Thursday’s MLS doubleheader concludes with a match between Austin FC and the Seattle Sounders. At home, Austin is favored with a moneyline of +118 compared to Seattle’s moneyline of +215. There is also a moneyline of +255 for a draw and an over/under of 2.5 goals.
In its inaugural season, Austin FC has had plenty of ups and downs. They’ve recorded just three wins in 13 matches, putting them 10th in the Western Conference. However, they’ve taken points from five of their last seven matches, including a recent 4-1 victory over Portland.
Of course, the Sounders are currently leading the Western Conference despite losing to Minnesota over the weekend. That loss ended a 13-match unbeaten streak for Seattle, which set a new MLS record. It was also the club’s first loss of the season, making the Sounders confident that they’ll be able to get back on track quickly.
Speed of Sound
Seattle’s high-scoring attack has been a huge factor in the Sounders reaching the top of the Western Conference standings. While he’s scored just once in his last three matches, Raul Ruidiaz has found the back of the net 10 times this season. The only caveat is that no other Seattle player has more than three goals, while the Sounders are also missing brothers Alex and Cristian Roldan, who are both away from the team during the Gold Cup.
Of course, it’s actually been Seattle’s defense that has been the team’s biggest strength in 2021. The Sounders have the best defensive record in MLS, conceding just nine goals in 14 matches. That being said, Seattle was dominant defensively early in the season, but the Sounders have kept just one clean sheet in their last six matches.
Hold It Down
Much like Seattle, the Austin FC defense has been the biggest strength of the team this season. Josh Wolff’s team has allowed just 14 goals in 13 matches, which is tied for the sixth-fewest goals allowed in the league this season. Austin has managed to keep four clean sheets this season, including a scoreless draw against the Sounds earlier this season.
Of course, Austin’s defensive record doesn’t match its place in the standings because Wolff’s club has struggled to score goals. We saw a tiny glimpse of what Austin might be capable of doing in a 4-1 win over Portland earlier this month. But that was followed up by a scoreless effort against LAFC over the weekend in what is already the eighth match of the season in which Austin FC failed to score.
Only One Path to Points
Austin FC has scored just 10 goals in 13 matches, with only five players contributing to those 10 goals, which means that their only path to points could be another scoreless draw with the Sounders. Given Seattle’s defensive record, a goal from Austin FC seems unlikely in this match. Also, since the Sounders have only been held scoreless twice this season, Seattle should find the back of the net and win this game either 1-0 or 2-0.
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