This one technically doesn't count: An Austin FC Preview of Houston
After the weekday game that shall not be named, Austin get rewarded with Houston, and this one doesn't even count for or against COPA TEJAS. This is a good thing. We've started our starting line up for 90 minutes twice in the span of 72 hours, so we need a rest, and Houston might be that much deserved rest???
Again, I half-ass my way through watching the opponents last match. I chose to watch the Houston vs Cincinnati game, and I'm glad I did. I'm sure I couldn't read into much from their game against the Revs.
Houston's Midfield wilts under pressure, similar to Montreal. Cincy applied a strong press the first 20-30 minutes of this match, and Houston couldn't handle it. It was a dominant 20-30 minutes too. I haven't been too happy about our high press this year. Particularly Zardes, but I would expect Urriti starts this weekend, and he MUST start. It's his former team, and you know how he does. God, that clip is beautiful. The crowd is so good and Q2 really is the best.
SIDE NOTE: With banks failing right and left, I bet Q2 won't be Q2 next year. Can we get Bird Bird Biscuit Stadium?
They don't cover the wings tight and leave their Fullbacks out to dry out there. If Rigoni or Fagundez can dust their one-on-one matchups, they could cause some mayhem. If I see Finlay out there agian on Saturday, I'll do it. I'll kill myself. I'm so tired of him, so much so that I've just completely forgotten his name (Listen to the MLSNow Austin preview Podcast to see my complete inability to remember his name).
They've had a week off, and we've had two games in three days this past week. This is a disadvantage. This is their Superbowl, and we're licking our wounds. Either we start our starters and we don't have the legs to carry us to a win, or we rotate and our lack of depth sinks us. I don't like this game at all for us, but this is a great opportunity for Wolff to master the half rotation.
Houston will probably employ the same low block, conservative defense we just saw against Violette FC. They did it against Cincinatti, and it almost worked. We struggled with it already this year, both with Violette and Montreal. We'll need to break these block if we want to push our way into the top teams in the west, and if we're rotating starters, I don't love our creativity to break this.
What to Watch For
Give me some Djeffal on Saturday. Our midfield was gassed at the end of that Violette game. Let Djeffal go 90 and split the other midfield time between Pereira and Wolff.
We need another wing, so bad. Just for depth. Diego should start with Urriti up top, but that third winger just doesn't exist. Finlay has been useless, and Rigoni has to be gassed. This would be a great one to see CJ Fodrey (our first pick in the SuperDraft), but I don't think he'll be available due to injury. Ugh. Does that mean... Redes? :(
Kolmanic and Lima should probably get the start here. Gallagher's tank was empty at the end of that Violette game. Gallagher is great as a sub if we need a goal at the end. We might just need Gallagher at the wing anyways.
Owen's on the US U-20's after this, and Leo is off to play for Finland. That means NEITHER will be available for our game next week, so they should play significan minutes tomorrow. At least it's Colorado at home next week, but I don't love that situation. I love our players making the international squad, but it just means more wear and tear on them. An injury to either would sink us.