2022 Western Conference Final preview, LAFC vs Austin FC: How to watch, team news and kickoff time
Photo: Shaun Clark/Getty Images

The top two teams in the Western Conference square off as top seed LAFC hosts second seed Austin FC for the conference championship at Banc of California Stadium.

Both teams came through tense derby matches in the conference semifinals to progress to this point.

LAFC needed a 93rd-minute goal by Cristian Arango to edge past the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in an El Trafico classic while Austin hung on to beat FC Dallas 2-1 in the latest edition of Copa Tejas.

The winner of this Western Conference final will advance to their first-ever MLS Cup final and will face the winner of the Eastern Conference final between top-seed Philadelphia and third-seed NYCFC.

Team news

LAFC

Manager Steve Cherundolo said that center-back Eddie Segura is the Black and Gold's only injury concern with the Colombian being labeled as a "question mark" with an undisclosed ailment.

Gareth Bale figures to be involved in this one despite not getting major minutes since joining LAFC.

Austin FC

Defender Freddy Kleemann remains sidelined with a right knee injury while fellow defender Zan Kolmanic is out with a left knee issue.

The Verde and Black have no new injury concerns ahead of the biggest match in franchise history.

Predicted lineups

LAFC: Crépeau; Palacios, Chiellini, Murrillo, Hollingshead; Acosta, Sánchez, Blessing; Bouanga, Arango, Vela

Austin FC: Stuver; Gallagher, Gabrielsen, Cascante, Lima; Ring, Valencia; Fagúndez, Driussi, Finlay; Urruti

Ones to watch

Cristian Arango (LAFC)

He showed why he's an MVP candidate as he scored the goal that the Black and Gold to this match moments after the Galaxy had tied things at 2-2 and has a goal against Austin this season.

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Sebastian Driussi (Austin FC)

The MVP favorite has been at his very best in the Verde and Black's first playoff campaign, scoring twice against Real Salt Lake and again in the penalty shootout. He added another against Dallas and has two points against LAFC this season.

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Previous meetings

Austin won both matches against LAFC this season with the Verde and Black scoring six goals in the two games.

On May 19, Ruben Gabrielsen scored the opening goal in the 13th minute and Diego Fagundez doubled Austin's advantage ten minutes from time with Sebastian Driussi picking up the assist.

Carlos Vela ensured a nervy finish, scoring from the penalty spot on 86 minutes, but the Verde and Black held on through eight minutes of stoppage time to go top of the West.

The rematch occurred on August 26th and Austin scored their most impressive win in club history, battering LAFC 4-1 in Bale's first start for the Californians.

Fagundez scored for the second time against the Black and Gold with a free-kick in the 32nd minute to open the scoring.

Maxi Urruti doubled the lead two minutes into the second half, heading past Maxime Crepeau and he scored Austin's third minutes four minutes later.

Driussi made it 4-0 in the 59th minute and despite Arango grabbing a consolation goal, the Verde and Black stamped themselves as a title contender with a thumping victory.

How to watch

The match will be televised nationally on ABC with ESPN3 providing streaming coverage in Spanish.

Kickoff is set for 3pm Eastern time.

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