Third time is the charm as Austin FC defeats the Houston Dynamo 3-0 at Q2 Stadium. Austin played as impressive as they have looked all season against a team that gave them trouble in their two previous meetings this season.
Josh Wolff kept the same Starting XI that he put out on Wednesday against Dallas and got the same result. Wolff deserves credit for finding what looks to be his best lineup.
Coach Wolff did confirm after the match that it was the last time in verde and black for Aleksandar Radovanovic. He was on loan, which runs out at the end of June as his loan was not extended by the club.
Who Is Stepping Up?
Ethan Finlay gets the start again and shows us why he should be seen as a starter going forward. He seems to fit this team so much better than Emiliano Rigoni was. He was at the right place for a header in the 22nd minute that got the party started in Austin.
Gyasi Zardes looked to play his best game so far for ATX. He scored a header in the 32nd minute and just overall looked engaged in the attack all night.
Sebastian Driussi didn’t get his goal, but he did have a drop of a dime assist to Zardes on that header to give the team a 2-0 lead. He also was everywhere and distributing the ball well as he had a accuracy rate of 94% passing the ball going 17/18 on the night.
Julio Cascante got the third goal off of another header. He also played well in defense when needed.
The defense wasn’t needed a ton, but some crucial stops when called upon. The one that stands out the most was complete denial of an opportunity by Aleksandar Radovanovic. Houston had a breakaway chance and Rado caught up for an excellent slide tackle to deny the chance.
That was his last big moment for the club as it was his last game here. We wish him the best of luck going forward and thank him for his time and effort this season.
Brad Stuver didn’t have to step up until late but he did make some nice saves late that kept the clean sheet. Two clean sheets this week for Stu, which is not easy. He continues to show why he is a fan favorite.
Dani Pereira shows up again and explains with his performance on why he is so crucial for this team. He seems to never run out of gas, even though he has been the most worked this year for the club as he has played almost every minute and was playing for Venezuela last week.
Dani delivered a great ball to the box to Cascante who scored to go up 3-0. A really nice assist for him. But he was doing great all night and doing things he is always great at. Moving the ball up, distributing the ball, getting back on defense, etc.
Who Is Dropping Off?
This is a good problem to have. A match where it seems hard to point out who did not play well. No one on the Starting XI would I say had a poor match.
Owen Wolff was maybe the least impactful and at times seemed invisible. But he wasn’t poor.
The poorest thing I saw on the night was the fact that Radovanovic played great in that first half and then the rumors were confirmed that it was his last game for the club.
This team needs to figure out the depth at CB and figure it out quickly. Already a depleted part of this club, and losing him adds to that.
Josh Wolff said that “plates are spinning” in reference on finding a replacement. I hope that gets done quickly as we don’t have many options right now in that department.
Austin FC travels to take on Inter Miami on Saturday at 6:30. Can they make it three wins in a row for the first time this season?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Feature image courtesy Apple TV