MLS: Surging Austin FC brace for last-place Earthquakes


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Austin FC attempt to keep their hot streak going when they visit the struggling San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

Austin FC are 4-1-1 over their past six MLS matches as they look to beat the Earthquakes for the second time this season. Austin posted a 4-3 home victory on April 6.

Austin (6-4-4, 22 points) is tied for the third-most points in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The play of goalkeeper Brad Stuver has been one of the keys to Austin’s success. Stuver has five shutouts this season, including four of the past six matches.

Stuver has racked up 24 clean sheets in nearly 3 1/2 seasons since joining Austin FC prior to the club’s inaugural season.

“Over the last 3 1/2 seasons, I’ve put a lot of emphasis on staying consistent,” Stuver said. “I’ve done a good job at playing at high level but there’s still a lot of season to go.”

Austin beat visiting Sporting Kansas City 3-2 last weekend behind two goals from Jader Obrian and one from Sebastian Driussi.

Driussi has a team-leading five goals for Austin. He had two goals, including the winner, in the first meeting with San Jose. The decisive tally came in the 11th minute of second-half stoppage time.

Though the Earthquakes (3-10-1, 10 points) are last in the West, Austin coach Josh Wolff points to the first meeting as proof that San Jose is a quality opponent.

“We had a lot of opportunities that we weren’t able to capitalize on,” Wolff said. “We gave up two goals in transition. … It was adversity. We were down 2-zip.

“Now we’re going away to a place that’s very difficult.”

The April win was Austin’s first over San Jose. The Quakes lead the series 2-1-5.

San Jose has lost two straight MLS matches after a 2-0-1 stretch. The Earthquakes fell 1-0 to visiting Orlando City last weekend after giving up a goal in the 89th minute.

The Lions’ Martin Ojeda miss-hit the ball and it bounced to Jack Lynn, who knocked in the winner.

“I don’t want to talk about lucky or not lucky. It is what it is,” Earthquakes standout Cristian Espinoza said. “They score on the last chance that they had and we don’t. That’s the only thing that made the difference.”

Amahl Pellegrino leads the Earthquakes with four goals.

San Jose was eliminated from U.S. Open Cup play on Tuesday when it lost 4-3 in extra time to Sacramento Republic FC.

–Field Level Media


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