Feb 24, 2023 - Sports

Austin FC kicks off third season

Fans cheer on Austin FC in 2022. Photo: Sasha Haagensen/Getty Images for Heineken

Just three months after Austin FC played in the Western Conference Finals — making it to the Final Four of Major League Soccer — the team will kick off its third season on Saturday at Q2 Stadium.

Driving the news: The Verde and Black play expansion team St. Louis City FC at 7:30pm.

Why it matters: Austin's only major league professional sports team was an instant box office success — selling out every game — and in its second season, it was a surprise success on the field.

Catch up quick: The offseason offered plenty of drama, with Claudio Reyna resigning as sporting director after he was embroiled in a controversy involving his son Gio Reyna and former U.S. men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter.

What's new: The club signed star attacking midfielder Sebastián Driussi to a contract extension through the 2025 season, with an option for 2026, and brought in several new players.

  • Among the biggest names: 31-year-old forward Gyasi Zardes, once a regular on the U.S. men's national team.
  • Another newcomer, Will Bruin, a veteran forward acquired from the Seattle Sounders, will join Zardes and returning players Driussi, Maxi Urruti and Diego Fagúndez as the biggest goal scoring threats.
  • New arrivals will shore up the defense: center back Leo Väisänen, left back Adam Lundkvist and center back Amro Tarek.

Yes, but: The team has lost defender Ruben Gabrielsen, who returned to his native Norway reportedly for personal reasons, and fan favorite Moussa Djitté, a striker who is on loan to AC Ajaccio, a Corsican team in the French Ligue 1.

Off the field: Austin FC's matches will be streamed exclusively on the Apple TV app starting this season.

The bottom line: Success brings sky-high expectations for Austin FC's third campaign.


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