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Remember that first match? The ultimate rematch is on at Q2 Stadium as Austin FC takes on LAFC for the second time at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Back before the club's first goal, before the injuries and before their triumphant 4-1 breakout win at Q2 Stadium, Austin FC lost 2-0 to LAFC at Los Angeles Banc Stadium for their first-ever match.
When they first faced the Los Angeles club, Austin was nearly injury-free. They were also goalless and lacked a solid starting lineup as they faced off against a club that was projected to be at the top of the Western Conference. Now, LAFC sits at No. 5 in the West and has just one win on the road, while Austin's long scoreless streak was recently snapped by Jon Gallagher and crew at Q2 Stadium.
Austin will be looking to keep their momentum rolling as they take on LAFC at home. Here's how that could go down:
What to expect
While Austin has Gallagher, Diego Fagundez and Cecilio Dominguez to thank for their goals, LAFC relies on another trio. Corey Baird, Jose Cifuentes, and Diego Rossi have tallied three goals each at the top of LAFC's attacking lineup and make up nine of the club's 13 goals this season.
2019 MVP winner Carlos Vela, the club's star player, was "accidentally" subbed out 20 minutes into their season opener against Austin and didn't return until late May on injury. The man who scored 52 goals in his first 66 MLS regular-season games has just one goal to his name this season so far, but he's quickly whipping back into shape. Vela's lone goal came against FC Dallas on June 24.
Even as the club sits lower in the standings than usual, Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff said they're still a potential threat. "They haven't put up the numbers that they typically put up, but they're still very dangerous," Wolff said.
While they've won half of their home games, LAFC is less lucky on the road and has a 1-3-1 away record.
Meanwhile, Austin is riding a high after their 4-1 win against Portland that saw not one, but four players make those first goals at Q2 Stadium. The club is on the mend as well, but six players remain out of play indefinitely, including Gallagher.
Despite only scoring in one of their first three home matches, Austin FC has dominated every club that has played at Q2 Stadium. Wolff said he hopes to see more confidence around the goal after a successful home stretch.
"We played really well in our three home games: good energy, good intensity, really good mentality how we come out and try to drive and dictate the game," Wolff said. "And last game we were rewarded with some goals... (so) hopefully it helps give our group confidence."
Projected starting lineup
Austin has not had the luxury of a solid starting lineup this season, and they'll likely see a new set of faces this match as well. Gallagher's foot injury means another man is needed up top. Jared Stroud is likely in alongside Dominguez and Fagundez as he tries to crack his first goal.
Hector Jimenez, who got a goal of his own in last match, is still in for an injured Nick Lima on right back, and Daniel Pereira is likely back in the starting XI after a stellar performance against Portland.
Wolff said having Pereira flanked behind Fagundez has helped elevate the club's quality of play even as the club continues to sort out injuries.
"Having Diego and having Danny Pereira back obviously helps, it gets two really quality players out on the field... and now you really start to see the game come to life," Wolff said. "They have personality and character, and we continue to learn about these guys as well."
Where to watch
If you've got the golden ticket, good for you! Click here for a guide to matchday fun.
For everyone else, some tickets are still up on SeatGeek, but there are also plenty of watch parties for those looking for the gameday hype as well.
Here are a few options around town:
Pregame fun at The Rustic Tap, 613 W. 6th St.
RBKD will be live at The Rustic Tap on West 6th for an @AustinFC pregame watch party!— The Horn FM (@TheHornATX) July 6, 2021
The guys will be live until 7pm with $5 Michelob Ultra pints
More Details Here: https://t.co/VhbrGvpkF6 pic.twitter.com/7idJnNIALK
For some before-match fun, catch the guys at The Horn give a pregame analysis at The Rustic Tap with $5 pints of Michelob Ultra from 3-7 p.m.
The Lustre Pearl South, 97 Rainey St.
The @AustinFC Vs. LAFC Watch Party is happening TOMORROW (7/7) at Lustre Pearl South. We've teamed up with @karbachbrewing to make this happen - see you all there!— Do512 (@Do512) July 6, 2021
Enter to WIN a VIP table here: https://t.co/rspSCE0QWg pic.twitter.com/qDBAwwcfex
Karbach Brewing and Do512 have teamed up to provide a watch party at The Lustre Pearl South with drink specials, giveaways and more. The party starts at 6:30 p.m., two hours before kickoff.
Beer hall watch party, Easy Tiger 1501 E. 7th St.
We are hosting an @AustinFC watch party at @EasyTigerATX east this Wednesday evening at 7:30pm! Come join us at the new indoor beer hall and eat delicious pretzels! You may even get a pretzel for free..... 🥨🍺⚽️ #austinfc #soccer #losverdes pic.twitter.com/hkihrq0hnG— Stuff to Do in Austin (@StufftoDoinAus) July 5, 2021
Grab a (possibly) free pretzel and enjoy Easy Tiger East's new indoor beer hall as you watch the guys play starting at 7:30 p.m.
Austin Anthem at Circle Brewing, 2340 W. Braker Lane
Ready to— Austin Anthem (@AustinAnthem) June 27, 2021
✅Beat the Crew pic.twitter.com/wBzPunte4D
For every home match, Austin FC supporters' group Austin Anthem celebrates before, during and after the match at Circle Brewing, a brewery just steps away from Q2 Stadium.
Los Verdes at Hopsquad Brewing, 2307 Kramer Lane
Just feet away from Circle Brewing, Hopsquad Brewing serves as the official HQ for Austin FC supporters' group Los Verdes and will be packed with the same all-day music, beer and fun as those next door.
Austin FC Pub Clubs
For those looking to watch the match in the comfort of your neighborhood bar, check out these 30+ Pub Partners that play every match, home or away.
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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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