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2023 Season Previews: Austin FC

(Jacob Gonzalez/Austin FC)


Welcome to the 26th Season Preview of the 2023 MLS season! We are continuing this journey in the great state of Texas with the league's 27th franchise, Austin FC. Q2 Stadium looks to get rocking with MLS Cup hopes this season. For those of you who are new to MLS Now's work, thanks for reading today and check out all of what our podcast and blog site has to offer. Let's get into it below.

2022 Recap

Record: 16-8-10 (56 points/2nd in West)

Team Leader Goals: Sebastian Driussi 22, Maximiliano Urruti 9, Diego Fagundez 6

Team Leader Assists: Diego Fagundez 15, Sebastián Driussi/Alexander Ring 7

2023 Outlook

Manager: Josh Wolff (3rd season)

Additions: CB Leo Vaisanen ($1.93 million transfer from IF Elfsborg/25 years old), CF Gyasi Zardes (free from Colorado Rapids/31 years old), LB Adam Lundqvist ($300k GAM trade from Houston Dynamo/28 years old), CF Will Bruin (free from Seattle Sounders/33 years old), CM Sofiane Djeffal (MLS Re-Entry Draft/23 years old), CB Amro Tarek (free from El Masry FC/30 years old), CF Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (free from Seattle Sounders/20 years old), GK Matt Bersano (free from San Jose Earthquakes/30 years old)

Subtractions: CB Ruben Gabrielsen (transfer to Lillestrom/30 years old), LW Jared Stroud ($100k GAM trade to St. Louis City SC/26 years old), CM Felipe Martins (free to Orlando City SC/32 years old), CF Moussa Djitte (loan to AC Ajaccio/23 years old), CB Jhohan Romana (loan to Olimpia/24 years old), GK Andrew Tarbell (free to Houston Dynamo/29 years old)

Designated Players: CAM Sebastian Driussi, RW Emiliano Rigoni, CM Alexander Ring

Projected Starting XI

What a turnaround for Austin FC from 2021 to 2022 going from 12th to 2nd in the Western Conference. And... did their attack get better? Maxi Urruti was serviceable with 9 goals and a strong defensive forward, but now they added MLS veteran Gyasi Zardes who has 97 league goals in his 10 seasons in the league. Zardes has done it in Los Angeles, Columbus, and Colorado, and now he heads to Texas to continue his career. Argentinian star Sebastian Driussi just signed an extension after a 22 goal/7 assist season, the sky is the limit for him in this league. Diego Fagundez had his career year in terms of goal contributions with 6 goals and 15 assists and Rigoni hopes to start the year off better than when he joined last summer. The midfield is still strong with Pereira and Ring with Jhojan Valencia and Sofiane Djeffal behind them. Losing Ruben Gabrielsen hurts, but the club is high on Leo Vaisanen stepping in and being their anchor immediately. They can place Adam Lundqvist in at left back and push Jon Gallagher up as well. Back to how we started, my X-Factor is the form of Gyasi Zardes.

Thanks for viewing our twenty-sixth 2023 season preview. There will be a new one out about every single day leading up to MLS kickoff. If you are a passionate fan looking to write about your club, we are actively seeking contributors for MLS clubs this season. If interested, message us on either Twitter or Instagram @MLSNowPodcast. We want to provide an outlet for fans to discuss their club on the site and also guest star on the podcast throughout the season.

Bryce Leslie

Twitter: @bleslie19

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