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Scoreless in Seattle: Austin FC draws against No. 1 Seattle Sounders in underdog battle

Austin FC's Jon Gallagher is back on the starting lineup as the club takes on Seattle. (Austin FC/Twitter)

Austin FC may have been 'scoreless in Seattle,' but they'll still tack on a point in the rankings and a boost in confidence after forcing the Sounders to their first shutout of the season on Sunday.

With a dwindling roster due to injuries and two straight scoreless losses, Austin FC needed a pick-me-up as they headed to the West Coast. This match did not seem to be the cure: the Sounders are one of two undefeated clubs in the MLS, and the team sits atop the West.

Head coach Josh Wolff said Seattle is the best team in the league. "There's no doubt about it," Wolff said.

The clubs' infamy makes the scoreless draw that much sweeter for Wolff and Austin FC. "I think it gives our guys a bit of satisfaction that we could come here, roll up our sleeves a bit and compete."

Austin started slow in their David-and-Goliath match, losing in possession for the first time this season as Seattle latched onto the ball for 63% of the first half. They also faced the formidable Raul Ruidiaz, who is second in goals only to Chicharito in MLS, and an unconventional 3-5-2 lineup that threw Austin off at the start of the match.

Seattle has steamrolled competition in offense, while Austin lost defenders Jhohan Romana, Ben Sweat and Hector Jimenez to injuries on the road. Even with several men short on the bench, however, Austin's back line shone.

Center back Matt Besler, who saw his 300th regular season appearance this match, kept the holes plugged as he prevented Ruidiaz and Christian Roldan from sneaking one in goal.

Austin FC captain Alex Ring said that the club has adjusted to the rotating door on the back line and is working on recovery.

"No one's going to help us but ourselves," Ring said. "We have to dig ourselves out of the hole we put ourselves in. We know we can trust these guys even if they haven't had a couple of games to do their best and I think that was important for us today."

Both clubs had just a few shots on goal as they headed into the 77th minute of play, when Sounders players flooded the box that Austin FC keeper Brad Stuver had fought so hard to protect. Seattle's Fredy Montero pinballed one in, and the match looked to be 1-0 Sounders.

In a twist of fate much like last week's match, when Austin's Jared Stroud lost a chance at his first goal with the team to an offsides call, Ruidiaz was ruled offsides.

Austin would leave the match 0-0, losing an opportunity to win but earning a point in MLS rankings.

The club takes on Sporting Kansas City for a rematch in their final road test before their home opener on Saturday, June 12, three weeks after Austin lost 2-1 to the club.

The match saw Ring receive his first career red card and many blamed the captain for the loss. In a rare stroke of vulnerability, Ring apologized for the red card and the events that unfolded after.

"I'm going to apologize because I always play my everything for the team," Ring said. "I take the responsibility for that. I know that the club supports me and they know I always give my best."

Ring said the club fell into a slump where they lost their identity, but they're back on track as they head into the rematch.

"When you play on our team, when you come to Austin, you run your ass off and you play with your heart on your sleeve," Ring said. "We play together."


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway