Austin FC once again proved themselves as a true contender of the Western Conference.
The Texas team overcame CF Montreal 1-0 on Saturday with a 67th minute goal from Maxi Urruti, despite entering the second half with a man down after Daniel Pereira received a red card just minutes before the whistle.
Head coach Josh Wolff hailed his side for the victory, downplaying the disadvantage to credit his players.
"I'm really, really pleased and proud of the guys [for] a tremendous effort. The first half was a little spotty, trying to get control of it, but a very needless red card again for Dani,” said Wolff.
“That's a couple of those – and he was frustrated and disappointed in himself afterward, right...It puts the team in a really bad spot, but the response from the guys, talking about what was going to be required at halftime, and what the willingness and commitment and togetherness was going to look like, was awesome.”
Austin FC took home the three points against the East’s fifth place team, their fourth victory over a team of the opposing conference this season. Though Montreal were without Djordje Mihailovic, it was still no easy feat given their previous eight-game unbeaten streak.
"We're excited and obviously really, really pleased that we grabbed three points on the road against a good Eastern Conference opponent," Wolff added.
"We'll enjoy this and enjoy Father's Day and get back to work. Next week, we have a big opponent – our next six games are critical. This is a real telling time, but the next opponent is our most important one, and that's how we'll prepare."
Yael Averbuch West welcomed USMNT and Nashville SC Designated Player Walker Zimmerman for the latest episode of 90min's Football Americana. As the World Cup fast approaches, the defender revealed what's going on behind the scenes at recent USMNT camps - ahead of matches against Wales and England in Qatar. Zimmerman also spoke on the revolutionary CBA agreed upon by the US national teams and US Soccer, giving the USMNT’s side and perspective as the historic procedure went down.Subscribe to the series here.
Austin FC fullback John Gallagher admitted the energy to come back stronger came from their 4-1 defeat against Liga MX side Pachuca on June 11. Despite its friendly status, the game left a chip on their shoulder.
"That was probably a good thing for us to play last week and get humbled by a good side," Gallagher said.
"It wasn't the result we wanted and it was a kick in the teeth and a wake-up call for us. So the last week, the coaches have really emphasized being combative, winning your duels, not getting beat inside by your men, and just getting back to basics of defending and being hard to play against.”
The victory leaves Austin FC in third in the West, just three points behind leaders LAFC and one point away from second place Real Salt Lake.