MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 08:34:32| >> :600:458694:458694:
Aug 1, 2021 at 2am UK at Austin FC Stadium
AustinAustin FC
0-1
ColoradoColorado Rapids

Fagundez (25'), Stanley (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-1)

Preview: Austin FC vs. Colorado Rapids - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Austin FC and Colorado Rapids, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austin FC will try to avoid equalling their longest losing streak in franchise history when they host the Colorado Rapids from Q2 Stadium on Saturday.

The newest expansion side in MLS are at the bottom of the Western Conference standings after losing 1-0 to the Seattle Sounders last week, while the Burgundy Boys suffered their worst defeat of the season last Saturday, falling 3-0 to Real Salt Lake.


Match preview

Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff shouts at players during the match against Sporting Kansas City on May 9, 2021© Reuters

A month that began with an impressive 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers, their biggest win in franchise history, has gone south in a hurry, as Austin have lost their last two league fixtures, and they sit in dead last in the west with 13 points from 14 games.

Josh Wolff could not have been happy seeing his side lose to a Seattle Sounders team who employed primarily academy and reserve players, which had to be a psychological blow to Austin to come away from that contest empty-handed.

Q2 Stadium has not exactly been a significant home-field advantage for the Verde-and-Black, who have only won one of their four regular-season games played there so far, failing to score in three of those encounters.

The Rapids will forever be a part of the history of the Austin Football Club as the first regular victory for this franchise came against the Burgundy Boys, when they came back from a goal down to score three second-half goals and win 3-1 in their second regular season game.

Austin could use a repeat performance like that this weekend, as they fired seven shots on target in their earlier meeting with the Rapids, their second-highest regular-season total ever.

This side have had more possession and more shots than their opponents in every one of their four games on their current homestand, but they have not been able to make their chances count.

Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser reacts on June 24, 2021© Reuters

Robin Fraser should get an idea this weekend of how strong his side are psychologically after the beating they suffered at the hands of Real Salt Lake.

Last Saturday was easily their sloppiest performance of the season, filled with uncharacteristic mistakes, allowing two goals in the first 30 minutes, including an own-goal from goalkeeper William Yarbrough.

The normally very capable Rapids defensive unit have struggled on the road lately, allowing three goals in each of their last two matches.

Colorado have a well-balanced team who have always responded well after a loss, as they have not lost consecutive matches all season, and they will want that trend to continue this weekend.

With three of their next four games on the road, their mettle will really be put to the test as they will hope to remain near the top of the Western Conference table, currently sitting in fourth, just one point back of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Their loss to Real Salt Lake was only the second time all year, and the first time since their season opener, where they failed to find the back of the net.

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L



Team News

 Austin FC huddles before the first game on June 20, 2021© Reuters

Austin could be missing several players once again because of injuries, including Aaron Schoenfeld and Ulises Segura, who both have left knee injuries, Nick Lima has a left hamstring problem, Ben Sweat has an ACL injury, Danny Hoesen is nursing a left hip problem, but Jon Gallagher returned to the team versus Seattle after recovering from a left mid-foot sprain.

Tomas Pochettino returned to the starting lineup for Austin versus Seattle, while Rodney Redes started on the wing in their last match, replacing Jared Stroud.

Cecilio Dominguez is tied for the team lead in goals with three, but he has not scored in his last six regular-season fixtures, while the club added another addition to their roster by signing midfielder Sebastian Driussi to a multi-year deal from Zenit St. Petersburg reportedly for $7 million with a $50,000 fee paid to Inter Miami for his discovery rights.

He will not be eligible to play for their clash this weekend in relation to Major League Soccer protocols related to a players' entry into the US.

Younes Namli is still recovering from ankle surgery, while Jonathan Lewis, Sam Vines and Kellyn Acosta are all with the United States for the Gold Cup and Danny Wilson is suspended after accumulating too many yellow cards.

The Rapids made a trade this week, acquiring Canadian forward Mark-Anthony Kaye from Los Angeles FC and a 2022 first-round SuperDraft pick in exchange for $1million (£716,230) in General Allocation Money and a 2022 international roster spot.

Kaye will not play this weekend as he is on international duty with Canada at the Gold Cup, while striker Diego Rubio hopes to earn his 50th start for Colorado, and their current assists leader Jack Price has been spreading the ball around, as all five of his assists have been scored by a different player.

The Rapids made a deal this week acquiring forward Dominique Badji from Nashville SC in exchange for $500,000 in General Allocation Money, and if they decide to sign him beyond this season they would owe them another $50,000.

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Jimenez, Cascante, Besler, Kolmanic; Ring, Pereira, Pochettino, Fagundez; Gallagher, Dominguez

Colorado Rapids possible starting lineup:
Yarbrough; Rosenberry, Abubakar, Beitashour, Trusty; Larraz, Price, Warner; Bassett, Barrios, Shinyashiki


SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 0-1 Colorado Rapids

Austin are tied with Inter Miami for the fewest goals scored this year (10), and although they are certainly capable of keeping a game close, they still lack that quality needed in the final third to gain an advantage.

The Rapids have the potential to do something special this year as they have shown a lot of resiliency under Robin Fraser, and they should be a lot sharper at the back.


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How you voted: Austin vs Colorado

Austin FC
30.6%
Draw
33.3%
Colorado Rapids
36.1%
36
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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