Jersey number: No. 17
Hometown: Dundalk, Ireland
Former club: Atlanta United FC
Though he was born in Dundalk, Ireland, Austin FC forward Jon Gallagher has lived in six different countries, including Jamaica, Singapore, Scotland, America, England and Ireland.
Gallagher got his professional start for Atlanta United, where he played from 2018-20. After being chosen as the No. 14 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, Gallagher played for USL side Atlanta United in 2019, where he led the team with six goals and five assists.
Gallagher then moved up in the ranks later that season and was on the roster as Atlanta won the 2018 MLS Cup. In 2020, Gallagher was the leading scorer for the team after scoring four goals with the club in 16 appearances.
Gallagher took a detour in 2019 when he went on loan to Scottish Premiership club Aberdeen FC, where he made one goal and three assists in his 31 appearances with the team before coming back to Atlanta in 2020.
Before his professional debut, Gallagher played for the fittingly named "Fighting Irish," earning two All-ACC selections after scoring 39 goals and 15 assists in his 84 appearances with Notre Dame.
With Austin FC
Gallagher went Verde after a $175,000 trade in general allocation money from Atlanta in December.
Just as he's traveled across the map, Gallagher has found himself at nearly every position on the soccer pitch. His versatility will come in handy as he fights for a starting position with the team, and he's shown promise so far.
"I think I've played every single position apart from goalkeeper," Gallagher said. "At times I'm a victim of my own versatility, but I feel most comfortable when I'm in front of goal."
For now, Gallagher's been playing in the nine slot for each of the La Copita scrimmages, though he was practicing at wing during preseason.
Gallagher will likely be battling it out with Danny Hoesen, who hasn't secured his spot as easily as many expected. Either way, he's likely to be one of the most useful players off the bench.
Gallagher said that he'll stay competitive no matter where his spot in the lineup is so that he can make himself and the team better.
"If there's a guy ahead of me, I'm going to be breathing down his neck and making sure I get the best out of him," Gallagher said. "Because one, it's going to push me, and two, it's going to push him as well. So the coaches are going to get a better culture, and I think most of the guys have done that in their respective positions."
Off the pitch
It can be tough finding an identity after making a home in so many different places. While Gallagher still identifies as Irish, he also told teammate Matt Besler that he feels like a bit of a world nomad as well.
"I'd like to stay true to my roots, but I've got a little flavor of everything in me," Gallagher said.
With Austin as his latest residence, Gallagher said the city has exceeded his expectations so far, perhaps to his own detriment.
"I didn't really know what to expect, but the food's the most phenomenal thing," Gallagher said. "I probably spent way too much money the first month just on going out, but we're settling in nicely so far."
By "we," Gallagher means he and his now-fiance, Payton Gregory. Gallagher got on one knee the day after Christmas in 2020.
Now that he's here, however, he knows a lot about the state. Gallagher knew the state tree of Texas, the word "Austinites," and the state's nickname, "The Lone Star State" when quizzed by Besler. The Notre Dame alum had clearly hit the books and even knew the year Austin was founded—1839—much to Besler's surprise.
(Editor's note: this is part two of a two part Austonia series tracking the Dateline NBC investigation of Moriah Wilson's murder. Read part one here.)
After pro gravel biker Moriah "Mo" Wilson is gunned down in South Austin on May 11, police investigators develop a "person of interest," Austin's Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, a real estate agent, yoga teacher, amateur cyclist, and longtime girlfriend of Austin cyclist Colin Strickland.
Originally from Michigan, where a childhood friend described her as "fun loving" and "smart," Armstrong finished college and traveled the world studying yoga, in places like Iceland, Bali, and Mexico. She ended up in Austin where she met Colin Strickland. The two were business partners in a vintage trailer business, along with her own venture flipping houses. "Business partners and life partners," NBC said.
According to NBC's evaluation of a police report, a friend of Wilson's, who remains anonymous, said that despite Strickland's relationship with Kaitlin Armstrong, Mo Wilson and Strickland had been seeing each other since their "fling" in Austin months before. NBC reports this friend told police that before she died, Wilson had received a number of calls from Kaitlin Armstrong warning her to stay away from Armstrong's boyfriend, Colin Strickland.
A second tipster claimed to have been present when Armstrong first learned that Wilson and Strickland had been seeing each other. The tipster said Armstrong became "enraged" and threatened to kill Moriah Wilson.
Police found an outstanding warrant for Armstrong for an unpaid botox bill, and brought her in for questioning. She was largely unresponsive to their inquiries. Then police discovered a typo in the warrant and were forced to release her.
Six days after Wilson's death, a police ballistics analysis pointed toward a 9mm weapon owned by Kaitlin Armstrong. In his police interview, Strickland had told police he had previously purchased two 9mm handguns, one for him and one for Armstrong.
Police obtained a warrant to arrest Kaitlin Armstrong for first degree murder, but when they went to arrest her, she was gone.
Austin police asked the U.S. Marshals to find her. The Marshals believed Armstrong was hiding in Austin, until 14 days after the murder when they discovered video from ABIA showing Armstrong, masked and carrying a yoga mat, about to board a plane 3 days after the murder. From Austin, Armstrong had flown to Houston and on to New York's LaGuardia, where the trail went cold.
The Marshals posted a reward, $5,000, asking the public for help. Help came with a tip that Armstrong had been seen in upstate New York a few days after arriving at LaGuardia. Investigators knew that Kaitlin's sister lived there, and went to investigate, but did not find any trace of Armstrong.
Another tip came that Kaitlin had been seen next at Newark International Airport on May 18. But, as before, there was no trail to follow.
But how could she travel without using her identification documents? And how could she survive without using her credit cards and bank account?
Back in Austin, police found her Jeep at a CarMax dealership, where she had sold it weeks before for $12,200.
Meanwhile, in the small, end-of-the-road surfing town of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, Kaitlin Armstrong had quietly arrived in town and was working for a local hostel, Don Jon's, checking in guests and teaching yoga.
She befriended a local man who described Santa Teresa to NBC as "a really good place to hide out....it's the land of the unwanted, and the 'wanted.'"
At night, Armstrong became a regular at the town's one bar. She called herself "Ari," but didn't say much about past.
She dyed her hair dark and cut it shorter. She traveled to the capital, San Jose, where she may have had plastic surgery to change the appearance of her nose. Armstrong was later identified by an employee of the surgical center, but if that was her, she used a different name to register for the procedure.
Armstrong told people in Santa Teresa that she had had a surfing accident and needed treatment.
Summing it all up, Austin American-Statesman reporter Ryan Autullo said she "lacked the discipline, frankly, to not get caught." She did some things to conceal herself, but she also wanted to "have fun and live it up at the beach."
Around this time, working off the yoga mat clue, U.S. investigators were contacting police in "yoga destinations" around the world and circulating Armstrong's description. An officer in Costa Rica made inquiries, and was told about a "new yogi" in Santa Teresa.
43 days after Armstrong disappeared, police walked into Don Jon's and arrested her.
In the aftermath, a customer discovered Armstrong's documents, which he photographed before turning over to police. They included her sister's passport, and Armstrong's own passport, American Express Platinum Card, and her social security card.
Armstrong was extradited to the United States, returned to Austin, indicted for murder, and placed in jail with a $3.5 million dollar bail.
She pleaded not guilty, hiring Austin criminal attorney Rick Cofer to defend her.
Cofer, a former prosecutor, was interviewed by NBC. He explained away every point of Armstrong's disappearance and apparent flight to a skeptical interviewer.
He identifies what he says are some weak points in the prosecution's case. Then he perhaps implies that he knows something prosecutors don't. "Kaitlin Armstrong is not guilty, Cofer said. "Evidence will come out that Kaitlin Armstrong was nowhere near the scene of Miss Wilson's murder."
A trial date was set for October 19, but a Travis County judge said in a ruling that an October trial is "highly unlikely."
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Packages and Ways to Stay
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