PachucaPreview

In the midst of a three-week period without any MLS matches, Austin FC is set to host Liga MX opposition for an international friendly at Q2 Stadium for the second time this year (and third time overall) on Saturday night, when the Club welcomes C.F. Pachuca to Q2 Stadium (kickoff 8 p.m. CT). The match will not be televised or streamed.

In its last match against a Mexican team, Austin came back to draw 1-1 with Atlas FC, who won both the most recent Apertura and Clausura titles in Liga MX. A draw won't be possible this time out though - If the scoreline finishes level against Pachuca, the match will be decided by a penalty kick shootout.

Saturday’s match is an opportunity for the Verde & Black to earn its first victory against international opposition, and to stay sharp for a busy stretch of MLS matches through late June and early July.

Austin FC Outlook

Through 14 weeks of the season, Austin FC’s improvement from its inaugural campaign has been remarkable. The team sits in fourth place in the Western Conference with a record of 7-3-4, and has the second-most goals scored of any Club in MLS.

Looking ahead at the schedule, Austin will play 5 of its next 7 games away, including three against Eastern Conference opponents and three against Texas rivals Houston and Dallas. The international break has been a chance to rest, reset, and prepare for that challenging stretch.

Copa Tejas - the fan-created trophy awarded to the team with the most points from intra-Texas matchups in a season - will be won in July, with ATXFC having already won their first meeting with Houston this season back on April 30. The Verde & Black will face the Dynamo at home on July 12, sandwiched between matches against FC Dallas on June 25 (home) and July 16 (away).

Facing opposition with the quality of Pachuca will test Austin’s squad while helping maintain match fitness and focus ahead of a crowded fixture list. With ATXFC (and the rest of MLS) set to begin playing competitive matches against Liga MX teams through the new format of the Leagues Cup beginning in 2023, both sides will be eager to see how they measure up against one another.

CF Pachuca Outlook

Pachuca wrapped up its Liga MX Clausura campaign at the end of May, narrowly losing the final to Atlas by a 3-2 aggregate scoreline after topping the table through the 17-match initial stage.

Los Tuzos have been one of North America’s most successful clubs since 1998, winning six Liga MX titles, five Concacaf Champions League/Cup titles, and the 2007 North American SuperLiga. In 2006, the club became the first Concacaf team to win a CONMEBOL tournament, lifting the Copa Sudamericana.

Guillermo Almada is the team’s manager, an Uruguayan with decades of experience playing and coaching professionally throughout the Americas. Nicolás Ibáñez, who joined from Atlético de Madrid in the summer of 2021, was the team’s top scorer. Other names to watch for include Victor Guzmán, Avilés Hurtado, and Oscar Ustari.

With no competitive fixtures until the Liga MX Apertura season returns in July, the match will be something of a signoff on last season for Pachuca.