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Austin FC's Tuesday matchup against legendary Liga MX futbol club Tigres UANL may be just a friendly match. However, for many fans, it's a moral dilemma.
Loyalties will be tested, colors will mix and dreams will be fulfilled as Tigres, the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League winners, take on Austin FC at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Q2 Stadium.
When Tigres superfan Rigo Rodriguez joined the supporters' crew for his hometown's new team, he didn't expect his two worlds to collide so quickly. "To the club, I would say 'too soon,'" Rodriguez said.
Like so many others in Austin's futbol sphere, Rodriguez joined Austin FC's burgeoning fan club, which formed a melting pot of fans of leagues around the world. For the first time, fans of Liga MX and Premier League rivals stood side by side in Verde.
Rigo Rodriguez has been integral to Austin FC's lively supporters' section. (Rigo Rodriguez)
Although they're based in Monterrey, Tigres are aware of the large chapters of their fan base, including Libres y Lokos in Texas. They've played several friendlies in the Lone Star State, and they're known for their stadium invasions—most notably when they out chanted Houston Dynamo fans at their own stadium in 2019.
Christian Aguilar, president of Libres y Lokos' Austin chapter, said the match was announced too late for there to be a full-on invasion. Still, he said he expects at least 400 Tigres fans at Q2 come Tuesday.
"We are the biggest fans—the best fans—in Mexico, so we will be there," Aguilar said. "We'd like to have more... but we'll do whatever is best to support our team."
Those who support both clubs now have to decide who they'll root for in the friendly.
Tigres fans are known for invading stadiums on the road. (Libres y Lokos Austin)
For die-hard Tigres fans, it's going to be difficult for them to choose what side they'll be supporting. "Some of them have been fans of Tigres since they were children... that love for the team is ingrained," Chavez said.
Rodriguez, a lifetime supporter himself, has racked up around 70 Tigres jerseys in his lifetime, but his Austin FC collection is quickly catching up. When asked which color he'd wear to the friendly, Rodriguez sighed.
While he will never give up loyalty to his first love, Rodriguez, who can often be seen standing even with an injured foot and leading the supporters' section with a megaphone, said he has a responsibility to Austin's newborn franchise.
"I'm going to be dressed in all black, but I'm definitely sitting with my people in Austin FC," Rodriguez said. "Tigres has a fan base that doesn't need me, they're established... I feel responsible to be with our people and to help guide the experience. We have nothing to compete against in terms of our fanbase."
Even as loyalty runs deep for the Tigres fanbase, Aguilar said he respects those who choose to keep on the green. "When someone from Nuevo Leone decides to have a new life in the United States, it's a little more difficult," Aguilar said. "You love your team, your colors, for life, but now you have a new life. People want to be involved (and) we respect that."
The match has no meaning in the standings, but Head Coach Josh Wolff will be pressed with the difficult balance of keeping his injured roster rested and gaining the respect of a well-regarded international club as they suit up against Tigres at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
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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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