Minnesota United seek advantage at home against Austin FC

League: MLS


Posted on: 21 Jun, 2024 at 11:40 PM

Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After losing back-to-back road matches at Seattle and Dallas, Minnesota United return home to Saint Paul, Minn. -- where they have lost just once in nine matches this season -- and host Austin FC on Saturday night.

The Loons (8-5-5, 29 points) are 4-1-4 at home while Austin FC (6-7-6, 24 points) are just 1-5-3 on the road. It's a rematch of a 2-1 season-opening win by Minnesota at Austin on Feb. 24.

Minnesota comes in off an ugly 5-3 loss at FC Dallas on Wednesday. It was the most goals allowed in a match by the Loons since Aug. 11, 2023, when they were blanked by Nashville 5-0 in a Leagues Cup contest. The Loons had allowed a total of four goals in their previous three matches but gave up three goals over a 28-minute span of the second half to the Toros.

"If I was a betting man, I would have said we'd be a strong defensive team tonight," Minnesota coach Eric Ramsay said. "I thought if we had issues, it'd be more with how we used the ball. We created good spells of control in the game, really impressive in that area. But we conceded five goals. ... When we made mistakes, we were punished for it."

Minnesota was without nine regulars because of international duty, injuries and suspensions. The list included goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair and leading goal scorer Tani Oluwaseyi, who are playing for Canada in the Copa America, and injured striker Teemu Pukki (knee).

Austin FC -- winless in their last five matches (0-3-2) -- will be playing their third match in an eight-day stretch after a 1-1 draw with second-place Los Angeles FC on Wednesday.

The draw snapped LAFC's six-match winning streak but was bittersweet because the visitors tied it on their only shot on goal of the match in the 90th minute, a header by Kei Kamara. Jader Obrian had scored in the 19th minute to give Austin the early lead.

"The guys put up a heck of a fight and we just weren't able to get over the finish line," Austin coach Josh Wolff said.

Austin also will be without a pair of key starters who are away for Copa America play in midfielder Dani Pereira (Venezuela) and defender Julio Cascante (Costa Rica). Another midfielder, Jhojan Valencia, will miss the match for yellow card accumulation.

--Field Level Media