Q2 Stadium is an undefeated fortress no longer.
After a fiery 4-1 breakthrough win, Austin FC saw history repeat itself and suffered their first loss at Q2 Stadium at the hands of LAFC.
Much like their first bout with the Los Angeles club, Austin lost steam midmatch as their undefeated streak came to a close. Two more dismal injuries put the already-thin home team's midfield out of whack, and a series of mistakes near goal kept the club scoreless once again.
LAFC is now 2-0 against Austin. The match is Austin FC's first loss since ending their seven-match road streak in June.
Midfielder Tomas Pochettino was the first to go down for the Verde and Black and wasn't on the starting XI for the first time this season due to what head coach Josh Wolff called a "minor" abductor injury. In his stead was hometown hero Kekuta Manneh, the only player with Austin ties.
Manneh helped the team put forth early starting efforts in the first half as Austin got out to a characteristically hot start at Q2 Stadium.
We're spreading the love tonight. Close one from @kekuta16. 😅 pic.twitter.com/bz7OQCj7Bf
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) July 8, 2021
Just one minute in to play, midfielder Daniel Pereira was given a yellow card for charging after LAFC player Eduard Atuesta. It was one of many falls for the Los Angeles team, a few of which were rewarded with yellow cards for both Julio Cascante and Zan Kolmanic. Emotions would run high and LAFC would take increasingly dramatic tumbles as the match wore on.
Like clockwork, another fateful injury turned the tides of the match as Pereira fell himself in the 35th minute. Wolff said that Pereira sustained an unspecified abdomen injury, and he became the eighth current Austin FC player out on injury.
With Jon Gallagher out too on an injured foot—the same one that he used to score Austin's first home goal against Portland last week—Wolff was forced to piece together a lineup with the team's youngest and least experienced crew.
Wolff said it's always hard to recover from injury, especially when there seems to be at least one a match.
"It's unsettling when....you miss out on some real key players," Wolff said. "I think we saw last week what those guys brought to the game."
LAFC had the ball between its feet for only 40% of the match but stayed efficient. In the 25th minute, it seemed star player Carlos Vela had put Austin FC at a deficit for their first time at their home stadium, but a foul was called and the goal was called off as thousands at Q2 cheered.
It didn't matter for long, though, as Jose Cifuentes got a rare ball past keeper Brad Stuver and put LAFC up 1-0.
Cifuentes finishes on the rebound and @LAFC lead in Austin. #ATXvLAFCpic.twitter.com/BwQZIYTRr6
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 8, 2021
The opposing team wouldn't put a lid on the match until one minute was left, when Stuver saved a ball in a one-man-show but was quickly beat out on the second try from star striker Diego Rossi.
There's the dagger!
Rossi buries it and @LAFC lead 2-0 late. #ATXvLAFCpic.twitter.com/As2mOn9eiC
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 8, 2021
Still, it was clear where the match was going as Austin reverted back to scorelessness.. Austin's offense, which ran like a well-oiled machine just a week prior, stumbled without their steady midfield, and the club looked sloppy as they fought to get in goal.
With the 22-and-under crew as some of the club's only available starters, Wolff said it'll get competitive in practice as they enjoy a two-week hiatus from MLS matches.
"We're going to continue to need guys to come in as starters and as reserves and give us a lift when we need it," Wolff said. "There's certainly going to be more repetition."
Austin's bones will get a rest as they focus on rest and repetition for the next few weeks, but the club will still hit the pitch on Tuesday, July 12 as they play Liga MX's Tigres in a friendly at Q2 Stadium.
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By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.
What's new in Austin food & drink this week:
- Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
- Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
- Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
- Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
- Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
- Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
- The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
- Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
- P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.