Player Performances After Matchday 18: Austin FC vs FC Dallas

Austin rebounded to start the second half of the season against a depleted Dallas squad as they took a 3-0 victory. The game came after a 90 minute weather delay. But many fans stuck around to support the Verde and Black.

The main surprise to the Starting XI was Josh Wolff going with Ethan Finlay over Emiliano Rigoni. And as we will talk about later, this decision paid off.

The other noticeable change was with the absence of Alex Ring who was ruled out on the injury report, Aleksandar Radovanovic got the start alongside Julio Cascante, Nick lima, and Jon Gallagher on that backline.

Starting XI vs FC Dallas

Owen Wolff also returned back from international duty, it was nice seeing him back on the pitch for us.

Who Is Stepping Up?

Ethan Finlay stepped up as he scored a goal in the 17th minute and had an assist on another. He made a case on why he should be looked at as maybe a starter going forward and not just an asset coming off of the bench.

He is back. Diego Fagundez had a golazo in the 42nd minute as he floated it right over the keepers head. He was very active in attack as he finished with five shots on the night.

The backline held the depleted FC Dallas attack at bay with very solid defense. I could put all four defenders on here, but the ones that stood out the most was Nick Lima and Julio Cascante.

Lima was winning balls, making recoveries, and pushing the ball into the attack. He even had an assist on the night. Cascante was a machine as he was 3/4 ground duels and 3/3 aerial duels. He also did really well completing the long ball, he went 10/14 on long ball completions throughout the night.

Dani Pereria deserves to be on the list as he started just a few nights after playing a pivotal role for his international club Venezuela. He seems to have a motor that just doesn’t stop and he continues to be a staple on this team.

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Who Is Dropping Off?

The only players I felt didn’t step up on the night were players who came off of the bench. Which means Coach Wolff got the starting XI right. Something that he has received criticism on through much of the season.

Emiliano Rigoni came on in the 81st minute with fresh legs and looked to not bring anything to the table. This is specifically not good, given how Finlay performed. One moment that stands out is on a wide-open breakaway Rigoni just whiffed it to Maarten Paes for an easy end to the attack.

And in a similiar fashion Maxi Urruti came on in the 73rd minute for Gyasi Zardes. Zardes scored the third goal on the night as this was his first goal coming off of his feet as an Austin striker. Urruti wasn’t able to make the Dallas defense pay in his few chances. The gap on who should start between Zardes and Urruti is getting bigger in my eyes.

Austin FC host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in another Copa Tejas match from Q2 Stadium. How are you feeling about our chances to beat Houston? Is the third time the charm?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Cover image courtesy Apple TV

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