I do believe I’ve saved the best for last!
Now normally, I would not advocate for attending a match anywhere else in Texas besides our beloved Q2 Stadium (though their suckiness does make you appreciate what a jewel of a stadium we get to enjoy).
But… this one will have a trophy on the line! It will be the last Copa Tejas match this year.
So every Verde-bleeding, la-murga-foot-stomping, Frisco-hating, true believer needs to show up for this match!
#3 Away vs. FC Frisco on Saturday, August 26th @ 7:30 PM
There is something really special about supporting your club and your city in enemy territory! Staring diagonally across the Friscan field of battle at that pathetic little supporters group while being surrounded by 1,000 of the most hardcore Verde faithful is truly exhilarating.
Last year, this trip to Frisco was the highlight of the whole season for me! (Probably because I’ve been hating on them since 2006)
The Heineken Rivalry Week bus trip/ticket were really reasonably priced (I guess years of FCD being grossly mismanaged into half-empty stadiums has its silver lining), and the beer never stopped flowing the whole ride to and from the Frisco’s big hole in the ground.
The vibes on the bus were so much fun, and being with Verde fans from all across the city was such a great learning experience!
The unforgettable moments from this trip just didn’t quit!
For starters, I will never forget the quivering octogenarian behind the Buc-ee’s fudge counter quivering as she asked “what are the-the-they saying?” while 800 Verde & Black faithful busted out in unison “DALE DALE DALE ATX!” 360° stereo surround sound! That memory will be etched into my memory forever. Temple, TX didn’t know what hit ’em!
The game itself was chippy, and both sides had their chances. But Stuuuuuuver worked his magic to keep us close the whole and game; and in the 79th minute our Teen Wolff got stuck in and jacked the ball!
A few seconds later, the OG- Señor Diegooooool Fagundez himself- scored the goal that made sure we walked out of there with our first trophy in club history, THE Copa Tejas!
ABOUT THAT TROPHY: Copa Tejas’s significance and artistry aside, it is objectively the 2nd best trophy in all of Texas. This is mainly because the trophy that preceded it goes BOOM! In case you didn’t know, there’s a Civil War replica cannon, dubbed “El Capitan,” that Frisco and Houston have been battling for for years.
In the build up to Austin FC’s launch, I was really looking forward to competing for this cannon, and upon winning it… witnessing it being fired before our home games. But the Friscans and Crynamo “fans” are petty, insecure brats who didn’t want to share their toy with the new kid (aka risk losing it to a superior club).
The joke’s on them though, because they effectively rendered their really cool trophy a booby prize, always doomed to be awarded to the second best MLS team in Texas.
Anyway, our boys in green fought like warrior poets and earned that prize, and then they waited… and waited… and waited… only to find out that the whiny babies known as FC Frisco supporters couldn’t handle seeing us celebrate inside their sorry excuse for a major league stadium.
So we partied in the parking lot, fans and players just inches apart from each other. It was so punk rock. It was visceral, it was tribal, it was AWESOME!
That joyful exuberance was reignited two hours later in the Buc-ee’s parking lot at 2:30AM with songs, dancing, and selfies with the Copa Tejas trophy once again. We didn’t roll into the Q2 Southwest Lot until 4:00AM, but it was all so worth it.
I CANNOT WAIT for the 2023 edition of the Grand Finale of the Copa Tejas!
Photos Courtesy of mlssoccer.com, copatejas.com, AppleTV MLS Season Pass, AustinFC.com and the author’s personal stash.
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