Austin FC will be looking to snap an eight-match winless streak when they travel to Seattle on Wednesday to play the Western Conference-leading Sounders.
Austin (2-5-4, 10 points) hasn’t won in MLS play since March 11 and is in the middle of a stretch in which it plays nine matches in 29 days, including all competitions.
Austin coach Josh Wolff wasn’t complaining, citing benefits to the packed schedule.
“It puts you in a rhythm,” Wolff said. “We’ll be playing four straight Wednesdays, and you can get players minutes who otherwise might not get them. You’re going to get contributions from a lot of different guys, and that certainly helps with the buy-in. And when you win and score goals, that helps with confidence and momentum.”
The latter two might be lacking. Austin has gone 0-4-4 over its past eight MLS matches and has been shut out in five of them.
Austin FC are coming off a 1-0 home loss to rival FC Dallas after Jesus Ferreira scored in the 89th minute. Austin managed just one shot on goal in the match, by Adam Lundkvist, and played much of the second half short-handed after midfielder Rodney Redes received a second yellow card in the 54th minute and was ejected.
The Sounders (7-3-2, 23 points) won 1-0 Saturday at nine-man Houston as reserve Paul Rothrock scored in the 87th minute in his MLS regular-season debut.
“If (the broadcast cameras) ever panned to the bench, you would’ve seen some frustration,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said of his team managing 12 shots, with only two on target. “Playing with a team that plays a man down and sits in front of their box is never easy. … There are reasons why I’m going to take a more optimistic view of all of this, but there were some frustrations. They did a good job of trying to kill the game.
“We’re happy for Rothrock coming in and saving us.”
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei has a league-leading seven shutouts and Jordan Morris is tied for second in MLS with eight goals.
The Sounders will be looking to make amends for their last home match, a 2-1 loss to previously winless Sporting Kansas City. The two goals allowed were the first Seattle had given up in six home matches this season.
The Sounders have never lost to Austin, going 2-0-2.
–Field Level Media
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