Austin FC will look to rediscover their home-field magic Saturday and move closer to clinching a postseason berth when they square off against Sporting Kansas City.
Austin FC (13-5-6, 45 points) was unbeaten in their first five home matches this season, but since then have earned only one win and six overall points in six matches at Q2 Stadium (1-2-3). The most recent game for the Verde was a 3-3 home draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 3, when they dropped points by conceding late.
Still second place in the Western Conference, Austin are nine points clear of third-place FC Dallas but six behind Los Angeles FC for both the conference lead and Supporters' Shield.
"We're on the hunt right now," Austin defender Jon Gallagher said. "We're trying to close that gap between us and LAFC, and that's just taking it one game at a time. Right now, our focus is on Sporting."
Sebastian Driussi scored two goals for Austin FC against San Jose and leads the league with 16 goals on the season. The 26-year-old Argentinian has racked up seven goals and three assists in the past seven games and was named MLS player of the month for July. Driussi has contributed to a goal in seven consecutive games to match the longest streak in MLS this season.
The teams played on July 30 at Kansas City, with Austin FC winning 2-0.
Sporting KC (6-14-5, 23 points) won for the first time in five games last Saturday, a 4-2 home victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. SKC, in last place in the West, had been shutout three games in a row and had managed just three goals in their previous seven MLS games before erupting against the Galaxy.
SKC striker William Agada powered SKC with a pair of goals and Daniel Salloi ended a run of eight straight games without a goal or assist by scoring once and assisting twice. SKC has the league's lowest-scoring offense and has won only twice in 13 road games.
"It's a tough year, but we're fighting," Salloi said. "We are out there every weekend and we're putting everything out there. We are angrier. If it annoys somebody more than the fans, then it's us players. This is MLS. Anything can happen. We're still pushing."
--Field Level Media