Austin FC looks to pick up where it left off when it plays host to Inter Miami CF on Sunday.
The Verde started their season with a five-goal shellacking of FC Cincinnati. Austin showed no mercy and no sign of having trouble finishing goals inside the 18-yard box — a lingering weakness last season.
Showing that the club can put the ball in back of the net (off set pieces too!) is something that they can take into this week’s game. Optimism will be high on Sunday afternoon at Q2 Stadium.
There are two sides to the coin though.
At the end of the day, that big Week 1 win was to perennial wooden spoon holder Cincy. This match will be an opportunity to show that the club has finishing form against a more potent Inter side, themselves hungry to get into the win column.
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ATX vs MIA MATCH KICKOFF
About the Opponent
Inter Miami is coming off a nil-nil draw against Chicago Fire last weekend and will look to get their first goal of the season in Austin. In last week’s game, they got bitten by the poor finishing bug. Every shot they had on target was saved by young Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina.
There was major turnover on Miami’s squad in the offseason due to roster penalties they incurred for MLS rule violations. They’ve seemed to bounce back though, bringing in some formidable names for 2022.
Notably, Leonardo Campana, on loan from Premier League’s Wolverhampton Wonderers, and Jean Mota from Santos. The most notable transaction to U.S. soccer fans is the acquisition of USMNT right-back DeAndre Yedlin.
With all the movements in and out of their team, one of the most important players for The Herons is captain, and midfield anchor, Gregore. Not only is he a formidable presence in the center, but he is one of the only impact players left from last year. With new players assembled around him, he’ll be crucial to maintaining coach Phil Neville’s brand of futbol.
New signing Mota is likely to partner with Gregore in an attempt to control the center against ATXFC’s potent attack.
The outcome of this game lies in the midfield. Miami’s Gregore will be disrupting plays and also starting their attacks by playing line-breaking passes. It will be up to Alex Ring and Dani Pereira to counter in the middle for ATX.
Austin’s revamped defensive backline will also get a much tougher test this week.
We’re talking about them stopping the most recognized player on the pitch, former Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain. The prolific striker is going on his second season at Inter and looking to tear up MLS in 2022.
The Verde need to find ways to create spaces in their midfield to sculpt out their opportunities. If they can just stick to their game plan, then Austin will be heavy favorites to win the match.
Inter Miami 0
Predicted Starting XI
The lineup worked to perfection last match. Gabrielsen won’t be happy to ride the bench for a second straight time behind youngster Kipp Keller.
The team will debut its new mint Sentimiento kit against Miami.
Player Injury Report
Austin FC kicks off against Inter Miami CF on Sunday, March 6 at 3pm in Q2 Stadium. Gates open at 1:30pm. The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a FREE hat from game sponsor YETI.
- Tickets: buy via SeatGeek (Use code CAPCITYSOCCER for $20 off your first purchase.)
- TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
- Streaming: Austin FC app, AustinFC.com
- Radio: KASE-FM(Alt 97.5), KLQB-FM (104.3-HD2)
Going to the game? Check out these transportation options to the stadium. For grub at the stadium, look no further than our stadium food guide.
(Cover Photo Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)
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