Something has to give when enigmatic Austin FC hosts the stumbling Seattle Sounders on Wednesday in a key late-season Western Conference match.
Both teams are above the playoff line as the league schedule turns to its final quarter but have struggled lately. Austin has lost its past four matches and the Sounders have gone winless in their last six.
Austin (9-11-5, 32 points) heads home after a 1-0 loss at Copa Tejas rival FC Dallas on Saturday. The Verde was close to splitting the points with Dallas despite playing a man down for the final 30 minutes of the match but lost on the final kick of the highly contested match.
“I liked the guys’ spirit character, the grit, the grind,” Austin coach Josh Wolff said. “They worked incredibly hard, and they gave up very little and we deserved to take the points but this is what the game is. We’ll do our best to take it out on Seattle.”
The Verde is looking to its home-pitch advantage to get back on track. Austin has dropped only two of its past 11 regular-season matches at Q2 Stadium and has captured three straight at home.
Sebastian Driussi, last season’s runner-up for league MVP, leads Austin FC with seven goals this year despite missing nearly a month with a groin injury.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Sounders (10-9-7, 37 points), who travel to central Texas after a 1-1 draw in Minnesota on Sunday. Seattle’s Yeimar Gomez Andrade was responsible for both goals in the match — one for his team on a header off an assist from Nico Lodeiro in the 17th minute and an own goal in the 56th minute that ultimately split the points.
“At the end of the day, it’s a point on the road and maybe at the end of the season it’ll be a difference maker,” Seattle midfielder Albert Rusnak said after Sunday’s game. “This point could be valuable.”
Seattle’s six-match winless streak (two draws) is its second longest since 2014.
Austin beat the Sounders 2-1 in May in Seattle in the only other meeting between the sides this year. Overall, Seattle has a 2-1 edge over the Verde, with a pair of draws in their five all-time meetings
—Field Level Media
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