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Three days before Austin FC's first match, Q2 Stadium swapped its Verde for red, white and blue as over 20,000 fans cheered on the U.S. women's national team to a 2-0 victory on Wednesday.
The well-revered world champions were met with fans from near and far; Austin FC gear mixed with Team USA in the supporters' section as the United States flag flew overhead alongside Pride flags.
The match began with a bang as Austin FC supporters unveiled a gigantic "tifo," or banner, displaying No. 19 Crystal Dunn with the slogan "Christened by Queens."
Tifo at tonight's #USWNT match. pic.twitter.com/Evc43hr9DA
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) June 17, 2021
USWNT players were the first to ever hit the Q2 Stadium pitch on Wednesday, and they more than lived up to expectations. The aptly-named Christen Press "christened" the field with the stadium's first-ever goal as she curved a shot into the bottom right corner at the end of the first half.
She was assisted by Carli Lloyd, who left the field to a roar of applause as she was subbed out in the beginning of the second half; Lloyd had just reached the ranks of only three other international players as she made her 300th international appearance at Q2 Stadium.
Nigeria fought back, but the USWNT ultimately shut down their window of opportunity as Lynn Williams pushed past the goalie to end the match 2-0.
Late goals, great goals ✨
Scores by @ChristenPress to @lynnraenie to close out the #SummerSeries pres. by @ATT 5G in style! pic.twitter.com/AarGCgR55d
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 17, 2021
With each save, shot and score, Austin's first professional soccer stadium filled with a collective roar. While every corner of the stadium joined in to chant a deafening "U-S-A" cry, the root of each chant could be traced back to the supporters' section, where La Murga de Austin used their signature bass drums to rile up the crowd. Led by Los Verdes' Imani Williams, who started chants from an elevated conductor's stand, hundreds of supporters combined Austin FC and USWNT traditions to cry out "Dale, Dale, Dale USA" in the brand-new stadium.
For Austinites who have been following Austin FC since its founding in 2017, watching Q2 Stadium fill up for USWNT is better than they could've even hoped.
Vanessa Santo-Avitia is a longtime soccer fan—her family follows Chivas in Mexico—while her wife, Sandra, is a born and raised Austinite. Because Vanessa works across the street at the Domain, they've watched as Q2 Stadium was built from the ground up. Vanessa said she's happy to support any team in Austin, especially one that unites the city like both the USWNT and Austin FC seem to do.
"This is like a one-time chance we're going to get to see this roster of amazing women get out there and play," Vanessa Santo-Avitia said. We're just so fortunate that there's a new stadium in our city."
Vanessa and Sandra Santo-Avitia are longtime Austinites and soccer fans eager to watch the sport take off in their city. (Claire Partain/Austonia)
For Frank and Johnny Espinoza, Austin FC's first home game on June 19 is almost as important as their friend's wedding. "We've been going back and forth on it," Espinoza joked.
Frank and Johnny Espinoza joined in the festivities at the front of the supporters' section at Q2 Stadium. (Claire Partain/Austonia)
The two brothers, both living in San Antonio, were the life of the party down at the first row of the supporter's section. Johnny, who had just downed an entire beer from a shoe to collective "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd, held a U.S. flag in one hand and a Sharpie in the other as he claimed he was looking to get an autograph that night.
Five minutes later, as the USWNT scored their final goal, Espinoza, unfortunately, stayed true to his word and stormed the field, flag in hand. He was immediately tackled and escorted off the field. He never got that autograph.
While some fans may have gotten carried away in their excitement, both supporters and players were all in on the stadium's collective frenzy. The USWNT may be setting their sights on the upcoming 2021 Olympic Games, but USWNT player Becky Sauerbrunn said the team still recognized the importance of the moment as they made history at Q2 Stadium.
"It was electric," Sauerbrunn said. "It's been a long time since I haven't been able to hear the people that are yelling five yards away... we'd love to come back here anytime."
That’s a wrap on our first match at Q2 Stadium. See y’all next time. 👋 @USWNT https://t.co/UKKKmFNqa7— Q2 Stadium (@Q2 Stadium)1623902865.0
Eventually, the frenzy was over as thousands of fans filed out of Q2 Stadium for the first time. The lights were dimmed and USWNT players left with promises to revisit.
Austin FC may be playing their own first match at the stadium in three days, but the USWNT is forever in Q2's history books as they proudly brought the stadium's fans to their feet.
Until next time, Team USA!
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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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