Austin FC hands Sounders FC another home loss

A pesky and determined  Austin FC soccer club handed the Seattle Sounders their second consecutive home loss. When the season began head coach Brian Schmetzer was adamant about making sure teams were not comfortable playing Lumen Field. While he stopped short of using the word fortress Schmetzer wanted the team to create an intimidating place for teams to play.


 All seemed well when the club scored six goals with none conceded in the team’s first two home games. A  0-0 tie with LAFC felt like a win, 3-0 thrashing of St Louis that was followed by a 1-0  win over Minnesota affirmed the home pitch was in full effect. One can add the  5-4 US Open over San Diego for good measure.  The pattern of bad home form started on the road oddly enough.  After the St. Louis win the Sounders gave life to the struggling  Portland Timbers and the mistake was costly. The Rave Green scored the game’s first goal in the 58th minute but it was the inability to find a second game that proved disastrous.  The Timbers scored two goals five minutes apart and tacked on two more for good measure.


The inability to close out games against struggling teams became a thing after the Timbers game.  Take out the St. Louis win who is in 4th place and one can see  clear pattern. Portland was struggling, but now in 6th. Same for Houston who  is now in the 8th place. The unforgiveable back-to-back  losses at home to Sporting KC  13th in the conference and  Austin  10th  point to a team that is struggling with  execution and having a killer instinct. Yes, there are injuries and shuffling of the lineup. It’s not the talent on the pitch for the Sounders . Its’ been a lack of winning one on one duels fighting for every blade of turf and simple execution in passing and shooting.


In last night’s loss to Austin FC, the Sounders were thinking too much. Numerous times players were waiting for someone to make a run to create space. When a player made the run to create space the pass was lacking. The players are making the game more complicated that it needs to be. When you are thinking too much you are slow to make decisions and allow your opponents to adjust. The answer is for the Sounders to play simple soccer.



  • Despite today’s loss, Seattle remains in first place in the Western Conference. On 23 points, the Rave Green are one point ahead of LAFC and two points ahead of FC Dallas. Sounders FC now looks ahead to a Cascadia Cup clash at BC Place against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:30 p.m. PT / Apple TV, iHeartMedia, El Rey 1360 AM).
  • Tonight’s loss was Seattle’s first against Austin FC. In the all-time regular season series against Austin, Seattle moves to 2-1-2, with a 1-1-1 mark at Lumen Field. 
  • With his goal in the 79th minute of play, Sounders FC all-time leading scorer Fredy Montero bagged his 79th goal in all competitions for the Rave Green. The Colombian remains the club’s all-time leading scorer, four tallies ahead of teammate Raúl Ruidíaz.
  • Goalkeeper Stefan Frei achieved a major career milestone tonight, making two saves and passing Jon Busch for the fourth-most saves in MLS history (1,152). Frei has been an ironman for Sounders FC since joining the club in 2014, and recently he broke Osvaldo Alonso’s club record in the MLS era for career starts across all competitions. Frei still trails Alonso’s club record for all-competitions appearances (339). He is also first in MLS in shutouts so far this season with seven.
  • After being officially signed to the First Team on Tuesday, Sounders FC Academy product Cody Baker made his first start at Lumen Field for the club on Wednesday night. The Issaquah native started his first match for the club on May 13 at Houston after making his Major League Soccer debut as a substitute on May 7 vs. Sporting Kansas City (via short-term agreements). Baker started 25 of his 40 appearances for MLS NEXT Pro side Tacoma Defiance since 2021. 
  • Head Coach Brian Schmetzer returned to the same starting XI that defeated Houston 1-0 last weekend, with Stefan Frei in goal, alongside Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Jackson Ragen and Cody Baker playing across the backline. The midfield was anchored by João Paulo and Albert Rusnák in the middle, with Jordan Morris and Dylan Teves playing on the flanks. Héber played up front as the lone forward.
  • Entering the match as a substitute in the 60th minute, Léo Chú returned from the injury report following a brief bout with a midfoot sprain suffered during the Sporting KC match on May 7. Through 12 regular-season matches played, the Brazilian has five assists and one goal in 2023.
  • Nouhou also made his return to the team following a bout with illness, entering the match in the 84th minute of play. The Cameroonian international last appeared for Sounders FC on April 15 at Portland.
  • Austin FC forward Gyasi Zardes netted his sixth goal against Sounders FC dating back to 2013 in all competitions. The California native previously played for the LA Galaxy (2013-2017) and the Columbus Crew (2018-2022). Zardes’ five regular-season goals against the Rave Green are tied for sixth all-time amongst opposing goal-scorers.
  • Former Sounders FC forward Will Bruin returned to Lumen Field for the first time since departing the club this past offseason, coming into the game in the 83rd minute. Bruin scored 32 goals in 152 appearances across all competitions for the Rave Green from 2017 through 2022. The 13-year MLS veteran is in his first season with Austin.


Seattle Sounders FC 1 – Austin FC 2

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Venue: Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field

Referee: Rosendo Mendoza

Assistants: Kyle Atkins, Chris Wattam

Fourth Official: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt

VAR: Younes Marrakchi

Attendance: 30,026

Weather: 73 degrees and clear


ATX – Ethan Finlay (Adam Lundkvist, Emiliano Rigoni) 36’

ATX – Gyasi Zardes (Ethan Finlay, Jon Gallagher) 57’

SEA – Fredy Montero (Héber, Jordan Morris) 79’


ATX – Dani Pereira (caution) 74’

ATX – Will Bruin (caution) 90’+1’


Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar, Jackson Ragen, Cody Baker (Nouhou 84’); João Paulo, Albert Rusnák (Josh Atencio 71’), Dylan Teves (Léo Chú 60’), Nico Lodeiro (Fredy Montero 71’), Jordan Morris; Héber

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Xavier Arreaga, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Sota Kitahara, Reed Baker-Whiting

Total shots: 13

Shots on goal: 4

Fouls: 5

Offside: 3

Corner-Kicks: 8

Saves: 2

Austin FC – Brad Stuver; Leo Vaisanen, Jon Gallagher, Adam Lundkvist, Aleksandar Radovanovic (Nick Lima 61’); Jhojan Valencia, Dani Pereira, Alex Ring; Emiliano Rigoni, Gyasi Zardes (Will Bruin 83’), Ethan Finlay (Diego Fagundez 90’)

Substitutes not used: Matt Bersano, Kipp Keller, Hector Jimenez, CJ Fodrey, Sofiane Djeffal, David Rodriguez

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