Austin FC heads north of the border for the first time on Saturday, facing off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the second time in less than three weeks. Vancouver beat Austin on Aug. 18, coming back from an early deficit to top the Verde & Black 2-1 at Q2 Stadium.
Austin currently sit seven points behind Vancouver in the Western Conference standings as ATXFC looks to get closer to the playoff line this weekend.
Austin FC Outlook
After a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers, Austin hosted FC Dallas on Sunday in a rivalry match that provided plenty of fireworks.
Dallas opened the scoring early, but Austin fought back to level it 1-1 thanks to a goal from Julio Cascante. That tie score didn’t last for long though. Dallas ended the first half with three goals in the span of five minutes and ended up taking all three points on the road despite a comeback from Austin that had the score end up at 5-3.
Sebastián Driussi was a bright spot for Josh Wolff’s side, again pulling the strings in the No. 10 position. He recorded two assists against Dallas -- his second and third on the season -- and Austin has averaged 1.75 goals per game in his first four starts, nearly a goal more than when he hasn’t started this season.
Another new player Austin fans should look out for is striker Moussa Djitté. The 21-year-old made a late cameo against FCD and will be in line to make another appearance in Vancouver.
After a long-awaited debut, Moussa Djitté is ready to settle into his new role for the Verde & Black.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Outlook
Despite winning two in a row, Vancouver and head coach Marc Dos Santos parted ways prior to the Whitecaps’ match against Real Salt Lake over the weekend. That didn’t affect the team’s current form -- outside of a loss in the Canadian Championship -- as Vancouver trampled RSL 4-1. With that win, the club actually set a new team record with a nine-game unbeaten streak.
That match was Vancouver’s second back in front of its home fans at BC Place, after starting the season playing home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah. This match will be Vancouver’s third at home as interim head coach Vanni Sartini will look to lead his team to another win.
The Whitecaps currently sit in eighth place, one point behind RSL for the final playoff berth in the West.
Probable Vancouver Lineup
- GK: Thomas Hasal; Marcus Godinho, Florian Jungwirth, Ranko Veselinovic, Bruno Gaspar; Leonard Owusu, Janio Bikel, Russell Teibert; Cristian Dajome, Brian White, Ryan Gauld