SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Austin FC kicks off its third match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) season Saturday against Minnesota United. This comes on the heels of the club's first MLS win in franchise history.
Final: Austin FC 1, Minnesota United FC 0
Austin FC has now won back-to-back games after dropping the season opener to LAFC. With the win, Austin FC now has six points on the season and two road wins among the seven-game road stint to start its inaugural season.
"It builds confidence [and] shows that we're doing things right," club captain Alex Ring said on how early wins help build the culture. "Picking up results and doing it mostly in the style we want to do it. That's credit to the team, to the staff. We've been working really hard in the offseason but you never really know until the season starts."
Minnesota United FC are now 3-2-1 all-time against expansion teams. Their only loss prior to Austin FC came in the team’s inaugural home opener in 2017 against then-fellow expansion side Atlanta United.
Diego Fagundez scored the only goal of the match, his second of the season. With the goal, Fagundez is tied for the team lead in goals (2) with Cecilio Dominguez, who scored twice against the Colorado Rapids. Jared Stroud finishes the match with an assist to Fagundez's goal after playing a gorgeous cross from the right wing.
"When I looked at Jared, those were some of the few things that really stood out. One is his ability to run and stretch the line, obviously, he comes from a pressing culture so his pressing is really good," Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said. "His ability to serve balls, whip balls in early behind the line was really good when we reviewed his footage from the Red Bulls ... He's a machine, he works tirelessly. That's infectious around the entire field and it certainly helps us in a lot of ways, both offensively and defensively."
Wolff placed a ton of credit on the center backs Jhohan Romaña and Matt Besler for the defensive prowess of the match.
"The back line and Brad [Stuver] did a fantastic job," Wolff said. "It's good and that's what I said to these guys after the game. What I'm most proud of is the ability to grind. It's always tough, we know we got [seven-straight road] games but I don't really spend a ton of time talking about being on the road. These are games we have to play and they happen to be on the road and we're learning more and more about each other every day but we still want to go play the way we play."
Stuver records his first clean sheet as Austin FC's starting goalkeeper. Austin FC continues its seven-game road stint next Sunday, May 9, against Sporting KC.
- ATXFC: 55%, MNUFC 45%
- Shots (on goal):
- ATXFC: 13(4), MNUFC 13(2)
- ATXFC: 12, MNUFC: 13
- Corner kicks:
- ATXFC: 4, MNUFC: 6
Major League Soccer standings are ranked like the following: teams get three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss. In the event of a tie in the standings, the tiebreaker goes to:
- Total number of wins
- Goal differential (goals scored/for minus goals against)
- Goals For (the amount of goals scored by team)
- Fewest Disciplinary Points* (calculated: Foul - 1 Point, Technical Area Warning - 2 Points, Yellow Card - 3 Points, 2nd Yellow Card - 7 Points, Straight Red Card - 7 Points, Coach Dismissal - 7 Points, Any Supplemental Discipline - 8 Points)
- Away Goals Differential
- Away Goals For
- Home Goals Differential
- Home Goals For
- Coin Toss (tie of two clubs) or Drawing of Lots (tie of three or more clubs)
Note: Records below are recorded as (win, loss, draw)
- Seattle Sounders FC – 7 pts, 2-0-1, +7 goal differential
- San Jose Earthquakes – 6 pts, 2-1-0, +4 goal differential
- Real Salt Lake – 6 pts, 2-0-0, +3 goal differential
- Austin FC – 6 pts, 2-1-0, +1 goal differential
- LA Galaxy – 6 pts, 2-1-0, -1 goal differential
- Los Angeles FC – 5 pts, 1-0-2, +2 goal differential
- FC Dallas – 4 pts, 1-1-1, +1 goal differential
- Houston Dynamo FC – 4 pts, 1-1-1, 0 goal differential
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC – 4 pts, 1-1-1, 0 goal differential
- Sporting Kansas City – 4 pts, 1-1-1, -1 goal differential
- Colorado Rapids – 3 pts, 1-1-1, -1 goal differential
- Portland Timbers – 3 pts, 1-2-0, -3 goal differential
- Minnesota United FC – 0 pts, 0-0-3, -6 goal differential
- New England Revolution – 7 pts, 2-0-1, +2 goal differential
- New York City FC – 6 pts, 2-1-0, +6 goal differential
- Orlando City SC – 5 pts, 1-0-2, +3 goal differential
- CF Montréal – 5 pts, 1-0-2, +2 goal differential
- Atlanta United FC – 4 pts, 1-1-1, +1 goal differential
- Inter Miami CF – 4 pts, 1-1-1, 0 goal differential
- New York Red Bulls – 3 pts, 1-2-0, 0 goal differential
- D.C. United – 3 pts, 1-2-0, -3 goal differential
- Nashville SC – 3 pts, 0-0-3, 0 goal differential
- Columbus Crew – 2 pts, 0-0-2, 0 goal differential
- Toronto FC – 1 pt, 0-1-1, -2 goal differential
- Philadelphia Union – 1 pt, 0-2-1, -3 goal differential
- Chicago Fire – 1 pt, 0-2-1, -4 goal differential
- FC Cincinnati – 1 pt, 0-2-1, -8 goal differential
90 + 5 – MNUFC corner: Cleared by Austin FC.
90 + 4 – Austin FC shot on goal: Rodney Redes fired a shot off the post.
88' – Austin FC shot on goal: Jon Gallagher fires a left-footed shot on goal, which was saved out for an Austin FC corner.
86' – Austin FC shot: Alex Ring fires a right-footed shot, which was deflected over the goal.
83' – MNUFC shot on goal: Patrick Weah connected on a header, which was saved by Brad Stuver.
81' – MNUFC free kick: Ball played into the box and cleared by Austin FC.
81' – Austin FC substitution: Hector Jimenez comes on for Jared Stroud.
81' – MNUFC substitution: Patrick Weah comes on for Ethan Finlay.
81' – Austin FC yellow card: Sebastian Berhalter is shown the yellow card.
76' – Austin FC substitution: Sebastian Berhalter comes on for Tomás Pochettino.
75' – MNUFC corner: Played into the box and cleared by Austin FC.
74' – MNUFC free kick: Played into the box and cleared out by Austin FC for a corner.
74' – Austin FC yellow card: Jhohan Romaña is shown a yellow card for a foul.
72' – MNUFC corner: Ball played into the box and saved by Brad Stuver.
71' – MNUFC shot: Hassani Dotson fired a right-footed shot, which was deflected for a corner.
67' – MNUFC substitution(s): Ján Gregus comes on for Osvaldo Alonso.
62' – Austin FC substitution(s): Jon Gallagher comes on for Danny Hoesen. Daniel Pereira comes on for Diego Fagundez. Rodeny Redes comes on for Cecilio Dominguez.
61' – Austin FC shot on goal: Jared Stroud fires a left-footed shot from outside the box, which was saved by St. Clair.
60' – MNUFC yellow card: Michael Boxall was given a yellow card for a foul on Cecilio Dominguez.
57' – MNUFC substitution(s): Justin McMaster comes on for Emanuel Reynosa. Foster Langsdorf comes on for Ramón Ábila.
53' – MNUFC shot: Reynosa fired a left-footed shot from outside of the penalty box, which sailed over the goal.
46' – Second half is kicked off.
Halftime: Austin FC 1, MNUFC 0
Diego Fagundez broke the deadlock in the 16th minute, finishing a well-played cross from Jared Stroud on the right wing. It was Fagundez's second goal of the season and Stroud's first assist of the season.
- ATXFC: 61%, MNUFC 39%
- Shots (on goal):
- ATXFC: 7(2), MNUFC 6(1)
- ATXFC: 6, MNUFC: 8
- Corner kicks:
- ATXFC: 2, MNUFC: 3
Austin FC 1, Minnesota United FC 0
45'+1 – Austin FC free kick: Cecilio Dominguez shot for the near post and the shot was cleared by Minnesota United FC.
45' – Austin FC corner: Corner played into the penalty area and cleared by Minnesota United FC.
38' – MNUFC corner: Corner was played into the penalty area and cleared by Austin FC.
37' – MNUFC corner: Corner was played into the penalty area and flicked out for another corner from the other side.
31' MNUFC shot on goal: Reynoso shot a left-footed strike that hit off the goal post.
27' – MNUFC free kick: Balled played into the 18-yard box and punched out by Brad Stuver.
22' – Austin FC corner: Corner was cleared by Minnesota United FC.
20' – MNUFC corner: Corner was cleared by Austin FC.
19' – MNUFC shot on goal: Dotson fired a shot which was deflected behind the goal for a corner kick.
16' – Austin FC goal: Jared Stroud crossed the ball across the box from right wing to the left side and Diego Fagundez finished the goal. It is Fagundez's second goal of the season.
13' – Austin FC shot: Nick Lima left-footed shot was wide right.
7' – Austin FC shot on goal: Jared Stroud strikes a right-footed shot on goal, which is saved by St. Clair.
1': Game is kicked off.
Here is everything you need to know about the match:
6:15 p.m. – Austin FC announces the starting lineup: Brad Stuver; Jhohan Romaña, Matt Besler, Žan Kolmanič, Nick Lima; Tomás Pochettino, Alex Ring, Diego Fagundez; Jared Stroud, Danny Hoesen, Cecilio Domínguez.
Minnesota United FC announces starting lineup: Dayne St. Clair; Chase Gasper, Jukka Raitala, Michael Boxall, Romain Metanire; Osvaldo Alonso, Wil Trapp; Hassani Dotson, Emanuel Reynoso, Ethan Finlay; Ramón Ábila.
Big absence from Robin Lod, who has the sole goal on the season for the Loons. Lod is listed with a chest injury.
The game will kick off at 7 p.m. CST Saturday, May 1 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn.
How to watch
How to listen
- ALT 97.5 FM (radio)
- iHeartRadio (online)
Austin FC won the first match in the club's history, 3-1, against the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Austin FC went down 1-0 in the first half, but broke through and scored its first goal in the opening minutes of the second half. The club followed up with two more goals within 10 minutes and Austin FC ran away with the victory.
Minnesota United comes into the match as the only Western Conference team without at least a draw. Minnesota lost its season opener 4-0 to the Seattle Sounders and also 2-1 to Real Salt Lake. This has been a surprising start to the season for Minnesota since the club was a playoff team in 2020. The Loons are 3-1-1 all-time against expansion teams. Their only loss came in the team’s inaugural home opener in 2017 against then-fellow expansion side Atlanta United.
Austin FC will likely see Tomás Pochettino back in the starting lineup after being withheld last week due to a "league-related administrative issue." The MLS announced Wednesday that Pochettino was available for future competitions.
However, Austin FC will miss Ben Sweat, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, the club announced Tuesday. Sweat underwent an MRI at St. David’s HealthCare on Monday and his surgery is expected to be scheduled in the coming weeks.
In seven career games against MNUFC, Danny Hoesen has scored four goals to go along with one assist.
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