Team Profile: Austin FC
Updated: Feb 18
Year founded: 2018.
First season in MLS: 2021.
Stadium: Q2 Stadium, Austin, TX. Honors: N/A.
2023 highlights: Q2 Stadium welcomes St. Louis City for the first game of the season, with the league's 29th franchise facing last season's surprise package in the Western Conference on February 25th. Austin opens with two games at home, before heading on the road for two, at Real Salt Lake and Houston Dynamo FC. Austin will not fear traveling this season after half of their wins in 2022 came on the road, but the ability to repeat last year's road form will be tested in March and April, with away games at LAFC, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, and Seattle Sounders. May and June brings them five of seven contests at home, while the first three games of July are away, at Miami, Minnesota, and Vancouver. The last game of the regular season is at San Jose Earthquakes on October 21st. The last home game is two weeks earlier in a repeat of last season's Western Conference championship blockbuster, against LAFC.
Head Coach: Josh Wolff.
Players to watch: Sebastian Driussi, Maxi Urruti, Diego Fagundez, Gyasi Zardes.
Matt Bersano (free agent)
Will Bruin (free agent)
Sofiane Djeffal (Re-Entry Draft)
CJ Fodrey (Generation adidas)
Hector Jimenez (free agent) Adam Lundkvist (trade from Houston) Alfonso Ocampo-Chávez (waivers)
Amro Tarek (free) Leo Väisänen (transfer from IF Elfsborg) Gyasi Zardes (free agent)
Washington Corozo (loan expired) Moussa Djitté (loan to AC Ajaccio)
Ruben Gabrielsen (transfer to Lillestrøm SK) Danny Hoesen (option declined) Hector Jimenez (out of contract) Freddy Kleemann (option declined) Felipe Martins (option declined) Tomás Pochettino (transfer to Fortaleza) Will Pulisic (option declined)
Jhohan Romaña (loaned to Club Olimpia)
Jared Stroud (trade to St. Louis) Andrew Tarbell (option declined)
2022 summary: Austin had a tremendous second season in MLS, finishing an impressive second in the Western Conference, thanks in large part to leading scorer Sebastian Driussi who bagged 22 goals (plus three in the playoffs). He was ably supported by a career-high 15 assists from MLS veteran Diego Fagundez, while wily front-man Maxi Urruti chipped in with nine goals, of which six were game winners. a team high. This represented a marked improvement on their debut season, in which they finished second to bottom of the Western Conference. From 31 points and 35 goals in 2021, they amassed 56 points while scoring 65 goals in 2022, and will again be a force in season three, despite upheaval behind the scenes involving Claudio Reyna. Their 2022 season ended one game short of MLS Cup, as they lost 3-0 at eventual winners LAFC in their Western Conference championship encounter.
Facts and Stats: Driussi's 22nd regular season goal, against Colorado Rapids in the final game, was Austin's 100th goal all-time. From a 9-21-4 record in their first season, during which they managed just 35 goals, Austin made rapid improvements in season two, posting a 16-10-8 record, and dazzling with 65 goals. Goalkeeper Brad Stuver has made 64 of his 73 MLS appearances while with Austin. His MLS debut came in October 2016 while with Columbus. He played fewer games in 2022 (31) but still kept a career-high eight clean sheets.
Milestones in 2023: Austin's opening game of the 2023 season will be at home to the new faces in town, St. Louis City on February 25th, on the 46th birthday of head coach Josh Wolff. Diego Fagundez is two away from 250 regular season starts in MLS, while Julio Cascante stands on 96 starts, and Jon Gallagher on 47.