Despite spurts of greatness that surpassed their recent losses, Austin FC was unable to tab their first win against LAFC in a 2-1 defeat on Wednesday night.
Austin's first loss in the post-Houston era, in which they secured their spot at last in the West with a 3-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, was blissfully less eventful than the high-scoring losses of the last few weeks. The team seemed to flip the switch as Austin's Sebastian Driussi appeared to score in just the fourth minute of play, but the shot served only to rile up the crowd as the goal was called offsides.
Despite the scoreboard, Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said the team brought character and passion to the pitch that wasn't seen in Saturday's match.
"We talked candidly about (the Houston match)," Wolff said. "I think there was a little bit of that edginess that we needed and the energy and intensity that's required to play...winning isn't coming easy right now, and we've got to continue to grind and continue to push."
LAFC, which beat Austin FC for the club's first-ever regular season match in April, once again came out on top. The West Coast giants found their groove in the 58th minute with the first goal of the match. Austin keeper Brad Stuver saw himself one-on-one with LAFC's Christian Arango in a rare penalty kick after a handball was called on Diego Fagundez in the box, and he was unable to pull off another trademark save as the ball gently sunk into the net.
From the VAR offsides call to the penalty kick, Wolff said the match's refereeing decisions were jarring but served to light a fire under the team.
"It's frustrating, but there's a lot to be proud of from the effort and our ability to to compete," Wolff said. "We grabbed the equalizer, grabbed momentum...I think the guys' reactions, intensity and attitude was pretty good."
The match was not all losses for Stuver, however: the star keeper notched his 100th save with a crowd-pleasing dive in the 24th minute of play.
Right back Nick Lima said the numbers reflect Stuver's contributions to the team.
"He's a leader on and off the field," Lima said. "He was a strength for us in the beginning of the year and continues to be, so it would be nice if we could give him back what he's done and get the results that we deserve...all the kudos that he gets he deserves, and it doesn't go unnoticed in the locker room."
Fagundez, too, found redemption in the match shortly after the fateful handball as he scored his sixth goal for the team, tying the game off a rebound in the 67th minute of play. The fan-favorite is once again Austin FC's top scorer.
But LAFC wasn't done in Austin. The away team's Danny Musovski snuck past the Verde defense in the 81st minute of play to score the club's second goal and clinch the match.
Austin FC is now 0-3 against LAFC but managed to score for the first time against the West Coasters in the Wednesday match. The team has now lost fie of their last six matches as they sunk further into last place and lose hope at a first-season playoff run.
The Verde and Black will gear up once again on Saturday as they take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. The teams last matched up on June 19 in a scoreless draw for Austin FC's energetic home opener.
82' LAFC retakes the lead
In a play that Cheatsheet's Kyle Dalton said symbolizes Austin FC's entire season, a fast break by Austin FC makes it past the goalies keeper, rallies up the crowd and sees Austin crowd the box, but the shot slowly rolls just out of bounds.
Minutes later, LAFC's Danny Musovski utilizes his speed to break past the Austin FC defense, and this attempt proves true as LAFC regainst the lead. Despite a VAR offsides review, the goal is given to LAFC and the away team goes up 2-1.
Austin scores on a rebound!
Just after LAFC's Kim Moon-Hwan fails to capitalize on a direct free kick, Austin FC bounced back with a goal of their own to tie up the match. While it was Cecilio Dominguez who made the first shot on goal, teammate Diego Fagundez was able to sink it into goal off a rebound to tie it 1-1. It's a great redemption for Fagundez after his handball and a new point of pride for Austin as they score against their first-match opponents for the first time.
58' LAFC scores on a PK
Looks like VAR is not on Austin FC's side tonight. In the 58th minute, a handball is called on Diego Fagundez in the penalty box as the ball hits his right arm. Stuck one-on-one for a rare penalty kick vs. Cristian Arango, keeper Brad Stuver can't predict the shot as it gently sinks into the bottom left corner. It's 1-0 LAFC with most of the second half to go.
46' Redes in for Stroud
It's been a blissfully uneventful first half for Austin FC after weeks of high-scoring losses, but the home team is still behind in scoring attempts. After Driussi's quick almost-goal was ruled offsides, Austin has made four shots to LAFC's 9, though both haven't had any shots on goal.
To add some spark to the offense, Wolff put winger Rodney Redes in for Stroud to kick off the second half. Redes will be looking for his long-awaited first MLS goal as Austin fights for their inaugural win against LAFC.
24' Stuv gets 100 saves!
Austin keeper Brad Stuver's trademark save in the 24th minute of play didn't just crank up cheers from the crowd and keep the score 0-0: he also reached 100 saves. Looks like his highlight-worthy saves this season continue to pay off.
4' Driussi tries to turn the tides
After Austin gave up a first minute goal on Saturday against the Dynamo, it seemed like ATXFC's Sebastian Driussi had flipped a switch with a goal of his own in the fourth minute of play. But the team's triumphant return to Q2 was short-lived: a VAR review ruled that Austin FC was offside. Still, that crowd-awakening shot may be what Austin needs to see intensity and drive return to the pitch.
Starting lineup released
No Poch, no problem? Head coach Josh Wolff has taken DP Tomas Pochettino off of both the starting lineup and bench tonight. No word has been had on a possible injury.
Meanwhile, winger Jared Stroud and defensive midfielder Sebastian Berhalter have made a rare appearance in the starting XI. Berhalter will likely serve to clean up a back line that has given up more goals in the past few weeks, while Stroud will look to shake up an offense that doesn't always make a crack into goal.
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Just in time for the weather to cool down in perpetually hot Austin, National Hispanic Heritage Month is kicking off today through Oct. 15 and this city has some women to thank.
With more than 33% of the city identifying as Hispanic, the contributions of Austin's Hispanic community are innumerable and present in the everyday lives of residents. So, in celebration of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Chile, here are some of Austin's Hispanic women you should know of.
TK Tunchez, Las Ofrendas
Dealing stickers with snarky slogans, multicolored maximalist accessories and wearable art pieces, Etsy store Las Ofrendas is the product of TK Tunchez and the creative spirit that guides her hand.
"The openness, the gemstones, the flowers we get from the earth, everything that generates for us is an offering from our ancestors. And we, as humans, will one day return back into the Earth to be the offering for the next generation," Tunchez told Austonia. "That's what inspires all of the work in the arts that I do, it's about empowerment, it's about creating joy and it's about really creating pieces that help people live their boldest, badass lives."
A lifelong artist, Tunchez was born in Guatemala, not in Texas but to a Texan mother, so she got here as fast as she could. While she struggled at first to find her footing as an artist in Austin, she searched for and thoroughly integrated herself in Austin's community of color.
"You create the road as you walk it, right, so I think for me, as I walk it I'm also providing that road for entrepreneurs, especially people of color," Tunchez said. "They are capable of creating their own businesses, they are capable of creating their own lives, they are capable of creating where their destiny is in front of them, and they need to see examples of that."
Tunchez was never taught how to run a business on her own, so she shares the knowledge she has accumulated through her platforms: Frida Friday ATX and Fuego ATX, intersectional and queer marketplaces that center & support women of color.
"I think that it's really important for us to use these opportunities to give voice to the multiple people that create our communities, and to shine light on the ways that our communities and our ancestors have been resilient," Tunchez said. "I have a lot of pride in being a Latina woman and Latina queer and being able to talk about what makes my culture beautiful to me."
Gabriela Bucio, Gabriela's
The face behind Gabriela's Group—consisting of Mexican restaurant Gabriela's Downtown and Gabriela's South, Instagram-worthy taqueria Taquero Mucho, high-end seafood restaurant Seareinas, all-pink-everywhere cafe Revival Coffee, nightclubs Mala Vida and Mala Santa—Michoacán, Mexico natives Gabriela Bucio and brother Arturo, have taken Austin's entertainment industry by storm.
Having worked in the Austin food industry since 2010, Bucio opened Gabriela's Downtown in 2018 and never stopped working on something new since then. Bucio is extending her help where she can—when Revival Coffee's previous owners began to struggle with rent payments due to the pandemic, Bucio took over the business, remodeled and reopened with the same staff.
As a proud U.S. immigrant, Bucio has said her goal is to give Latin Austinites a place that was made for them while she expands her ventures into the Hispanic community.
Nancy Flores, Austin Vida
After covering Austin's Latin community as the Austin American-Statesman's Community Affairs reporter for more than a decade, Nancy Flores has a profound passion for representing the city's communities of color.
Growing up reading Austin Vida, a former Hispanic-focused publication in Austin, made Flores feel represented, a feeling she wanted to share with the diverse Latin community around her. Flores began to resurrect the publication last fall with monthly Cultura Guides and plans to relaunch the website in the coming months.
"The Latinx community is not a monolithic group, so in a community like Austin where Mexican-American culture is dominant, because that's the population, you don't see as much of the other lands and cultures that make up a big part of the diaspora," Flores told Austonia. "It's important to highlight those nuances and even within the community to learn from each other."
In a city where Hispanic people are prevalent but representation is lacking, Flores works to uplift the people around her by celebrating the contributions and everyday achievements in the Latin community all year, not just this month.
"(Hispanic Heritage Month) is an opportunity to educate yourself a little bit more about the culture and find out how to be supportive and how to be an ally," Flores said. "For us, celebrating that heritage is happening year-round."
Reyna and Maritza Vazquez, Veracruz All Natural
Natives of Veracruz, Mexico, Reyna and Maritza Vazquez learned how to cook from their mother while working at a taqueria. The family moved to Austin in 1999, when the sisters were in their teen years. Even by then, the sisters knew they wanted to leave their mark on Austin cuisine.
Already having learned the value of hard work from the restaurant, the Vazquez sisters were prepared for the workload that came with opening up and saved for years to get their first short-lived food truck in 2006, selling juices and snow cones.
The Vazquez's tried again with a breakfast taco truck in 2008. After gaining a quick reputation for their organic ingredients, fresh salsas and migas, the Vazquez sisters have expanded to six locations, several of them trucks, across the Austin metro area. Most recently, they announced their expansion to Los Angeles with a new food truck called "Hot Tacos," opening this month.
Having received international acclaim for their fresh food and being recognized in the New York Times and LA Times, the Vazquez sisters have earned a well-deserved spotlight. Rest assured, you'll see more from the Vazquez family.
Candace Perez, The Posh Picnic
Prior to COVID, event specialist and Candace Perez and her party-planning company Events by Perez had events planned for all of 2020. When the pandemic hit and postponements turned to cancellations, she became restless and missed her job.
Around April, Austin native Perez started working on an idea to bring parties back safely and stylishly with an elaborate, Instagram-worthy outdoor picnic service called The Posh Picnic.
"I figured COVID was going to be done by Memorial Day. I don't think anybody knew the magnitude and how this was really going to affect us and it really killed the event industry," Perez said. "By April, I was miserable… like, 'I have to do something else. What is something else I can do that's going to be safe and people are going to feel comfortable?"
Her idea was a runaway success and best of all, she was thrilled to be part of people's joyful moments again.
"Pivoting to the picnics, I've been able to incorporate a lot of the vendors that I worked with before, and spread the love," Perez said. "I like to be a part of people's special moments—it fills my heart with joy, like a burst of excitement when I see them walk up to their picnic excited and surprised and you know they're giggling and they love it. I think that picnics are here to stay."
While succeeding in her unique party-planning endeavors, Perez said philanthropy is central to her business. Perez partnered with a fellow business to provide more than 100 hot meals to people during Texas' February Storm and holds seasonal Breakfast with the Grinch events that benefit Partnerships for Children.
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TikTok continues to drive entertainment, especially for teens. But one TikTok trend may have gone too far, according to Austin ISD.
The "TikTok bathroom challenge" has officially reached AISD, where students are destroying school bathrooms. Lively Middle School recently sent a letter to parents about the challenge informing them that if this vandalism continues, they will need to occasionally close restrooms for cleaning and repairs.
Though the letter said they have been able to catch a majority of the students, the school is still asking parents for their help in educating their children on the gravity of vandalism and monitoring their social media accounts.
Part of a nationwide trend, the challenge was born from students showcasing their "devious licks" as the new school year started.
On Sept. 1, a new trend started when TikTok user @jugg4elias shared a video of themselves pulling a box of disposable masks out of their backpack claiming the theft as a "devious lick," which gained over 239,000 views within a week.
Five days later, another user @dtx.2cent, whose account is now nonexistent, shared a video of themself opening their backpack revealing a stolen hand sanitizer dispenser from school also claiming it as a "devious lick." This post gained over 7.2 million views within two days.
As part of students across the country showcasing their "devious licks," the TikTok bathroom challenge came to life.
On the platform, students have tried one-upping each other on stolen items and other forms of vandalism. The trend has featured teens stealing fire extinguishers, fire alarms, brooms, clocks, security cameras, laptops, wet floor signs, bathroom mirrors, water fountains and even a smartboard. Some videos even capture students in action while taking apart their school's plumbing systems.
One YouTube channel named tiktoktrends created video compilations of all the TikToks from this trend.
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