Austin FC will wrap up its busiest month of the season on Saturday night, when the Verde & Black travel north to take on Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park (kickoff at 7:30 p.m. CT). ATXFC’s sixth match of July offers the team the chance to strengthen its grip on second place in the MLS Western Conference standings, and to extend its away unbeaten streak to six matches.
Last season, the two clubs evenly split their three meetings, with Austin and SKC each winning at home once and the Verde & Black earning a 1-1 away draw in the other game between the pair.
Austin FC Outlook
Austin FC’s seven-match unbeaten streak came to an end last weekend, but the Club is still in an excellent position, in second place in the Western Conference and with a seven-point gap to the chasing pack.
Midfielder and Designated Player Sebastián Driussi continues to perform at an MVP level. He scored twice from outside the box in Austin’s last match against the Red Bulls and also picked up an assist, becoming the first player in MLS this season to reach 20 goal contributions and moving into a tie atop the league’s scoring charts with 13.
Winger Washington Corozo, who arrived on loan earlier this month, made his debut last Sunday and showed why fans should be excited about his addition to the squad. His spectacular bicycle kick assist to Ethan Finlay nearly helped the Verde & Black pull off an incredible comeback, and his abilities in wide areas give a new dynamic to an Austin attack which leads MLS in goals scored.
Sporting Kansas City Outlook
Sporting Kansas City are a constant presence in the MLS Cup Playoffs, but the club has struggled in 2022 thanks in large part to long-term injuries to key players. Though SKC is bottom of the Western Conference standings and ranks last in MLS in goals scored, they’re not a team to be taken lightly under Head Coach Peter Vermes.
The roster boasts a number of proven MLS players including Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi, but it remains to be seen how a 120-minute U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday night at USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC will impact squad selection on Saturday.
The match will be a homecoming of sorts for Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff and Assistant Coach Davy Arnaud, both of whom played for Kansas City for multiple seasons and are officially recognized as Sporting Legends with positions in the club’s Hall of Honor.
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