Winless Austin FC takes on struggling FC Dallas

League: MLS

Posted on: 30 Mar, 2024 at 03:40 AM

Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Austin FC looks to turn up their offensive attack and pick up their first win this season when they hosts struggling FC Dallas on Saturday evening in a Copa Tejas match.

Copa Tejas is an in-season competition between the three Texas MLS clubs (Houston is the third) based on their six league matches against each other. Austin FC has won the event each of the past two years.

The Verde (0-2-3, 3 points) return home after a 2-0 loss at Orlando City on March 23 in which it didn't produce a shot on goal until added time in the second half. As has been the norm this season, goalkeeper Brad Stuver kept Austin in the game with five stops. Stuver leads MLS in saves with 27.

"We're focusing on what do we have to do to get the points this weekend, and what do we have to do to make ourselves better," Stuver said. "I'm going to put the work in on the training field and hold guys accountable there, because if we don't hold guys accountable in training, then we can't hold each other accountable on game day."

Both midfielder Dani Pereira (Venezuela) and center back Julio Cascante (Costa Rica) return to the Verde after missing the Orlando match on national team duty.

Dallas (1-3-0, 3 points) heads south after a sorely needed bye week. Dallas' most recent game was a 3-1 home loss to Vancouver on March 16, its third straight defeat. Dallas' tally came from midfielder Sebastian Lletget in the 40th minute, his first goal since the 2022 season.

"It was a good moment for us to stop," Dallas coach Nico Estevez said of the off week. "It was a good moment to analyze things to review, to go back and think and see what things are when we're doing well and what things are we're not doing well, that is not allowing us to win games.

"We have to go to the basics and see who we are, you know, why we were successful."

Dallas has dealt with a handful of injuries, including the season-ending loss of midfielder Paxton Pomykal to knee surgery this week, but will get defender Sebastien Ibeagha (calf) and forward Jesus Ferreira (hamstring/thigh) back on the pitch for Saturday's game.

Dallas has won five of the nine all-time meetings against the Verde, with two draws.

--Field Level Media