Austin FC are fighting off a tough loss after their ringleader, Captain Alex Ring, was kicked off the field due to a second yellow card last weekend. Now, they'll have to fight the odds even further as they take on the formidable LA Galaxy, headlined by Chicharito, in Los Angeles this Saturday.
A match with this high of stakes can't simply be watched from home (unless you'd like to, no judgment here). If you're looking to grab a beer with some friends and drop your taco when your club scores, check out these watch parties happening in Austin this weekend.
Austin FC official watch party—Pluckers, 6406 N. I-35 Frontage Road
Looking to replicate the 1,000-plus-member watch party when Austin FC took on fellow Los Angeles team LAFC for their first match, the club is hosting its own official watch party this Saturday. Located outdoors and presented by Pluckers, the event comes with wings, a live DJ, prize giveaways and a party tent. Pack a mask and head to the spot after 1 p.m., when doors officially open.
Los Verdes watch party—Hopsquad Brewing, 2307 Kramer Ln
WE ARE RELEASING THE MICHE!— Hopsquad Brewing Co. (@HopsquadBrewing) May 11, 2021
Come on out to our @LosVerdesATX watch party this Saturday where we will have MICHELADAS available created with a special house blend michelada mix and our Zapatista Mexican Lager. Available at 12pm until we run out. Your move, @AustinFC#releasethekitpic.twitter.com/vbvpvJIOn9
Hopsquad Brewing is bringing back its signature LED screen, local food trucks and live music in partnership with Austin FC fan club Los Verdes this weekend. They're also releasing much-awaited micheladas and bringing a rain tent in case it pours. Come early with a lawn chair and rain gear well before kickoff at 2:30 p.m. if you want a good spot.
Los Verdes South Side—Armadillo Den, 10106 Menchaca Road
For those a little bit south of Q2 Stadium, Los Verdes is offering a second watch party complete with the official fan band, La Murga de ATX. Expect live music and a rowdy crowd starting at the 2:30 p.m. kickoff. *Warning: parking is limited.
Austin Anthem—Celis Brewing, 10001 Metric Blvd.
Your watch party HQ update:— Austin Anthem (@AustinAnthem) May 12, 2021
🐖 Join us Saturday at @CelisBeers for the #verde, stay for the luau & Cajun China-Style Pig Roast.
😎 It’s an afternoon match as #AustinFC returns to CA to take on the almost-in-LA Galaxy. 2:30pm.
RSVP and full schedule.https://t.co/EdiBruw4Aepic.twitter.com/9M0uQaF6x2
The fan club that brought over 1,000 people to its own watch party as the season began, Austin Anthem is back at Celis Brewery but has added a new twist to its typical watch party fare. Enjoy plenty of beer and a Cajun China-style pig roast as the club hosts a limbo-infused luau right after the match. RSVP here.
Austin Anthem goes West—Dreamland, 2770 W. Highway 290
As #AustinFC travels west, so do we… to Dripping Springs!— Austin Anthem (@AustinAnthem) May 14, 2021
In addition to our Celis Beers watch party, we’ll also be at @dreamlanddstx. Join us for pickleball, mini-golf, art, 90 self-pour taps, and #verde on a big screen!
🗓 Sat. 2:30pm.
Austin Anthem is going West with their club in a big way as they add a watch party in Dripping Springs. The event will be complete with 90 self-pour taps, art, pickleball and mini golf. Starts at kickoff, 2:30 p.m.
40 pub partners
From Round Rock to San Marcos, these 40 pubs are set show the match as official pub partners of Austin FC. They could get packed, so make sure to be there before kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
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A Union Pacific cargo train hit a man in his 40s, killing him Thursday morning, Austin police said.
The train's driver called the police after the train hit the man at around 12:45 a.m. in the 300 block of Orchard Street, nearby Fifth Street and Lamar Boulevard.
Police have not released the identity of the man.
Over a year after they took the stage for the first time in Los Angeles, Austin FC returned to Banc of America Stadium to snatch the No. 1 spot from LAFC in a 2-1 statement win late Wednesday night.
Austin FC, which has flirted with the top spot in the MLS West this season, has now solidly reached the summit just a year after its second-to-last first season finish. The new top dogs are now 7-2-3 overall.
Here's a look at three highlights from the match:
Flashback in LA
For many Austin FC fans and naysayers alike, the match was more than a fight for the MLS West throne: it also served as a symbol of how far the team has come.
The two clubs first met on the Banc of America pitch as Austin FC saw its first game and first loss all at once in a 2-0 battle last April. It was an exciting but shaky start to the club's first season, and the loss seemed to set the tone for the rest of its inaugural year as the club dipped to second to last in the conference.
If Austin's first season was hallmarked by its first match, then its second-year success was foretold by its back-to-back five-goal victories to kick off the season.
Since then, the club has battled its own first-year shadow, claims of "bonus games" and a few unexpected obstacles—both on and off the pitch—but it has almost always come out on top.
That fight to the top was fully realized Wednesday, even as the club played its toughest opponent yet. Even with a man down in the middle due to Daniel Pereira's red card last game, the club kept its cool through even the trickiest moments of the match. Jhojan Valencia, who patched the Pereira hole in midfield, got his first MLS start and first MLS assist as Ruben Gabrielsen scored the first goal of the game.
Gabrielsen came to Austin FC as a potential hero for the team's center back position, but the club's resident Viking has already nabbed two goals in his first season with the team.
"That's center forward material," Austin FC announcer Adrian Healey said as Gabrielsen took control of Valencia's pass, paused to fake out the defense, and calmly tucked the ball into the left corner to complete the first goal of the match.
Even as LAFC dominated possession for much of the match, Austin FC saw another wide-open goal opportunity crumble as midfielder Diego Fagundez's shot hit the corner goalpost in the 23rd minute.
But Fagundez wasn't finished. The midfielder was short on his Verde hair dye but full of surprises as he nimbly sunk a shot over LAFC defense to make it 2-0 with 10 minutes to go.
Fagundez, who has spent more time setting up goals for his teammates (becoming the No. 1 assister in the MLS in the process), finally took the center stage with his second goal this season.
Owen Wolff, head coach Josh Wolff's own son, had a scoring opportunity of his own foiled by the goalpost as he started his first MLS match as one of the youngest starters in the league this season.
But Austin FC wouldn't score again; instead, LAFC powerhouse Carlos Vela made the win a bit trickier in the 86th minute as he got past Austin keeper Brad Stuver to cut the lead in half. The other Wolff quickly subbed in a five-prong defense as the club kept steady for the final 10 painstaking minutes to win the match.
BONUS: Stuver's career-making match
Six saves on the night in LA for Brad Stuver! 🚫 pic.twitter.com/02V6hcUd3Y— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 19, 2022
After two weeks on the bench due to a knee gash, Austin's star keeper Brad Stuver had the Stuver-iest match of all time (yes, we're making it a word) as he pulled off six saves to help his team to No. 1.
Stuver looked like a pinball machine as he pulled off save after save with his feet, hands and body to keep it nearly 100% clean on the back end.
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