AUSTIN (KXAN) — A quick turnaround from one of the franchise’s most impressive wins has Austin FC facing off against a Portland Timbers team living on the playoff Wednesday at Q2 Stadium.
Kickoff was originally scheduled for 8 p.m., but was delayed because of weather. Kickoff time has been re-estimated to happen approximately 30 minutes after the threat of lightning leaves the area. Q2 Stadium’s on-site meteorologist is monitoring the threat of lightning within the safety perimeter, and present weather patterns estimate the threat of lightning exiting our safety perimeter between 9 and 9:45 p.m., the stadium said on their Twitter account. Anticipated kickoff time is between 9:50 and 10 p.m.
“I think these guys do enjoy the win,” said Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff. “Whether it was a short turnaround like it is or we had the whole week to enjoy it, you got to turn the page.”
Verde pummeled LAFC, who still has the best record in Major League Soccer, 4-1 Aug. 26 at Q2 Stadium in front of raucous home supporters and a national TV audience. There was little time to celebrate, however, as the Timbers come to town a point out of playoff contention with the season winding down.
Austin FC is one of the best teams at home in the Western Conference and Portland is one of the worst teams on the road, but the Timbers are coming off a big win of their own. They took down their most bitter rivals, the Seattle Sounders, 2-1 to not just “gut the fish,” as their fans affectionately call it, but to win the fan-created Cascadia Cup. The cup is awarded to the team with the best record in games between the Timbers, Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said the win was great and the fan support during the match was tremendous, but they’ve got to move on — just like Austin FC does from the LAFC win.
“We have to continue to play the way we did against Seattle,” he said. “That way, we can stay in the fight.”
While the Timbers, who played for the MLS Cup last season, are fighting for their playoff lives, Austin FC is inching closer to clinching the franchise’s first playoff spot.
Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff refuses to look ahead at potential playoff scenarios, opting to take the classic coaching approach of “one game at a time,” which is typically the right thing to do, anyway.
“To be honest, it’s kind of mind blowing that we’re seven games away from the end of the season,” said Austin FC Midfielder. “We all know, I’ve been in these league so long where these games are the ones that matter.”
As the league’s best offensive team with 59 goals, Austin FC will have to deal with one of the most physical defensive teams in the Timbers. Portland is second in MLS in yellow cards with 78 and has the league leader in tackles won — full back Claudio Bravo has won 65 of them.
Following the match Wednesday, it’s another quick turn and Austin FC hits the road to Nashville for a match Saturday.
How to watch Austin FC vs. Portland Timbers
8 p.m., Aug. 31, Q2 Stadium
Streaming: MLS LIVE on ESPN+, AustinFC.com, Austin FC app; UnivisionAustin.com, UnivisionAustin app (Spanish)
Radio: KASE-FM Alt 97.5; KLQB-FM 104.3 HD2 (Spanish)