Austin FC’s two-match winning streak came to an end on Sunday as they fell 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. Forward Jon Gallagher scored in his first start with the Club when midfielder Jared Stroud delivered his second assist in as many matches for Gallagher’s goal.
Austin FC struck first in the seventh minute. Jhohan Romaña played a line-splitting pass through the Sporting KC defense that found Jared Stroud. The right winger played an early cross that hit Jon Gallagher in stride, and the forward beat the onrushing goalkeeper to score his first for Austin FC.
From there, Sporting KC put pressure on ATXFC and were able to find a few chances. Brad Stuver made a diving save on Gianluca Busio in the 17th minute and followed it up with a kick save on Daniel Salloi in the 32nd minute. Tomás Pochettino had Austin’s best chance for the rest of the first half, stinging the crossbar from outside the box in the 34th minute.
Sporting KC continued to put the pressure on Austin’s defense for much of the second half, but ATXFC were able to keep them at bay. Alex Ring picked up his second yellow card in the 67th minute. Seven (7) minutes later Stuver got a fingertip on a Daniel Salloi shot and was able to get it up onto the crossbar and out of play. Sporting KC then had an opportunity from inside the six-yard box, but Andreu Fontàs’ header went over the bar.
Sporting KC found the equalizer in the 84th minute when Johnny Russell served in a cross off a corner that Ilie Sánchez redirected into the back of the net. Six (6) minutes later, with Sporting KC continuing to put the pressure on 10-man Austin, Gadi Kinda broke the tie off a cross from Luis Martins and a touch from Khiry Shelton. The match ended 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City.
Austin FC will play four (4) more matches on the road before returning to Q2 Stadium for the Club’s inaugural home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, June 19. Next up, Austin will travel to Carson, CA to play the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, May 15 at 2:30pm CDT.
Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff on starting Gallagher: "I think we had some ideas on what we thought we could exploit vs. Kansas City and I think it was really clear that it was working exactly how we planned on it... Jon deserved the opportunity. He's been playing well, he could have three or four goals already so [I'm] really excited for him to get on the board."
Austin FC defender Nick Lima on bouncing back after a loss: "I think we take the things that we did good from this game and the things we did well in the first three [matches] and we [look at] all that optimistically. We're a good team. I think Kansas City got fortunate got to [play against] 10 men. I feel like we could have won."
ATX (1-0) Jon Gallagher, 7th minute (assisted by Jared Stroud)
SKC (1-1) Ilie Sánchez, 82nd minute (assisted by Johnny Russell)
SKC (2-1) Gadi Kinda, 90th minute (assisted by Khiry Shelton)