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Derbies have an extra edge all over the soccer world, and make no mistake about it, Copa Tejas – a supporter-created prize awarded to the team with the most points in a season from intra-Texas rivalry matches between Austin FC, FC Dallas, and Houston Dynamo FC – carries plenty of importance for the Verde & Black. On Saturday, Austin has a chance to win the trophy for the first time in its short history when it faces FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

“It’s come down from our ownership and really from our fans. This means a lot to be the best team in Texas,” said Austin FC midfielder Ethan Finlay, who has two goals and three assists in ATXFC’s last three matches. “It’s something that we’ve talked about internally in the Club, that this means a lot to us. It’s not just another game.”

Austin is unbeaten through the first three of its four 2022 Copa Tejas matches, beating Houston twice and drawing Dallas. With FCD having beat the Dynamo once and tied them last week, the match for Saturday’s Copa Tejas season finale is simple: the Verde & Black will win the trophy with a win or a draw, and Dallas will win it with a victory of their own.

“The community has embraced us tremendously and we owe that back to them. The players are looking forward to this opportunity,” said Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff. “Dallas is a team we haven’t beat, and that’s what is fresh on our guys’ minds.

“It’s not going to be easy. They’re a good team, they’re playing at home, and they’re going to be challenging to take down in their stadium. It would be nice to deliver a trophy for our fans and for our organization.”

Victory for the Verde & Black would be significant not only in the Copa Tejas standings, but in the Western Conference as well, where it would move Austin 15 points clear of their north Texas rivals. It would also be a Club record fifth-consecutive win and make ATXFC only the sixth team in MLS history to win five-consecutive away matches.

The chance for the Club’s fanbase to lift Copa Tejas, though, is more than enough motivation for the squad.

“We have goals for each section of the season, and one of our season-long goals is to win Copa Tejas,” said Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver. “We want this year to be our year.”