Since we are in the middle of an epic North American road trip from the swamps of South Florida where we only managed a draw to the prairies of Minnesota to the shadows of the whitecaps in British Columbia, I decided to look back on all 12 Austin FC road wins in the club’s history so we can get inspired to try to get some wins on the second and third legs of this trip. I ranked them in order of least memorable from both a combo on the pitch and the greater Austin FC culture and divided them into 3 tiers. The highlights are linked for all of these matches if you need a sugar rush of good memories.
And yes, I know we didn’t win the match in Frisco above, but this draw for Copa Tejas would probably rank in the middle of this list. Hopefully, there will be another win or draw in this category next month.
Tier 3: We got the win
The only other away win of 2021 (besides the famous DenVerde win) was the next Saturday up in Minnesota. Diego scored an early goal off a really nie ball from Jared Stroud, and we spent the second half of the match defending for dear life. We had very few fans at this match (socially distanced from one another) since Minnesota was still under fairly restrictive COVID rules at the time. Compared to DenVerde, this match feels like a historical footnote rather than a momentous occasion.
This match is remembered for having 6 Austin FC goals called back for offside and a remarkably questionable red card to SKC. This match was a rare one in Austin FC history where we played on the road, were expected to win, and then won. Let’s hope there are a lot more away wins of this nature in the years ahead.
This match was billed as a battle of the new teams in the league. As someone who did watch this match in the stadium, I have to say it was a medium-sized but incredibly loud group of visiting fans that went the full 90 a capella. Dani scored an incredible outside the box goal right after subbing on that ended the Poznan party early in the Carolinas for the home fans. And yes, Pepas, not over the PA sounds a lot better!
Tier 2: Impressive Results
We had just lost 3-0 to a Haitian team in the Dominican Republic and had to go back to a place where we hadn’t scored or ended a match with 11 men 4 days later. Additionally, we had never gotten a point on the road on a road opener. All logical signs pointed to this match being a loss, but the MLS doesn’t follow logic. Two outside the box goals brought forth a win for the Verde and Black on a cold night on the Wasatch Front. Of course, we went and lost at home to RSL in June, which we had never done before, but I guess we are just in an opposite season.
This match is the less famous of both the 2 goal Austin FC road comebacks and wins in Colorado, but was still an impressive win. After winning a few days earlier in Charlotte, we did not expect to find ourselves two goals in the mountain air with a rare full stadium in Commerce City due to the 4th of July fireworks post match. But our guys woke up quickly and provided us with an impressive, deserved 3 points on the road. We also had a solid away section at this match that pissed off the nearby Colorado fans to no end, which was fantastic.
By mere scorelines, this match is the single most impressive road result in club history. However, Atlanta was playing with a depleted squad and we were at maximum positive vibes on the pitch after winning away at Charlotte and Colorado earlier in the road trip. Among fans, this match is more known for the unveiling of a pro abortion banner that led at least one of our fans to get a year long ban from the Benz. I believe this match had the highest attendance of any Austin FC match in our club’s history so far with over 60K at the stadium, and it was great to leave there with a huge win.
This win was one of the more unexpected ones in the club’s history. Before this match, we had 2 draws and 5 losses up in Cascadia. We had just experienced a heartbreaking loss to Frisco, and were facing our second Pacific Northwest trip in 11 days. While the Sounders were missing a few players, the mood entering the match was not one of optimism. However, goals by Zardes (his first in Verde and Black) and Finley followed by late match heroics by Stuver led Austin FC to the surprise and needed 3 points. Finally for a Wednesday, we had a great and loud crew up in Seattle that celebrated well into the night.
Looking back at the results, this one was nothing short of absurd. While Montreal was missing a bunch of their starters in the inaugural F1 Derby on Grand Prix Weekend, Dani got a red card just before the half, which made a result seem impossible. Somehow, we found multiple good opportunities in the second half and Maxi finished one of them, much to the delight of loaded fans, who could afford to travel to Montreal on the most expensive weekend of the year (which we have to admit was larger than expected). We have to give a shout out to 1642, the Montreal SG, which were great hosts, even as our seats ended up being only 2 sections away from them.
I debated putting this one in club defining wins, but honestly beating Houston on a hot April afternoon win was fun but not in the club defining tier. After Stuver got chipped from midfield on the first goal and injured, our fans were expecting another awful game in Houston. However, Dani had other plans, and scored a goal that was literally put in the Louvre a few days later. With a second half Druissi goal, we managed to secure a 2-1 victory in goal where it has to be said Andrew Tarbell played outstanding and likely earned his current Dynamo contract. The celebrations after this win were among the wildest in club history and they were deserved.
Tier 1: Club Defining Wins
Coming into this match, we had not won an away match in over 11 months. Somehow, we managed to convince 250 Austin FC fans to come to DC over Easter weekend to see us probably fail to win again on the road. The first half was one of the worst we have ever played and we deserved to be down 2-0 at the half. Luckily, DC United got a red card near the end of the half. For the first 30 minutes of the second half, we didn’t take advantage of the extra men. Then, Pollo was returned to us, and we managed to score 3 times on 5 absurd chances in 11 minutes. That sequence was the second-best goal scoring stretch in club history only behind the 3-goal run in DenVerde in 9 minutes. Having such a large away section also made it a special night on top Mt. Rooney.
By sheer accomplishment, this win is the single most impressive in club history. Going on the road and beating the team that won the MLS Cup in their building in a season where they only lost twice at home is simply absurd. If DC was the moment where we believed we could be a playoff team, this match was the one where we believed we could actually be an MLS Cup competitor. Taking the early lead was unexpected, but the second goal scored by Diego after an absurd rabona hockey assist in the build up may go down for prettiest sequence in club history. We needed a minor miracle to hold on, especially after LAFC got one back, but this win was sure sweet. Even though it was a Wednesday night, we had a good crew out there who were in disbelief about what they saw that night. Too bad our most recent trips to the Banque haven’t produced the same results.
As Adrian Healey famously called it, “You never forget your first”. Winning the second-ever match in Austin FC history to become the club’s first win in front of 300+ away Austin FC supporters, who were louder than the Colorado fans is the stuff of legends. There’s a reason why DenVerde evokes some positive memories within the Verde faithful. Since Colorado has not been a strong side the last season and a half, it’s easy to forget that Colorado won the West’s regular season in 2021 and this game was the only loss at home of the regular season campaign. Despite a shaky first half, Diego and Cecillo took over and provided our guys with their first ever win against a very good opponent. Scoring 3 goals in 9 minutes is simply insane, especially when they are the first 3 goals in club history. It will probably take a road playoff elimination win (or a dramatic playoff clinching win in the regular season) to top this result in the regular season.
Do you agree with these rankings? Hit us up on social media and/or comments as we would love to hear your takes.