In the days after Austin FC's inaugural match against LAFC on Saturday, Head Coach Josh Wolff says he's watched the game "a number of times, to say the least."
In the match, Wolff and over 500,000 other viewers looked on as Austin FC took to the pitch for the first time, held their own in the first half against LAFC and eventually fell 2-0 to a team that's sometimes regarded as the best in the league.
Austin FC had the largest television audience of any soccer match in the U.S. over the weekend, surpassing even the USWNT. In a showcase of the club's dedicated fan base, dozens of Los Verdes fans were spotted in green and black around the stadium—even with the match limited to 20% capacity.
Salute the support. 👏
It's only the beginning for @AustinFC. pic.twitter.com/TduorqYr2y
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 18, 2021
While the team lost their first-ever match, they didn't make it as easy as some expected.
Wolff said that the team did relatively well offensively, holding possession for 48% of the match and keeping a solid passing game. Once they got to the box, however, Wolff said they could use some work on creating scoring opportunities.
"We saw a lot of good connections, good spacing (and) good speed of passing," Wolff said. "I think we can obviously have more presence centrally to have more numbers in between lines. I just want us to create more chances. There's a lot on both sides of the ball that we still need to work on."
LA pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense wasn't initially as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Later on, however, the team gave up some goals and seemed to struggle with endurance. Wolff said the backline did "okay" and that the club, including young center back Jhohan Romana, are still getting conditioned to play a full match.
"It's a lot of information for a young player," Wolff said. "I think as he fatigues then the decision making, as with most players, becomes a little bit more cloudy and then thus the execution becomes cloudy."
An honor to represent this city and y'all. We're just getting started. 💚🖤 pic.twitter.com/tmOqCfbXvs
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) April 18, 2021
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver had his work cut out for him, fending off 24 shot attempts, 11 of which were on goal.
Going into the match, Stuver and fellow goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell were neck-and-neck, with both labeled potential starters. However, it was Stuver, who many thought signed as a backup, that wore the goalkeeper's jersey on the field for the first time.
"I think both Andrew and Brad did relatively well in preseason, but we decided with Brad just based on how we felt preseason went," Wolff said. "I thought he performed pretty well to be honest. I think he and Andrew are similar in some aspects... it's being mindful of where their strengths and weaknesses are."
Five starters made their MLS debut in the match, including midfielder Daniel Pereira and forward Rodney Redes. While Wolff said Pereira held his own in the match, he saw a weak spot in the team's right side, making it difficult for Redes to make offensive plays.
"For Pereira, I think it was a solid day for a young kid coming in his first MLS game against that opponent," Wolff said. "Obviously there's there's a different physicality to MLS and I think those are things that all these guys are going to acclimatize to.
Now, the club looks to put the ball in the back of the net for the first time as they head to Colorado. Austin FC will face the Colorado Rapids at 8 p.m.on Saturday. The match will stream on the Austin FC app and be broadcast on the CW Austin. Austonia will keep an eye out for potential weekend watch parties.
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Tesla has said people may not transfer, sell or buy tickets. And you have to leave the kids and fancy cameras at home, as the event is for adults only and Tesla won't allow drones or professional recording equipment inside. While some are willing to pay $500 to be someone's plus one, here are a few we know who have been invited or have traveled to Austin in the hopes of going:
Tesla Owners Club
Austonia talked to Theresa Ramsdell as she was preparing for her flight from Washington state, where she's the president of the Tesla Owners Club, to Austin for the grand opening. Ramsdell, who owns two Model 3's and a Model S Plaid, said her notice that she'd been invited came in about two weeks ago.
Ramsdell picked her husband as her plus one and is hoping to tour the factory. A while back, she had planned a club drive to the Fremont, California factory but couldn't go due to COVID-19 precautions. But now, she'll get an up-close look.
"I'm excited to see all the new tech that's going into the cars," Ramsdell said, noting the structural battery pack that Texas-made Model Y's are known for.
Other club presidents in the U.S. and Canada were also given an invitation, including the Austin chapter.
Mayor Steve Adler
Adler has been invited, but it hasn't been confirmed whether he will be able to make it to the festivities. On Sunday, Adler tweeted he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Made it to Austin this afternoon! Drove past #GigaTexas - #CyberRodeo - I still can't believe I'll be there, on the inside! @teslaownersSV @WholeMarsBlogpic.twitter.com/TqffPwgGsM— Indra @ #CyberRodeo #GigaTexas (@Indra @ #CyberRodeo #GigaTexas) 1649218445
Just days before, this Twitter user sent out a request to CEO Elon Musk asking for two invites. He says he got one arrived in Austin this week for the event. A flood of others have done the same, hoping Musk will help them in.
With nearly 17,000 YouTube subscribers, Tesla Joy is a Model 3 owner in Los Angeles, California who has also made the trip to Austin and swung by to see the factory from afar Wednesday.
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Before Dell’s founding and Central Texas growing into the massive tech hub it is today, born and raised Austinite Brett Hurt started programming at just seven years old.
Now, the entrepreneur who has taken on a handful of ventures, including Bazaarvoice and Coremetrics, opens up to Austonia about what he calls his most ambitious and exciting one yet: data.world. This week, the company announced $50 million in funding led by Goldman Sachs. Additionally, in the next 12 months, Hurt aims to double the size of the team.
Data.world uses a cloud-native data catalog to map out distributed data and get answers on questions a business may have, and it was founded in 2016 by Hurt and three others whom he calls some of the best technology executives in Austin.
“We came together and we ultimately were brainstorming about the future of data and why data is so siloed in the world given that we’re supposed to all be networked,” Hurt said.
They went through theories and talked to people about how it came to be this way, and decided to do something to fix it. “It really prevents humanity from solving some of the bigger problems,” Hurt said.
Hurt lists off a few areas he hopes to remedy the disconnect whether it’s data on housing, dislocation or education.
For organizations operating in the public sphere and giving away their data to “increase the overall positive aspects of humanity,” Hurt says they’ve created a platform people can use for free. Whereas those using it private internal company data pay for the service.
In Austin, data.world’s customers include insurance agency The Zebra and driving school Aceable.
Though tech companies face a tough hiring environment with talent that has many options, Hurt thinks people are attracted to data.world because of its status as a B corporation, or one that prioritizes social and public good and operating sustainably. These companies consider a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
http://data.world\u00a0 is different by making a difference.\n\nOur CEO and Co-Founder, @databrett talks about the responsibilities that come with being a Certified B Corporation and how the company wouldn't have it any other way.\n\n#bcorpcertified #dataculture #bcorporationpic.twitter.com/zEGfPSKt0R— datadotworld (@datadotworld) 1635454528
Think Ben & Jerry’s, which donates some of its revenue to charity or Patagonia trying to make improvements to the environmental impact of its fabric. So while Hurt sees the popularity of B Corps in consumer products, he hasn’t seen it adopted as much in the enterprise space.
But he’s hoping to change the tide. In a TechCrunch article, he advocated for Facebook to become a B Corp and noted other Austin companies are launching as or switching to B Corps like ZenBusiness, Osano and Capital Factory.
“Being able to pioneer a new way of being as a company, especially as a tech company, I think is really important,” Hurt said.
With data, he sees an opportunity to seek out facts and act on it.
“The basis of human progress has always been collaboration. A lot of people think, negatively, that human progress has been based on competition. But the reality is that we're very collaborative issues, and we're meant to help each other, we're meant to partner,” Hurt said. “That's the way that we survived the harshest times before we had shelter and everything else. And data really is at the center of that.”
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