Austin FC’s year-two turnaround has reached a historic high note, becoming the second Western Conference team to book an Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs spot.
The Verde & Black punched their first-ever playoff ticket following Wednesday's 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake, joining LAFC, CF Montréal, the Philadelphia Union and the New York Red Bulls as five of 14 teams that’ll play postseason soccer come mid-October.
Playoff history, key pieces
A year ago, head coach Josh Wolff’s team finished 12th in the West as an expansion club. They were 17 points off the playoff pace; now, they’re in second place through Week 31 and could double their 31-point haul from 2021 (maximum of 63).
Austin are led by midfielder Sebastian Driussi, who boasts 20 goals and seven assists as he mounts a Landon Donovan MLS MVP case. Driussi, 26, is second in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race and featured at the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target a month ago.
The club's 63 goals scored are second-most in the league, with striker Maxi Urruti and winger Diego Fagundez two other leading scorers. Argentine winger Emiliano Rigoni joined Austin this summer, rounding out their Designated Player trio alongside Driussi and midfielder Alex Ring.
Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs
MLS Cup 2022 is set for Nov. 5, while the playoffs will get underway Oct. 15 with Round One games (the top seed in each conference gets a bye).
The timeline takes into consideration the FIFA 2022 World Cup starting Nov. 20 in Qatar, rather than during the event’s typical summer months.
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