Thursday, May 23, 2024

FC Dallas v Austin FC: Estevez frustrated by Texas derby scheduling

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 May 2024

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FC Dallas boss Nico Estevez would have preferred not to face both of the club’s Texas rivals in back-to-back home games, but he is keen to follow up their victory over the Houston Dynamo with another against Austin FC.

Dallas overcame Houston 2-0 on their last home outing in MLS, though they were then beaten 3-1 by in-form Toronto FC on their travels last week.

Estevez’s team sit 13th in the Western Conference with eight points, some eight adrift of Austin in sixth, but he feels there are things they can replicate from the Houston game in their next derby match.

“It would be nice for our fans and everyone if the games were a little bit more spread out, right?” he said on Thursday.

“When you have back-to-back, I feel like it is difficult to get that assignment and motivation and everything right, but for us, it is important.

“Austin uses more of the wings and it’s a different type of approach. They defend in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2, which is similar.”

Austin, meanwhile, have won four of their last six MLS games (one draw, one loss) to surge up the standings, leaving boss Josh Wolff encouraged ahead of a busy few weeks.

“There’s no way we can look past one opponent and towards the next,” Wolff said.

“We have to see who comes through Dallas in a good way and see where we’re at physically and where the opponent is at physically.

“These guys are fit, they’re strong and they’re in a good space.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Dallas – Sam Junqua

Junqua has recorded a goal contribution in consecutive matches (one goal, one assist), including scoring Dallas’ lone goal at Toronto last Saturday.

Junqua had only recorded two goal contributions in his previous 35 MLS appearances going back to August 2022.

Austin FC – Brad Stuver

Austin’s goalless draw at Vancouver on Saturday was their third consecutive clean sheet, their longest shutout streak in team history. Stuver started in goal in all three games and will be looking to continue that run against Dallas.

Austin had kept just one clean sheet in their previous 25 matches in all competitions dating back to last July.

MATCH PREDICTION – DALLAS WIN

FC Dallas won each of their first three meetings with Austin FC – all in the 2021 season. Since then, Dallas have managed just two wins in seven against Austin (two draws, three losses), including a 2-1 loss at Q2 Stadium on March 30.

With eight points, Dallas are off to their second-worst 10-match start to a season in club history with only their start in 2009 (six points from 10 matches) being worse. However, seven of their eight points have come in their five home matches.

Meanwhile, Austin have collected 13 points in their last six MLS matches after totalling just 10 points in their previous 16 league matches dating back to their return from the Leagues Cup last August. The form book often goes out of the window on derby day, however, so their positive run could end here.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Dallas – 46.4%

Draw – 28.2%

Austin – 25.4%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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