Match Preview | Austin FC II v MNUFC2

MNUFC2 vs Austin Graphic

Austin FC II v MNUFC2

Parmer Field at St. David’s Performance Center | Austin, Texas

04.28.2023 | MLS NEXT Pro Game No. 6

6:00 p.m. CT | Streaming on AppleTV’s MLS Season Pass

In the last of their six consecutive away matches to start the season, MNUFC2 will be heading to the Lone Star state capital to take on Austin FC II. With the end of road purgatory finally in sight, the Loons will be hoping to get back to the form that saw them open the season with three straight wins. However, Austin stands alone as the league’s only remaining undefeated side, presenting quite the challenge for the Black and Blue. 

Austin have gotten off to an incredible start in their first year of MLS NEXT Pro action. They’ve won all four of their home matches thus far and drawn twice on the road, accumulating a total of 14 points after losing both of their shootouts. Their +7 goal difference is tied for the best in the league, and their 11 goals scored are tied for the second best in the league. Even beyond the stats, MNUFC2 Head Coach Cameron Knowles sees a lot of positives in this Austin side. 

“They’re a good team,” he said. “They’ve come in and hit the ground running. They’ve got some players playing for them that have MLS experience as well, so it’s not like they’re just coming in as a young team. The environment looks good, looks like they have a decent crowd at their games and they come out and support. It should be good for our guys to get straight back into it, and what better way than to test yourself against another very good team.”

After last weekend’s hard-fought match against Whitecaps FC 2, the Loons came out with a 5-2 loss. Despite the scoreline, the squad showed admirable resolve and desire, ultimately falling short against another talented team. With last week’s lessons in mind, Coach Knowles is confident that his team can improve in Texas. 

“It’s a quick turnaround, so we have to take the positives out of the last game into the next one, and there were a lot,” he said. “In terms of the fight, the way that we were able to compete on a difficult night in difficult conditions. Going up one, then going behind, scoring right before halftime to keep ourselves in the game, and even pushing throughout the course of the entire match to get ourselves back in it. The effort from the guys was outstanding. We just need to match that with 90 minutes of concentration and execution, and if we have that effort, we should be able to get a good result.”

The Loons haven’t been too shabby themselves this year. They’ve also managed 11 goals this year, earning three wins and two losses during their extended road journey. With Academy players contributing heavily to the lineup each week, they have begun to realize the very vision that the league was created for. 

The Twos are prepared to face their next challenge head-on, just as they’ve done all season long. In fact, midfielder Diogo Pacheco noted that while the opponents continue to change every week, both the preparation and mentality stay the same. 

“We’ll just focus on playing our game,” he said. “I feel like this game will be very important for us because I think we need to look at the long run. These six games might be the toughest games we have during the season, and we have three wins after five games, two losses. We knew it would be a tough start with six games away, and I feel like we’ve done a great job. It would be perfect to finish this away stretch with another win.”

MNUFC2’s match kicks off at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, April 28. Stream the game for free on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass to watch the Loons close out their early-season road tour.