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MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. AUSTIN FC
Q2 Stadium | Austin, Texas
04.10.2022 | MLS Week No. 6 | MLS Game No. 6
6:30 p.m. CT (FS1 and MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)

After a four-game unbeaten streak, the Loons fell for the first time this season with a close 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders. Despite multiple painfully-close chances in the waning minutes of the game, Stefan Frei came up big and saved the Sounders from splitting the points with the home team. For their next match, the Loons will be flying down to Texas to face Austin FC. Historically, MNUFC has a slight lead over the MLS newcomers with a record of 2-1-0 in contests with the boys from Bat City. Through five games this season, Austin FC and MNUFC have identical records of 2-2-1, though Austin is technically four places above the Loons in the Western Conference due to goal differential. In order for Minnesota to add another three points to their record and boost their rank in the Western Conference, they will need to find a way to break through the one-goal wall they have been stuck behind so far this season.

THE OPPOSITION

Austin and Minnesota are two of five teams in the Western Conference who have collected eight points in five games. The story of the wildly different paths both teams have taken to this point can be told in the goal differential. Austin holds the upper hand in that category with a +8 against +1 for the Loons. While it’s foolish to haggle over playoff position after (checks notes) only five games, Austin’s expansion struggles are long in the rearview mirror, and I expect to see them flirting with the thin red playoff line all season. Have Austin FC officially made the jump from expansion franchise to legitimate contender? This Sunday's matchup with Minnesota will be a good measuring stick for a pair of playoff hopefuls. MORE

ADRIAN HEATH ON PREPARING FOR THE MATCH WITH AUSTIN FC...

“They’ve had a good start. It’s a difficult place to play. Great atmosphere within the stadium. They push men forward. We know the way they’re going to play but stopping them is not as easy as it looks. I think it’s three games now, they haven’t won in three so maybe we’re catching them at a good time, I don’t know. We know it’s going to be difficult, but we’ll be ready for it.” MORE

KEMAR LAWRENCE ON COMING OFF OF THE FIRST LOSS FOR THE CLUB AND PREPARING FOR AUSTIN FC...

“Seattle is a good team. It’s a team that has been a good team for years now. When you go up against them in a game like that, you expect a tough game and they expect the same. If you look at the goals, they could’ve been prevented. It’s something, asI said before, you live and you learn. The little mistakes that you make in there and what you could’ve done better, you take from that game and try not to repeat those mistakes. Going up against Austin, I haven’t played there yet. I’ve heard it’s a great atmosphere so I’m looking forward to that. I haven’t really watched their team but I’ve heard that they love to push the game, especially because their fans get into the game so that will be exciting. Obviously, we love to push the game so I’m looking for a little bit of back and forth and see how it goes.” MORE

STORYLINES PRESENTED BY BMW

  • SHUT THE DOOR: Austin, after scoring ten goals in rapid succession through their first two league games against Cincinnati and Miami, have scored just three in their last three fixtures. To add to that, all three came from dead balls: both goals against San Jose came from the penalty spot, and the one against Portland was the bouncing aftermath of a corner kick. Not since old-friend Ethan Finlay’s second half brace against Miami has the Texan team scored in open play. Austin’s attack, with Sebastian Driussi’s four goals at its peak, clearly can convert chances, but should Minnesota keep them from breaking their scoreless streak and prevent the floodgates from opening, frustration may build. MORE

FIRST TOUCHES

  • Austin is still tied with LAFC for the league lead in goals scored with 13 and leads the league with 13 assists; however, they’ve scored just three in their last three games.
  • Minnesota’s only previous trip to the Q2 Stadium came in October of 2021, where they took three points home with them in a 1-0 win late last season.
  • Sunday will mark Ethan Finlay’s first game against Minnesota since his move to Austin this offseason. Finlay still has the second-most appearances in a Loons uniform in their time in MLS; he is one of only four players to play over 6,000 minutes for MNUFC; his 19 goals for the club remain fourth in club history; and he’s one of only nine players to record more than ten assists for the club. MORE