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Jul 10, 2022 at 12am UK at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta
0 - 3
Austin

Araujo (25')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Felipe (9'), Finlay (17'), Driussi (57')
Gallagher (42')

Preview: Atlanta United vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atlanta United vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Atlanta United and Austin FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Mercedes-Benz Stadium will feature a matchup between two of the bigger surprise stories at the moment in Major League Soccer as Atlanta United play host to Austin FC.

Halfway through the regular season, the Five Stripes have failed to live up to their lofty expectations, sitting five points back of a playoff spot, while in the Lone Star State, Austin have already exceeded what many had anticipated they were capable of, sitting second in the West with 34 points.


Match preview

A campaign full of twists, many of them literal and primarily negative, took an unexpected turn for the better for Atlanta last weekend.

When it looked like they were headed towards another hard-fought loss away from home, the visitors equalised four minutes before the end of normal time, drawing reigning the MLS Cup champions, New York City FC 2-2.

That was the first point on the road for them since May, and with their next three games taking place on home soil, Gonzalo Pineda will see this as an opportunity to climb back into the playoff race, as four of their five wins this season have come at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Virtually everything good and bad about their 2022 campaign was on full display last weekend, with this team showcasing incredible individual quality at times, though also forgetting their defensive responsibilities at critical junctures.

Despite numerous key components being on the long-term injured list, Atlanta continue to fight ferociously to remain in the hunt for a postseason berth, with six of their last seven domestic affairs being decided by a goal or fewer.

The Five Stripes have been one of the best at maintaining possession with strong build-up play and creativity, leading the league in key passes (188), although they have often looked vulnerable on the counter, conceding multiple goals in nine domestic contests this season.

As impressive as Austin FC have looked offensively in 2022, it does feel at times like they are playing possum in the early stages of their encounters.

Last week, the Verde and Black trailed 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids after 22 minutes, turning it around quickly with three goals before the hour mark to win 3-2.

Austin have only lost one of their five regular-season encounters this year in which they trailed by multiple goals, though they were able to chip away at their deficit a lot sooner on Monday, tallying in the opening half (twice) for the first time since May 18.

Josh Wolff has managed to build this team around some star players, who have helped them become a sophomore success, though they are deceptively good on the back end as well, conceding the third-fewest goals among MLS clubs in the Western Conference (22).

We are only just past the halfway stage of their campaign, and already this side have outdone themselves in numerous categories when compared to 2021, setting a new franchise record for wins (10) and points (34) last week, while they appear to be well on their way to improving their loss total from a year ago (21), suffering just four defeats so far in 2022.

When you consider those statistics compared to a year ago, this season must feel like a victory, though this group seem to take motivation from critics that believe this team will falter as the pressure on them increases.

Atlanta United Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Atlanta United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Austin FC form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W


Team News

Atlanta forward Dom Dwyer has now scored against 24 different MLS sides, notching the equaliser in the 86th minute on Sunday to move into a tie for second on the team alongside Luiz Araujo and Ronaldo Cisneros with four goals.

Josef Martinez has scored in back-to-back games for the Five Stripes, while Thiago Almada moved into a tie for first on the team in assists, with his third of the season, the same amount as Martinez and Marcelino Moreno.

Franco Ibarra is eligible to return from his yellow card suspension, while it is the same old story on the injury front with Atlanta still missing Brad Guzan (Achilles), Osvaldo Alonso (ACL), Dylan Castanheira (Achilles), Miles Robinson (Achilles) and Brooks Lennon (MCL).

Santiago Sosa was on the bench against New York City after a previous illness kept him out, although Pineda will have to contend with more exclusions to his lineup as Andrew Gutman (quad) and Ronald Hernandez (MCL) are unavailable for the foreseeable future.

Sebastian Driussi continues to find the back of the net for Austin moving into a tie for the Golden Boot lead with his 10th of the year on Monday, and when he scores, it seems to inspire Maximiliano Urruti to do the same, with the two Argentine compatriots tallying in the same game for a third time, equalling the most of any teammates this season.

Jon Gallagher notched two assists in the victory over the Rapids, with the other one coming courtesy of Ethan Finlay, while Diego Fagundez remains second in MLS, having set up nine goals so far in 2022.

Austin got a head start on the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window, adding winger Washington Corozo on loan from Sporting Cristal in Peru for the next six months with a transfer option.

Kipp Keller will be suspended for this encounter after the 21-year-old defender received two yellow cards in 75 minutes of action last weekend.

Freddy Kleemann (left knee), Jhojan Valencia (right knee), Julio Cascante (left hamstring) and Jhohan Romana (concussion) are all on the injured list and expected to miss this encounter.

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Rios Novo; Wiley, Campbell, Franco, DeJohn; Rosetto, Sejdic; Moreno, Almada, Araujo; Martinez

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Gallagher, Kolmanic, Gabrielsen, Jimenez; Ring, Pereira; Fagundez, Driussi, Finlay; Urruti


We say: Atlanta United 1-2 Austin FC

Even though they always seem to leave it late, when Austin play with the kind of potency that we are seeing, it is difficult for any side to contain them.

When you add to that the fact that the Five Stripes continuously suffer from at least one or two miscues each game, it would not be a surprise to see the Verde and Black win a fourth successive road fixture in what will be the first-ever meeting between both sides.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.



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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia26139445202548
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City25126746301642
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2611784032840
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England2581073836234
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Charlotte FCCharlotte FC26102143340-732
11Toronto2686123945-630
12Chicago Fire2586112834-630
13Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2578103438-429
14DC United2564152849-2122

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia26139445202548
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City25126746301642
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2611784032840
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England2581073836234
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Charlotte FCCharlotte FC26102143340-732
11Toronto2686123945-630
12Chicago Fire2586112834-630
13Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2578103438-429
14DC United2564152849-2122
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