Sports

The Verde Report: So What Happens Now?

Austin FC's season comes to a close but TVR stays on the beat


l-r: Austin FC supporter Garrett Graham, Washington Fagundez, Austin FC supporter Trevor Shoppach, Diego Fagundez, and club commentators Adrian Healey and Michael Lahoud (Courtesy of Austin Soccer Foundation)

The 2021 Major League Soccer playoffs kick off this weekend and Austin FC is ... well, not in them. But odds are you already knew that.

Instead, ATXFC players, coaches, and staff are enjoying the first full week of a well-deserved (argue that point if you wish) offseason that will stretch through the holidays and into the last week of February. All of which raises one obvious question ... what does that mean for "The Verde Report"?

Glad you asked. It means, first of all, that we're not going anywhere (for the most part). As Austin FC news breaks and the 2022 season begins to settle into focus throughout these next 14 weeks, TVR will continue to keep you looped in to the latest surrounding Austin's one-and-only major league sports team. It also means a bit of soccer creative freedom. We're going to go outside the lines. Explore the space. This week, that means ditching the pitch for the golf course.

Diego Fagundez, ATXFC Broadcasters 'Tee' It Up for Charity

Typically, the first few weeks following the end of a long season are a special time for professional athletes. A rare chance to completely detach from competition, take some time away from the sports they play, and enjoy some serious R&R.

Austin FC winger Diego Fagundez is no different, especially after playing 2,528 high-intensity minutes out of a possible 3,060 during the season. But Fagundez laced up his cleats once more over the weekend to participate in the Austin Soccer Foundation's fifth annual charity footgolf tournament, which supports a scholarship program for high school student-athletes in the Austin area.

That's right, footgolf. One attempts to kick a soccer ball from tee box to hubcap-sized hole in as few strikes as possible across an 18-hole golf course. As you might expect, Fagundez is good at this. He and his father, Washington, left as co-champions of the day with a 17-under-par round of 53.

"If it wasn't for this, I wouldn't touch a soccer ball in like three weeks," Fagundez half-joked. Austin FC's joint-leading goalscorer rarely shies away from an opportunity to spend time with local soccer fans and organizations when there's fun to be had. In this case, club television commentators Adrian Healey and Mike Lahoud (an MLS veteran of seven years) joined in on the four-ball.

(This writer is proud to say that he wasn't too far off the pace set by the Fagundezes, partnering with Mark Turner of Last Word on Soccer to post a 14-under 56. A majestic hole in one off the boot of Turner on the final hole helped our cause greatly.)

Team USA Makes Statement With 'Dos a Cero' Win Over Mexico

Friday night in Cincinnati, the paint finally dried on the beautiful mural that has become the United States men's national team. What so recently was – and still very much is – a diaspora of teenage American talent toiling in the ranks of some of Europe's elite clubs has unified into a legitimate and formidable national team.

They showed as much with a 2-0 (but it's more fun if you read it in Spanish) win over Mexico in the biggest of three victories over El Tri in 2021. The U.S. weathered the storm in the first half and dominated the second to take all 3 points.

The Americans followed that up with a passable 1-1 draw against Jamaica in Kingston Tuesday, keeping them on track for World Cup qualification ... something they did not achieve in 2017.

Read more Austin FC coverage at austinchronicle.com/austin-fc.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin FC, The Verde Report, Diego Fagundez

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