AUSTIN BOLD FC

Austin Bold FC stretch home shutout streak to three games with draw against El Paso Locomotive FC

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Austin Bold FC head coach Marcelo Serrano said it isn’t uncommon for a team’s style to take two or three years to fully develop. 

He’s starting to see his style of play after six games of the Bold’s inaugural USL Championship season, and that’s what makes him so excited. 

Austin played its second game in five days on Sunday drawing 0-0 with fellow USL newcomer El Paso Locomotive FC at Bold Stadium at Circuit of the Americas. The Bold have yet to allow a goal in the first three home games this season. 

“In the preseason, we were allowing a lot of goals and we’ve fixed that,” Serrano said. “In the first four games, we didn’t have a lot of chances. Then we changed our attack and scored. Today, we moved up again.”

Central defender Amobi Okugo said the defense, including the pairing of him with Jermaine Taylor in the center of the back line, has grown a lot since the first game of the year and helped boost the home shutout streak. 

“Going back to preseason, we were kind of mixing and matching people and lineups at the back,” Okugo said. “Ever since Vegas, we’ve had a solid back four and a consistent lineup and we’ve done really well.”

El Paso had a pair of goals called off due to offside calls in the first 30 minutes of the game and controlled most of the possession for the first half hour of play. Austin picked things up as the half went on and finished the half with a 51.9 percent advantage in possession but nothing to show for it. 

Just after the 30-minute mark, Bold forward Kléber — who missed the last game with a red card suspension — was subbed out with a groin injury. Dripping Springs native Kris Tyrpak was sued on and performed well the rest of the match. 

“I feel like they were sitting high and I was thinking I could get in behind,” Tyrpak said. “I think they did a little bit and then they wised up a little bit in the second half. We were building and building, and it was one of those game where nothing goes right in the 18-yard box.”

Locomotive FC tried to chip a free kick from just outside the penalty box early in the second half. Bold forward André Lima had a hard shot from straightaway that El Paso keeper Logan Ketterer pushed away. 

Tyrpak and El Paso defender Javier Rosales fell down in the box after a challenge in the box. The game was chippy and physical all day and no penalty was given. 

“The ball was still kind of bouncing and he kind of ran into me and I poked the ball forward,” Tyrpak said. “In my eyes that’s a penalty.”

Tyrpak continued his stellar game with a chance for the Bold int he 88th minute. Cedar Park alumnus Sonny Guadarrama sent a ball to the back post where the Tyrpak’s header clanked off the cross bar. He was offside anyway. 

“You never want a tie at home,” Tyrpak said. “Coming off a game against Phoenix, there were some heavy legs. For us to get a result, it’s not something we wanted but it’s something we’ll take with three games in nine games.”

Austin is 2-2-2 through six games and sit in a four-way tie for 11th place in the USL Championship Western Conference with one game in hand. 

ABFC finishes up its homestead with a game against Real Monarchs SLC Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Bold then head to California to face LA Galaxy II on May 4 at 9 p.m. and return to Texas to host OKC Energy on May 10 at 7:30 p.m.

“We did create chances,” Serrano said. “It’s the final touch. We still cannot forget the other principles. But finally our team is ready to score. We’re going to get there. Sometimes take two or three years to design a style of play. You can start to see it in six games.”

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