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The two sides from Texas are heading in very different directions. FC Dallas sit in 6th place on the Western Conference standings with 28 points from 20 games and are on a 6-game winless streak. Austic FC sit in first place on the Western Conference standings with 40 points from 20 games and are now on a 4-game winning streak.
The two sides have faced each other four times overall, with FC Dallas not having recorded a win so far. Their last meeting ended in a 2-2 draw, the only time FC Dallas have secured a point against them.
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The two sides last squared off against one another towards the end of last month in an exciting 2-2 draw. Austin FC went on to have a winning run after this game and FC Dallas were in the middle of what is a poor run that is still ongoing. It did not feel like that at the time with both sides quite close to each other on the Western Conference standings.
Austin FC came into that match knowing that they had the psychological edge, having won in all three previous encounters between the two sides. Dallas FC have been struggling to hold onto leads in recent games and it was the same in this one.
They took a 2-0 lead before Austin FC made a roaring comeback thanks to goals from Sebastian Driussi and Danny Hoesen. FC Dallas should’ve won this game by half-time but goalkeeper Brad Stuver kept them in the game.
It seemed like a blip initially but FC Dallas are really struggling now. They haven’t managed a win in six games. The team were looking really sharp at the start of the season but they now find themselves in sixth place on the Western Conference standings. The gap between themselves and Austin FC, who sit on top of the standings, is 12 points.
There have been signs in every game that they’re not as bad as they look at the moment. Even in the last game against a strong New York City FC side, they had plenty of chances to score, outshooting them 12-4 but chances don’t seem to be materializing into goals. They’re not getting any of the fine margins at the moment.
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FC Dallas haven’t won at home since beating the Seattle Sounders on May 7, 2022. Two months have passed since their last win at the Toyota Stadium. That’s not acceptable for most sides at the bottom, never mind a side that looked like they had a real chance at the start of the season to make big waves. With no wins in six and a really strong Austin FC side next, it’s all a bit worrying for the Texan side at the moment.
Jesus Ferreira has carried the side on his back all season but he can’t do it all alone. He has scored 11 goals so far this season and also chipped in four assists in what has been a bit of a breakthrough season for the 21-year-old. He’s definitely been one of the players of this MLS season but he’s not got the service other top forwards in the league tend to get, which is why he always tops the assists charts at the moment. The lack of creativity has been more startling in recent games.
Ferreira has overperformed a bit thanks to his clinical finishing with his 11 goals coming from only 8.3 xG (according to FBref via Statsbomb). As always with predictive metrics, things tend to regress to the mean eventually and while he remains quite sharp, one can’t expect him to continue performing miracles. He desperately needs help.
Center back Joshué Quiñónez has been out since last month with a sprained ankle.
Austin FC are on top of the Western Conference standings for the moment with 40 points on board but have played one game more than LAFC, who are on 39 points. The two sides are by far the best teams in the Western Conference at this moment in time, with Nashville FC next in line on 30 points.
They won their last game against Houston Dynamo 3-1 thanks to goals from Diego Fagundez, Maximiliano Urruti and Alex Ring. Houston Dynamo took an early lead in the 11th minute but just like FC Dallas found out in the last meeting between the two sides, no lead is safe against Austin FC. Only in their second MLS season, they have made a highly impressive start to life in the league.
Austin FC are on a remarkable run, winning their last four games and have been highly entertaining, scoring three goals in each of their last three games. They currently lead the goals for standings with 41 for the season. Los Angeles FC and New York City FC are right behind them with 38 each, having played one game less but that doesn’t diminish anything.
They’ve now also got more points than anyone else in the leagues and have the best GD in the league of +18. Their rise has been remarkable. They ended last season in 12th place in the Western Conference standings. It just goes to show quickly things can just change in the MLS. All it took was one season for them to go to the very top from the bottom. They only managed 31 points last season and have already got 40, which shows the massive strides they’ve made this season.
Sebastian Driussi has been the main source of goals with 11 so far but the attacking contributions are coming from many different sources. Driussi has also registered four assists but Diego Fagundez leads that chart with seven for the season. Fagundez has also chipped in with four goals. Maximilliano Urruti, who was on the scoresheet in the last game has also chipped in with seven goals and an assist.
Ethan Finlay hasn’t done too badly himself with four goals and four assists. It has been a real team effort and manager, Josh Wolff, has to take a lot of credit for this. There’s a great spirit about the side at the moment and it’s hard to see them lose a lot of games going forward.
Defensive midfielder, Jhojan Valencia, has been out with a knee injury for one month.
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|Teams||FC Dallas vs Austin FC|
|Location||Toyota Stadium, Texas|
|Time||Saturday, July 16 at 9pm EST onwards|
|How to watch||ESPN+, DAZN, TXA21 and CW Austin|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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