Match Preview Presented by Lexus: Austin FC vs. Minnesota United FC | Feb. 24, 2024


Austin FC is set to kick off the 2024 Major League Soccer regular season this Saturday at Q2 Stadium, when the Verde & Black will welcome Minnesota United FC to the Texas capital. It will mark the first time in 140 days that Austin FC has played in front of its home fans, and Head Coach Josh Wolff’s side is sure to be hungry to start the campaign off on a high note.

If you’re headed to the match via public transportation, remember that you can ride to and from the match for free on CapMetro Rail’s Red Line service courtesy of Q2 Stadium, in celebration of the opening of the brand new McKalla Station just steps away from the venue.

Austin FC Outlook

There are plenty of new faces to be on the lookout for when Austin takes the pitch on Saturday. Offseason arrivals Diego Rubio, Jáder Obrian, and Guilherme Biro all have the potential to make their Club debuts vs. Minnesota. Rubio and Obrian made an impact during preseason, as each found the net multiple times in matches building up to the season opener.

The Verde & Black won both of their matches against the Loons last season. Austin triumphed 2-1 at home last May and picked up its largest road win of the season at Minnesota in July, winning 4-1. Austin holds the edge in the all-time series as well, with four wins to Minnesota’s three (the two teams have never previously tied).

The match on February 24 begins a stretch of six consecutive weeks in which Austin will play once per week, on each Saturday until April 6. With five of those first seven matches coming at home, it’s a good opportunity for ATXFC to establish a strong early position in the table.

Minnesota United FC Outlook

Minnesota missed the playoffs last season with an 11th-place finish in the Western Conference, and begins the season with Interim Head Coach Cameron Knowles in charge on the touchline. 

Finnish striker Teemu Pukki looks set to be the Loons’ most dangerous man in front of goal once again this season. Pukki arrived midseason in 2023 and still managed to lead Minnesota with 10 goals, putting all of his high-level European experience to use. Bongokhule Hlongwane also enjoyed a strong year for the Loons last year, finishing with eight goals and five assists. It’s unclear whether talisman Emanuel Reynoso will be fit to start this Saturday, but he’s sure to be an important piece of the puzzle for Minnesota once again this season.

At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair is set to anchor the team once again. Offseason signing Victor Eriksson, a 6’4” center back from Sweden, is expected to be the primary reinforcement along the backline.