After two matches on the road, Austin FC returns home to play in front of another boisterous crowd at Q2 Stadium on Wednesday night against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Verde and Black have quickly developed one of the most passionate fan bases in Major League Soccer and that ferocity will be on display once more as Josh Wolff’s men take the field against their Western Conference opposition.
Austin FC Outlook
Austin traveled to the Rocky Mountains over the weekend and faced off against Real Salt Lake. Though Josh Wolff’s side didn’t lack for effort or grit, RSL were able to come away with a 1-0 win at home.
The Verde & Black controlled much of the run of play throughout the match, even after Julio Cascante was shown a controversial red card at the start of the second half. Bobby Wood scored the lone goal of the match in the first half and the home side held on for three points.
ATXFC could be without two key contributors for Wednesday’s match. Žan Kolmanič and Sebastián Driussi left Saturday’s match with injuries and their statuses will be dependent on how they respond to treatment in the coming days.
On the positive side, Moussa Djitté began participating in full-team training starting this week. The striker was signed in late June to provide some punch in the attack, but only arrived in Austin last week following finalization of his visa and ITC.
Vancouver enters the match against Austin having drawn each of its last five matches. The Whitecaps are on a six-game unbeaten run and currently sit one point ahead of Austin in the Western Conference standings.
The British Columbian side have struggled to score for much of the season -- scoring just 19 goals in 18 matches -- and will be without the services of Canadian international striker Lucas Cavallini, who is out with a knee injury.
One player who could alleviate those issues is Ryan Gauld. The Scottish playmaker was signed two weeks ago and has made two substitute appearances so far. The Austin defense will be aiming to keep him under wraps if Marc Dos Santos inserts him into the starting XI for the first time.
Probable Vancouver Lineup
(4-2-3-1, R-L) - GK: Maxime Crepeau; Bruno Gaspar, Ranko Veselinovic, Andy Rose, Jake Nerwinski; Russell Teibert, Janio Bikel; Cristian Dajome, Ryan Gauld, Deiber Caicedo; Brian White