Austin FC to host first-ever MLS playoff game Oct. 16

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC will host Real Salt Lake at 2 p.m., Oct. 16 in the franchise’s first-ever Major League Soccer playoff match, the league announced Sunday night.

The match will be broadcast on ABC from Q2 Stadium.

During the regular season, Austin FC split two games with RSL. Each team won at home — RSL won 2-1 on May 14 and Austin FC shut out RSL 3-0 on Sept. 14. That win was Austin FC’s only win in its final seven matches of the season.

The 1-1 draw in Verde’s final regular season match Sunday against the Colorado Rapids had nothing to do with the team’s playoff position, but the one point officially ended one of the biggest year-to-year turnarounds in league history.

Austin FC finished the 2022 regular season with 56 points with a 16-10-8 record with 65 goals and plus-16 goal differential. In its inaugural season, the club finished with 31 points and a 9-12-4 mark with just 35 goals and a minus-21 goal differential. They finished 12th in the 13-team Western Conference last year.

LAFC, who Austin FC has beaten twice this year, earned the conference’s No. 1 seed and has a bye to the conference semifinals. They finished with 67 points with a league-high 21 wins.

Tickets for the match, before Verde knew who and when it was playing, sold out in minutes a week ago. Tickets could possibly be available through SeatGeek, MLS’ official ticketing partner.

Here are the MLS first-round playoff matchups:

  • Western Conference
    • No. 1 LAFC receives a bye
    • No. 4 LA Galaxy hosts No. 5 Nashville
    • No. 3 FC Dallas hosts No. 6 Minnesota United
    • No. 2 Austin hosts No. 7 Real Salt Lake
  • Eastern Conference
    • No. 1 Philadelphia Union receives a bye
    • No. 4 New York Red Bulls hosts No. 5 FC Cincinnati
    • No. 3 NYCFC hosts No. 6 Inter Miami
    • No. 2 CF Montreal hosts No. 7 Orlando City

Along with the English broadcast on ABC, the Spanish broadcast will be on ESPN Deportes. For radio, the English broadcast locally is on KASE-FM ALT 97.5 and the Spanish broadcast is on TUDN Radio Austin 104.3-HD2.

All matches in the playoffs are single-elimination.