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Expansion Austin FC hopes for Texas Derby sweep at Dallas

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Austin FC will look to make it a clean sweep of this week’s Texas Derby matches when it travels up I-35 to square off against FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Frisco, Texas.

It’s the first-ever regular-season match between the two Lone Star State sides.

Austin (4-8-4, 16 points) broke out of a three-game goalless streak and held on to beat visiting Houston Dynamo 3-2 at home on Wednesday. Tomas Pochettino scored two goals in the victory, with Cecilio Dominguez adding the goal early in the second half that ultimately decided the game. Pochettino’s goals were his first of the season.

Until Pochettino’s tally in the seventh minute, Austin had gone 286 minutes without scoring. Ten of its 13 goals this year have come in three matches, wins over Colorado, Portland and Houston. Austin’s 13 goals in 15 games are tied for last in MLS with Miami.

Austin coach Josh Wolff said he was pleased with the team’s overall performance and thought that the in-state rival provided extra motivation.

“We talked about that a lot this week,” Wolff said after Wednesday’s win. “Our first few derbies — let’s take care of business in the first one and set ourselves up for the second one. Part of that job is done. Now we’ve got to recover, recuperate. Momentum is a big part of this entire league. Good performances help us build the momentum.”

FC Dallas (4-7-6, 18 points) heads home after earning a 1-1 tie at Seattle on Wednesday as Franco Jara scored the equalizer one minute into second-half stoppage time. Dallas is 2-0-1 over its past three games.

Dallas continues to be one of the league’s best home teams. It is unbeaten in 17 consecutive matches (9-0-8) and has lost only once at home since May 2019, a stretch of 31 games.

Despite its recent surge and its success at home, FC Dallas is in ninth place in the Western Conference, three points under the playoff line halfway through the season.

“Obviously it’s been a rough start of the season,” FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira said. “We all know that, and we all know we need to do better. … We’re kind of showing the game we want to play now. There’s times … where the timing is off. But we are working on it and make it better till we perfect it.”

–Field Level Media

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