While losing 1-0 to last-place Colorado Rapids, Austin FC fans got the remarkable news mid-game that the club won Copa Tejas for the second straight year thanks to a scoreless draw between Dallas and Houston.
In a rare post on X (formerly Twitter), Austin FC captain Sebastián Driussi (@SebadriussiOK) was quick to exclaim, “Texas is green again…!” upon the breaking tournament news.
Verde fan reactions to the Copa Tejas win were mixed. Some fans felt that lifting a trophy while sitting near the bottom of the MLS table was ridiculous. Others exclaimed that Austin deserved it solely based on the club’s results in the format of this tournament.
Bonus game theorist and MLS Apple TV/Extratime host, Andrew Wiebe couldn’t pass up the chance to quip, “Speaking of bottles, someone sneak some into Austin’s dressing room in Colorado so they can celebrate something this year! #CopaTejas“.
Speaking of bottles, someone sneak some into Austin's dressing room in Colorado so they can celebrate something this year! #CopaTejas— Andrew Wiebe (@andrew_wiebe) October 1, 2023
How did Austin FC win the Copa Tejas Cup in 2023
Each MLS Texas team played a double round robin against the other Texas teams, meaning Austin played Dallas twice and Houston twice.
Except this year, ATX played each team three times. So, according to Copa Tejas rules, the first match in 2023 between the Texas clubs didn’t count—for Austin, it was on 3/18 vs. Houston and on 5/13 vs. Dallas. Austin lost both of those matches.
Ultimately, Houston and Dallas each finished with 5 points. Austin took the trophy with 6 points in the tournament.
With a draw @HoustonDynamo and @FCDallas end with 5 points and @AustinFC wins with 6 points in this tournament format. Congratulations on a hard fought season until the final whistle pic.twitter.com/ZdYdRMZAQS— copatejas (@copatejas) October 1, 2023
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What is Copa Tejas
Copa Tejas actually consists of two cups and a shield.
There is the Division 1 Cup for Texas clubs in Major League Soccer (Austin FC, FC Dallas, and Houston Dynamo). While the Division 2 Cup pits the Texas USL Championship Clubs (El Paso Locomotive FC, Rio Grande Valley Toros, and San Antonio FC).
|Year||MLS Winner||USL Winner|
|2021||FC Dallas||El Paso Locomotive|
|2022||Austin FC||San Antonio FC|
|2023||Austin FC||San Antonio FC|
Finally, there is the Copa Tejas Shield, which is between all of those clubs above and the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Copa Tejas was created in 2019 by supporters of San Antonio FC, when the Austin Bold (now defunct) and El Paso Locomotive joined the USL Championship. It was expanded in 2021 upon Austin FC’s arrival to the MLS.
The Division 1 and Division 2 trophy series are determined through head-to-head league games between the Texas clubs. The Copa Tejas Shield winner is determined using a points per game metric (the number of points earned divided by the number of games played) over all league matches.
Cover image courtesy courtesy Copa Tejas X (Twitter)