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Storylines Presented by BMW | MNUFC vs. Austin FC - 08.20.22

Storylines - Austin 8_20

Storylines is feeling a little green this week, but it’s nothing to sweat about. The Verde of Austin FC make their third-ever trip to Allianz Field this week to face a Minnesota United squad home for the first time in the month of August.


After last week’s triumphant trip to Nashville — a success despite allowing a goal to Golden Boot contender Hany Mukhtar — Minnesota faces the top of the pile, as Austin’s Sebastián Driussi, scorer of a league-best 17 goals this season, comes to Allianz Field for the first time this season. Driussi did not score in the first meeting between these two clubs this season, a 1-0 Austin win in Texas, and had just begun to show the form that would push him into the front of the conversation for MLS MVP. Minnesota and Austin’s first meeting was each club’s sixth match of the year. At the time, Driussi had four goals through five games: notable, but not dominant. Since, Driussi has scored a whopping 13 goals, including six in Austin’s last four games, with at least one goal in each game, capped by the dramatic 96th minute game winner to complete Austin’s 4-3 comeback over Sporting Kansas City last weekend. Austin’s complete attack, tied for the best in MLS, is a massive threat, but Driussi is the tip of the spear, and containing him must be Minnesota’s top priority.

Home Cooking

Allianz Field as Minnesota’s fortress is not a new theory. The club were one of the league’s best at home in each year it has been open, and the Loons are undefeated in their last four home matches this season. That said, of the seven current playoff teams in the Western Conference, Minnesota has the fewest home wins of any of them (5), along with the most draws (4). In the Loons last six home games, that trend is illustrated: they’ve lost just one (a 1-0 defeat to NYCFC), but have fallen short of acquiring all three points in three of the other five. In such a tightly-packed Western Conference race, claiming all three points at home could prove critical to a club not just looking to get into the playoffs, but to secure a hosting position. The Loons already set a club record for most road wins in a season last weekend in Nashville; now they must seek three points at home.

Target Practice

Minnesota’s attack, while it hasn’t returned to the four-goal exploits of the game against Portland, has still been firing on all cylinders. The Loons have now scored multiple goals in five consecutive games and eight of their last nine games. A sixth consecutive game with multiple goals would tie the MLS club record (with yes, you guessed it, the last six games of the 2020 season including the playoffs), which is impressive, but the way Minnesota has found their goals recently is notable. In the Nashville game, both of the goals scored by Franco Fragapane and Alan Benítez came from the Loons attacking from the sides of the pitch and shooting at tight angles: Benítez from the right (on a cross from the left), and Fragapane on the left. In their previous game, the 4-3 loss at Colorado, two of Minnesota’s three goals came directly from set-pieces: Abu Danladi’s early header, and Brent Kallman’s late header. The third came from a moment of brilliance from Luis Amarilla within the eighteen yard box, a week after his brace against Portland. The Loons have goals from six different players in their last three games, and have many different ways to attack a Verde defense that they were unable to solve in April.


Minnesota United FC vs. Austin FC

Allianz Stadium | St. Paul

08.20.2022 | MLS Game No. 26

7:00 p.m. CT (MLS LIVE on ESPN+, Bally Sports North EXTRA, 1500 ESPN)