Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff hopes his team go into the playoffs with ‘good momentum’ as they prepare for their final regular season match.

The Verde have already confirmed second place in the Western Conference and know they will be in the playoffs, meaning their last game, a home fixture with Colorado Rapids, could be an opportunity to rest players.

But Wolff wants his side to use the Colorado meeting to ensure they head into the postseason in top form, telling reporters: “There will be a lot of emotion on the field, and we want to utilize all of that and go and put a very strong performance and get a win to kind of push our way into the playoffs.

“If you are in the playoffs, you want to obviously go in hopefully with good momentum, a healthy roster, a very competitive group and have certainly depth, as something you can utilize as needed, but the group is in a pretty healthy state.”

The Rapids could still sneak their way into the playoffs, though it would take a victory, results elsewhere to go their way and a huge swing in goal difference.

For that to happen, Colorado will have to overcome their shocking away form, having picked up the joint-least points on the road this campaign.

They have only been victorious once away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this season but have won three of their last four, though it may be too little too late at this stage.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Austin FC – Sebastian Driussi

Driussi has scored in six of his last seven home appearances (eight goals). Can he add to that impressive record here?

Colorado Rapids – Diego Rubio

The 29-year-old has netted 15 MLS goals this season, and will be looking to add to that tally here in what could be Colorado’s final match of the campaign.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Austin and Colorado each have two wins against the other in four all-time MLS meetings, with the road team winning three of those games. The only home victory in the series was a 3-0 Rapids win in Commerce City in September 2021.

– Austin enter the final match of the season on 55 points, an improvement of 24 from its total of 31 in its 2021 expansion campaign. Excluding the shortened 2020 season, only one team has had a larger point improvement from its first to second MLS season: Real Salt Lake (+25 – 18 to 43) in 2005-06.

– Colorado’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Saturday was its eighth straight home match without defeat (won five, drawn three). On the road, however, the Rapids have just one win in 16 games this season (drawn four, lost 11), tied with the San Jose Earthquakes for the fewest away points in MLS this season (seven).

– Driussi enters the final match of the season second in MLS with 21 goals, two behind Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar. Driussi has scored just once since the beginning of September, though that goal came in Austin’s last home match.

– The Rapids have conceded an MLS-high 21 set piece goals this season, including a league-high six goals from free kicks and nine on penalties. Only one of the last nine goals the Rapids have allowed has been on a set play, however, a San Jose goal off a corner in mid-September.