Seattle Sounders FC vs. Austin FC Pick & Prediction MARCH 2nd 2024

The Seattle Sounders were without four starters for their MLS season opener last weekend at Los Angeles FC.

It might be five for Seattle (0-1-0, 0 points) in its home opener Saturday night against Austin FC (0-1-0, 0 points).

Goalkeeper Stefan Frei (hamstring), midfielders Joao Paulo (hip) and Albert Rusnak (ankle) and central defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade (fitness) were all scratched for the Sounders’ 2-1 loss.

In addition, forward Raul Ruidiaz was subbed off in the 58th minute because of a rib injury and is questionable for this weekend’s match. However, Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer told reporters Friday that Ruidiaz is “good to go” for Saturday.

“We’re going to work on Plan B and C and get those guys ready,” Schmetzer said. “Austin plays very similar (to LAFC). There will be a little bit of drama with the lineup and how it looks on a piece of paper, but on the field, the expectations are there.”

The Sounders got a boost in the opener from their big offseason acquisition, 23-year-old midfielder Pedro de la Vega. After limited preseason practice, he came off the bench and converted a penalty kick.

“We’ll have to work on some of the defending, make sure he understands a little bit more about how we like to defend,” Schmetzer said. “But we’re going to let him go. We’re going to let him do what he does. I’m not going to corral that.”

Austin lost its opener 2-1 at home to Minnesota United FC last week, despite a goal from newcomer Guilherme Biro in second-half stoppage time.

The club might be without captain Sebastian Driussi (hamstring) and center back Leo Vaisanen (plantar fasciitis) on Saturday.

Austin coach Josh Wolff wasn’t pleased by his team’s opening performance.

“It was unrecognizable from what our group has looked like in six, seven weeks of preseason, from speed (to) combativeness (to) dueling,” he said. “So it was sorely lacking the things that we preached and had been about in preseason.”

–Field Level Media

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