FC Dallas will aim to move back above the playoff line and keep their home unbeaten streak alive against Austin FC when the rivals square off in the latest rendition of the Texas Derby on Saturday in Frisco, Texas.
Dallas (8-9-6, 30 points) returns to league play for the first time since July 15 and hasn't played a match since losing to Inter Miami in the Leagues Cup Round of 16 on Aug. 6. The Toros dropped four of six MLS contests heading into the Leagues Cup, but their only win in that span was against defending champion LAFC.
"We used (the past three weeks) as a time to refresh our minds after a really condensed and tight schedule in the first part of the season and also with the Leagues Cup, the heat and everything," Dallas coach Nico Estevez said this week. "Get away and come back with a mind focused on MLS."
Jesus Ferreira leads FC Dallas with 10 goals this season, more than the Toros' next four goal-scorers combined. Dallas has won seven of the eight matches in which Ferreira has scored and has just one win in the 15 matches in which he didn't score or play.
Austin (9-10-5, 32 points) heads to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after a disheartening 6-3 loss at St. Louis City on Aug. 20 in its MLS reboot from the Leagues Cup. Sebastian Driussi, Will Bruin and Emiliano Rigoni recorded the Verde's goals, all in the second half when the match was all but decided.
The six goals conceded in the loss was the most ever for Austin in its three years of MLS play; the club has allowed at least three goals in its past three matches (all losses).
The Verde has never won on the road against FC Dallas and has earned just one point in its three all-time visits to its neighbor to the north. Austin has captured the past two meetings between the teams, including a victory in its 2022 postseason run to the Western Conference final and a 3-0 win at home in June.
"It'll be a competitive match," Austin FC coach Josh Wolff said. "They're a good team, as are we, so we've got to go there understanding what they are, who they are, but also with the idea of what we need to do to hurt them."
—Field Level Media