Austin FC (6-1-2) opens its May schedule at Q2 Stadium against LA Galaxy (5-3-1) on Sunday.
Last week’s derby win was good for the squad’s locker room morale, coming back on the road in a rivalry match. It also added some separation in overall points between 2nd-place Austin and the rest of the pack in the western table—specifically the Galaxy, which sits in 3rd place, four points behind Los Verdes.
It’s a dangerous California side, albeit one that looks beatable lately. The club has tallied one whole goal in its last three MLS matches. In comparison, the Verde & Black have rung up eight goals in that same span of games. It’s no secret Austin has been on a blistering pace, earning a whopping 13 of 15 possible points in April.
May is a much more perilous journey, facing a gauntlet of matches against teams ranked 4th, 5th, 1st, 3rd, and 4th (Galaxy again), respectively. Winning Sunday’s game to kick off the month is the difference between sinking into mediocrity and planting your flag at the top of the table.
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Austin FC vs LA Galaxy Kickoff
About the Opponent
Los Angeles is coming off of a tough 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake. In that match, Galaxy had a problem simply finishing their chances. That has been a recurring issue over their last couple of matches as they were only able to score one goal in the past three regular season games.
That lack of goal-scoring form is surprising to some due to the talent they have in the attack. While they are star-studded offensively, the thing that has sustained them recently has been their defense. They currently rank fourth in the league in terms of the lowest number of goals conceded.
Offensively, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, the Mexican legend, is third in MLS goal scoring. He’s the de facto leader of the squad and will be one of the keys for them offensively.
The other players worth mentioning are Brazilian Douglas Costa and young Mexican international Efrain Alvarez. Costa brings experience as a former Brazilian national teamer. His flair and abilities to create are things that Austin has to keep tabs on. Alvarez adds that dribbling and ability to play off of Chicharito.
They will be trying to get the ball past Andrew Tarbell between the posts. The ATX goalkeeper made a splash against Houston with some key saves, after coming in cold after Brad Stuver’s knee injury.
A defensive note: Galaxy acquired defender Chase Gasper from Minnesota United on Wednesday at the close of the MLS transfer window.
This is an early-season Western Conference top-of-the-table clash. A win will prove how good Austin is to doubting MLS pundits, like ExtraTime’s Andrew Wiebe, who have thus far labeled Verde victories as “bonus games”.
This weekend’s nationally-televised match against LA Galaxy comes down to which team’s best players will show out. Driussi Dior vs. Chicharito. Wolff will need to come up with a way to use Pereira to marginalize Galaxy’s attacking quality, while getting Fagundez and Driussi working effectively together up top to make magic.
Austin FC – 2
LA Galaxy – 1
OUT – Freddy Kleeman (ACL)
OUT – Brad Stuver (Knee Laceration)
ATXFC will host the Los Angeles Galaxy at Q2 stadium at 6:00 pm on May 8, 2022. Actual kickoff is 6:25 pm, since it’s a nationally-televised game.
- Tickets: SeatGeek (Use code CAPCITYSOCCER for $20 off your first purchase.)
- TV: FS1, Fox Deportes
- Radio: KASE-FM(Alt 97.5), KLQB-FM (104.3-HD2)
Going to the game? Check out these transportation options to the stadium.
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