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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Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway