Austin FC returns to action on Thursday night as the league-leading Seattle Sounders pay a visit to Q2 Stadium to face the Verde & Black. ATXFC have been off from MLS play since its July 7 loss to LAFC, giving the squad 15 days to rest in-between matches.
The match will be the second time the two teams have played, with Austin earning a 0-0 draw in Seattle on May 30.
Austin FC Outlook
It’s been a long two weeks for Austin FC since it last took the field for a MLS match. Josh Wolff and Co. have had to stew over a 2-0 loss at the hands of LAFC as Jose Cifuentes and Diego Rossi each provided goals for Bob Bradley’s squad.
The loss came at the end of a three-match home stretch that saw Austin collect four points -- with a 4-1 win against the Portland Timbers on July 1 providing a spark to the team after not scoring in the first two matches at Q2 Stadium.
ATXFC did take the field over the last 15 days, facing Liga MX side Tigres UANL in an international friendly on July 13. Josh Wolff gave an opportunity to plenty of players who have not seen the field much over the first part of the season and Rodney Redes took advantage, scoring the team’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss.
Austin currently sits in 10th place in the Western Conference, three spots out of MLS Cup Playoff positioning. The Timbers sit in seventh place in the West, three points ahead of the Verde & Black with a game in hand. Thursday night begins a busy stretch for Austin as they play five matches over 16 days.
The Sounders made history earlier this month when it started off the season on a 13-match unbeaten run. That was the longest unbeaten run to start a season in MLS history, but it came to an end on Sunday night.
Seattle dropped its first game of the season to Minnesota United FC last weekend, losing 1-0 at Allianz Field. The Loons scored the lone goal in the match when Robin Lod was able to get on the end of a Niko Hansen cross and finish in an empty net.
Brian Schmetzer’s team still sits atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with 29 points through 14 matches. Seattle has been able to get off to such a strong start despite the continued absences of Jordan Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro and Stefan Frei -- all of whom have played a key role in the team’s success over the last half decade.
Probable Seattle Lineup
GK: Stefan Cleveland; Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, AB Cissoko; Kelyn Rowe, Danny Leyva, Joao Paulo, Jimmy Medranda; Fredy Montero, Raul Ruidiaz