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Jersey Number: 20
Hometown: Chester, New Jersey
Position: Right winger
Former club: New York Red Bulls
Back before Jared Stroud helped Austin FC to two of the team's four goals, the 24-year-old right winger was quickly rising up the ranks at the New York Red Bulls.
After graduating from Colgate University, men's soccer standout, where he was named to the All-Patriot League twice, Stroud was drafted to USL side New York Red Bulls II in 2018, where he scoring seven goals and added 11 assists. A year later, Stroud was the team leader with 15 goals and nine assists in his 34 appearances, granting him a berth in the first-division New York Red Bulls.
In his first season with the MLS, Stroud added two assists to the club in 20 appearances. It wasn't an ideal debut, however, and the onset of the pandemic kept stands quiet for his inaugural professional season.
Still, Stroud helped take the team to the playoffs in 2020. When Stroud was chosen as Austin FC's second pick in the MLS Expansion Draft, he felt ready to play outside of New York for the first time and bring his best to Austin.
"I thought I played well and started in the majority of games for a playoff team which gave me confidence for this year to kind of work on that and get better," Stroud said. "For me, I have my personal goals in terms of numbers, but right now, it's just about approaching every game in the best way possible."
With Austin FC
The former Colgate all-time assist leader is back to doing what he knows best. Stroud helped solidify Austin FC's first-ever win streak after sending a perfectly-placed cross to Diego Fagundez to land his first assist with the club. The goal mirrored a week prior when Fagundez capitalized off a deflected shot by Stroud and brought in Austin FC's first-ever goal.
In just three weeks, Stroud has found his groove with five shots and an assists, and he's already had more shots on goal (2) than he ever did with the Red Bulls. He may be the man of the moment, but Stroud wasn't expected to start at right wing at the beginning of the season.
Stroud helped change the tempo of the game vs. LAFC when the club fell into a rut in the second half, coming in for Rodney Redes in the 59th minute and injecting more energy into their gameplay. He was rewarded with a starting spot the next week vs. LAFC, which head coach Josh Wolff said was well-deserved.
"He's tireless and unapologetically he competes with his teammates and with the opponent, which is great because that becomes infectious." Wolff said. "And he's somebody that's there every day... he helped get us going right directions."
Stroud has at least temporarily replaced fellow right winger Redes in the starting lineup, but that's not due to anything Redes has done. Wolff has stated that it's a great feeling when there's too many starting options for a club instead of too few, and even though Stroud is competing with Redes, he said the two are great friends on and off the pitch.
"We're all super good friends," Stroud said. "Between all the wingers, we want to see each other grow and get better... and that's an important part of the team is just to have that competitive spirit and to have guys fighting for positions."
Now with two wins on the record, Stroud said the energy's been much livelier on and off the pitch, and they hope to keep that running as they face Sporting Kansas City this weekend.
"I think everything's better when you're winning," Stroud said. "Everyone's happier, there's a better vibe around the club. Getting the monkey off our back in Colorado, the plane ride home was super fun. That's why we want to go out there and get results every week for everyone."
Off the pitch
Stroud's family hadn't seen him play since before the pandemic began in 2020, but the two got a big dosage of that Austin soccer spirit when they traveled to watch him play in Minnesota. They were immediately welcomed and invited to watch the match with Austin FC fans Los Verdes, something that Stroud said was a great experience for their first match back.
"It was really nice to have them fly out and be vaccinated and see them again, and knowing they were up there was nice," Stroud said. "They they enjoyed the fans (and) they had a blast.
Stroud is a man of the fans himself. Just as Diego Fagundez held up the "LV" in honor of Los Verdes after his first goal and Alex Ring led a fan chant after the Colorado Rapids victory, Stroud honored the fans with a photo after the match. He said the fans are his main motivator and he's happy to have them around after a year of silence in the pandemic.
"They're, they're the livelihood of the club, they're the energy of the club, (and) we play for them," Stroud said. "I swear they were louder than the Colorado fans, (and) It was great to interact with them and see them at every game. It means it means the world to us, and we see them in the crowd."
Stroud also has a brother, Peter Stroud, who is following in his footsteps and made the All-ACC Men's Soccer Third Team as a freshman midfielder at Duke.
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Texas voters are split on whether Gov. Greg Abbott should run for a third term and whether Matthew McConaughey should run at all. But Democrats are clear: they want to see Beto O'Rourke on the ballot.
These are the findings of a Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters released this week.
Abbott and McConaughey received the highest favorability ratings of the elected officials, candidates and potential candidates, according to the Quinnipiac poll.
- Abbott: 49%
- McConaughey: 42%
- O'Rourke: 34%
- Former Texas GOP Chair Allen West: 25%
- Former Texas senator and Republican challenger Don Huffines: 8%
Overall, 48% say Abbott does not deserve to be reelected to a third term compared to 46% who say he does. "A Trump favorite in a state that is turning less red in recent election cycles, Abbott has a decent but in no way overwhelming grasp on reelection," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release.
Abbott, McConaughey and Beto O'Rourke could vie for governor in 2022. (Office of the Texas Governor)
Voters are also divided on Matthew McConaughey, who is reportedly considering a gubernatorial run. Forty-one percent of voters say they would like to see him run, compared to 47% who say they wouldn't.
The poll found that Democrats and Independents favor the Oscar-winning Austinite, whose party affiliation is unclear. Forty-seven percent of Democrats would like to see him run, compared to 43% who wouldn't. Forty-four percent of Independents would, compared to 43% who wouldn't. Republicans, on the other hand, say 60%-29% they would not like to see him run.
Another possible candidate is former U.S. Representative and presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke, who is also reportedly mulling a bid. Overall voters say 52%-41% they would not like to see him run for governor. But 77% of Democrats and 50% of Independents would, according to the poll.
"McConaughey and O'Rourke may still be on the fence, but their numbers suggest they have the attention of voters," Malloy said in the same release.
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Austinites will soon be able to train like some of Hollywood's biggest stars as F45, a fitness franchise backed by major celebs, like Mark Wahlberg and David Beckham, is on its way to Austin.
F45 listed Austin as the location of its corporate headquarters in a June 21 federal filing—a big shift for the California company. The fitness franchise is preparing for its initial public offering, which will be as an Austin-based company.
F45 will be one of many California companies—Tesla, Oracle and Samsung—that have recently expanded in the Capital City. The company has several famous investors on its side—famed basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson and golfer Greg Norman in addition to Wahlberg and Beckham.
The fitness company is opening a 44,000-square-foot headquarters, located at Penn Field on 801 Barton Springs Road, with a lease running through 2029. F45 was one of the early adopters of Austin-based real estate-technology platform AnthemIQ, helping tenants find commercial real estate.
F45 focuses on one-on-one 45-minute workouts, which patrons watch on in-studio displays. With 2,247 franchise agreements spanning across 63 countries, F45 also has offices in Australia and England.
"We believe this flexibility will enable us to capitalize on our estimated long-term global opportunity of over 23,000 studios," the company said in its filing.
The greater Austin area already has 11 F45 locations, which take up 1,600 square feet of space each.
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The staffers are coming! Texas Lege staffers turn to Twitter after special session announcement, defunding
Texas Legislature staff members have taken to social media to raise awareness—and also just air their misfortunes—following the summer special session announcement and their own defunding.
In a game-seven-type move by Texas Democrats, the 87th Texas Legislative session was capped off by a last-minute walkout to avoid a final vote on a bill that would add restrictions to voting.
Needless to say, Gov. Greg Abbott—who cheerleaded the bill throughout the legislative session—was not thrilled.
Not up to date on your Texas Lege drama? Abbott was pointing to when former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis staged a dramatic hours-long filibuster over a 2013 abortion bill, which the public gallery aided. The "story" Abbott is referring to ended with him and other prominent conservatives sweeping the 2014 statewide election and the bill passing in a special session.
According to Abbott, the regular session centered around supporting "hardworking Texans and building a state that is safer, freer, healthier, and more prosperous."
However, the two items deemed at the top of Abbott's wish list for this session—election integrity and bail reform—did not reach his desk at the end of the session, both championed by Abbott to be "must-pass emergency items."
"It is deeply disappointing and concerning for Texans that neither reached my desk," Abbott said in a statement. "Ensuring the integrity of our elections and reforming a broken bail system remain emergencies in Texas, which is why these items, along with other priority items, will be added to the special session agenda."
Abbott said he expected lawmakers to work out their differences prior to the special session and continue to pass other emergency items and priority legislation.
So, everything is cool, right? No worries?
Hours before the no vote, as the clock ran out on the bill that he championed, Abbott tweeted that he would veto funding for the entire state legislative branch. The decision would impact not only Texas lawmakers but their staff and aides. "No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities," Abbott tweeted May 31.
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay… https://t.co/KNyuNvxP55— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott)1622484820.0
With pay, health insurance and other support for staffers on the line, the threats became a reality on June 18 with an official veto of the funds from Abbott.
The veto effectively nixes all funding for the legislative branch.
"Texans don't run from a legislative fight and we don't walk away from an unfinished business," Abbott wrote in the veto. "Funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session."
However, questions have been brought up over the constitutionality of the veto itself. Section 24 of the Texas Constitution makes not paying members of the legislature illegal.
The special session is set to begin July 8. So, what does this mean for lawmakers, staffers and aides?
No pay, no insurance... and Twitter followers?
The staffers took their final stand on Twitter where they aired their grievances with the situation and asked for followers to increase their footprint.
Meet Jen Ramos, a staff member for Texas State Senator Judith Zaffarini—and also defunded by Abbott.
My name is Jen. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott. Apparently now I’m supposed to ask for Tw… https://t.co/pteKADP3Hj— Jen Ramos ✨ (@Jen Ramos ✨)1624466531.0
And she's not alone. Use the hashtag #txlege and you'll find other similar messages online, like Camille's and Hector's and more.
My name is Camille, my friends call me Cam or Cammie. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott. And… https://t.co/mOvcjxTiUL— Camille Lasin (@Camille Lasin)1624474153.0
My name is Hector. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott and who had to deal with elections stuff… https://t.co/88PINm9KCv— Hector 🏙🤠 (@Hector 🏙🤠)1624466987.0
My name is Jake Salinas. I'm the TX Dem that saved the film industry in TX and broke quorum on SB7 Now our Gov h… https://t.co/PLf9ScA4Ev— Jake Salinas (@Jake Salinas)1624464237.0
It's unclear whether Abbott and other prominent Republican lawmakers will come together with Democrats to overturn the veto and continue providing insurance and regular pay for lawmakers, staffers and aides.