Austin FC, Union search for winning formula in first-ever meeting

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Saturday, March 16, 2024

Austin FC and the Philadelphia Union will try to reset after a bit of a stumbling start when they square off for the first time ever in the regular season on Saturday in the Texas capital.

Austin FC (0-1-2, 2 points) has managed draws the past two weeks, at Seattle and at home against St. Louis City, after beginning the season with a home loss to Minnesota United.

The Verde looked to have done enough to produce a victory in their most recent game against St. Louis when Matt Hedges and Julio Cascante found the net to stake them to a 2-1 lead. But Austin conceded a goal in the third minute of added time, forcing it to split the points and making Saturday's contest against Philadelphia even more vital.

"They're an experienced group and that team will be ready to play," Austin coach Josh Wolff said Thursday about the Union. "We have to focus on the Philly that we believe is going to come here with the players they have. They've been very consistent over the past four, five years."

Austin has scored three goals this season in three games, with Guilherme Biro joining Hedges and Cascante on the ledger.

Philadelphia (0-0-2, 2 points) has played just two league matches after its home game against Seattle on March 9 was postponed due to poor field conditions following a deluge of rain.

The Union then traveled south of the border and endured a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Mexican league side CF Pachuca Tuesday to get knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

"Our full focus now is on the league," Union coach Jim Curtin said after the loss in Pachuca. "A lot of work to do, a lot to improve on. We have a game coming against Austin where we will learn a lot about our group. The season is just starting, we're two games in, this hurts for sure but we have to regroup and have a good response on the weekend and try to get a win in the league."

Philadelphia has three goal scorers this season, with Alejandro Bedoya, Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre each producing a tally.

--Field Level Media