Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium is undeniably one of the nicest venues in Major League Soccer. The beauty of the structure belies the ugliness of an offense that has yet to score a goal in its first two home games in franchise history. Sunday night’s performance on national television looked eerily similar to the first match and ended in a scoreless draw with the defending MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew.
First-ever Austin FC home game resulted in a scoreless draw with San Jose
The citizens of Austin had waited decades. After multiple near-misses, Austin FC finally brought to life a dream of the first major professional sports franchise to a city that’s been known exclusively throughout its history as the home of the University of Texas. The only professional clubs were of the minor-league variety.
Austinites had circled June 19 on the calendar since the MLS announced its 2021 schedule. The first home game ever at the 20,500-seat Q2 Stadium included a military flyover and minority owner Matthew McConaughey, assuming a familiar position, banging his bongo and leading the supporters in unison during a pregame chant.
Unfortunately, the action on the field didn’t live up to the pregame hype as Austin and San Jose played end-to-end, but neither team managed to score and the game ended in a scoreless draw.
Austin FC threatened to score in opening seconds of game
After the goalless draw in the home opener on limited chances, the Austin FC faithful were looking for any offense against the visiting Columbus Crew. Incredibly, it appeared to come in the first 18 seconds, when Austin’s Jared Stroud received the ball out wide to the right and sent in a cross that Diego Fagundez one-timed just outside of the left post.
It was a frenetic start for the home team that lasted for much of the first half, with Austin firing 11 shots. But in the live music capital of the world, it was a familiar tune as the Verde and Black failed to capitalize on any of their offensive opportunities.
Columbus had a solid number of chances in the first half as well, getting off seven shots of their own. However, like Austin, the Crew failed to find the back of the net, and the half ended scoreless.
Game ends in scoreless draw for second time in stadium history
While the Austin FC coaching staff, players, and fans desperately hoped see the scoring drought come to an end in the second half, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, it was much of the same as the offense in the final third was just that, offensive, and never seriously threatened the Columbus goal. After the game, head coach Josh Wolff did not hide his frustration with the offense and the final result.
“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for the players. I’m sure it’s frustrating for the fans. It’s frustrating for myself but I take responsibility for it,” Wolff said in the postgame press conference. “I think overall the performance was solid, but these games we got to come away with three points. There’s no excuses.”
The two consecutive scoreless games to open the stadium are bad enough, but it’s a snapshot of a more disturbing trend as the club has failed to score in seven of the 11 matches this season, only posting six goals during that same period. Wolff and his squad get another crack at scoring the first home goal in franchise history this Thursday when the team plays host to the Portland Timbers in another nationally televised game on FS1.