Austin becomes more big-time with home debut of soccer club


  • After hosting WGC-Dell tourneys, a Davis Cup and countless big Longnhorn games, Austin debuts soccer
  • “It’s proof positive dreams come true,” Austin FC majority owner Anthony Precourt said.
  • The fans flooded into the Verde store to buy every manner of Austin FC gear.

Austin grew up Saturday night.

Professionally sports speaking, at least, Austin came of age.

This city has joined the ranks of Dallas and Houston and Los Angeles and New York City and all parts in between and finally has a pro major league sports franchise it can call its own.

Actually, it’s claimed that for more than two months now. Austin FC had already played eight matches, but all of them were on the road until this Major League Soccer expansion team in its infancy came home Saturday night.

And what a home it has.

Eye-popping, state-of-the-art Q2 Stadium hosted Austin FC for the first time against a gritty, physical San Jose Earthquakes club and quite frankly put on a show. This night was as important for what took place in the stands as much as on the beautiful, no-blade-out-of-place pitch.

Austin FC fans take their cellphones and light up Q2 Stadium in the MLS team's home debut Saturday night. The team drew the San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 in the opening match at Q2 Stadium.

Make no mistake, this was an event. A spectacle, in fact. The buzz was undeniable. This occasion took a page from Mardi Gras and offered everything from unique Austin food and music and entertainment and raw energy that never abated.

And it will be a happening place the remainder of this year. And maybe the next 25 years.

From the moment the Austin FC team arrived on two buses and was showered by confetti from members of the La Murga team band to co-owner Matthew McConaughey fully decked out in a green suit banging on the world’s largest bongo drum to the final seconds of yet another scoreless draw, it was clear this was no ordinary evening in Austin.

Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver swats away yet another shot from the San Jose Earthquakes, one of his nine saves Saturday game in the 0-0 draw.

More:At the whistle: Austin FC plays San Jose to a scoreless draw

Yes, Austin FC failed to score once more. Hey, you can’t have it all.

“This should stand the test of time as one of the most important periods in Austin sports history,” team president Andy Loughnane said. “Staging the first-ever U.S. competition with the women’s national team on Wednesday and a world-class stadium and our first home match. It’s gone big time.”

It truly has.

Oh, Austin’s seen big events before.

It’s hosted the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament for five years. The Legends of Golf at Onion Creek spawned the Senior PGA Tour. A Davis Cup was played here. The city’s more than had its share of big events.


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