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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Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!