MLS

Colorado Rapids v Austin FC: Wolff looking to generate urgency during road trip

By Sports Desk June 15, 2024

Josh Wolff is hoping Austin FC can regain some urgency after their mid-season break, starting with their trip to Colorado Rapids.

Austin are on a three-game winless streak, losing their last two outings, leaving them sixth in the Western Conference.

With teams below them catching up to their 23-point tally, Wolff admitted there is still room for improvement, but remained upbeat about his team’s progress this season.

"We're pleased with where we're at. There's still a long way to go, there's a lot to improve on," Wolff said.

"The second half of the season will be challenging. You've got to quickly generate urgency to get back on the field and perform. Colorado is the most important game - because it's the next one.

"I want to create urgency and focus on the things we need to keep improving on while keeping our guys healthy. We are going to put everything we can into this game."

Colorado are one of the teams closing in on Austin, sitting just one point and two places below them in the table.

The Rapids have won just one of their last five matches in the MLS, but head coach Chris Armas is confident his side can turn good performances into results.

Armas said, "We really want to get these performances to turn into points. We think we're doing alright, but we know there's room to improve so that's where all of our energy went over the break.

"We're going to get there. We've got a good group, they're hungry and they come to learn. They're giving everything. We're still a work in progress, but I still believe in this."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado Rapids – Djordje Mihailovic

After failing to contribute to a goal in his first five Rapids appearances, Mihailovic has 10 goal contributions in his last 11 matches (five goals, five assists) including recording one in three straight games.

Austin FC – Alexander Ring

Austin attempted just eight shots in their defeat to Real Salt Lake on June 1 – it was the league-high 10th time Austin have attempted fewer than 10 shots in a match this season.

All those efforts came in the second half, with Ring scoring a consolation goal from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

MATCH PREDICTION: COLORADO RAPIDS WIN

The Rapids hold the slight edge in the head-to-head between the teams, winning three times to Austin’s two wins (D2). Colorado have scored in all seven meetings between the sides.

However, the Rapids have lost back-to-back matches for the first time this season following defeats at Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps. Colorado have lost three of their last four matches (D1) after dropping only three of their previous 12 in league play dating back to the start of March (W6 D3).

Austin have lost consecutive matches for the first time since last August with defeats to Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake. Austin had lost only three of their previous 14 matches (W6 D5) dating back to the beginning of March.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Colorado Rapids – 47.8%

Draw – 26%

Austin FC – 26.2%

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