The football news on Friday begins with Austin FC’s 4-1 home win over Portland. Jon Gallagher scored the first home goal in the 28th minute at Q2 Stadium, while Diego Fagundez doubled the lead in the 33rd minute. Jeremy Ebobisse scored a goal for Portland in the first half seven minutes after long stoppage time. Alexander Ring made it 3-1 for Austin in 77th place, while Hector Jimenez finished the goals in 81st place. With Austin not scoring a goal in the first two games at Q2 Stadium, the offense and win made history for the expansion club.
“I think it’s extremely important,” said Austin coach Josh Wolff. “We went to the locker room after the game and that’s what I said. You brought us all here. They built this incredible stadium. Delivered us to this fantastic community and we are fortunate enough to score goals and a cap to a win. But the fans, everything was right. Tonight our goal is to break that seal and round it off for our first win in the second quarter [Stadium]. It is a momentous occasion and we are very fortunate to do what we do. Moments like this, to be a team in the first year, to score your first goal, your first win, you know it will be unforgettable. I will certainly remember it very much and I hope all these players and fans will remember an unforgettable experience. “
While it’s easy enough to look at the MLS teams’ fixtures on a summer of international break, it’s also perfectly fair to see this as a possible turning point for Austin. These three points brought them from 12th to 9th place in the Western Conference, tied with the teams in 7th and 8th place. The unbalanced schedule calls for Austin to have played 12 games of 9 for Real Salt Lake in 8th place and for Portland in 7th place. That’s the less flattering portrayal, with the schedule eventually jumbling up and likely making room between clubs.
Austin will play LAFC at home this Wednesday before the international break. Then it’s home in Seattle on July 22nd. One of them is currently a winnable game for this club. This is an important step that shows that nothing will be ceded in an expansion season. With a reloaded home plan, Austin has a chance here. A one-sided victory over Portland shows the potential to take advantage of it.
The confederation moved to Concacaf and announced a sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways, which is now the official airline of the 2021 Gold Cup. “We are very pleased to welcome Qatar Airways as a confederate partner of Concacaf,” said Confederation President Victor Montagliani in the press release announcing the deal. “Your extensive experience in global football and sports sponsorship will no doubt benefit our confederation. We look forward to working together to improve the Gold Cup this summer, the next edition of the Concacaf Nations League and football across the region. “
Austin-American-Statesman Mike Craven with Austin FC’s first home win. Musa Okwonga from the wrestler works through what we see from EURO 2020. Marca’s Rob Hemingway asks if Rafael Benitez will take on the Everton job. Rob Harris and Anne M Peterson from AP report on FIFA’s increase in Olympic squads.
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Photo by Wilf Thorne – ISIPhotos.com