Austin FC’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer came to a close on Sunday night, as the Verde & Black fell 3-0 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
In the game’s opening minutes, Diego Fagundez beat Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark with a clever finish, but the referee ruled out the goal after the ball accidentally struck Fagundez’s arm in the buildup.
Julio Cascante then made a heroic block on the goal line to deny Yimmi Chara in the fifth minute, but Portland took the lead 12 minutes later when Sebastián Blanco set up Cristhian Paredes with a first-time cross.
The Timbers doubled their advantage just before halftime when Jarosław Niezgoda scored from close range, and Blanco got himself on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute, cleaning up a wayward chip from Niezgoda.
ATXFC’s defense solidified in the closing stages of the match, but despite four shots on target, couldn’t quite break down Portland’s defense at the other end of the pitch as the Timbers claimed all three points.
- STEADY CECI: After entering the match as a halftime substitute, Cecilio Domínguez became the only player to appear in all 34 Austin FC matches this season.
- LEADING THE WAY: Diego Fagundez’s 12 total goal contributions topped the charts among ATXFC players this season. His seven goals and five assists were tied for the team lead in each respective category.
- ALL EYES ON '22: The Verde & Black’s second season in MLS will kick off the weekend of February 26, 2022.
- Head Coach Josh Wolff on the offseason ahead: “Player management, certainly game strategy, and preparation are the keys that I look at. Some of those areas, it was extremely good, but there’s always room for improvement. I’ll do the first to do a deep dive on all the things that we did.”
- Club Captain and midfielder Alex Ring on looking forward to 2022: “I signed on for a long-term project. I believe in this club, I believe in the people who run this club and their vision. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come here.”
- Wolff on the team’s identity heading into next year: “Those are our hallmarks: speed of play, the ability to move the opponent, press after loss to keep the opponent at bay.”