AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC slumped to a second consecutive 3-0 defeat as they were well beaten by the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.

Verde couldn’t overcome the absence of star player Sebastian Driussi – who was sidelined with a minor knee problem, but made a late cameo off the bench – against a hungry Sounders side fighting for a playoff berth.

Austin has now lost three straight matches, conceding eight goals in that run and scoring just once, but remain second in the Western Conference. Despite missing a chance to clinch a playoff spot, they remain highly likely to host a playoff match at Q2 Stadium.

On a night where head coach Josh Wolff might have hoped to regain some confidence, Verde instead ran into a buzz saw at Lumen Field.

Since winning the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this season – becoming the first MLS club to take the continental trophy home – Seattle’s league form has been below their typical high standards, but they played like a team fighting for their playoff lives Saturday.

Seattle Sounders midfielder Josh Atencio (84) kicks the ball past Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, left, during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Sounders took the lead after 12 minutes. Nicolas Lodeiro picked out Raul Ruidiaz and the Peruvian marksman made no mistake, firing high past Austin keeper Brad Stuver from six yards out.

Austin responded well to going behind but most of their attacks fizzled out without the creativity and incisiveness that Driussi brings to the side, and Ruidiaz’s second goal removed any momentum that Austin were picking up.

Jordan Morris beat Ruben Gabrielsen in a race to a through ball and centered for Ruidiaz, who calmly finished a chance that was even simpler than his first goal.

Austin had a chance for an instant response, but Julio Cascante poked a shot agonizingly wide from point blank range after Ethan Finlay did well to cut the ball back across the Seattle goal.

Wolff made a triple substitution after half time in a valiant attempt to get back into the game, but Seattle added a third goal when Gabrielsen headed a Sounders free kick into his own net.

Austin’s final chance fell to Diego Fagundez, but he couldn’t direct Emiliano Rigoni’s dangerous cross on target, wrapping up a frustrating night for the visitors.

Driussi made a late substitute appearance, but it was too late to inspire his side as Austin slipped to another defeat.

If there’s a bright side for ATXFC, it’s that they don’t have to wait long to attempt to make amends. They are back in MLS action on Wednesday, returning to Q2 Stadium to host Real Salt Lake.