LAFC at Austin FC
Friday, August 26, 2022
Q2 Stadium - Austin, Texas
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Radio: ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
LAFC had its Club-record seven-game winning streak snapped in San Jose on Aug. 20, but the team also clinched a playoff berth after losing to the Earthquakes, 2-1. The Black & Gold now head to Q2 Stadium to face Austin FC on Friday in a highly anticipated primetime matchup between two of the top teams in the Western Conference.
The Club was able to officially clinch a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs after the Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw in the midst of the LAFC and Earthquakes matchup. The berth ties the Club’s own 2019 MLS record for the fewest games (25 games) played prior to clinching a spot.
The Black & Gold still remain atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with 57 points and a six-point lead on the Philadelphia Union with eight games to play in the season.
Austin FC took the first matchup between the teams when it handed LAFC its lone home loss this year in a 2-1 battle on May 18.
Austin FC currently sit in second place in the Western Conference standings with 48 points through 26 games played.
AUSTIN FC IN-DEPTH
Led by head coach Josh Wolff, Austin FC has had a successful 2022 season thus far after failing to make the playoffs in their inaugural year in 2021.
The Verde are tied with LAFC (55 goals) for most goals scored this season and have been a tough team to beat at Q2 Stadium (6-2-4). The team also leads the league in assists (57).
Designated Player and striker Sebastián Driussi leads the Golden Boot race with 18 goals scored through 26 games played.
Austin may also get a boost on Friday as Designated Player Emiliano Rigoni, who came over from Argentinian club Sao Paulo on July 29, will most likely make his debut.
LAFC WILL WIN IF
They do not play into Austin’s high pressing game. The LAFC defense will have their work cut out for them as Austin has scored 48 out of their 55 goals this season inside the 18. Being on the road, the Black & Gold will definitely need to come out with a higher tempo but remain patient and limit any mistakes to avoid falling behind early. LAFC should look to expose the Austin high pressing offense and play the counter attack any chance it is given to them.
AUSTIN CAN WIN IF
Driussi, Diego Fagúndez, and Maxi Urruti get their way on the field. The trio has combined for 30 of the team’s 55 goals this season. Austin will build from the back and attack aggressively, bringing the entire team into opponents’ half. Austin will most likely come out in a 4-2-3-1 formation but switch to a 4-4-2 mid-block when on defense to limit any scoring opportunities from LAFC.
Inspired by Red Dead Redemption II, a 2018 action-adventure game developed and published by Rockstar Games.