SKCPreview

With 10 matches remaining in the 2022 Major League Soccer regular season, Austin FC is looking to secure its first-ever playoff qualification. In second place in the Western Conference with a nine-point gap to the chasing pack, the Verde & Black are well-positioned to do so, but won’t be taking anything for granted with plenty of points left to play for.

Up next for Austin is an opponent which they faced just two weeks ago in Sporting Kansas City. Goals from captain Alex Ring and Sebastián Driussi saw ATXFC pick up a 2-0 away win at Children’s Mercy Park on July 30, and Austin are aiming for a similar result this time around.

Austin FC Outlook

The Verde & Black suffered a late equalizing goal against San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday, and have now drawn 3 of their last 5 matches at Q2 Stadium. While that’s no cause for panic, Head Coach Josh Wolff and his charges are eager to get back to winning ways at home.

Whether home or away, Sebastián Driussi and Diego Fagundez continue to impress for Austin. Driussi bagged another brace vs. San Jose, and has now piled up seven goals and three assists in his last seven matches. His consistency is one of his greatest strengths - Driussi has been involved in at least one goal in a league-best 16 different games this season. He represented the Club in Minnesota as Austin FC’s first-ever MLS All-Star earlier this week.

Fagundez registered his 60th career assist in the Earthquakes match, becoming only the 13th player in league history to record at least 60 goals and 60 assists. His 10 assists in 2022 rank fourth-most in MLS.

Against SKC this weekend, Ring and goalkeeper Brad Stuver will look to have similarly strong performances as they did two weeks ago. Stuver saved a penalty kick at a key moment in the match, while Ring scored Austin’s opener and won possession a team-high five times.

Sporting Kansas City Outlook

Sporting might still occupy last place in the Western Conference standings, but are not a team to be taken lightly. Just look at last week’s 4-2 win over LA Galaxy as an example, powered by a pair of goals from striker William Agada.

New arrival Erik Thommy, who joined Kansas City recently from German side VfB Stuttgart, scored his first goal for the club in the win over LA, and looks to have added a dimension to Head Coach Peter Vermes’ attacking options.

Last time the teams met, Austin left back Jon Gallagher did well against SKC star man Johnny Russell, limiting opportunities for the Scottish winger. The flanks will once again be a key area in deciding the outcome on Saturday.

Kansas City has the league’s lowest-scoring offense and has won only twice in 13 matches on the road this season, both trends which bode well for the Verde & Black. If they can keep Russell, Thommy, Agada, and their fellow attacker Daniel Salloi (who have 14 of the team’s 23 goals on the season between them) quiet as they did two weeks ago, they should set themselves up well for victory.

Probable Sporting Kansas City Lineup

(4-1-4-1, R-L) - GK: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Andreu Fontàs, Logan Ndenbe; Oriol Rosell; Johnny Russell, Felipe Hernandez, Erik Thommy, Daniel Salloi; William Agada

Sporting Kansas City Outlook

Sporting might still occupy last place in the Western Conference standings, but are not a team to be taken lightly. Just look at last week’s 4-2 win over LA Galaxy as an example, powered by a pair of goals from striker William Agada.

New arrival Erik Thommy, who joined Kansas City recently from German side VfB Stuttgart, scored his first goal for the club in the win over LA, and looks to have added a dimension to Head Coach Peter Vermes’ attacking options.

Last time the teams met, Austin left back Jon Gallagher did well against SKC star man Johnny Russell, limiting opportunities for the Scottish winger. The flanks will once again be a key area in deciding the outcome on Saturday.

Kansas City has the league’s lowest-scoring offense and has won only twice in 13 matches on the road this season, both trends which bode well for the Verde & Black. If they can keep Russell, Thommy, Agada, and their fellow attacker Daniel Salloi (who have 14 of the team’s 23 goals on the season between them) quiet as they did two weeks ago, they should set themselves up well for victory.

Probable Sporting Kansas City Lineup

(4-1-4-1, R-L) - GK: John Pulskamp; Graham Zusi, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Andreu Fontàs, Ben Sweat; Rémi Walter; Johnny Russell, Roger Espinoza, Erik Thommy, Daniel Salloi; William Agada