A year after Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF both made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs as expansion teams, could another expansion side enter that hallowed ground?

Matthew Doyle thinks that Austin FC have a solid chance in 2021, offering a first impression on Extratime after their inaugural match was a closer-than-it-looked 2-0 defeat at LAFC.

"This team has a chance to be very good and maybe in the playoff picture because the ideas that they had were very clear and they executed on a lot of them," Doyle said. "If you can do that against LAFC in Week 1, then you're going to be able to do that against a lot of teams throughout the year."

The path forward is challenging with only seven (of 13 total) Western Conference teams qualifying for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in 2021. But the possibility is enticing for head coach Josh Wolff's team.

"I thought for 45 minutes it was awesome," Doyle said. "They really cause LAFC some troubles."

Doyle noted that Austin played similarly to Gregg Berhalter's US men's national team, which was expected after Wolff spent several years as Berhalter's assistant with Columbus Crew SC. He also spotlighted a few of the team's standout players against LAFC, including defensive midfielder Alexander Ring.

"They are going to try to keep the ball and they are going to try to build chances via possession and use the ball and their own spacing to sort of disorganize and disorientate you," Doyle said. "It was really, really pretty. Part of the reason it worked is 'cause Alex Ring is awesome. He's just really, really good."

For more from Extratime's conversation about Austin FC and Week 1 in MLS, check out the latest episode here.

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