Austin FC vs. Nashville SC preview: Goal-scorers delight in the (other) Music City

Austin FC vs. Nashville SC September 3, 2022
Austin FC vs. Nashville SC on September 3, 2022

Austin FC had to put off a playoff berth-clinching victory lap after falling 2-1 to Portland on Wednesday. The silver lining on the rain-soaked night was Golden Boot frontrunner Sebastián Driussi becoming the first player in the league to reach 20 goals this season.

Verde fans were also treated to Emiliano Rigoni getting his first minutes for Austin FC, playing the final half-hour against the Timbers. (With Ethan Finlay refusing to go quietly from the starting XI, we expect Rigoni to get similar minutes going forward.)

Thankfully the Verde & Black are back on the road again, just the way they like it. ATX heads to that other Music City to take on conference newcomers Nashville SC.

The biggest storyline in this matchup is a Sebastián Driussi vs. Hany Mukhtar head-to-head battle for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award. League scriptwriters clearly knew what they were doing as these teams play each other twice in the final five weeks of the season.

On the cusp of clinching a berth in the MLS Playoffs, it shouldn’t take much for Coach Wolff to light a fire in the belly of Austin FC players. ATX winning in Nashville on Saturday is the shortest route for the Oaks to secure their first-ever playoff spot (and home-field advantage). If Austin ties this match, there are several scenarios where they can still clinch the playoffs.

Austin has not played Nashville SC this season.

Tale of the Tape

  • Austin FC  2nd in the Western Conference (60 GF/ 39 GA, +21)
  • Nashville SC – 5th in the Western Conference (45 GF/ 37 GA, +8)
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Austin FC vs. Nashville SC Kickoff

Scouting Report

The newest member of the Western Conference, Nashville SC, has had a pretty rocky start in its first year. But, in the past three games the Coyotes have decimated opponents, outscoring them 11-1 in these matches, and now sit in 5th place.

A big part of Nashville’s fortunes is German goal-scoring powerhouse Hany Mukhtar, fresh off being named MLS Player of the Week after his hat trick vs. Colorado on Wednesday.

Mukhtar will not have midfielder Randall Leal to feed him balls though, due to a suspension from yellow card accumulation. Forwards Teal Bunbury and Aké Loba are also questionable for Saturday’s match.

U.S. internationals Walker Zimmerman and Shaq Moore anchor a defense that’s given up two fewer goals (37) than Austin this season.

Score Prediction

We expect nothing but goals on goals on goals between these two teams rostering the top two most dangerous attackers in MLS. At the end of 90′, it’ll be Austin that pulls through with a mighty chip on their shoulder after losing to lowly Portland. Road games don’t scare ATX and we expect it to be a walk in GEODIS Park on Saturday.

Final Score:
Austin FC – 4
Nashville SC – 2

Odds: Austin +250 and Nashville -110. A draw is priced at +280.

Injury Report

  • OUT: Freddy Kleemann (left knee)
  • OUT: Maxi Urruti (right hamstring)

Kit Matchup

Austin FC hit the road in Verde & Black vs. Nashville. STUUU dons the red kit. Plan for TN accordingly.

How to watch Austin FC

Austin FC will play Nashville SC at GEODIS Park — 7:38 p.m. (CT) kickoff on Sept 3.

  • Tickets: SeatGeek (Use code CAPCITYSOCCER for $20 off your first purchase.)
  • TV: The CW Austin
  • Streaming: AustinFC.com, Austin FC app, UniMas.com (Spanish, Delayed), ESPN+ (out of market)
  • Radio: KASE-FM (Alt 97.5), KLQB-FM (104.3-HD2)

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