MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 01:25:18| >> :600:432940:432940:
Aug 5, 2021 at 2am UK at Austin FC Stadium
AustinAustin FC
3-2
HoustonHouston Dynamo
Pochettino (7', 45+1'), Dominguez (56')
Stroud (83')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Pasher (27'), Picault (86')
Dorsey (79')
Ceren (20')

Preview: Austin FC vs. Houston Dynamo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Austin FC and Houston Dynamo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austin FC face Houston Dynamo in the MLS Western Conference on Wednesday, with both sides looking to avoid being cut adrift of the playoff positions.

Austin are eight points behind seventh-placed Real Salt Lake, with Houston only three points behind seventh spot, further incentivising a win for the visitors.


Match preview

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

In truth, there is minimal pressure on Austin this season given that it is their inaugural campaign as an MLS side since joining as an expansion team earlier this year.

Josh Wolff, who made 52 caps for USA before retiring in 2012, has been handed the reigns in the dugout, with his side heading into Wednesday's clash against Houston bottom of the table.

However, with 13 points from 15 matches, that could change if a run of results could be put together. Unfortunately, three successive defeats does not suggest that is likely to happen.

Indeed, Austin have hugely struggled to score goals at this level, with 10 strikes in 13 games seven fewer than any other side in the Western Conference, which funnily enough is Houston on 17.

Wolff may be looking to keep things tight, then, which the 44-year-old has actually managed to achieve on several occasions this season, as shown by the fact that Austin's defensive record is better than nine of the other 12 sides in the division.

Houston Dynamo FC head coach Tab Ramos reacts on June 24, 2021© Reuters

Unlike their forthcoming opponents, Houston are expected to compete at the top end of the table given that they have won the MLS Cup on two occasions, albeit in 2006 and 2007.

Incredibly, those were Houston's first two seasons as an MLS side, something which Austin can only dream of replicating right now.

Houston also finished as runners-up in 2011 and 2012, but there has been a sharp decline in recent years, with one playoff appearance in the last seven seasons a miserly return for a club of Orange Crush's size and status.

It would be fair to say Tab Ramos, who made 81 caps for USA himself, has underwhelmed since being appointed as head coach in 2019, with pressure surely ramping up on the 54-year-old's shoulders to secure a playoff position this time around.

Houston are firmly in the mix, but they surely need to be beating sides like Austin if they are to put recent failures right, especially given that they are travelling to their Texan rivals off the back of a winless run of nine matches.

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

Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D



Team News

Ulises Segura, Aaron Schoenfeld, Ben Sweat and Danny Hoesen are all likely to remain unavailable for selection for Wolff.

Austin's injured quartet have not played for the club since May, with Sweat a serious doubt for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury.

Houston, on the other hand, appear to be blessed with a fully fit squad, increasing Ramos's side's chances of claiming a victory.

The 54-year-old needs to quickly find a way of turning draws into wins, which could involve selecting an additional attacker.

As such, top goalscorer Maximiliano Urruti should return to the starting XI after missing the weekend's draw against Salt Lake, with Mateo Bajamich likely to drop out of the side to make way.

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

Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup:
Maric; Valentin, Parker, Hadebe, Junqua; Ceren, Vera, Corona; Dorsey, Urruti, Rodriguez


SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 0-1 Houston Dynamo

We believe Houston's winless run could come to an end on Wednesday, with Ramos's side undoubtedly possessing greater quality than the newly-formed Austin.

However, the hosts could be tough to break down, so Houston must remain patient and put their current poor form to the back of their minds if they are to gain the positive result which they require.






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How you voted: Austin vs Houston

Austin FC
10.0%
Draw
35.0%
Houston Dynamo
55.0%
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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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