offensive line.
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Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.
The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.
The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.
While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.
The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.
After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.
With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.
He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.
Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.
Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.
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While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.
The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.
“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.
Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.
The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.
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