Austin FC vs. St. Louis City SC Pick & Prediction MARCH 9th 2024

Looking for their first win and playing in front of their home crowd, expect Austin FC to get a little rough against Western Conference foe St. Louis City on Saturday.

Austin (0-1-1, 1 point) has had a ragged start to the season but scratched out an important point on the road in a scoreless draw at Seattle on March 2. The Verde were outshot 23-2 and didn’t even attempt a shot until the 74th minute, when Jhojan Valencia’s looping try from 25 yards out was easily gobbled up.

Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver made four saves, including a diving stop on a Seattle header from 8 yards out in the 76th minute. The Verde played without midfielder Sebastian Driussi (hamstring) and center back Leo Vaisanen (plantar fasciitis).

Austin coach Josh Wolff expects a physical game with St. Louis.

“They’re a very combative team with high speed and high volume of running, and they like to put a lot of pressure on you,” Wolff said. “There’s a constant buzz and press in the middle part of the field. Space can become a little more clear, but for the first 45-60 minutes, it’s going to be battle. It always is.”

Saturday’s game is the second at home this season for Austin and the first of back-to-back contests at Q2 Stadium.

St. Louis (1-0-1, 4 points) comes to Austin after a 2-0 home win over New York City FC on March 2. Celio Pompeu led the way with a goal and an assist, and Sam Adeniran added a tally, his second of the young season.

Roman Burki, the 2023 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, had to stop just one shot as he kept a clean sheet for St. Louis.

St. Louis City has beaten Austin FC both times the sides have played, including a victory last season in St. Louis’ franchise debut. Roughly a year later, St. Louis coach Bradley Carnell says the team’s mindset heading into Texas has advanced, as have the expectations.

“We’re further along than where we were then, and so now it’s business,” Carnell said. “Now, we just go in there to get three points.”

–Field Level Media

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