MX23RW : Sunday, May 26 00:00:53| >> :600:110111:110111:
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Austin FC
Major League Soccer
Jun 25, 2023 at 2.30am UK
Al Saqr Stadium
Houston Dynamo

3 - 0

Finlay (22'), Zardes (32'), Cascante (50')
Gallagher (39'), Wolff (45'), Pereira (68'), Lima (75'), Cascante (77')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Sviatchenko (31'), Artur (45+5'), Herrera (77')

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

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

Austin FC seek back-to-back wins in MLS when they welcome in-form Houston Dynamo to the Q2 Stadium on Saturday night.

The Oaks ended a two-game losing run with a victory over FC Dallas in the midweek round of games, while Houston secured a 4-1 triumph against San Jose Earthquakes.

Match preview

Austin FC players celebrate after a goal on May 10, 2023© Reuters

Austin have not replicated last year's success when they ended fourth in the MLS-wide table and second in the Western Conference.

This term, Josh Wolff's team find themselves in 18th in the general standings and eighth in their section, four points behind Real Salt Lake, albeit having played one fewer game.

Their 3-0 win against Dallas was just what the doctor ordered after two defeats on the trot, putting them in good stead to make the post-season MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Oaks would need the requisite consistency to make the top seven in the Western Conference, an outcome that will not materialise if they do not sort the form that has seen them lose four of their last six games in all competitions — three defeats in five for MLS matches.

With three wins in their last four games at the O2 Stadium — a 2-1 loss to Salt Lake in early June represents the only blot — Wolff's team should look forward to this weekend's clash.

Houston Dynamo FC forward Aliyu Ibrahim (18) celebrates his goal with teammates on May 24, 2023© Reuters

However, Austin would not have it easy against a Houston side that have won three consecutive games in the competition.

Also in the Western Conference, the Texas-based side have found the back of the net nine times in those triumphs, keeping two clean sheets in that time, with the goal conceded last time out against San Jose the only one Ben Olsen's side have let in.

Those wins have taken Olsen's men to 10th in the general MLS table and joint-fourth in the Western Conference standings, having played one fewer game than third-placed Seattle Sounders and the three clubs below them in that section.

Be that as it may, a wretched away record could mar their goal of finishing in the top seven spots that guarantee a place in the playoffs after the regular season, with one victory in nine road fixtures.

That triumph was coincidentally against defending champions Los Angeles FC, a victory that inflicted the latter's first home loss of the campaign.

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:

Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer form:

Houston Dynamo form (all competitions):

Team News

Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff on May 10, 2023© Reuters

Zan Kolmanic's ligament rupture keeps him out of action for Austin, who are also expected to be without the sidelined Leo Vaisanen and Alexander Ring.

Julio Cascante's top showing in the victory over Dallas should be rewarded with another start — the centre-back won six of seven duels in the 3-0 triumph and showed top-level passing range.

Left-back Jon Gallagher (five goals) has hitherto outscored frontmen Gyasi Zardes and Sebastian Driussi (four goals) heading into this weekend's all-Texan affair.

A knee injury has kept Ifunanyachi Achara out of action all season for Houston, while Tate Schmitt and Teenage Hadebe, injured in April and May respectively, are not expected to feature against Austin.

Amine Bassi, Houston's top scorer with eight goals, and Hector Herrera, the team's leader in assists (five), could be pivotal in the weekend's outcome.

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Lima, Cascante, Radovanovic, Gallagher; Finlay, Valencia, Pereira, Fagundez; Zardes, Driussi

Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup:
Clark; Dorsey, Sviatchenko, Micael, Steres; Artur, Herrera; Baird, Bassi, Quinones; Aliyu

SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 2-1 Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo have defeated Austin twice this year, but this weekend's game is at the Q2 Stadium — where the Oaks have beaten Houston in the last two games played in 2021 and 2022 — and not the Shell Energy Stadium, possibly giving the home side the edge.

Houston's poor road form does not help their cause, and it is hard to look beyond a side that have claimed three wins in four on their turf heading into this weekend.

How to watch

You can watch Austin FC vs. Houston Dynamo and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Memo Rodriguez (20) celebrates after his second goal of the game on May 10, 2023
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2FC CincinnatiCincinnati159421911831
3New York City FCNY City157351816224
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Columbus Crew145721913622
7Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
9DC United154652024-418
10Orlando City144551520-517
11Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143561716114
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152581326-1311
15New England RevolutionNew England13229925-168

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1484227141328
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd127322114724
3Los Angeles FCLos Angeles146442419522
4Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy145722521422
5Austin FCAustin146441917222
6Colorado RapidsColorado146352423121
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver135441915419
8Houston DynamoHouston135351213-118
9St Louis City133731920-116
10Seattle SoundersSeattle143561617-114
11Portland TimbersPortland143472629-313
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas132562124-311
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1431102233-1110

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