Taking a bit of a break from blogging about Mexico for the time being. When reading Syliva Plath, listening to Hank Williams Sr, and watching de Sica movies actually make you feel better, its time to move on…
I did something this weekend I haven’t done in a while. I attended a sporting event without having to work it. I got to sit in the stands, yell at the ref (only when warranted, unlike the lady behind me), pay for concessions, and most importantly, cheer.
My wife and I went to see our freshly minted USL team, Austin Aztex, take on Puerto Rico Islanders at Nelson Field. It was the first match I had seen in Austin since Bulgaria chose the Violet Crown City for some pre-world cup training. They scrimmaged Tecos in 1994. Believe it or not, Hristo drew a foul!! It was also the first match I had seen in person since we went to Chicago to see England play the US about 4 years ago.
Aztex are owned by Phil Rawlins, who is also has a stake in the Prem’s Stoke City. The man who was chosen to coach our boys is Everton Hall of Famer and Stoke native, Adrian Heath.
Local radio will have the home games on the air. 1300 the zone will carry the games in English and Univison radio will carry 10 home games on their HDradio signal. We also will be on FSC 5 times this season: 2 home and 3 away.
They will be playing their home games at Nelson Field. For you trivia buffs, Nelson Field was the stadium used as the “night cap” for Pink and his buddies at the end of Dazed and Confused. It would have been nice for Aztex to play at the more centrally located House Park, but it is undergoing a renovation, which rendered it unavailable.
The Islanders game was the last tune up before the games count in a few weeks. It’s hard to gauge anything from pre-season, but these Aztex seem to be up to challenge. I was introduced to Islanders watching the concachampions, and they are not fluky by any means. They made it very hard for Aztex to find any scoring opportunities, but it didn’t stop the crowd from cheering the whole game.
We have chantico’s army to thank for providing the beats and chants throughout the game. It was like a mini eeyore’s birthday drum circle (family friendly, though). The generator of the biggest oohs and aahs from the crowd was forward Sullivan Silva with his darting runs and side-stepping moves.
So what to make of Aztex and the USL? The quality of play is more than decent, and with the front office’s European connections, Austin is a very attractive place for the young player who has across the pond aspirations. We're going to get some ballers for sure. Aztex also have their first four games at home, so a hot start would be real nice for us fans.
Come and take it.