It’s Copa Tejas week for Austin FC.
The Verde & Black will face both of its in-state rivals this week with the first match coming on Wednesday when Houston Dynamo FC come to town. Austin will then travel to face FC Dallas on Saturday as the three teams will battle it out to lift the trophy in a competition that was formed by supporters from each of the three Clubs. A total of nine matches will be played in the competition and eight will come over the next three months.
Austin FC Outlook
Austin heads into its first MLS regular season match against the Dynamo after hosting the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. The visiting team was able to come away with the victory thanks to an Andre Shinyashiki goal in the 29th minute.
In yet another match, Brad Stuver showed why he has been one of the top goalkeepers in MLS this year. The 30-year-old made five saves in all, with a couple coming in spectacular fashion to preserve just a 1-0 deficit. Austin will be looking to finish off some of the chances it created as Cecilio Domínguez continues to be a threat in the attacking third.
ATXFC comes into the match having dropped to 13th place in the Western Conference, but the team can make up critical ground on a couple of teams ahead above them in the standings. Houston sit five points ahead of Austin while Dallas are just four points above. Real Salt Lake -- the team currently in 7th place above the playoff line -- are eight points ahead of Austin.
The Dynamo comes into Wednesday night’s match having drawn each of its last three matches. Over its last nine matches, Houston has drawn seven times and lost twice with its last win coming on May 22 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
That winless run has left the Dynamo in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, three points out of a MLS Cup Playoff spot. Houston did add a piece that could help it make a push for the playoffs as forward Corey Baird arrived from LAFC in a trade. Baird came off the bench in the Dynamo’s 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake over the weekend.
Three other Dynamo attackers -- Maxi Urruti, Darwin Quintero and Ariel Lassiter -- are unlikely to feature in the match after missing Saturday’s draw due to health & safety reasons.
Probable Houston Lineup
GK: Marko Maric; Zarek Valentin, Tim Parker, Teenage Hadebe, Maynor Figueroa; Boniek Garcia, Matias Vera, Joe Corona; Fafa Picault, Corey Baird, Memo Rodriguez