After a productive offseason, Austin FC begin their 2022 campaign with a clash at home against FC Cincinnati.
It’s already looking much different than last year, when the club played eight straight away matches before stepping foot in Q2 Stadium.
The roster will be different too. Eight new players joined ATXFC in the offseason. Several of them are expected to start on Day One against the Orange and Blue.
This first game will give us a hint on how the entire season might play out, so all eyes will intently be watching the performance of the Bright Verde on Saturday.
About the Opponent
FC Cincinnati is a team looking to hit the reset button under a new manager.
The club is coming back from another awful season, ending at the bottom of the Eastern conference with a lowly 20 points. Their defense gave up an eye-popping 74 goals in 2021.
Cincy is attempting to fix that by bringing in defenders Gustavo Vallecilla, from SD Aucas (Ecuador), and former Nottingham Forest player, Tyler Blackett, on a free transfer.
The defense will be something that rookie manager Pat Noonan is looking to change tactically as well. Coming off his apprenticeship under Jim Curtain at Philadelphia Union, it’s been predicted that Noonan’s system will closely mirror that of Curtain’s.
Three of the major components in Noonan’s roster will be center back Gustavo Vallecilla, midfielder Luciano Acosta, and young striker Brenner, who is in his second season at the club. With one year of MLS experience under Brenner’s belt, and veteran leadership in the attack from Acosta, this might be his break out season in the league.
Austin’s backline will need to be on high alert for the Brazilian starlet, as well as midfielder Acosta, who led Cincy in assists last season.
When comparing the sides, you see two teams trying to improve on seasons that left much to be desired. Austin’s main target from last season is to create chances and put the ball in the back of the net way more than they did last year. Holders of the wooden spoon, Cincy is the perfect first opponent of 2022 to get that Verde and Black attacking form started on the right foot.
The game ultimately lies in Austin’s players upfront. Can they turn all that possession into goals this year?
Austin FC 2
FC Cincinnati 0
Predicted Starting XI
Player Injury Report (Official)
Austin FC kicks off against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 5pm in Q2 Stadium. Gates open at 3pm. Every fan in attendance will receive a limited edition Grow The Legend rally towel, according to the club.
- Tickets: buy via SeatGeek (Use code CAPCITYSOCCER for $20 off your first purchase.)
- TV: The CW Austin, UniMás Austin (Spanish)
- Streaming: Austin FC app, AustinFC.com, Univision Austin app
- Radio: KASE-FM(Alt 97.5), KLQB-FM (104.3-HD2)
Bring your Austin FC winter gear. At kick off, the temperature is expected to be 41 degrees and cloudy, with a chance of rain.
Going to the game? Check out these transportation options to the stadium.
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