LAFC will look to begin another win streak when they head to Texas for one of the biggest games to date of their 2022 season, when they face Austin FC Friday night at Q2 Stadium.
The black-and-gold are coming off a setback last weekend, a 2-1 road loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. While LAFC found yet another second-half equalizer, they also conceded a rare losing goal even later. It was a bad game by their lofty standards, but the only thing they can do is shake it off and turn their attention to what’s next, as they sit atop the Supporters’ Shield standings.
Austin are 2nd in the Western Conference and 3rd in the Supporters’ Shield, and they’ve said both they aren’t afraid of LAFC and are going for the Shield themselves. Their last match was also a 2-1 road loss, at Minnesota United, and Austin didn’t look like they were dominant, either. Of course, they are also looking to turn the page, and have new Designated Player Emiliano Rigoni with the team and poised to make his debut in this match.
LAFC keep making moves themselves, and while Denis Bouanga is still working on his paperwork and any other late signings won’t be available for this game, they have seen off Brian Rodriguez and Mamadou Fall just this week. This is a huge six-pointer for the Shield and Western Conference races — if LAFC wins, that should just about wrap up their supremacy in the Conference, and essentially knock Austin out of the Shield race, but if Austin win, it’s all to play for. And considering Austin are the only team to have beaten LAFC at home so far this year, they’ll have the confidence to know they can do it. It’ll be up to LAFC to show they are farther ahead and can get the job done. Hopefully they do in this showdown.
- Ilie Sanchez (suspended) — OUT
- Julian Gaines (pelvis) — QUESTIONABLE
- Hector Jimenez (groin) — OUT
- Freddy Kleeman (knee) — OUT
According to our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook, as of Thursday afternoon, LAFC are (+130), Austin are (+175) and a draw is (+265), so LAFC are at a push on the road, which seems like a pretty fair assessment by the bookmaker.
How to Watch:
Friday’s match between LAFC and Austin FC will be televised nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 5 pm PT with kickoff to come promptly at 5.