KANSAS CITY (KXAN) — Austin FC was on the brink of making Major League Soccer history Sunday night until a second half send-off derailed a 1-0 halftime lead.
Team captain Alex Ring was sent off after receiving a second yellow and subsequent red card for a bad foul in the 65th minute, leaving Austin FC down a man for a majority of the second half.
Austin FC couldn’t withstand the oncoming Sporting Kansas City barrage on net, falling 2-1 for the second loss of the season. If Austin FC would’ve made Jon Gallagher’s goal in the seventh minute hold up, the franchise would’ve matched the best start for an expansion team in franchise history.
Austin FC’s head coach Josh Wolff was struggling with the red card decision after the match.
“The red card changes everything. Is it a red card? I’m still trying to figure out. The ref said it was a reckless challenge and it wasn’t for accumulation, so I had a tough time seeing it as a reckless challenge. It was a foul and, obviously, it was a second yellow and it changed the whole dynamic of the game. I think there was a big result there for us,” Wolff said.
Instead — Austin FC will leave Kansas City wondering what might have been. Austin stays on six points out of a possible 12 and drops to eighth in the Western Conference standings.
Sporting KC peppered Austin FC keeper Brad Stuver with shot after shot in the final 30 minutes. They finally broke through on a corner in the 82nd minute, knotting the game at 1-1.
Eight minutes later, Sporting KC grabbed the lead right as the two sides headed into seven minutes of stoppage time.
Gadi Kinda deflected a header past a diving Stuver’s reach for the game-winning goal.
Chris Bils for The Striker Texas called the match a “banger,” saying Sporting KC is “famous for having these late goals at home.”
As for where Austin FC sits in the standings, Bils says they’re in great shape through four matches.
For the second straight week, Austin FC started the match with a forward focus.
Gallagher gave the visiting side a 1-0 lead, finishing in the box in the seventh minute after a beautiful ball from Jared Stroud that allowed him to break free through the Sporting KC defense.
Austin FC continues its eight-game road trip to start the season next Saturday, May 15 at the LA Galaxy. Kick off is at 2:30 p.m. on Univision (national broadcast).
CW Austin TV home for regional coverage of Austin FC
The CW Austin, KNVA, will be the television home for Austin FC soccer for both the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The channel will air a majority of Austin FC’s regional telecasts for the next two years.