MINvATX

Fresh off a dramatic 4-3 comeback victory in which Sebastián Driussi scored a 94th-minute winner over Sporting KC last Saturday, the Verde & Black hit the road once again for their second meeting of the season against Minnesota United FC.

The first on April 10 went Austin’s way, a 1-0 result that kicked off a four-match winning streak thanks to a goal from Maxi Urruti. Another win over the Loons would take ATXFC above the 50-point mark, a points total which has been enough to qualify for the playoffs in both conferences every year since the league adopted its current postseason format.

Austin FC Outlook

In its short history so far, Austin FC has provided fans at Q2 Stadium with plenty of memorable moments, but last Saturday’s comeback is surely up there with the best. Down 3-1 in the second half, the Verde & Black got goals from Julio Cascante, Danny Hoesen, and Driussi - his league-leading 17th of the season - to dramatically win the match in the final moments.

The turnaround made Austin the first team in MLS history to win two separate matches in a single season in which it trailed by two goals in the 60th minute or later. The Verde & Black have earned a result in 10 of 15 matches in which they’ve faced a losing position in 2022, and have a league-best 20 points gained from losing positions.

That resilience and total team effort - substitutes have scored 10 goals for ATXFC this season - are hallmarks of Head Coach Josh Wolff's side, which is on the verge of clinching its first-ever MLS Cup Playoff berth. It's a feat Austin can take a big step toward achieving against Minnesota this weekend.

Austin FC enters the match riding a six-match away unbeaten streak, taking 16 of a possible 18 points on the road in June and July. The team’s only game outside Texas in August takes them to the far north to Allianz Field, where Driussi started for the MLS All-Star team last week.

Minnesota United FC Outlook

Minnesota went through a rough patch in May and June, but have been one of MLS’ best teams since then, with six wins, two draws, and only one defeat since June 29. That run has lifted them to 38 points and fourth place in the Western Conference, with a strong chance of reaching the postseason.

The play of midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair has been key to the Loons’ good run of form. Reynoso has nine goals and eight assists for the season, including six and five in his last eight matches. St. Clair ranks second in the league with 86 saves, and has kept four clean sheets.

One reason for optimism for Austin supporters is Minnesota’s home record, which ranks 10th-best among Western Conference clubs. However, the Loons haven’t lost at home since May 28, and are stingier defensively at Allianz Field, where they’ve allowed 14 goals in 12 matches compared to 21 in 13 on the road.

Probable Minnesota United FC Lineup

(4-2-3-1, R-L) - GK: Dayne St. Clair; Alan Benítez, Michael Boxall, Bakaye Dibassy, Kemar Lawrence; Kervin Arriaga, Robin Lod; Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Emanuel Reynoso, Franco Fragapane; Luis Amarilla