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LAFC vs Austin FC

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

7:30pm PT

Banc of California Stadium - Los Angeles, California

TV: KCOP 13, Estrella 62.2

Radio: Sirius XM FC Channel 157, ESPN LA app, 980 AM La Mera Mera

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After suffering just its second loss of the season on Saturday in Colorado, LAFC returns to action on Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium in one of the most highly anticipated MLS matches of the season so far.

The high-flying attack of second-year Austin FC comes to L.A. to match up with the Black & Gold. Both teams led the league with 23 goals scored in 2022, and both are looking for a piece of first place in the Western Conference.

LAFC defeated Austin three times last season, including handing them a 2-0 loss in their inaugural match on April 17, 2021 and then beating them two times in Austin.

But this is a different Austin team that has taken the field in 2022, exploding on the scene with 23 goals and led by Argentinian scoring sensation Sebastian Driussi who already has seven goals and 2 assists. Maxi Urruti has also found the back of the net four times for Austin, who is 2-2-1 (W-L-T) away from home.

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AUSTIN FC IN-DEPTH

Austin head coach Josh Wolff has led a turnaround this season, with ATXFC using a well-rounded attack to push the tempo and find goals from all over the field. Midfielder Dani Pereira is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation, and the Venezuelan has started all 11 games so far and is fourth on the team in minutes played. Austin continues to rely on Driussi and Urruti to score, but Ethan Finley, Alex Ring, and Diego Fagundez are all dangerous players who will find the back of the net if given enough space.

LAFC WILL WIN IF:

They need to start strong. The Black & Gold have been plagued this season by slow starts and an uneven style of play in the first 45 minutes of games. A good team like Austin will make them pay for lapses in the back. LAFC will need to control the tempo and continue to push the tempo of the match.

AUSTIN FC CAN WIN IF:

They can win the battle of the set pieces. Much like LAFC, Austin has been dangerous off set pieces all season, and if they take advantage of that at Banc of California Stadium, it could be a long night for the Black & Gold. Austin has dangerous strikers, and all it takes is one flash of quality from one of them to put LAFC behind the eight ball.

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