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‘Hang in there:’ Austin FC takes another loss on the road

Austin FC is down 1-0 at the half against Nashville SC. (Austin FC/Twitter)

After a disappointing 74 minutes, Austin FC thought they had found the equalizer when Jared Stroud snuck one in goal against Nashville SC.

Stroud, who has provided two key assists, would have been looking at his first goal with the club, and he would've snapped a scoreless spell that Austin FC has recently endured.

The shot went in, but referees took it back amid a roar from Nashville supporters to keep the match 1-0, Nashville. Clubs across Austin erupted into yells for very different reasons as the goal was called offsides. Austin FC would never recover.

Head coach Josh Wolff said that two matches without goals has messed with the club's confidence.

"We're certainly not dangerous enough in front of goal," Wolff said. "We should have scored in the opening minutes of the game. Goals give you energy, they give individuals' confidence in the team."

The club faced yet another injury on the back line and saw little spark most of the match as they fell once again on the road.

For a team that prides itself in tempo and intensity, Austin FC fell behind in both as they saw just one shot on goal in the match. Nashville's rock-solid defense has gone more than 360 minutes without giving up a goal, while Austin FC took a hit on their back line as center back Jhohan Romana fell in the 34th minute of play.

Wolff said that Romana was "grabbing" at something and would be further looked at this week. He also said Daniel Pereira, who may have suffered a more minor injury, will be monitored as well.

One minute later, Nashville scored the first goal of the match.

After being outplayed in the first half, Wolff brought in the two Mentos that typically shake up the Coke bottle: Stroud and striker Jon Gallagher. Gallagher seemed to be in good form after spending a week out on injury, and Stroud's attempt on goal could've changed the game.

Still, Austin was outplayed in the latest of their challenging road series. The club has been pitted against East and West Conference powerhouses for six straight weeks and face another challenge in the Seattle Sounders, who are undefeated and sit atop the West.

Wolff said that perseverance is key in playing the top dog in the West.

"If we can score goals and even create better chances, it'll help take away some of the difficulties in the game," Wolff said. "But we've got to be resilient, we've got to bounce back. It's only going to get tougher, and that's why we have to keep making progress."

Wolff has one message to the fans as they weather the storm until the home opener on June 19: "Hang in there."


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