Minnesota United will look for crucial points and a win in the season series when they travel to the Capitol of Texas for the first time to square off against Austin FC on Saturday evening in a key Western Conference match.
Minnesota (10-10-8, 38 points) begins the weekend above the playoff line in seventh place in the West, but just a point up on Vancouver with six matches to play in the regular season.
Minnesota United heads to Texas after a 3-1 loss at Colorado on Sunday, dropping its fourth match in its past seven outings. Adrien Hunou scored the Loons' goal in the eighth minute; Minnesota conceded three times in the second half despite playing with a man advantage.
"Hugely disappointing," Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said after the loss. "It would have been a great win for us if we would have gotten the three points when you look at the league table. But, now, hey, six games to go we're in the playoffs. It's all to play for."
The Loons have a three-game winless streak and haven't won since beating Houston at home on Sept. 25. The loss to Colorado all but eliminated Minnesota United's possibility of hosting a home playoff game and adds extra weight to Saturday's match to stay above the playoff line.
Austin FC (7-17-4, 25 points) returns to the field after the two-week international break and in the wake of a 2-1 home win against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 2. Cecilio Dominguez scored both of the expansion team's goals in the victory.
It was the first time Austin FC has won consecutive home matches in the club's MLS history. After being shutout in five of its first six matches at home in its inaugural season, Austin has scored in eight straight home matches and has tallied twice in six of those games.
"We have a very competitive group," Austin FC coach Josh Wolff said after the victory over Salt Lake. "There aren't many games that we haven't shown up and competed and had our moments where we could dominate or take the game to the opponent, whether it's home or away."
Even with the win in its most recent game, Austin still resides in the cellar of the West standings.
The teams have split their two games this season, with both of the matches in Minnesota.
--Field Level Media