After two straight on the road, Austin FC return to the rowdy and welcoming confines of Q2 Stadium for their next three matches. First up is a midweek contest against LAFC (8-6-9, 30 points), a club jockeying for playoff position heading into the season’s final stretch.
LAFC has secured two consecutive 2-0 results against Austin FC in 2021. The first coming in Austin FC’s Inaugural Match back on April 17 and the second coming in LAFC’s first visit to the state capital on July 7. This time around, they’ll face an Austin FC squad that looks a little different following the summer transfer window.
AUSTIN FC OUTLOOK
Austin FC were shutout for the first time in five matches after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Houston Dynamo on the road over the weekend.
But the Verde & Black have been hotter at home since the end of that summer transfer window and the arrival of Sebastián Driussi. In ATXFC’s last four home matches, the Club has averaged 2.5 goals per game. Driussi started the last three of those, scoring or assisting on four goals across those fixtures.
As for Wednesday’s lineup, Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff has already made clear his intentions. After a poor performance from his side and three games in 11 days looking ahead, fans can expect to see some rotation when the Starting XI takes the field at Q2 Stadium.
This three-game run at Q2 Stadium is Austin’s last, longest homestand of the Inaugural Season. Every California MLS team will be making a pitstop: LAFC (Sept. 15), San Jose Earthquakes (Sept. 18) and LA Galaxy (Sept. 26).
LAFC look to be on the verge of hitting their stride. The Black & Gold kicked off September with two big home wins against stronger Western Conference sides. They took down Sporting KC 4-0 on Sept. 3, and just followed it up on Sunday, Sept. 12 with a 3-2 win against Real Salt Lake.
Leading the charge for LAFC has been Cristian Arango, who was named MLS Player the Week for his two-goal performance against RSL. He also scored in LAFC’s two previous games, for a running total of four in his last three matches.
The 26-year-old was signed from Colombia’s Millonarios on Aug. 2. Much like Austin FC’s signing of Sebastián Driussi, the summer transfer has provided the missing spark LAFC needed in the attack, with Carlos Vela sidelined to injury and Diego Rossi loaned to Turkey’s Fenerbahce.
But while LAFC’s offense has rounded into form, the defense has grown vulnerable. In the club’s last 10 matches, they’re averaging an allowance of two goals per game. LAFC allowed half that, just one goal per match, through the first 13 contests of the season.