MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 09:28:49| >> :600:89051:89051:
May 31, 2021 at 2.30am UK at CenturyLink Field
SeattleSeattle Sounders
0-0
AustinAustin FC

Arreaga (2')
FT

Lima (24'), Stroud (45+2')

Preview: Seattle Sounders vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Major League Soccer clash between Seattle Sounders and Austin FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The Seattle Sounders will put their undefeated record on the line on Sunday when they host Austin FC for the very first time at Lumen Field.

The Sounders dropped their first points of their 2021 campaign last week in a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United, while Austin have lost three in a row heading into this matchup.


Match preview

Seattle Sounders players celebrate winning the Western Conference in December 2020© Reuters

After an impressive opening six matches this season, Seattle suffered their first blemish last weekend, conceding a penalty in the 86th minute.

For a team that have been so focused and determined to be perfect in every department, they will not be pleased that they let two points slip away, especially given that they had the lead for 80 minutes.

When you look at the big picture, it is probably just a minor hiccup, as Brian Schmetzer has seen his team execute his new system incredibly well, conceding only three goals all season, not a single one of which has been from open play.

The 2020 MLS Cup runners-up were criticised before this season for not signing any big-name players, but they have proved all the critics wrong up until now, dominating many of the elite teams in the league.

Joao Paulo has been a gem in midfield with pin-point crossing and terrific poise and control with the ball in a midfield that have been exceptionally strong through their first seven games.

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

The newest MLS franchise started strongly through their first three games of the season, winning twice, but they have since cooled off.

Facing two tough teams in Sporting Kansas City and Nashville SC, along with the improved LA Galaxy, Josh Wolff and his team are learning how important it is to stay sharp while not resting on your laurels.

Los Verdes have been humbled over their past two MLS fixtures, firing two shots on goal versus the Galaxy and only one shot on target last week against one of the top defensive units in MLS in Nashville.

Austin have had their share of possession with at least 55% in their past two defeats, but they have been disappointing in front of goal and are not doing enough with the ball.

The season, however, is still very early, they are still in the race for a playoff position and they will have some time after this match to recharge their batteries with the upcoming international break.

Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

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



Team News

Seattle Sounders players celebrate winning the Western Conference in December 2020© Reuters

The Sounders will be without goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who continues to recover from a knee injury.

Attacking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro is struggling with knee problems, and defensive midfielder Jordy Delem is likely out for the long term with a cruciate ligament rupture.

Alex Roldan and Yeimar Gomez have done a marvellous job in neutralising opposing teams on the counter, with 40 interceptions between them.

For Austin, attacking midfielder Ulises Segura and striker Aaron Schoenfeld are both out with knee injuries.

Left-back Ben Sweat has a cruciate ligament rupture, and fellow left-back Hector Jimenez has a medial collateral ligament injury.

Cecilio Dominguez is goalless in his last four games after scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over Minnesota United, and veteran central midfielder Alexander Ring returned last week after serving a two-game suspension for a red card in their defeat to Sporting KC.

Seattle Sounders possible starting lineup:
Cleveland; Gomez, Arreaga, Tolo; Roldan, Rowe, Paulo, Smith; Roldan; Bruin, Ruidiaz

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Kolmanic, Besler, Romana, Lima; Pochettino, Ring, Pereira; Dominguez, Hoesen, Redes


SM words green background

We say: Seattle Sounders 3-0 Austin FC

These teams have never faced each other, which may be a slight advantage for Austin, but even so, Brian Schmetzer and the Sounders are fast learners and should adjust their tactics quickly if needed.

Austin have only scored one goal in their last three games and have fired just two shots or fewer on target in their past two matches, which is not super encouraging when you are getting ready to face the strongest defensive side in MLS.






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How you voted: Seattle vs Austin

Seattle Sounders
86.2%
Draw
6.9%
Austin FC
6.9%
29
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England8521117417
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia842295414
3Orlando City733184412
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls84041210212
5New York City FCNY City7322137611
6CF MontrealMontreal8323109111
7Nashville SCNashville825198111
8Columbus Crew732276111
9Atlanta UnitedAtlanta724197210
10DC United8305811-39
11Inter MiamiInter Miami8224813-58
12Toronto7124812-45
13Chicago Fire7115411-74
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati6114615-94

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England8521117417
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia842295414
3Orlando City733184412
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls84041210212
5New York City FCNY City7322137611
6CF MontrealMontreal8323109111
7Nashville SCNashville825198111
8Columbus Crew732276111
9Atlanta UnitedAtlanta724197210
10DC United8305811-39
11Inter MiamiInter Miami8224813-58
12Toronto7124812-45
13Chicago Fire7115411-74
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati6114615-94

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