Austin FC opens Q2 Stadium with a raucous, sold-out crowd; Goalkeeper Brad Stuver ties a career-high nine (9) saves
Austin, TEXAS- It was a historic night in Austin as Austin FC played its inaugural home game at Q2 Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,738. The match against the San Jose Earthquakes ended in a 0-0 draw. Austin has now earned draws in its last three (3) matches.
The Verde & Black came out on the front foot and a Diego Fagundez header in the 10th minute forced San Jose goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski to make a tremendous save. That proved to be the best chance of the half for either side, though Austin FC winger Jon Gallagher created multiple chances on the left side for the Verde and Black.
Defender Matt Besler came up big defensively in the 41st minute, making a critical intervention to prevent a promising San Jose opportunity.
Austin peppered the San Jose goal in the second half with several chances coming from midfielder Tomás Pochettino and forward Jon Gallagher. The best came in the 51st minute when Pochettino found forward Cecilio Domínguez in front of the net, but the Paraguayan attacker was too close to Marcinkowski to lift the ball over the goalkeeper. Pochettino also played an inch-perfect cross in the 66th minute that was headed by Gallagher, but the attempt went just wide.
Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver came up big in the 83rd minute when he made a diving stop on Quakes midfielder Carlos Fierro. Stuver made another big stop in the 89th minute, this time on midfielder Cristian Espinoza. He then made a sprawling stop to deny defender Oswaldo Alanís on the ensuing corner kick.
The match ended without a goal, but the home fans remained standing after the final whistle, cheering and serenading their team.
Head Coach Josh Wolff on the first home match: "I think Q2 is exceptional. I think the fans, the community, the energy, the noise inside the stadium is impressive. The [opposing] players and the staff were extremely complimentary of the whole project that we have here. Certainly, the way that we play but also the way that the game has been presented here, the support that we have. I think it reaches a lot of heights and I think that's something we should all be proud of. Everyone in this community should be proud of. This city has the fever for Austin FC, has the fever for the game and it's incredible to see."
Midfielder Diego Fagundez on the atmosphere: "To be honest it was amazing. I remember when I stepped out right before the game started, I got the chills. It was something special, I know [the fans] have been working so hard for it. I know the whole team was ready for it and it's kind of sad that we're leaving with a tie because we pushed so hard, they were singing so hard, and we wanted to give them more. But it's like we said, this is just the beginning. We're going to make this a fortress, we're going to make this a place where no wants to play."
Head Coach Josh Wolff on the performance: "We had a difficult game, a difficult opponent. I give a lot of credit to San Jose, they make it difficult. It's a unique way of playing, very physical, very combative, 1v1 all over the field. We found our moments and weren't able to capture a goal. A little bit more quality, a little bit better decision-making in the final third and I think the result's there."
Forward Jon Gallagher on how the fans lifted him up: "It was electric tonight. It was amazing. From every chance, every little pass, every good moment you could feel them. It was really hot out there and a lot of guys were struggling with cramps and at those times, that's when [the supporters] really pick you up. Most of the game they were banging the drum, they were singing and I'm like 'I don't know how these guys are still going, they must just as tired as myself.'"
SJE – Florian Jungwirth (caution) 15’
SJE – Eric Remedi (caution) 25’
ATX – Jared Stroud (caution) 44’
Austin FC at Sporting Kansas City | Q2 Stadium (Austin,TX ) | June 19, 2021
Austin FC: Brad Stuver,Julio Cascante,Žan Kolmanič, Matt Besler, Nick Lima,Alex Ring (c), Diego Fagundez (Sebastian Berhalter 93’), Tomás Pochettino, Jon Gallagher (Kekutah Manneh 85’), Jared Stroud (Manny Perez 71’), Cecilio Domínguez
Head Coach: Josh Wolff
TOTAL SHOTS: 19; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 9 SAVES: 9
San Jose Earthquakes: James Marcinkowski, Oswaldo Alanís, Florian Jungwirth, Paul Marie (Carlos Fierro 77’), Judson, Eric Remedi, Chris Wondolowski (c), (Tommy Thompson 82’), Javier López (Cade Cowell 67’), Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza, Andrés Ríos (Shea Salinas 67’)
Substitutes not used: Luciano Abecasis, Tanner Beason, Daniel Vega, Benjamin Kikanovic, Jack Skahan
Head Coach: Matías Almeyda
TOTAL SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 9; FOULS: 15; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 6
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referee 1: Kyle Atkins
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
Weather: Clear, 87 degrees
Statistical source: MLSsoccer.com / Opta