Austin FC look to win consecutive MLS games for the second time this season when they host reeling Toronto FC on Saturday.
Austin (3-5-4, 13 points) ended an eight-game winless streak (0-4-4) in MLS play with a 2-1 road win over the Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders on Wednesday.
Toronto (2-4-7, 13 points) is 1-3-5 in its last nine games and in last place in the Eastern Conference after playing to a scoreless draw against the visiting New York Red Bulls on Wednesday.
Austin’s lone wins during that stretch were a 2-0 triumph over New Mexico City United, a Division II professional team, in the U.S. Open Cup on May 10 and a CONCACAF Champions League victory over Haiti’s Violette AC on March 14.
Ethan Finlay gave Austin FC a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute against the Sounders before assisting on Gyasi Zardes’ first goal of the season in the 57th. Fredy Montero pulled Seattle to within 2-1 in the 79th minute, but Austin held on for its first win over the Sounders in five all-time meetings (1-2-2).
“For the guys, it’s real validation,” Austin FC coach Josh Wolff said. “It’s been a while — too long (since the last win). We’ve had many missed opportunities.”
Toronto has squandered plenty of chances this season, too, including against the Red Bulls.
Though Toronto controlled play against the Red Bulls by maintaining possession for 56.9 percent of the game, it put just three of its 12 shots on goal. Toronto goalie Sean Johnson made three saves to record his fifth shutout of the season and 95th of his career.
“I thought the mentality of the group was good,” Toronto coach Bob Bradley said. “I think we also had some good chances that we weren’t able to take advantage of.”
Toronto is led by Federico Bernardeschi’s three goals, while Jonathan Osorio, who has missed the past four games with a knee injury and is a game-time decision on Saturday, has a team-high four assists.
Jon Gallagher has a team-high four goals for Austin, while Owen Wolff — the head coach’s 18-year-old son — has a team-high three assists.
However, Owen Wolff has been called up by the U.S. Youth National Team in preparation for the U-20 World Cup and won’t return to Austin for about a month.
–Field Level Media
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