After a flat first half against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, it was Diego Fagundez who realized the club's first-ever goal in the second match of Austin FC history.
Fagundez was pounced on by his teammates as he looked toward the Verde-clad crowd, throwing up a signature LV in recognition of Austin FC fan club Los Verdes. Some cried, others cheered as the team went on to celebrate their first victory.
The club has a lot to live up to after their explosive 3-1 win on Saturday, which featured a nonstop 12-minute stretch of three unanswered Austin FC goals. Designated Player Cecilio Dominguez scored twice after Fagundez, helping to shut down the Rapids and keep a wave of energy through the end of the match.
With a decisive win in their rearview and the expectations of the entire league on their shoulders, Austin FC is looking to keep their momentum and secure their second win in history this weekend.
Austin FC vs. Minnesota United
Minnesota United is coming off of a 4th place finish in the Western Conference, but the Loons have only managed to score once in both matches played this season.
The club lost big (4-0) to the Seattle Sounders for their season opener, but that could've been more of a reflection of Seattle, an MLS Cup favorite, than themselves.
Minnesota's lone goal came from midfielder Robin Lod, who scored in the last five minutes of play against Real Salt Lake and was the closest to scoring against the Sounders. The Loons also like to keep possession, so ATXFC will need to capitalize on opportunities they get in the final third.
Austin FC has had its share of troubles too, including what looks to be lack of communication and some midfielding mishaps. With two starters like defender Matt Besler and midfielder Tomas Pochettino back, however, Austin FC is more poised than ever to live up to their potential, and they're definitely in higher spirits after Saturday's match.
Projected starting lineup
Last week's match saw several big changes to the lineup, several of which came out less than an hour before kickoff. With DP Tomas Pochettino out due to "registration issues" per a request by the MLS, Matt Besler out due to the birth of his third child and Rodney Redes swapped for Jared Stroud to resemble a 4-4-2 format, it took a while for Austin FC to get their footing.
They managed, however, and started that glorious 12-minute stretch that would secure the win with three back-to-back goals.
So, why change it up?
It wouldn't be a huge surprise if Redes made his way back onto the starting pitch, but Stroud gave no inclination that he was going to give it up easily. Redes did log the assist for Cecilio Dominguez's second goal, however, and he very nearly made the match 4-1 on his own toward the end of the second half. It's a bit of a toss-up.
Poche is back! Until Wednesday afternoon, we had only vague answers as to why he was mysteriously snatched out of the lineup at the MLS's request just before the Rapids match. In a brief announcement, Austin FC announced that Pochettino is available "for all future competitions."
Finally, Sweat was confirmed to have torn his ACL last week in the Rapids match. He'll be out for a while. Luckily, we've already seen potential in fellow left back Zan Kolmanic, the 20-year-old who recently joined the team after finishing out play in Slovenia. Wolff says he could be the fittest on the team since his season ended the latest, and he's positioned to get the most minutes in left back.
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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
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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.
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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."