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Why is Austin FC Struggling?

Why is Austin FC Struggling? The Verde had an astounding year in 2022, finishing in second in the Western Conference while making it all the way to the conference semi-finals. However, in just the first two months of the season, Austin FC have yet to prove their dominance. 

Austin are currently sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference with just two wins, two draws and four losses. They just took another loss over the weekend against the Galaxy, who were winless coming into the game. To top it off, they lost to Haitian side Violette AC 3-2 on aggregate during the CONCACAF Champions League.  

Since that loss, Austin FC have failed to win a match, losing three times while drawing twice. So far, they have scored the third least number of goals with just six in eight games played. They are averaging only 12 shots a game, which is one of the lowest in the league. This is a drastic change from last season. From Week 8 in 2022, Austin led the league in goals with 17 and sat second in the West.  

Sebastian Driussi has struggled to start the season, scoring only one goal with an assist. Last season the Argentinian had already scored six goals during his first eight matches. Most of Austin’s success in 2022 was because of Druissi, therefore his struggles has a huge effect on the team. It does not get any easier for them as they’ll be without Diego Fagundez for at least a month. He suffered a groin injury on April 15 and will see time on the sidelines.  

Overall, Austin had minimum changes to their roster from last year. Maximilian Urruti, Emiliano Rigoni, Daniel Pereira, Jon Gallagher, and Nick Lima all returned to the club. However, Ruben Gabrilsen left in the offseason, but signed Leo Vaisanen from Swedish side Allsvenskan in his place. Brad Stuver’s also back in goal but has conceded already 12 goals in his first eight matches. The team’s leading goal scorer is Jon Gallagher with three goals, which is half the of their goal this season.  

It may not be panic time just yet for Austin FC, however their slow start has left them with a big hole to fill if they want to finish in the top five in the West. With LAFC and the Sounders dominating the conference along with St. Louis, the Verde will need to figure out their early season woes before it is too late.  

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