We Have an Issue: Verde! Listos!

Inside our Austin FC season preview package; plus the return of the Austin Music Awards and the Chronicle's SXSW day party

On the cover: Sebastián Driussi (center) celebrates his goal against Atlas FC with a sweet tribute to his pregnant wife and their soon-to-be family of four (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Some great things came out of Austin FC's inaugural season: a new stadium, a devoted fandom, and a wide wing-spanned culture extending out to Austin's many communities, including art, food, music, queer, and beer. Less a rousing success was the soccer itself, with Austin's first-ever top-tier pro sports team ending year one with a not-stellar nine wins, four draws, and 21 losses.

"If and when you lose people's interest with a bad product, it's very, very difficult to get it back ... which is exactly why 2022 could wind up as the most important season in Austin FC's history," Chronicle soccer columnist Eric Goodman writes in his season preview. The good news is that Eric sees a lot of potential for the ATXFC's sophomore season; click here to get his insights on the new recruits and retooled roster, and be sure to sign up at austinchronicle.com/subscribe to get his weekly column, "The Verde Report," and game recaps sent directly to your inbox.

Also in our season preview, beer columnist (and Verde fan) Eric Puga explains what beer best suits your favorite footballer's style of play, and Food Editor Melanie Haupt checks in with what's new to eat at Q2 Stadium. And in the News section, contributor Kit O'Connell writes about a controversial tweet that inspired Austin FC supporters to help the unhoused.

New Faces, Returning Events

Two new hires have joined the paper: Assistant News Editor Maggie Quinlan and Event Coordinator Cassie Arredondo. You'll find Maggie's first bylines in the News section this week, and you'll find Cassie at the return of two much-loved Austin Chronicle events, back in person for the first time since the pandemic hit: the Austin Music Awards and The Austin Chronicle Hair of the 3-Legged Dog Day Party.

The AMAs, taking place March 8 at Emo's, will reveal the winners of the annual Austin Chronicle Music Poll and feature performances by Money Chicha with Gina Chavez and Kiko Villamizar; Greyhounds with Carolyn Wonderland and special guests; Deezie Brown; Sir Woman with special guests; a James Hand tribute featuring Beth Chrisman, Corey Baum, Jake Penrod, and Speedy Sparks; Little Mazarn; a Nanci Griffith tribute; and We Don't Ride Llamas. Find more info, including how to buy tickets, at austinchronicle.com/musicawards.

More live music will be had at the Chronicle's annual unofficial South by Southwest day party at Hotel Vegas on March 18. That lineup features Yard Act, Surfbort, TC Superstar, and Chief Cleopatra, as well as libations from Hornitos and Daysmith Coffee and tacos from Eldorado Cafe. It's free to attend, but you'll have to RSVP here: austinchronicle.com/day-party.

Art by Zeke Barbaro

Online This Week

Election Night Liveblog: Early voting in the March Primary ends Friday, Feb. 25; election day is Tuesday, March 1; and election night is when you'll find the Chronicle's News staff chewing over election returns and spitting out instant analysis on our liveblog at austinchronicle.com/daily.

Comedian Cara Connors - Photo by Sela Shiloni

"Straight for Pay": Ahead of her Saturday stand-up show at Fallout Theatre, comedian Cara Connors talks queer humor, owls in cowboy hats, and finding her voice.

Gabriela's Expands to Houston: The irrepressible Bucio siblings, whose growing empire also includes Taquero Mucho and Revival Coffee, will open a Gabriela's location in Houston's Midtown neighborhood in the spring.

Moody Must-Sees: Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park will host a concert series during SXSW featuring Shawn Mendes, Gunna, Young Thug, and Kygo.

In Your Dreams: Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney discuss their new indie sci-fi romantic surrealist comedy Strawberry Mansion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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