Austin Aztex News Release - www.austinaztex.com
Friday, July 31, 2015
AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Aztex (7-9-3, 24pts) will return home to face off with Portland Timbers 2 (7-11-2, 23pts) on Saturday night at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Austin.
The last time Austin faced T2, a 10-man Aztex squad tried to come back from a two goal halftime deficit after Devin Perales received a straight red card before ultimately falling 3-1 on June 14 in Portland.
The Aztex come into the match riding a two game winning streak, after outscoring Arizona United SC by a total score of 5-1 over their previous two matches. The Aztex will be looking to carry the momentum forward as they make their playoff push. Portland has lost their last two, but is 3-3 in its last six outings. Separated by just one point in the standings, this match will be a crucial game with both teams just outside of the playoff race.
The Aztex rode a six-point swing to be within reach of the playoff race. Saturday’s match will be a crucial match for Austin to their momentum in their inaugural USL season.
The offensive attack for Austin is highlighted by a number of playmaking forwards. Kris Tyrpak and Trevin Caesar are tied for the team lead with seven goals apiece. The two have showed good chemistry in recent games, combining for three goals over the last two matches, including a first half assist from Tyrpak to Caesar in the 7/17 win over Arizona.
Drew Yates, Brendan King, Sainey Touray and Romain Gall continue to contribute by creating space and shot opportunities in the Aztex attack.
Defensively, the Aztex have remained solid, with right back Max Gunderson earning a spot on the USL Team Of The Week after an assist and solid defensive play in last week’s shutout in Arizona. The back line of Gunderson, Lance Rozeboom, Fernando Timbo and Mikey Ambrose has established itself as a formidable backfield ever since Timbo was installed as a defender just over a month ago. However, Timbo was pulled in the first half of the match due to injury and will be a game time decision for Saturday’s match. Dalglish may call into the depth of his squad and deploy Leone Cruz, Ryan Roushandel, or Brian Fekete in Timbo’s stead.
With 25 goals allowed this season, the Aztex boast the league’s ninth-best defense statistically. Goalkeeper Devin Perales has posted five shutouts this season, putting him in the top five in the league.
Portland arrives to Saturday’s match with a potentially explosive attack. Portland has scored at least three goals in every win since May 19th, but has scored either zero or one goal in 10 of its 11 losses this season. With 27 goals scored and 33 allowed this season, Portland ranks 12th in the league on offense and 21st on defense. Forward Kharlton Belmar highlights the T2 attack, leading the team and placing fourth in the league with nine goals on the season. Fatawu Safiu and Blair Gavin could also create problems for the Aztex defense.