Austin FC II won their first away match of the season against Timbers2 in Portland, Oregon last Sunday, claiming three points thanks to an early goal from David Rodríguez. Three out of the Verde & Black’s four matches in May will be played away from Parmer Field at St. David’s Performance Center after only having two away fixtures in their first seven contests. Despite the challenge of playing the road, ATXFC II has picked up a win and two draws on its travels thus far.
“I think it’s a matter of routine,” said Head Coach Brett Uttley of what it takes to be successful away from home. “A lot changes for the players, in terms of their preparation and their routines that they have off the field. We talk about how we want to be able to show our way, regardless of where we’re playing.”
In the past two away games, the Verde & Black have been the first to score. During the match against Timbers2, ATXFC II managed to score their earliest goal of the season, with Rodríguez finding the back of the net in just the 4th minute.
“I thought we started the game really well,” said Uttley on the match in Portland. “It’s always a positive boost to start off the game with an early goal, especially when you’re on the road. I thought in the first half we had a lot of opportunities to score even more goals. We were sticking true to our identity of how we wanted to play the game, which I’m really proud of.”
Visiting other teams' grounds provides an invaluable chance to learn, particularly for a young and evolving team both on and off the pitch. ATXFC II has maintained an unbeaten record in their initial three away matches, securing five points while on the road. Those points have proven crucial to ATXFC II continuing to occupy a place near the top of the table.
“We talk a lot about how we can continue to improve,” said Uttley. “We can’t control what the opposition is going to do but we talk to the players about the clear ideas we have – when we have the ball and when we don’t have the ball. We really try to focus on ourselves and just keep building. We lay one brick at a time and keep the team moving in the right direction.”
The upcoming game on Sunday with Colorado Rapids 2 showcases the two leading teams in the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference, with both teams unbeaten and tied on 19 points.
“Colorado is a really good team,” Uttley said on the upcoming matchup. “I think it’s going to be a really great opportunity and a good test for us to see where we’re at this year. Going away from home, playing in altitude, it’s going to be a really great opportunity and we’re all looking forward to it.”