MLS: Austin FC to put road prowess up against Atlanta United
Austin FC’s strong play on the road is a big reason for its 2022 success, while Atlanta United has struggled for victories no matter the venue.
Austin FC looks for a fourth consecutive road victory Saturday night, during the club’s first-ever visit to Atlanta.
In year No. 2 of their existence, Austin FC (10-4-4, 34 points) has blossomed into one of the top teams in MLS. The success is due to a stellar 6-3-1 record on the road, where it owns a 5-2 goal-advantage during a club-record three-game away winning streak.
Austin overcame an early 2-0 hole at Colorado on Monday, with first-half goals from Ethan Finlay and Sebastian Driussi. Then came Maximiliano Urruti’s go-ahead score near the hour mark for a 3-2 triumph.
Driussi ranks among the MLS leaders with 10 goals for Austin FC, which has earned points four times this season when trailing by two or more goals in a contest.
“Huge three points on the road. Resiliency. Teamwork,” Finlay said. “… We keep going (Saturday).”
Austin FC is undefeated in three road games against Eastern Conference teams this season and now gets its first taste of the gameday excitement at Atlanta, where the club posted its most-recent victory, 2-0 over Inter Miami CF on June 19. However, Atlanta United (5-7-5, 20 points) followed that result by going 0-2-1 during a three-game road stretch.
Atlanta United managed its lone point on that road swing with Sunday’s 2-2 draw at defending champion New York City FC. Josef Martinez tied the match early in the second half with his team-leading fifth MLS goal, and Dom Dwyer posted the needed equalizer in the 86th minute for his fourth in league play this season.
“Football is like this,” Atlanta coach Gonzalo Pineda said. “Now, we have to turn it around, and try to come for these three points against Austin. That’s always in our heads.”
Atlanta United last earned at least one point in consecutive games with back-to-back ties on May 15 and 21, versus the New England Revolution and Nashville SC.
–Field Level Media