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Patience has been key for thousands of Austin FC fans, as they've watched their club dominate its first two home matches but come out with goose eggs.
For their third match at home, Austin FC knew it was time to score as they took on the Portland Timbers, and they exceeded expectations with a 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers.
With bated breath, 20,000+ Austin FC fans rose to their feet as the club scored not once, but four times to secure their first home win with their largest margin of victory to date.
WHAT. A. NIGHT.
Austin, this one was for y'all! 💚🖤 pic.twitter.com/ZyNLFyUC64
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) July 2, 2021
When Jon Gallagher broke the ice with the club's first-ever home goal, gallons of beer droplets sailed in the air. Drumbeats from La Murga, for one second, came to a halt. The stadium lights turned a deep Verde, and Austin FC took their first win at home with a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers.
Four Austin FC players— first Gallagher, then Diego Fagundez, and finally Captain Alex Ring and Hector Jimenez— finally got the chance to scratch that scoring itch.
Gallagher said he didn't even watch his goal-scoring shot as it rolled into the net; he already knew, as he always does, that it was going in. Instead, he drew his head back in a signature Gallagher roar and let out weeks worth of pent-up energy.
"I was screaming so loud, I couldn't even hear," Gallagher said. "And it was just letting out all this frustration and a big sigh of relief."
Every Austin FC player wanted a piece of that first-goal pie. Fagundez, who had already made history as the club's first goal-scorer, followed Gallagher just seven minutes later with a goal of his own.
When asked which player has more bragging rights, Gallagher just shrugged, a small grin on his face.
Ironically, the same foot that scored the goal also took Gallagher out in the second half, and he was seen on crutches as the match wore on. Gallagher said he was finally able to take in the importance of the moment as he watched the final two goals of the match from the bench.
I was just sitting there trying to take it all in, big smile on my face," Gallagher said. "(I thought) wow, I really struck gold getting myself here."
Despite a poorly-defended Portland goal to end the first half, Austin FC dominated the stat board from start to finish. The club held 69.3% possession and had eight shots on goal to the Timbers' one. It was arguably many players' best match of the season, including Daniel Pereira, who was put back in the starting XI for the first time since his injury on May 23.
From Fagundez's ball-handling skills, to Ring's leadership, to Cecilio Dominguez's showmanship, the club operated like a well-oiled machine. Head coach Josh Wolff said it was great to see the camaraderie that has been growing for months culminate in a smooth victory on the field.
"That's what we want to see, those relationships to fit on field as well as off the field, because then you're fighting for your family," Wolff said. "That's when we know we're moving in the right direction because these guys killed themselves for each other tonight."
Here's a timeline of what happened at the most important match in stadium history:
80' Austin lands biggest lead of the season
Every Austin player is making a point to score tonight. As fans cheered "alright, alright, alright, alright, Austin FC" at a deafening roar, Jared Stroud sent an expertly-placed pass back to right back Hector Jimenez, who put his name on the board with a goal of his own.
With their biggest lead to date, Austin is making their home scoring debut unforgettable.
76' Austin makes it 3!
Let's goooooo! pic.twitter.com/pmMhTJZdRL— Austin FC (@AustinFC) July 2, 2021
Austin FC is full of firsts today: in the 77th minute of play, Captain Alex Ring brought a well-placed header into goal to make it 3-1 Austin for the first time since their breakout Colorado Rapids match in April. This is Ring's first goal with the club.
A sea of jumping Verde have never stopped their chants in the stands and get louder with every goal scored.
At the half: Austin dominates the stat board
Jon Gallagher is the first person to score at Q2 Stadium. (Austin FC/Twitter)
Two history-making goals aside, Austin FC is dominating the stat board, holding 66% possession and tallying four shots on goal to the Timbers' one. The floodgates have been opened, and fans are louder than ever. Still, overconfidence and a lack of focus led to a last-second Portland goal to end the half.
The Timbers technically have the momentum as the second-half whistle blows, but Austin, backed by historic goals and a scoring high, still has that 2-1 upper hand.
Historically (excepting that fateful Kansas City match,) Austin FC has produced even better second halves. Expect injections of energy from subs including Kekuta Manneh or Jared Stroud.
45+' Portland makes a last-minute first half goal
Just before the end of the first half, Portland's Jeremy Ebobisse capitalized on Austin FC's newfound confidence and drove one in to score. Austin failed to properly guard Ebobisse in the box, and the club is looking to refocus and keep the lead into the second half.
33' The dam has been broken. 2-0 Austin FC!
Looks like Gallagher won't be the only one to bring the stands to their feet tonight.
Less than 10 minutes after Gallagher made history with that first home goal, Diego Fagundez, who is already in the books as the club's first scorer, caught a ball pushing past the Timbers defense and brought one in himself.
Fagundez has doubled the lead, and Austin is dominating over their West Coast foes.
26' John Gallagher breaks the ice! 1-0 Austin FC
For the 14% of poll takers who chose Jon Gallagher as the club's first home scorer, you were right! Austin FC has threatened goal all night, as they did Sunday, and the club finally saw payoff in the 26th minute of play as the winger sank it into the bottom left corner.
Tomas Pochettino and Gallagher played back-and-forth down the right flank as they got past the Timbers defense, with Pochettino tallying the stadium's first assist.
8:40 p.m.- Kickoff begins with a bang
Austin FC started the show with a bang: during the National Anthem, red, white and blue fireworks worthy of a pre-July 4 match were set off in the sky. Just after, the crowd erupted into a "Stuv" chant as keeper Brad Stuver entered the pitch.
After kickoff proved just as eventful. Just three minutes in, DP Cecilio Dominguez was granted a free kick that was deflected by the Timbers defense.
8:30 p.m.- USWNT beats Mexico in sendoff
As the lights dimmed to a deep green before kickoff at Q2 Stadium, the U.S. Women's National Team match was played from the press box and watch parties around town.
The USWNT defeated Mexico 4-0 in the rain to begin their Send Off Series, which are the last set of matches before the Olympic Trials.
Next up, the USWNT will play Mexico once again on Tuesday, July 5 before prepping for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
7:45 p.m.- Austin FC starting lineup released
Austin FC is on the mend, and no new injuries were suffered at the hands of Columbus Crew on Sunday. Head coach Josh Wolff has made one notable change to the starting lineup: Daniel Pereira, the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, is in for Jared Stroud.
It's unclear where Pereira will fit into the lineup. Will the club employ a 4-3-3 as per usual and put midfielder Pereira up top, or will they go for a different method as they attempt to score?
Hector Jimenez is back in for Nick Lima, who pulled his hamstring two matches ago against Minnesota United.
As always, Captain Alex Ring is dead center and star keeper Brad Stuver is holding it down in the back.
7:20 p.m. a panel of experts weigh in
The question everyone's been asking is burning in the minds of members of Austin FC fan groups, including La Murga de Austin instrumentalists Wiley Koepp, Brittany Koepp and Brian Hensley.
The well-versed experts said top contenders were Diego Fagundez, a fan favorite who scored Austin's first goal, and Cecilio Dominguez, the top-bill striker and Designated Player.
Regardless, the Koepp and Hensley trio agree that tonight is the night for that first home goal.
Who do you think will sink that first goal at Q2?
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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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