Thursday, March 30, 2023
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MLS Preview: Austin FC (1-1-0) at Real Salt Lake (1-1-0)

In the playoff first round of last season, Austin FC defeated Real Salt Lake on penalties after coming back from a 2-0 deficit. Each of the four regular-season meetings between the teams has been won by the home team, with Real Salt Lake winning 1-0 at home in 2021 and 2-1 in Sandy in 2022.

Last season, Real Salt Lake had trouble at home, losing three of its final seven games (D2 W2) at America First Field. Since May 2021 (W15 D7), Real Salt Lake had only lost three of its previous 25 home MLS matches.

Austin FC has lost five consecutive MLS road games, including the playoff defeat at Los Angeles Football Club last year, failing to score in each of the last four. Austin FC had only lost two of its previous 12 MLS road games since April (W8 D2) before this run.

After two matches, Real Salt Lake has taken an MLS-high 37 shots, including 19 against Seattle. Vancouver only took 18 or more shots four times during the regular season, while Austin FC took an MLS playoff record 38 shots, including extra time, in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

In Austin’s 1-0 victory over Montreal on Saturday, Maxi Urruti scored one goal off the bench., his first goal since April 2018 as a substitute. After scoring 13 goals from substitutes during the regular season, only Los Angeles Football Club scored more than Austin, with J. Gallagher scoring in MD1.

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