New Mexico United came to Q2 to take on Austin FC and see who would advance out of the U.S. Open Cup round of 32. Austin FC has been without a win since mid March and needed a victory. And for the first time in 57 days, the squad was able to deliver a win! Meaning Austin FC advances to the round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup!
Rodney Redes got to start along with Hector Jiménez and Jhojan Valencia. Owen Wolff was called up to the U-20 USA team so the midfield had no choice but to see a change. The game started off a bit slow with what seemed like a feeling out period. But then Austin FC really began to push and try taking shots on goal.
That’s when it happened. Redes, a fan favorite, scored his first goal for Austin FC off a corner in the 24th minute. Q2 ignited and the team started to pick things up with the crowd feeding them energy. The high-energy play lead to another goal by Maxi Urruti in the 36th minute. The fans were going crazy as they pushed into the end of the half.
New Mexico United came out with aggression and a drive to try and come back in this match. There were moments that looked like they may score as they kept working in transition. Possession was much better than the first half though as they searched for the back of the net.
Austin FC didn’t take their foot off the gas and continued to try and score throughout the final 45. They took 6 shots in the second half and really created opportunities in the attacking-third, unlike weeks prior. A third goal felt imminent with amazing attempts from Ethan Finlay and Sofiane Djeffal.
Ultimately, the match ended in Austin FC’s first win in almost two months. The fans have been craving a win for a long time. It feels refreshing to see a much needed victory.
There were some quality minutes from players that will be needed this month. The schedule is congested so key players won’t be able to play 90 minute matches. Seeing Redes, Jimenez, and Valencia put in quality minutes and really making a difference on the pitch gives some positive light to this hectic month of football.
Additionally, it seems that Wolff found a formation that’s working much better for the team overall. The team looks better defensively, has created more opportunities, and played much better football after moving to this 5-4-1 formation. Austin FC advances for the first time in team history in the U.S. Open Cup. Last year they fell to San Antonio FC in the first round. Maybe this will be the year that they win some hardware!
Austin FC will be taking on FC Dallas in Q2 this Saturday, May 13th at 7:30pm CT. FC Dallas is a well rounded and well coached club that’s currently 5th in the MLS standings. This will pose a difficult challenge with some key players being unavailable for the match. But boy do I love a good Texas Derby! Austin FC will find out their round of 16 opponent tomorrow, May 11th for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.