It’s safe to say that Austin FC was not fully ready for the rigors of their inaugural season in MLS. The expansion side finished 12th in the Western Conference with 31 points (9W-4D-21L) with a conference-high 56 goals allowed. It wasn’t good. But 2022 is a new season, with a year under their belt and a few new faces, how will Austin FC bounce back this year? Check out our 2022 season preview below.
Editor’s Note: Austin FC began their season on Saturday, 2/26 with a 5-0 win against FC Cincinnati. So you could say that we are already off to a much better start.
Meet the Team
Head coach: Josh Wolff
Goalkeeper: A. Tarbell, B. Stuver, W. Pulisic, D. Las
Defenders: N. Lima, J. Castante, J. Gallagher, J. Romaña, F. Kleemann, Z. Kolmanic, K. Keller, C. Asensio, R. Gabrielsen
Midfielders: F. Martins, D. Fagúndez, E. Finlay, H. Jimenez, A. Ring, J. Stroud, D. Pereira, C. Domíguez, T. Pochettino, O. Wolff, J. Valencia
Forwards: M. Urruti, D. Hoesen, R. Redes, M. Djitté, S. Druissi
Bold indicates projected Starting 11 player.
Austin FC has a few key additions in the likes of Jhojan Valencia, Felipe Martins and Kipp Keller. But the biggest draw of the offseason is Maxi Urruti. The 31-year-old has 60 career MLS goals for Portland, Dallas, Montreal Impact, and most recently, Houston Dynamo. He’ll be the veteran presence in Austin’s attack that should result in a much improved offensive eleven.
Where to Watch Games
At the stadium: Q2 Stadium in North Austin (10414 Mc Kalla Pl, Austin, TX 78758). You can get tickets today on Austin FC’s website.
At home: You can watch all Austin FC matches locally on The CW Austin and nationally with MLS Live on ESPN+ with a subscription.
On the town: Austin is rich with pubs to enjoy a pint or five while watching Austin FC or any of your other favorite football teams around the world. But our pick is Haymaker. Located just east of 35 (2310 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722), Haymaker is a pub on steroids. With a menu of elevated pub food and artfully crafted sandwiches, it’s the best place for a 90 minute match. Not to mention, their signature cocktail on Austin FC game day is the Vamos Verde and will have you green in celebration like Bruce Banner.
Austin FC have made a number of offseason moves that indicate the club is ready to be a bit more competitive in 2022. The only problem? Most of their competition both in Texas and the entire Western Conference have as well. While it’s easy to look at the additions of Urruti, Finlay, and Valencia to key returns such as Alex Ring and Cecilio Dominguez and be hopeful, the truth is this is still an infant squad in a loaded West.
An improvement over the club’s paltry 31 points is an easy prediction, however, expecting them to crack the MLS playoffs in only their second season is not. And while you will see significant game by game improvements in confidence, tactics, and pace, Austin FC is primed for another bottom-table finish in 2022.
UrbanMatter Austin Final Prediction: 11th in the West, 38 points.
Featured Image Credit: Austin FC Facebook