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​The dam has been broken! Austin FC ends scoring drought with 4-1 win at home

Austin FC took home their biggest win to date with a 4-1 victory on Thursday. (Austin FC/Twitter)

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.



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! 

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

(Austonia)

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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‘Like speed dating of cats’ at Purr-fecto Cat Lounge
Purr-fecto Cat Lounge

Lina Martinez with her newly adopted cat, Emmanuel, who she renamed Sullivan.

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.”