Austin FC completed their season-opening, eight-match road trip on Saturday, earning a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. In the 26th minute, forward Cecilio Domínguez provided the lone goal for the Verde & Black, his third of the season.
After a cagey first 25 minutes, Austin grabbed the lead thanks to solid buildup play. Defender Žan Kolmanič surged up the left flank and combined with forward Jon Gallagher before making a pinpoint pass to Domínguez at the top of the penalty area. The Paraguayan forward deftly cut around defender Luis Martins shot into the far corner of the net.
Over the next 20 minutes, the Austin FC defense held firm Stuver two point-blank saves. The first came in the 34th minute Sporting midfielder Roger Espinoza. Nine minutes later he denied forward Daniel Salloi.
Domínguez nearly doubled his tally in the minute after driving past two Sporting KC defenders, but goalkeeper Tim Melia came off his line to make the save.
The home side equalized in the 71st minute after Sporting forward Gianluca Busio’s shot giving SKC’s Johnny Russell a chance Stuver. The rebound fell to Salloi, who finished from 10 yards out.
Stuver denied Sporting KC in the 76th minute, Russell. Austin FC forward Rodney Redes had a chance to give his side the lead, but missed his shot wide under pressure from Sporting’s defense.
Head Coach Josh Wolff on the match: "It's a hard-earned point... I appreciate the guys' work and effort. Difficult game to come in and play here in the heat, it certainly took its toll on both teams, but I was pleased with how we started the game. Obviously, we tried to minimize some of the things that Kansas City does really well and I think we did pretty well in the first half."
Head Coach Josh Wolff on finishing the road trip with eight points and coming home next week: "The excitement for me is going home and playing in front of our fans. These guys have worked tirelessly since mid-January and now you get an opportunity to play in front of your fans. You get to spend these days around your family leading up to a game and that's going to be exciting for the players, really exciting for the fans and the community that's showed an unbelievable thirst and energy for this team."
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver on his performances so far: "I've been working for eight years to get an opportunity like this. To go out and get a run of games where I can actually be the starter and play consistently. I've had some really amazing goalkeeper coaches with Pat Onstad and Rob Vartughian who have pushed me at times in my career when I've needed different things and I think if you talk to them they would tell you that I was just waiting for an opportunity."
- ATX (1-0) Cecilio Domínguez, 26th minute (assisted by Žan Kolmanič)
- SKC (1-1) Dániel Sallói, 71st minute (unassisted)