Austin FC II will make the trip up to Rock Chalk Park to face Sporting KC II in the first round of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. ATXFC II’s first-ever playoff match will take place on Friday, September 29 at 7 p.m. CT.
ATXFC II’s first-ever road match was at Rock Chalk Park back on April 12, when ATXFC II and SKC II played to a 1-1 draw as Alfonso Ocampo-Chávez scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute. SKC II handed Austin their second home loss of the season on August 25, claiming a 2-1 victory.
Austin FC II Outlook
The Verde & Black now enter postseason play after finishing fourth in the Western Conference standings. ATXFC II posted a regular season record of 12-7-9, totaling 49 points in their inaugural season.
ATXFC II fell to North Texas SC in the final match of the MLSNP regular season, suffering their first road loss in their last seven away fixtures. Sébastien Pineau scored his seventh goal in the 69th minute to finish the season as the Verde & Black’s top goal-scorer.
During the regular season, Austin proved to be the best defensive team in the league. ATXFC II conceded a league-low 23 goals and had the best save percentage (76.8 percent) after the 28 regular season matches. In order to advance to the Semifinals, Austin must limit the strong attack of Sporting KC II, as the team scored 10 goals in its four September matches.
Sporting KC II Outlook
Sporting KC II secured third place in the Western Conference standings and chose Austin FC II as their opponent in the MLSNP selection format. The hosts finished with a 13-9-6 record while also totaling 49 points on the season.
On Decision Day, SKC II played to a 1-1 draw against St. Louis CITY2 and won the subsequent shootout 4-3. The team posted a record of 1-2-1 during September.
SKC II is one of the most potent attacking teams in the league, having scored 60 goals, which is tied for the second-highest in the league. They finished the season as the league leaders in shots (451) and key passes (314), and second in assists (40) in the Western Conference. SKC II held a home record of 7-4-3 during the regular season and have won their last five games in Lawrence.
How to Watch
The first-round Western Conference matchup of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs will be available to watch on the Apple TV app to MLS Season Pass subscribers.