Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff urged his side to “keep evolving” after an impressive start to the season when they host LA Galaxy in MLS.

Wolff has transformed Austin from strugglers last season to Western Conference competitors, sitting two points behind leaders Los Angeles FC.

The Verde and Black were 2-1 victors at Houston Dynamo last time out, and Wolff wants his side to continue with their free-flowing football, having scored the most goals in the league (22).

“If you’re getting chances and getting opportunities, and the guys that they’re falling to aren’t able to take them, that starts to weigh. The inability to win, I think affected confidence in front of goal, but also the ability to kill off games, to win games,” Wolff said.

“As we added in some quality, and even as we gained a little bit more confidence, some of those results could turn, or did turn, towards the end of the season.

“We’ve got to keep evolving and keep adapting and keep getting better. But from that side of it, I was pleased with a lot of what we could do in year one. But there still was, and still is, a lot of room to grow.”

The Galaxy are four points behind Austin after falling to a 1-0 defeat against Real Salt Lake last game, but will be boosted by the $750,000 signing of Chase Gasper from Minnesota United.

“We’re excited to welcome Chase to the LA Galaxy,” LA head coach Greg Vanney said in a release. “Chase is an experienced and highly regarded left back in our league. He adds character, quality and a competitive spirit to our group.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Austin FC – Diego Fagundez

Diego Fagundez set up the winner for Sebastian Driussi against the Orange Crush – his league-leading sixth assist of the season.

LA Galaxy – Raheem Edwards

Raheem Edwards has been a creative star for the Galaxy, leading the team with his three assists in MLS this campaign.

KEY OPTA FACTS

·Austin FC and LA Galaxy recorded a 2-0 home win against the other last season, with Austin recording its home win last September. Three of the four goals in those games were scored after the hour mark.

·Austin FC has won four straight MLS matches for the first time in club history. Austin reached the 20-point mark in nine games this season after needing 26 games to get to that plateau in 2021, finally reaching it with a win over the Galaxy on September 26.

·The Galaxy won, 3-0, in Houston in October last season, its most recent game in Texas. That win was the Galaxy’s first in the Lone Star State since 2016, ending a run of nine straight games in Texas without a win (D2 L7).

·Sebastián Driussi scored his seventh goal of the season in Austin’s win over Houston on Saturday, taking him to a league-high 10 goal contributions. Driussi’s seven goals already equals the most scored by an Austin player in their inaugural season (C. Dominguez, D. Fagúndez) and his 10 goal contributions are just two behind last season’s leader, Diego Fagúndez (12).

·Chicharito scored five goals in his first six games this season, but he hasn’t scored in any of his last three MLS games for the Galaxy, all starts. Chicharito has gone more consecutive starts without scoring just once in his Galaxy career, going four starts in a row without a goal in September-October 2020.