Austin FC will again face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at Q2 Stadium as it looks to replicate the first win in Club history. Austin defeated the Rapids 3-1 on the road back on April 24.
The Verde & Black will have had nine days rest after its 1-0 loss at home to the Seattle Sounders as this match begins a stretch where the team will play six matches in 22 days.
Austin FC Outlook
It’s been a slow month for ATXFC as Josh Wolff’s team has played just three matches in the first 30 days of July. Austin’s first three matches in July all came against teams that reached the MLS Cup Playoffs last season and Saturday will be no different.
July started with a rollicking 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers, but was followed by losses to LAFC and Seattle Sounders. The offense did not score a goal in either of those matches, but that problem may soon be remedied soon with the two attacking players the Club has added this summer: third Designated Player Sebastián Driussi and Senegalese striker Moussa Djitté.
Austin’s 3-1 win back in April saw the Club’s first goals and points in MLS. Diego Fagundez scored the team’s first goal in the 60th minute and Cecilio Domínguez followed it up with a brace in just four minutes as the Verde & Black cruised to victory.
ATXFC currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference but sit just six points below the playoff line. Three points on Saturday could start a push that would put the team closer to the playoffs as the stretch run of the season begins.
Since Colorado’s loss to Austin in Week 2, head coach Robin Fraser has led his team on a strong run that sees them sit among the top four teams in the Western Conference.
The Rapids were on a four-match unbeaten run prior to its 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake over the weekend. Colorado ‘keeper William Yarbrough handed RSL a gift of an own goal to start the scoring as Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin followed that up with goals of their own. While this was an unsuccessful trip on the road, Colorado have had a solid record away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park -- averaging over a point per match.
Thanks to the Gold Cup, Colorado will be heading to Austin without three key contributors. Central midfielder Kellyn Acosta, left back Sam Vines and winger Jonathan Lewis are all with the U.S. men’s national team on international duty and are unlikely to feature for the visitors even if the USMNT were to lose in the semifinals against Qatar at Q2 Stadium on Thursday.
Probable Colorado Lineup
GK: William Yarbrough; Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty; Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Price, Cole Bassett, Braian Galvan; Michael Barrios, Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki.