On Oct 16, 2017, soccer pundit Grant Wahl Tweeted: “Columbus Crew operator Anthony Precourt is established to go team to Austin, Texas, in 2019 if downtown stadium just can’t happen in Columbus. Story shortly.”
That Tweet established off a firestorm on Twitter of offended Columbus soccer followers and energized Austin soccer lovers. And I was there for every next of it sharing my enthusiasm about the prospect of getting MLS in Austin.
It was ideal timing for me. I was in a poor area as I labored by means of the measures main to divorce right after 21 many years of relationship. The soccer controversy gave me a thing to hold on to and hope for, and dream about.
In addition to the action on Twitter, there ended up a collection of occasions, conversations, and Austin Town Council meetings about soccer in Austin. I began conference some of the other individuals who were pushing for MLS in Austin.
I spent a whole lot of time at Town Hall, speaking and supporting many others who were behind the energy. One particular of the meetings went to just about dawn, and it was really worth it (even though my pet dogs didn’t like that I was long gone so extended).
It was a roller coaster of a time that bonded a bunch of us with assaults and doxxing from persons in Columbus, some Austin Metropolis Council associates accomplishing all that they could to tank the hard work, and a challenging time locating a ideal location for a stadium.
In August 2018, there was last but not least a City Council vote, and it went 7-4 in favor of a soccer stadium at McKalla Place… the present-day Q2 Stadium. Afterward, persons from the Austin soccer neighborhood, City Council associates, and Austin FC personnel get together to celebrate with beers at Austin soccer bar, Haymaker.
Then on August 22, 2018, there was an occasion at the North Door to announce the Austin FC identify and symbol, and we obtained the initial hats and shirts with the crew on them.
But Austin even now needed an actual team to play in the accepted stadium. That was all labored out later on in 2018 when it was decided the Columbus Crew would continue to be in Columbus and Austin would get a new team.
The official announcement of Austin FC joining MLS in 2021 took place January 12, 2019 at The Hoffbrau and it was incredible to celebrate with all people about possessing a genuine team start out taking part in in two several years.
During 2019, there ended up regular monthly Meet up with and Greets with Austin FC executives, including Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, Head Mentor Josh Wolff, and Club President Andy Loughnane.
With every single occasion, we had been having extra amped up. Nobody recognized on March 4, 2020, at an Austin FC Q&A at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ that it would be the previous time a good deal of us would see every single other for a lengthy time. Just a pair of weeks later, the earth shut down.
Construction had begun on Q2 Stadium, but I wasn’t certain if it would be paused and place the 2021 begin in jeopardy. I would generate over there and check out the progress typically, considering that I could not definitely go any where else.
It was a aid when MLS pulled off a time in 2020, and as we moved on to 2021, it was declared that Austin FC would be on the road to start off the time though the ending touches were being place on the stadium.
My initially game was an absent match towards the Colorado Rapids, and it felt so fantastic to see the very first-ever Austin FC purpose by Diego Fagundez and the very first gain for the club.
Quickly following, I was equipped to get a tour of Q2 Stadium as a season ticket holder, and I understood I’d observed my new church.
Austin FC came in second to past in the Western Conference in their 1st 12 months, and I was just ecstatic that it was serious. We experienced a group.
The 2022 season was a whole great deal better on the discipline, with a second-put end in the Western Conference.
And it was just much too poetic that on October 16, 2022 – 5 years to the day of the Grant Wahl Tweet, Austin FC won their initial playoff match.
Just about every time I walk into Q2 Stadium, I am household. It feels excellent to be there, and makes me content.
Soccer is an escape, a detail to share and experience with the individuals I enjoy, a area the place I am part of a thing. It is been component of the fabric of who I am due to the fact I was very little and began taking part in.
And so quite a few instances, I’d go with my father and brother to cheer on the Washington Diplomats, Team The usa, and the Baltimore Blast.
Soccer is a lot more than a activity to me.
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