The Seattle Sounders defeated Austin FC 1-0 on Thursday night at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Raúl Ruidíaz, who was rested for rotation to start the match, came on in the 53rd minute and needed only 14 minutes to bag the match-winner with one of the most audacious and beautiful goals of the many he’s scored in his Sounders career.

Ruidíaz collected a loose ball from 41 yards out, saw goalkeeper Brad Stuver off his line and buried a half-volley for the lone goal of the evening. He now owns the MLS Golden Boot lead with 11.

Austin defender Julio Cascante thought he had equalized in the 77th minute, but his headed goal off a free kick was called back for offside after Video Review.

The Sounders were missing 10 players due to injuries, international call-ups and suspensions and called in four Tacoma Defiance players via MLS’ Extreme Hardship rule. Samuel Adeniran, Obed Vargas, Juan Alvarez and Alex Villanueva were all eligible, with Adeniran and Vargas earning starts.

Seattle had the best chance of the first half when Reed Baker-Whiting was denied by Brad Stuver from close range in the 32nd minute.

Austin’s other best chance came in the 52nd minute when Alex Ring had a free header from six yards out that he put right into the chest of goalkeeper Spencer Richey.

The Sounders leave Texas with three points and are first in the Supporters’ Shield standings with 32 points from 15 matches.

GOLAZO: Raúl Ruidíaz scores a stunner from 40 yards at Austin FC


MLS History

The Sounders became the first team in MLS history on Thursday to start five teenagers in a match. Josh Atencio (19), Danny Leyva (18), Ethan Dobbelaere (18), Baker-Whiting (16) and Vargas (15) all got the nod with heavy rotation from Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. The starting lineup was the second-youngest in MLS history. Only the 2004 MetroStars started a younger XI.

RBW Shines

Baker-Whiting made his first MLS start and did not look out of place at all. He was strong playing in attacking midfield under Adeniran, who was also called up from Tacoma Defiance as part of the Extreme Hardship rule, and had some beautiful looks in the attacking third.

All Eyes on Sporting Kansas City

The Sounders will finish their three-match week at home at Lumen Field on Sunday (6 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS) for a huge clash atop the Western Conference with Sporting KC. The Sounders and SKC enter the weekend first and second, respectively, in the West and will play for three massive points.

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