AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC fans who braved low temperatures for Saturday’s Major League Soccer curtain-raiser were rewarded with the biggest win in the club’s short history.

In a dazzling performance, Austin put five goals past FC Cincinnati to start the team’s second season in the best possible way.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the Verde and Black’s 5-0 win.

Rejuvenated Dominguez leads the way

Austin FC forward Cecilio Dominguez (10) scores past FC Cincinnati goalie Alec Kann, right, during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The first high profile signing in Austin FC history didn’t always meet expectations in his first season at the club.

Cecilio Dominguez had his moments in Austin FC’s first season, scoring a joint team-high seven goals, but the winger frustrated as often as he captivated.

That’s why it was encouraging to watch Dominguez find the net twice against Cincinnati as Austin’s attack ran riot.

On Saturday, Dominguez even appeared fitter and faster than the player who often labored out of position on a struggling team in 2021.

While both his goals were simple finishes, Dominguez got himself into the right positions — and nothing builds an attacker’s confidence like scoring goals.

If this is the first sign of Dominguez taking a step forward, the Verde and Black will be better for it in 2022.

New faces make big impressions

Austin FC defender Kipp Keller, right, goes for goes for the ball under FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vázquez during an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman)

Rookies don’t usually make an impact in their first professional season — so it was somewhat surprising to see Kipp Keller named in Austin’s starting lineup for his first ever MLS game.

For a player who was marshaling the defense for Saint Louis University just three months ago, Keller didn’t look out of place in the professional ranks.

Clearly physically imposing, the 21-year-old also looked comfortable with the ball at his feet.

It wasn’t a perfect debut — a few fouls and a yellow card may have contributed to a second half substitution — but consider Austin’s more experienced central defenders on alert.

While the defense appears fortified, the attack operated in perfect harmony with new signing Maxi Urruti working as the lone striker.

For much of 2021, Austin FC fans were left to wonder how their team would look with even a capable striker spearheading the lineup.

Urruti brings experience and nous — and judging by his debut, a willingness to make runs in behind the defense that open up space for his teammates.

That unselfishness played a big part in Dominguez, Sebastian Driussi and Alex Ring feasting on an outmatched FC Cincinnati defense.

Austin’s commanding lead allowed head coach Josh Wolff to introduce his other new signings to the MLS in a risk-free environment, and it was particularly encouraging to see league newcomers Jhojan Valencia and Ruben Gabrielsen get some minutes, as both could play big roles this season.

Expectations don’t change

Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver celebrates a goal against FC Cincinnati during an MLS soccer match, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman)

A dominant 5-0 victory may have fans dreaming of playoff glory, but it isn’t the time to get excited just yet.

FC Cincinnati has been the worst team in MLS in recent years, and Saturday’s match showed why.

At times, the visitors to Q2 Stadium seemed unorganized, sloppy in possession and wasteful when they did create chances.

Better teams will provide bigger tests for the Verde and Black. But with Austin sitting atop the Western Conference after the opening round of fixtures, fans can be forgiven for dreaming just a little bit.