Match Recap

RECAP: Sounders battle Austin FC to scoreless draw in home opener

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The Seattle Sounders played to a scoreless draw with Austin FC at Lumen Field on Saturday night in their 2024 MLS home-opener. Seattle was on the front foot from the get-go and outshot Austin 23-3.

The Sounders dominated the first half, owning possession and putting Austin under constant pressure.

Jackson Ragen had a chance in the 21st minute on a header off a cross from Alex Roldan from a corner, but the hulking center back put his chance over the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Léo Chú nearly opened the scoring when he whipped in a right-footed shot from the left side of the box that just barely flew over the bar.

Josh Atencio was close to finding the opener in the 52nd minute when he fizzed a shot from the top of the box that just missed the far post.

Raúl Ruidíaz entered the match for Pedro de la Vega in the 63rd minute and nearly opened his 2024 account two minutes later with a left-footed shot on a half-volley that rattled off the side of the net.

Jordan Morris had a look in the 72nd minute when his header on a cross from Ragen floated wide.

In the 75th minute, Ruidíaz sent a cross to Roldan at the back post and the right back’s first-time pass found Morris, whose header was blocked. Obed Vargas’ attempt on the ensuing scrum was also blocked.

Atencio had a great opportunity in the 77th minute when he headed a cross from Nouhou to the far corner, but goalkeeper Brad Stuver dove to parry it away.

Chú lined up a left-footed shot from the edge of the box in the 80th minute, but Stuver punched it away again.

Ruidíaz had the best chance of the match in the second minute of stoppage time when his one-timed effort rang off the crossbar.

Ruidíaz had another chance two minutes later on a one-timer from the top of the box, but it was deflected over the crossbar for a corner.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

De la Vega’s first start

After coming off the bench in the second half to make his first club appearance last week, offseason Young Designated Player signing de la Vega earned his first Sounders start on Saturday. The 23-year-old Argentine was incisive for 60 minutes as the No. 10 in Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s 4-2-3-1 formation and had the freedom to roam all over the pitch.

Defensive dominance

After conceding twice last week, the Sounders earned their first clean sheet of the season, showing yet again why they were one of the best defensive units in MLS last year. They held Austin to just three shots on the night and only 0.1 Expected Goals.

East coast trip

The Sounders will head to Philadelphia to take on the Union at Subaru Park (4:30 p.m. PT; Watch on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM). This will be the first meeting between the two sides since 2019.

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