Major League Soccer

Rapids-Austin FC Preview

Robin Fraser has warned his Colorado Rapids players they cannot afford to take the Western Conference's bottom side Austin FC lightly in Saturday's contest at Q2 Stadium.

Austin have won just three of their first 14 games as an MLS franchise and enter this match with fourth-placed Colorado on the back of successive defeats without scoring.

The Rapids were beaten 3-0 by Real Salt Lake last week, though, and were defeated 3-1 in their only previous encounter with Austin in April, so Fraser is taking nothing for granted.

"They are obviously a very good team, regardless of what their record is," Fraser said. "They are extremely good in possession and make it very difficult for teams down there.

"I think they have a number of really good players. They're very well-coached and very well organized. We know it's going to be a big challenge for us."

Austin have collected just seven points from the last 33 on offer and head coach Josh Wolff accepts that his side are bottom of the division for a reason.

"The results are what we deserve, they are the first 14 games of the franchise and we are learning," he said.

However, Wolff's goal-shy side have been boosted this week with the signing of Argentine forward Sebastian Driussi from Zenit on a Designated Player deal.

"Sebastian is a phenomenal and versatile player who will elevate our attack and make us more dangerous going forward," Wolff said.

"We've had our eye on him for quite some time. We are confident that Sebastian's international experience and pedigree will raise the level of our entire group and help us compete for a playoff spot this season."

Austin FC - Sebastian Driussi

Driussi scored 11 goals in Russia's top flight in 2018-19, though has not quite hit those heights in recent seasons. That being said, at 25, he has plenty of top-level experience, and could well light up MLS.

Colorado Rapids - Micheal Barrios

The goals have been shared around by the Rapids this season, though Barrios is the pick of the bunch with four goals.

- Austin recorded its first win in its MLS history with a 3-1 victory at Colorado in April. The Rapids have won just one of their last nine matches against expansion sides (D2 L6) and haven't won an away match against an expansion side since a 2011 victory at Vancouver.

- Austin has just one win in its last 11 matches (D4 L6) after winning two straight matches against Colorado and Minnesota. Austin has managed just six goals in those games, with four of them coming in the lone win in that time, a victory over Portland on July 1.

- The Rapids streak of 12 consecutive games with a goal came to an end in a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Colorado hasn't been shut out in consecutive regular season matches since September-October 2018.

- Austin has failed to score in nine of its first 14 games. The only other team to fail to score in nine of its first 14 games of a season is D.C. United, who have done so three times (2010, 2013, 2017).

- Colorado's last nine goals have been scored by eight different players with only Barrios scoring more than once in that time. An additional six players have been involved in at least one assist, meaning 15 different Rapids players have been involved in at least one goal since June 19.

Updated July 30, 2021

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