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It's going to take a lot to replicate the excitement from Austin FC's home opener—McConaughey and his conga drum to the 50-foot-tall handpainted tifo. Instead, the club will look to replicate something else on Wednesday: as they head to Minnesota for the second time this season, they'll look to tally another win in Minneapolis.
Austin FC got their second-ever win against Minnesota United on May 1 when Diego Fagundez scored his second straight goal to take the match 1-0. The club was hot off of an explosive 3-1 win against Colorado: now, they've got momentum from their fanbase but none at goal.
The club has just one goal in five straight matches, and they've had to rely on the excellent Brad Stuver to keep balls out of their own net. Still, they had one of their best matches to date as they debuted at Q2 Stadium and they're bound to crack the ice soon.
For those not making it up North, here's what to expect and where to watch tomorrow's match.
What to expect
Austin was riding on a high when they last walked into Minnesota's Allianz Field: fresh off a 3-1 breakout win that saw Fagundez nab the first club goal and Cecilio Dominguez score twice in ten minutes, the club quickly garnered the attention of the entire league.
The club beat Minnesota 1-0 but nearly lost it when Minnesota's Emmanuel Reynoso got one past Stuver; instead, it hit the post and Austin had a winning record for the only time this season.
While Austin was early in their road stretch and energized by newness, Minnesota was winless and nearly scoreless after a 4-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders in the season opener. Now, they're 11th in the West (just below Austin FC) and are fresh off a pair of 1-1 draws to Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas.
This will be a battle between two teams that can't seem to put points on the board. Austin has pushed through three draws of their own, two of them scoreless, to tally six goals, while Minnesota has just five.
Minnesota has played just twice in five weeks, and its offense is now headed by Franco Fragapane, who is coming from Argentina's Club Atletico Talleres, the same club that Austin FC Tomas Pochettino last played for. Because of botched paperwork, Fragapane is with the Loons instead of Salt Lake, where he originally signed, and he's already scored once and threatened goal several times.
While Austin will need to watch out for Fragapane, Minnesota will be facing Fagundez, the club's scrappiest talent, Jon Gallagher, the spirited striker-turned-winger, and Dominguez, who has had the most significant threats on goal for most of the season. Both teams will need to get over their confidence issues and break the ice on scoring if they want more than a scoreless draw.
Projected starting lineup
Austin FC found their sweet spot in their home opener, even if the scoreboard doesn't show it. Although Dominguez just has one goal after switching to the top of the pitch, he's found his stride up in front. Meanwhile, winger Gallagher and midfielder Fagundez have stolen the show on either side, hustling their way up and down the pitch to keep the match alive. Without goals to show for it, however, Austin FC's defense can't make the team win games.
The club has a few holes in the back as well, which have luckily been patched by superstar Brad Stuver. Don't be surprised if Stuver is given the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award if he keeps it up; on Saturday, he tied his career best once again with nine saves.
Where to watch
The club will be states away for the last time in a while, but Austin FC supporters' groups are keeping the party in Austin for anyone looking to watch.
Here's some Wednesday watch parties to look for:
- Austin FC official watch party, Lavaca Street Bar 3121 S Lamar Blvd.
- Los Verdes watch party, The Bungalow 92 Rainey St- starting at 6 p.m., fan band La Murga de Austin will start the day off with a parade leading to Lavaca Street Bar. Ten percent of proceeds go to the band.
- Austin Anthem watch party, Easy Tiger, 3508 S Lamar Blvd.- Austin FC's largest club will host a watch party at Easy Tiger in South Austin.
- 30+ Pub Clubs and other bars will also play the match across the city.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a record-setting second quarter during an earnings call broadcasted from the Giga Texas construction site in Southeast Travis County on Monday.
The electric carmaker reported more than $1 billion in quarterly net income and the production of more than 200,000 vehicles for the first time despite challenges such as a global semiconductor shortage.
"It … seems that public sentiment towards electric vehicles is at an inflection point, and at this point, I think, almost everyone agrees electric vehicles are the only way forward," Musk said.
Exterior shots taken just a while ago of Giga Texas (while @elonmusk is reportedly at the Gigafactory!) during today's earnings call!
Hope @peterdog15 got to catch the technoking in his video! #fastestinhistory #Tesla pic.twitter.com/WqeDlb5wU3
— Austin Tesla Club (@AustinTeslaClub) July 26, 2021
Despite rising consumer demand and adequate factory capacity, Tesla faces what Musk described as a "quite serious" global semiconductor shortage, which will determine the company's growth rate for the rest of the year.
With increased revenue and production, Tesla is investing in new factories, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said. These include Giga Texas, the $1.1 billion manufacturing plant that broke ground last summer and is slated to open later this year.
The Giga Texas factory in Southeast Travis County has rapidly increased in size since ground broke last August. (Tesla)
Musk commended the construction team for "incredible progress," transforming what was basically a vacant site into "a mostly complete large factory a year later."
I was at Giga Texas yesterday. Team is making excellent progress. Building will be almost a mile long when complete.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 25, 2021
Giga Texas will produce the highly anticipated Cybertruck, along with other models, but Musk said scaling its production will be difficult, especially given the supply chain delays caused by the pandemic. "It's going to move as fast as the slowest of its up to 10,000 unique parts," he said.
In other news, Musk said Monday's earnings call would likely be his last regular appearance, only jumping on future quarterly calls when big announcements warrant it.
Tesla Solar recently made news when it announced plans to build the nation's most sustainable residential community in Southeast Austin earlier this month. The newly built homes will feature Tesla solar roof tiles and Powerwall battery storage as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
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The city of Austin released a shortlist of seven candidates for the police chief position left vacant when Brian Manley retired in March.
City Manager Spencer Cronk hopes to announce an appointment by the end of August, which will require City Council approval.
The finalists, chosen from a field of 46 applicants, include:
- APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon, who previously served as an assistant chief in the department for almost five years
- Anne Kirkpatrick, former police chief in Oakland, California, who was fired last year after a federal monitor criticized her handling of a fatal 2018 police shooting of a homeless man
- Dallas Police Department Assistant Chief Avery L. Moore, who is a 30-year veteran of the department
- Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Celeste Murphy, who manages the department's community services division
- Dekalb County Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, who previously served as division chief in the Miami-Dade Police Department
- Wichita Police Department Chief Gordon Ramsay, who is a former president of the Minnesota Police Chief's Association as well as one of the first police chiefs of a major U.S. City to call George Floyd's death a murder, as reported by the Wichita Eagle
- Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Emada E. Tingirides, who is also commanding officer of the department's newly formed Community Safety Partnership Bureau, which serves L.A.'s underserved communities
City staff will interview the finalists in the coming weeks, with several community input opportunities to come, according to a Monday press release.
The city conducted a public survey in March and hosted community input meetings in April to learn more about what residents are looking for in their next police chief, which helped shape the selection criteria for the position.
"They want to see the Chief be reform-minded and transparent and have a track record of fostering community involvement and accountability," Cronk said in the release. "The candidates selected show these characteristics in various ways."
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Days after Austin began once again recommending masks in public spaces, Austin ISD announced Monday that kindergarten through sixth-grade classes will have virtual options this fall.
The district will discuss the move in a special board meeting Monday evening starting at 5 p.m., while full details will be released Friday.
Teachers will not have to fret about the new option—no educators will have to juggle both virtual and in-person learning. Instead, certain teachers will specialize in virtual education, according to a press release.
The news comes after a recent spike in COVID cases in Travis County and across the nation. Children typically suffer fewer symptoms of COVID when contracted, but they are now catching the virus more often than their older counterparts without a vaccine available to them and as the more contagious Delta variant is quickly being spread.
While local health officials are recommending everyone wear masks, public school districts are unable to mandate masks due to an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott in May.
Parents have expressed concern about classrooms with masks unenforceable and children under the age of 12 ineligible for a vaccine. Some have even said they would look for alternative schooling if AISD did not offer a virtual option for students.
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