Football or soccer has this amazing ability to reach across borders; the support and a love of the game can spread into any corner of the world. It’s the accessibility of the sport that makes it so universally loved, and you only have to see the influence it has had on one specific sub-community in Austin since the debut of the MLS team to fully appreciate its reach.

“Austin Lowriding" originated in Austin, TX to bring back the misplaced lifestyle and love for lowriders in a positive way. It’s a fully inclusive community that welcomes from solo to car club riders, rookies to veterans, car enthusiasts, and business people who are all into the car culture life. In that way it shares a parallel with football, and so the sport has been embraced by the Austin Lowriders, with their local team, Austin FC, who are now preparing for their second season in MLS, becoming the focal point of their shared passion. But it’s a symbiotic relationship, with Austin FC in turn embracing the passion of the lowrider community. And all can rally together under the Los Verdes banner.

To find out more about this unique and special relationship, how it came about, what it’s about, and how it may develop in the future, we spoke with Trampia Guzman, one of the founders of the Austin Lowrider Community.

low 19-min.jpg

To kick off with - can you give us a bit of the back story as to how the lowrider community came to be? 

The Lowrider culture itself emerged sometime after the Zoot Suit Riots. Many would agree it reached Texas via the El Paso corridor by those Latino families who migrated back and forth between Texas and California as field workers. The Austin Lowrider community began in the late 60’s. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Lowriding scene exploded in Austin. This was an exciting time for Lowriding as the culture was just gaining its wings nationally. Since then, the Lowrider community has continued to grow, especially since the culture like soccer is often passed down from generation to generation. In many cases, like my own, there are those that are simply born into life. 

With the club coming into existence, how much does it feel like a platform for you to celebrate your passions even further? 

It’s been great to see the immediate connection between Austin FC and the Lowrider community and how the club continues to build relationships with organisations in the community to provide a platform that is mutually beneficial to everyone. The Lowrider scene today has evolved to include all walks of life, cultures, and backgrounds, and if you look at the club’s fan base you will quickly see that not only are they one and the same but also unique and multi-faceted. The fact that the club is open to include lowriding is monumental and very progressive.

How does a lowrider community even begin? 

A lowrider community usually begins with one or more like minded individuals that have love for the lowrider lifestyle, are family oriented, respectful, and have a certain amount of pride when showing off their vehicle. To most, our cars are like a moving piece of artwork. 

low 16-min.jpg
low 17-min.jpg
The Verde represents Austin to me. The vibrancy and abundance of life here. We strive to be weird in Austin but the chosen colours for the Austin FC are spot on."

People wouldn’t necessarily expect a lowrider community to be connected to a soccer team – that in itself is beautiful – Does that reflect what Austin is about?

I agree, lowriding and soccer together in itself is revolutionary. It's truly remarkable that an organisation such as Austin FC, a team of supporters known as Los Verdes and nonprofit organisation such as Mas Cultura can work together with one common goal – to create the most exciting, inclusive, and respectful atmosphere for all who attend the matches. This goes hand in hand with the club’s badge design. For me, the bright green represents the city’s vibrancy and creative energy while the oak tree represents the bond between the club and the city.

What does one of your meet ups look like, especially on a match day? 

This can vary based on the match, time, home game vs away game. Currently, many of us watch a match then will go home to pull out the lowrider afterwards for a cruise. Ultimately, our goal would be to have a designated area for the Lowriding community to park their vehicles during home matches and or host a Lowrider Car Show at the Stadium during off season. We humbly submit to the soccer gods for this wish list item…

What about the soccer team and the ripple effect that has had on the community, how would you describe that? 

The ripple effect by the Club has been a positive one. For me, it has been very personal in that my former residence was only a few hundred yards from the Q2 Stadium. As construction neared completion at the stadium my property value increased. This made for a profitable sale during a pandemic which in turn allowed me to buy a new home, more lowrider parts and finish my second degree! My family and I would like to thank Mr. Precourt and his investors for selecting that location for the Q2. 

low 15-min.jpg
low 14-min.jpg

Can you tell us about some of the people that make up the lowrider community… is it a real mixture of different characters?

Today the lowrider community in Austin is comprised of men and women of various nationalities. Although we’re all different characters, it’s easy to see that many have the same background and one thing in common: a love of lowriding.

What you’ve done in creating that has brought people together. Soccer has a unique ability to unite people too – is that something else you’ve seen?

Like soccer, lowriding is rich in passion and is community driven. Time and time again we’ve banded together to help the less fortunate, hold toy drives, school supply drives, canned food drives and barbecue benefits to assist those in financial crisis, and it’s been good to see Austin FC focus on the community too. Historically, lowriding and soccer have continued to show the power to bring communities together.

What about all the colours and the mood of everything the club is about, what does the verde now mean to you? 

The Verde represents Austin to me. The vibrancy and abundance of life here. We strive to be weird in Austin but the chosen colours for the Austin FC are spot on. Two of my favourite colours so no complaints here.

low 13-min.jpg
low 18-min.jpg
Pride is what you feel when wearing the club gear. To me, it’s like driving your lowrider for the first time in that you want everyone to see you. Austin has a Major League Soccer team people! We have arrived!"

Wearing the jerseys, being photographed in them, the club working with you to celebrate the city – what’s it like to wear that jersey when you think about all that?

Pride is what you feel when wearing the club gear. To me, it’s like driving your lowrider for the first time in that you want everyone to see you. Austin has a Major League Soccer team people! We have arrived! So, get ready, get loud and stay late!

What was Austin like pre- Austin FC and what’s it like now it’s here?

Austin is known for its live music and was hit hard by the pandemic so pre-Austin FC it was all about the music. Now that you have Austin FC it only enhances the city’s profile and makes for more fun when you get to see a match in person vs on the tele. Then a cruise around city after the match is simply fantastic.

How would you like to keep doing more and more with the club, do you think about what opportunities working together presents?

I have a few ideas I’d like to discuss with Austin FC’s Communications and Media Division and welcome the opportunity to discuss those in person at a time that’s beneficial for Los Verdes, Mas Cultura and the Lowrider community.

low 20-min.jpg

Austin FC get their 2022 MLS campaign underway tomorrow with a home game against FC Cincinnati.