What a way to end an eight game road stretch. Battling the heat and a top West Conference team, Austin FC took bullets from Sporting Kansas City as they fought for another point on the road in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The club has now accumulated eight points in eight matches towards their standings in the West as they wrap up their era of endless road matches.
For head coach Josh Wolff, averaging a point a game is just as expected.
"(It) doesn't seem amazing, but I've been in this league a long time, and that's worthy of something," Wolff said. "It's certainly above average, I would say, but we've got a lot of work still to do."
Austin's first-ever rematch was eerily reminiscent of their last appearance at Children's Mercy Park. On May 10, Jon Gallagher scored the first point of the match seven minutes of play; this time, Austin struck first once again with another unanswered first-half point.
As if by instinct, Cecilio Dominguez found his stride up front as he casually slipped in a goal in the 25th minute of play.
"It's déjà vu here at Children's Mercy Park!"@10_dominguez94 puts @AustinFC up 1-0 in the first half. #SKCvATXpic.twitter.com/Q8qt8VnWqR
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 12, 2021
Dominguez took the striker spot for the second time this season as Austin experimented with 4-4-2 and 5-4-1 formations. With two strikers injured and a thin roster of just 17 healthy players, Wolff said the club is getting "a bit creative" as they wait for their athletes to recover.
After a strong first 45 minutes, Sporting Kansas City took control as the second half began. Kansas finally found the equalizer in the 70th minute of play as an overworked Brad Stuver couldn't quite keep Daniel Salloi from going into goal.
"Just call 'em the comeback kids!"@danielsalloi scores the equalizer for @SportingKC. #SKCvATXpic.twitter.com/qLPtJ0zq3Y
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 12, 2021
Kansas was stopped time and time again by Stuver, who had a career-best nine saves and produced more highlight-worthy saves than ever to keep the club alive. Stuver said his breakout success this season comes down to a stellar back line, eight years of training and a constant willingness to work.
"I've been working for eight years to get an opportunity like this, to go out and get a run of games where I could actually be the starter," Stuver said. "For me, it's not about proving people wrong or surprising myself. It's just going out every day, training hard and doing what I know I'm capable of."
.@brad_stuver said NOPE. 🚫 #SKCvATXpic.twitter.com/mPLl1eCHq0
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 12, 2021
Looking back at the grueling eight-week stretch at the beginning of Austin FC's existence, Wolff said it's been harder than he thought to keep a team going with so many games on the road. As they head to their home opener June 19, Wolff hopes to see more rest and more goals from the MLS' newest club.
"I think we left goals in a lot of games in these first eight games," Wolff said. "As coaches we certainly take accountability, but (for) our players it's part of the deal (to) come to training continue to work on it."
Austin will be rewarded for their eight-week away stretch with their first home match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, June 19. Stuver said the team can't wait to play in front of their dedicated Verde fans. "We get to make Q2 our our fortress," Stuver said.
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The Austin woman suspected of killing star cyclist visiting from out of town, Moriah "Mo" Wilson, has now been captured after evading arrest for more than a month.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, an Austin yoga instructor, is believed by officials to be the killer of Wilson, who was found with gunshot wounds in a friend's house on May 11. The murder is being investigated as a crime of passion after Wilson met up with Armstrong's ex-boyfriend.
According to the U.S. Marshals, Armstrong was located at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Officials said she may have been using her sister's name after fleeing Austin on May 14, the day after police questioned her. She was last identified at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18.
Federal authorities say they plan on returning Armstrong to the U.S., where she'll face charges of murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Here's a timeline of events since the night of Wilson's murder.
- The night of her death, Wilson met with Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend Colin Strickland, a fellow pro cyclist. According to an affidavit, the pair went swimming, then to dinner, before he dropped Wilson off at her friend's home where she was staying in East Austin at around 8:30 p.m.
- While Wilson and Stickland had previously had a romantic relationship, Stickland said the two were friends. The affidavit says Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that evening.
- Video footage shows Armstrong’s Jeep pulled up nearby the home within a minute of Wilson arriving home.
- At around 10 p.m., Wilson's friend called Austin police after finding her in a pool of blood. Wilson had been staying with the friend ahead of the upcoming bike race in nearby Hico, Texas.
- Armstrong was brought in for questioning the day after the murder and released after appearing “very still and guarded” when confronted with video evidence.
- The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said her black Jeep Cherokee was sold to a South Austin CarMax dealership on May 13 for $12,200.
- She leaves from the Austin airport on May 14.
- Shell casings found on the scene matched a gun belonging to Armstrong.
- Austin police obtained an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17.
- She took a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica on May 18 using a fraudulent passport, according to the Marshals.
- On May 25, another warrant was obtained for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
- On June 29, she was captured by the U.S. Marshals
On Thursday, the Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority in regulating greenhouse gases, a move that comes at a time when experts have warned about the need to take action on climate change.
The ruling was brought after a challenge to a lower court opinion brought by Texas and more than a dozen other states.
Vaibhav Bahadur, an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin called the SCOTUS decision significant, noting that Texas is the biggest energy producer in the U.S., and produces more energy than the United Kingdom.
“Power generation accounts for a significant fraction of U.S. carbon emissions, and the EPA loses its ability to control what's happening in about half of that sector,” Bahadur said. “And it's not just the U.S., I think people and environmentalists on pretty much anywhere on the planet will be disappointed because this is going in the wrong direction. We know we want to be decarbonizing, and this is essentially putting a roadblock on progress toward decarbonization.”
So, we’re going to need some insurance, Bahadur says. He’s carrying out work that’ll act as such through his research on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), the process of sucking carbon from the air and burying it.
For the past five years, he’s been working on a novel approach to storing carbon. It involves supercharging the formation of carbon dioxide-based crystal structures and storing billions of tons of carbon under the ocean floor.
“If all of this is successful, then we will have another option for safely and responsibly storing carbon at the bottom of the seabed for essentially eternity,” Bahadur said.
Still, Bahadur talked about a different approach to responsibly cutting down emissions in the next decade, and doing so in a meaningful and substantial way, then the environment will eventually heal itself and we might not need CCS.
But that’s not the path we’re headed down.
“We're already starting to see temperature records being shattered this year, and we're still to hit peak summer,” Bahadur said. “All of this just makes me think that we need CCS to a larger extent, and possibly sooner than what a lot of scientists anticipate, especially if we can't keep our emissions in check.”
Gary Rochelle, a professor in the department of chemical engineering at UT, thinks CCS was ready to be deployed in 2010 and those 12 years have made a difference.
“But now we've emitted all that CO2,” Rochelle said. “And unfortunately, unlike other pollutants, when you emit CO2, it's there. It's not going away.”
Gary Rochelle and Vaibhav Bahadur are both researching technology to address carbon emissions. (UT)
Still, the delay is good in that now researchers like him have had time to learn about and improve the technology, allowing for fewer problems once it's deployed.
In December, UT announced a licensing agreement with advanced technology company Honeywell. The technology from that is targeted at power, steel, cement and other industrial plants to lower emissions.
Rochelle has been working on the technology since 2000 as part of an international collaborative effort. When he talked to Austonia on Thursday, he had just had calls with collaborators in Germany and Norway. Currently, he’s working with some Ph.D. students on addressing a chemical reaction that can happen with the technology known as oxidation that could lead to ammonia emissions and cause problems for a large-scale commercial unit.
Rochelle says he’s driven to this work because he wants to make a contribution.
“We're trying to develop this technology so that we can make a difference,” Rochelle said. “It's a nice problem to work on. The students are motivated and those are the primary things which drive us.”
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated the high court’s decision which acted as a blow to President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce emissions.
“Today’s landmark victory against an out-of-control administration is also a big win for Americans who worry about skyrocketing energy costs due to expensive federal regulations that threaten our energy industry,” Abbott said. “President Biden cannot keep attacking the energy industry and the hardworking men and women who power our nation.”
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