Coming off a big win against Houston Dynamo FC, Austin FC will next face another in-state rival on Saturday when the Verde & Black travel up to Frisco to take on FC Dallas. This will be the first time Dallas and Austin meet in MLS play as both Clubs jostle for playoff position.
At least 600 Austin fans are expected to make the trip north, in what is sure to be one of the strongest showings of away MLS support in Texas history.
Austin FC Outlook
Austin is coming off a much-needed win against the Dynamo, beating Houston 3-2 at Q2 Stadium. MLS Player of the Week stole the show with his two-goal performance in the match. Pochettino scored early to give ATXFC a lead and that advantage only increased when it went up a man in the 20th minute after Darwin Ceren was shown a red card.
Pochettino added another goal to put Austin up again after the Dynamo found an equalizer, while Cecilio Domínguez added his fourth goal of the season to provide some insurance. The win was Austin’s first in over a month and the Verde & Black now sit just five points out of a MLS Cup Playoff spot.
Head Coach Josh Wolff is sure to rotate the squad a bit, with the matches just three days apart, and one player Austin fans should look forward to seeing is Sebastián Driussi. Wolff indicated that the decorated playmaker will be available for selection against Dallas in his postgame press conference on Wednesday night. Nick Lima and Daniel Pereira could also see a return to the starting XI after recently recovering from injuries and making appearances off the bench.
FC Dallas Outlook
It’s been an up-and-down season for Luchi Gonzalez’s side, but they enter Saturday’s match on a three-match unbeaten run. Their most recent result came on Wednesday night when Franco Jara scored an equalizer in stoppage time to earn his team a 1-1 draw in Seattle.
Before that result, Dallas had earned two big victories against teams currently atop the Western Conference -- beating the LA Galaxy 4-0 and Sporting Kansas City 2-1. 18-year-old striker Ricardo Pepi has been leading the way for FCD, scoring eight goals, as he earned a spot on the MLS All-Star team. Dallas currently are sitting on 18 points, three points off a playoff spot.
Expect to see some squad rotation from Gonzalez with his team traveling from Seattle and playing three days later. Pepi and midfielder Paxton Pomykal could be due for some rest with Jara potentially getting another shot at the starting XI after his big goal against the Sounders.
Probable Dallas Lineup
(4-2-3-1, R-L) - GK: Jimmy Maurer; Ryan Hollingshead, Bressan, Nkosi Tafari, John Nelson; Brandon Servania, Bryan Acosta; Freddy Vargas, Jesus Ferreira, Jader Obrian; Franco Jara