AUSTIN (KXAN) — The past three times on the pitch, Austin FC has squandered chances to qualify for the club’s first-ever playoff appearance, getting outscored 8-1 in the process.

Verde comes home after two road matches, and with a win or a draw Wednesday against Real Salt Lake, they can finally call themselves a playoff team.

Gone are Austin FC’s chances at the Supporters’ Shield, but since they had such a big lead over the rest of the Western Conference in second place, they are still in that position even after three consecutive losses. However, FC Dallas is lurking two points behind and Austin can’t risk further harm if they want to host multiple playoff games. They need to beat Real Salt Lake.

“We continue to face teams that need points and have a real intensity to be in a position to make the playoffs or get in a better position,” Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said after the 3-0 loss to Seattle on Saturday. “We’ve got to rekindle the spirit and urgency to put teams under pressure.”

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The last time Verde played Real Salt Lake, May 14 at America First Field (formerly Rio Tinto Stadium), RSL topped the visitors 2-1. Alex Ring scored in the 24th minute to give Verde a 1-0 lead after the first half, but the wheels fell off for Austin in the second half. Dani Pereria picked up a red card in the 47th minute, and RSL scored twice on the 10-man Austin side to take the points.

Top scorer Sebastian Driussi has been nursing a knee injury and played just six minutes against Seattle in a 3-0 loss Saturday at Lumen Field. Even then, he only went on the field to cancel out yellow card accumulation under MLS’ “Good Behavior Incentive.” The game was well out of hand at 3-0 by the time the 20-goal man checked in.

Whether he’s healthy enough to play significant minutes against RSL isn’t clear, but Austin sure needs him to be healthy because they desperately need some goals. Newcomer Emiliano Rigoni, once he gets settled in, could help with that, but he has yet to start a match and has played 81 minutes in his first three matches.

The bottom line for Austin FC is to get some kind of result at Q2 Stadium in front of 20,000 maniacal supporters. A win is more preferable to ensure they stay second in the West, but a tie would still put them in the postseason in the franchise’s second year in the league.

How to watch, stream or listen to Real Salt Lake vs. Austin FC

8:15 p.m., Q2 Stadium, Austin, Texas


Streaming: MLS LIVE on ESPN+, AustinFC,com, Austin FC app;, UnivisionAustin app (Spanish)

Radio: KASE-FM Alt 97.5; KLQB 104.3 HD2 (Spanish)