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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According to a WalletHub survey of nearly 5,000 Black Friday deals from 21 of the biggest U.S. retailers, Macy's has the best overall savings with an average 58.5% discount.
Here's how other stores fared based on shopping category:
- For clothes & apparel discounts: JCPenney has the best deals with an average 58.8% discount.
- For jewelry deals: Belk offers an 80% discount, followed by Kohl's at 75%.
- For furniture deals: Office Depot and OfficeMax are your best bet with a 49% discount.
- For consumer electronics, toys, and computers and phones: Macy's takes the cake.
In this season of gifts, giving, and gratitude, Tito's is making it easy to shop for your friends and loved ones while helping our community.
The beloved Austin company's Love, Tito's retail space, downtown at 215 Lavaca Street, is fully stocked with great gear. 100% of net proceeds of whatever you purchase—a new collar for your four-legged friend, a Tito's tee, some branded barware—go to the nonprofits they support. From the environment to animal rescue, you can choose your cause while choosing a new copper cocktail kit… or old school cap… or golf polo.
The store is stocked with stuff that the online experience just can't offer: never-before-seen swag, doggy photo booths (to say it's a dog-friendly space is an understatement), a record player to spin some tunes, and a bar finder listing local spots serving mean Tito's cocktails. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike can enjoy wonderful distractions while kicking back in an environment designed to cater to Tito's fans.
While you can't enjoy a cocktail there due to Texas liquor laws, the store offers unique experiences for any and all fans of the brand, and gives folks a chance to find what resonates with them while taking home a piece of the Tito's story.
*At our Love, Tito's store in Austin, net proceeds constitute an average margin of at least 25% of the retail price of a product, excluding the cost of tax on the purchase. We are not deducting cost of our people, the store rent or other operating costs.
The holiday season is upon us, so get ready to celebrate with carols, snacks and light shows galore. Austin is full of holiday festivities spanning throughout all of December so get out and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts.
Don't miss these nine holiday-themed light shows.
Austin's most famous annual light show and a Readers Choice of USA Today's 10 Best Public Displays of Holiday Lights, the Trail of Lights will be drive-thru again this year Nov. 27-Dec. 31. For 57 years in a row, the Trail of Lights has lit up Zilker Park with games, food, local vendors and more than two million lights gleaming for the holidays. The event, as always, is free to the public and you can reserve slots here. The Zilker Tree is already up, so you can already see it if the holiday cheer is too much to bear.
Coming back for the second year in a row, Peppermint Parkway will transport you to COTALAND, where six million lights gleam and Christmas is just a one-mile drive away. The hybrid event will have you drive through the display of lights, dancing elves and unique little villages before you hit the walking plaza, where you can grab a bite to eat and meet Santa. Tickets range from $40-$95, some including a lap around the COTA track, running from Nov. 26-Dec. 26.
Dreamland Dripping Springs has been transformed into a winter wonderland—running throughout the month of December, the venue's first-ever holiday display is taking over with activities for the whole family. Plus, running from Nov. 20-Jan. 4, a pop-up ice skating rink will really bring the holiday cheer for $10 or $5 Monday specials. The lights display will feature half a million lights and warm, festive sips from the taproom.
With events galore for the holiday season, winter is really when the Hill Country Galleria thrives. Starting with its Light Up The Plaza event on Saturday from 6-8 p.m., where visitors can see Santa, gaze at the official lighting of the holiday tree and hear some live tunes from rock band American Authors. The Galleria will also hold a holiday market every Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to Christmas Eve and periodic photos with Santa at Buenos Aires Cafe.
Deck the Halls at the Driskill Hotel
(Courtesy of the Driskill Hotel)
This holiday season, the Driskill will deck out every nook and cranny of the historic hotel from the grand staircase to the 16-foot Christmas tree in the lobby to be lit on a Dec. 1 ceremony that will be open to the public. Touches of Driskill festivities can also be seen at Dell Children's Hospital with a gingerbread village for its annual "Cookies for Caring" event.
Kicking off the lighting of the tree on Saturday, Dec. 4, Austinites will gather on the steps of the Texas Capitol at 6 p.m. to sing the 45-foot tree to life. Afterward, local band Los Coast will close out the night with a free concert. The fun doesn't stop there though as the Downtown Austin Alliance will host the Downtown Holiday Stroll, with "holiday passports" and stamps to collect for local restaurants and stores, and a Frida Friday Holiday Market at Republic Square.
Combining festive holiday lights and the beautiful native plants of Central Texas, Luminations at the Wildflower Center is back with thousands of lights, luminarias and a lit-up look at Fortlandia. This year will also feature an interactive light maze called "silvana" by Ben Busche of architecture firm Brut Deluxe, which will be the maze's first appearance in North America. The event will run Thursdays-Sundays from Dec. 2-Jan. 30 for $10-$25 per person.
Reserved tables are back for Mozart's Coffee Roasters annual Christmas Lights Show for $20 four-person tables and $30 six-person tables—so get your tickets early because these tables are likely to sell out. The light show will also feature a festival-style Bavarian marketplace for those last-minute gifts. If you're too late to reserve a table, don't worry, there will be standing room available for free so come one, come all, and come early for parking.
From Dec. 2-4, Old Settlers Park will light up with holiday displays, family activities, festive refreshments and live music. Watch the balloons hover above the lake as you sip on a hot chocolate or give to those in need, with stands for Round Rock Operation Blue Santa, which is taking toys for kids in need, the Play For All Foundation, which is accepting cash donations for disabled children, and the People & Parks Foundation, accepting cash donations for green space in the community. Admission to the event is free, along with most of the activities in the park.
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