LAFC vs Austin FC
Saturday, October 7 at 5:30 pm PT
Location: Q2 Stadium - Austin, Texas
Radio: ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
After a dominant 5-1 win over Minnesota United FC on Wednesday night, LAFC travels to face Austin FC on Saturday, October 7, at Q2 Stadium.
A first-half hat trick by Denis Bouanga, followed by an own goal (created by Diego Palacios and Cristian Olivera) and a Filip Krastev solo strike, helped the Black & Gold clinch its fifth appearance in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs in the club’s six years of existence.
The win pushed LAFC into third place (48 points) in the Western Conference standings with just two matches to play, as the club continues its battle for postseason positioning. Earning three points in Austin would strengthen LAFC’s bid for home-field advantage in a potential best-of-three first-round playoff series.
LAFC is 5W-2L-0D all-time against Austin, including a 3-0 home win in the 2022 Western Conference final.
AUSTIN FC IN-DEPTH
Led by head coach Josh Wolff, the Verde are battling to climb above the playoff line in the Western Conference with two games remaining. With elimination on the line, Austin FC defeated DC United 3-0 Wednesday night to keep its postseason hopes alive.
The club sits in a three-way tie for 10th place (38 points), with Austin holding the tiebreaker advantage over Sporting Kansas City and MNUFC based on goal difference.
Designated player Sebastián Driussi remains the Verde’s most dangerous player, with 11 goals and four assists through 26 matches.
THE BLACK & GOLD WILL WIN IF
It can carry Wednesday’s momentum into Austin and ride Bouanga’s hot hand. The Black & Gold had been scoreless in its previous four matches before scoring five against an MNUFC side that pushed forward and took risks in defending. If Austin presents the same look, LAFC will again try and exploit open space in the attacking third.
Bouanga’s three goals on Wednesday (the only first-half hat trick in LAFC history) placed him atop the Golden Boot race and gave him 30 goals scored in 2023 across all competitions.
AUSTIN FC CAN WIN IF
It can continue its string of strong performances at home. The Verde have scored seven goals in their last three home games, including three on Wednesday night. With elimination from the playoffs potentially at stake, Austin will look to take three points from an LAFC team that has managed just three MLS road wins this season.