After what seemed like a very long two weeks off, Austin FC is finally back in action this weekend. If you remember, Austin began the international break on a blissful two-home game win streak.
Meanwhile, Minnesota’s coach, Adrian Heath, returns to the ATX (where he led former USL squad Austin Aztex) desperate to keep the Loons above the playoff cutoff line during these vanishing days of the 2021 MLS season.
The two week break should’ve served as time for the Verde to reflect on the team’s strengths (and mistakes) from the last match, in which Austin beat Real Salt Lake 2-1. In that game, we saw great holdup play from Djitte, while Dominguez’s two goals sent fans into hysteria with his ability to sniff out goal opportunities and perfectly time his runs into the box.
Currently, Minnesota sits 7th in the Western conference standings, clinging on to a playoff spot — just one-point ahead of Vancouver. This could play-out with the Verde in the role of spoilers. It’s always invigorating for a side to give a great performance against playoff contenders as it can galvanize the locker room down-the-line.
Moving the ball from out the back will serve as a challenge as the Loons sit 7th in the league in terms of pressing up the pitch. It should serve as a warning to Austin to make sure to be more direct in play.
Players to watch out for wearing the blue and gray are midfielder Emmanuel Reynoso and forward Franco Fragapane, who leads MLS in assists per-game. Franco will likely be a pivotal part in Minnesota’s chances for this Saturday’s opponents.
1-0 win for the Verde. We bring it full circle with the same score Austin beat the Loons by in their third game ever on May 1. It’ll be difficult and the game will lie in the midfield (talking to you Poche). I can see the winner coming after halftime with a battle to the end for 3-points at home.
Coach Wolff’s Quote
On this stretch of three games starting with Minnesota “I expect a full complement of players to be available given that you have enough of a break between each of the games to get recovered (obviously, we’ll have to see where guys are physically), but I don’t expect nearly as much roster rotation.”
We think the last home match vs Real Salt Lake featured Austin FC’s strongest starting XI to date. Let’s keep the roster rotation to a minimum after recent positive results from these boys. Dani Pereira suspended for today’s match due to yellow card accumulation.
Player Injury Report (Official)
- OUT: Danny Hoesen (Left Hip)
- OUT: Aaron Schoenfeld (Left Knee)
- OUT: Ulises Segura (Left Knee)
- OUT: Ben Sweat (ACL)
- OUT: Matt Besler (Concussion)
Austin FC vs. Minnesota United at Q2 Stadium, Saturday (10/16), 8:00 p.m. Come early to this one because the first 10,000 fans receive a FREE limited edition YETI x Austin FC hat.
- TV: The CW Austin, UniMas Austin
- Streaming: Austin FC app
- Radio: Alt 97.5FM
Going to the game? Check out these transportation options to the stadium. There’s also plenty of watch parties around town, if you didn’t score tickets but want a fun atmosphere with fellow Verde fans.