Goals have been at a premium for Austin FC this season but at least the expansion team will have a little confidence on its side when it hosts the Colorado Rapids on Saturday in a Western Conference match.
Austin FC beat the Rapids in the teams' first meeting this year, recording the inaugural win in its MLS history with a 3-1 victory at Colorado in April. Austin (3-7-4, 13 points) has won just twice in its 12 matches since, and brings a two-game losing streak into play for the rematch.
Austin has managed just six goals in its past 11 games, with four of the tallies coming in a 4-1 home victory over Portland on July 1. Austin, which is tied with Inter Miami CF for the fewest goals in the league with 10, has failed to score in nine of its first 14 games.
Austin's most recent setback was a 1-0 home loss to a Seattle team that became the first-ever MLS club to start five teenagers in a match.
"We just have to continue to get better," Austin FC coach Josh Wolff said. "It's a long road, this is the first 14 games (in) this team's existence and it's never going to be easy, so we just got to keep pushing along and stay positive and make progress."
The Rapids' streak of 12 consecutive games with a goal came to an end in a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on July 24. Saturday's match will close out a six-game month of July that has seen Colorado go 2-1-2.
Colorado (7-4-3, 24 points) started the month with an undefeated four-game homestand, defeating Minnesota and FC Dallas and earning draws versus Seattle and San Jose.
"Austin is obviously a very good team, regardless of what their record is," Rapids coach Robin Fraser said. "They are extremely good in possession and make it very difficult for teams down there. We know it's going to be a big challenge for us."
The Rapids have won just one of their past nine matches against expansion sides (six losses and two draws) and haven't won a road match against an expansion side since a 2011 victory at Vancouver.
--Field Level Media