Austin FC deliver "complete game" for first win of season


Austin FC's long winless streak is finally over.

The Verde & Black's last victory came on October 4, 2023, a 3-0 result against D.C. United nearly six months ago. But a 0W-3L-4D stretch spanning back to last season ended on Saturday night at Q2 Stadium behind a 2-1 win over Texan rival FC Dallas.

Austin's early-season struggles haven't been for lack of effort, stated Josh Wolff, but some positive spells throughout the first few games of the season finally culminated in Saturday night's breakthrough.

"They work hard. That's never a question. They work hard for each other. They work hard for the fans," Austin's head coach said. "Today was a much more complete game from start to finish."

Driussi goes all 90

Austin found themselves without captain Sebastián Driussi for the first three matches of the season as he dealt with a hamstring injury.

After making his 2024 debut as a 71st-minute substitute on March 16 against the Philadelphia Union and starting against Orlando City SC a week later before coming off in the 70th minute, the star midfielder was back in the XI against Dallas on Saturday and played the full match, assisting on Diego Rubio's 70th-minute match-winner.

It was evidence of the difference Druissi can make for his teammates, Wolff noted.

"Seba sets the team. He sets the pulse. His quality is one of the best in the league, there's no doubt," Wolff said.

"[It was] important to get the minutes in Orlando, got him to a good spot this week. He trained well, he felt well, he performed quite well. That should give him a lot of confidence, and goals will follow, there's no doubt in my mind."

Can Austin make it two straight?

After coming a win away from reaching MLS Cup 2022, Austin missed the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs altogether, finishing in 12th place in the West.

That's put pressure on the Verde & Black to return to the postseason in 2024. While their slow start has led to fan discontent, Wolff mentioned Austin are "rebuilding and trying to get better" amid the host of outgoing players in 2023.

Saturday marked a step in the right direction, creating an opportunity to make it two wins in a row when the San Jose Earthquakes come to town on April 6 (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

"Our goal is to make the playoffs. We know how challenging that is," Wolff said. "Last year was challenging, but this is 2024 and we have a group that's ready to compete.

"Last year's last year ... we won a game, we want to come out next week and win the next game. We focus on the next opponent and our process ... we stick to our script and go to work."