Austonia daily newsletter—direct to your inbox 6 a.m.
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

Austin FC suffered another shutout at the hands of Real Salt Lake after injuries and a red card marred their hopeful comeback. (Austin FC/Twitter)

As Austin FC worked past the halfway mark for their inaugural season, the club suffered their 11th shutout of the season despite a new "dream team" starting lineup—including Designated Players Tomas Pochettino, Cecilio Dominguez and Sebastian Driussi—as they fell 1-0 tp Real Salt Lake on the road on Saturday.


A controversial red card and two injuries, including an apparent ankle injury for Driussi, marred an offensively-minded start for the club.

With Driussi leading attacks and Dominguez, Pochettino and Diego Fagundez not far behind, the team entered the Salt Lake pitch with their most offensive lineup to date. An early cross from Pochettino got the ball rolling near goal as Austin led with 57% possession, and Fagundez nearly got one in of his own after his shot was blocked by the post.

Shortly after a Pochettino header that went just awry, Salt Lake's Bobby Wood got one in for the home team as his strategically-placed header bounced past Austin keeper Brad Stuver in the 31st minute.



A red card for Austin FC defender Julio Cascante left the team with 10 players for the rest of the match, and an injury for fellow defender Zan Kolmanic further set the team behind the home club.

Head coach Josh Wolff called out match referees after the match and said the red card call was a "laughable" mistake.

"There wasn't one," Wolff said. "I tried to talk to the official afterwards, and all you always hear is that he's got to go look at it up top. But you know, it's there's a few real questionable things happening out there, and I know we're the expansion team...It was laughable."

Captain Alex Ring had some criticism himself for the ruling, especially with technology including the video assistant referee (VAR) and commended the team's performance with 10 men left on the field.

"The league tries to silence the players by fining us and I don't give a shit about that right now," Ring said. "I think it needs to be said because we have VAR for a reason. I think we put a hell of a fight...we work so hard and then in the end we we don't come away with a winning result, it's tough."

Despite another highlight-worthy performance from Stuver, the club would be unable to recover from their deficit for the remainder of the match.



After a week of criticism for his cautious lineup decisions in their 2-0 FC Dallas loss, Wolff may be under fire once again from frustrated fans after the team's most recent shutout.

Wolff said he understood fans' displeasure with the team's performance.

"That's criticism that is certainly warranted," Wolff said. "We're not scoring goals, we're not winning games. We're aware of what this game is about, and the need to get results."



The team is now back at the bottom of the West after scoring the fewest goals in the season and have been shut out for two-thirds of their performances this season.

Austin FC will have the chance to redeem the loss with a comeback home win as they take on the similarly troubled Vancouver Whitecaps at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Q2 Stadium.

31' Real Salt Lake scores

Real Salt Lake's Bobby Wood does what Austin FC couldn't as he gets his hands (rather, his head) on a header of his own. The strategic header bounces off the ground before making it past Stuver and into Austin FC's goal.

The goal breaks a scoring streak for Salt Lake as Austin FC attempts to end a short scoreless bout of their own.

27' Fagundez blocked by the post

Though not a Designated Player, Austin's Diego Fagundez does not want to be forgotten as a key scoring threat. With three goals on the season, Fagundez has forever cemented his name in Austin FC history and looked to do it once more as his shot just ricocheted off the bottom left goalpost.

Pochettino tried to save the play after Jimenez sent him a cross, but his close-range header couldn't quite get in goal.

19' Stuver stays on-brand

Brad Stuver's goalkeeping performances are like Groundhog Day. The All-Star contender consistently keeps scoring threats at bay in goal, and today is no different. Stuver blocks a close-range shot from Real Salt Lake's No. 1 scorer, Toni Datkovic, after the home team's Aaron Herrera places a well-positioned cross. Stuver's highlight reel continues.

Austin keeps their confidence in the box

Austin FC has no trouble making it near goal, but things tend to get tricky once they make their way into the box. With more hands on deck, Austin is finally holding their own in front of goal.

In the fourth minute of play, a cross from Pochettino became the team's first good look of the game, and teammates Hector Jimenez, Dominguez and others have chipped in as well. The club is staying on-brand as they hold 56% over Real Salt Lake, and Driussi is proving his worth as a formidable attacking option as the team continues to threaten goal.

Wolff stacks starting lineup

Anti-Wolff sentiment and general frustration has grown in the Austin FC Twitterverse in recent weeks after the team's admittedly "cautious" approach that led to a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas next week.

Wolff has flipped the switch this week, however, with Sebastian Driussi likely up front in his first start with the team. He'll be flanked by Cecilio Dominguez and Diego Fagundez on either side.

The midfield has been stacked as well: Pochettino, who scored two goals in the team's last home match, will take the pitch once again, while Daniel Pereira will start for the second week in a row and stronghold Alex Ring will remain the team's center of gravity in the middle.

Austin FC's defense remains unaltered, and stronghold Brad Stuver will work for another shutout in goal.

Popular

(Austin Pets Alive!)

Actor, director and screenwriter Justin Theroux isn't the only famous member of his family. His canine companion Kuma made waves online this past weekend supporting Austin Pets Alive!—and Jennifer Aniston is a fan.

Keep Reading Show less

Austin's poker house scene continues to flourish through a loophole in Texas gambling laws. (Palms Social Club/Facebook)

Six days a week, thousands of onlookers tune in to live streams to watch the pros rake it all in at high-stakes poker tournaments. The big-name poker players aren't in Las Vegas or even Oklahoma's finest casinos—instead, they're where Texas Hold 'Em gets its name.

Keep Reading Show less

From four-time Grammy-nominee turned big-screen actor, Black Pumas frontman Eric Burton will debut in the sci-fi short film "Devexity," which is written, directed by and stars Austinites.

Keep Reading Show less