TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Austin FC have signed Argentine forward Sebastian Driussi, the club announced Thursday. Driussi joins on a Designated Player deal.
Driussi, 25, was most recently with Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg but officially departed earlier this week via a contract buyout. He broke through at River Plate and Argentine youth national teams before joining Zenit in 2017 for a reported $17 million deal. He had 24 goals and 22 assists in 138 appearances with Zenit after 27 goals and eight assists with River Plate.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sebastián to Austin,” sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a club statement. “Sebastian is poised to be an offensive difference-maker in MLS. He has represented Argentina’s youth national teams, played in the UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores, and FIFA Club World Cup in addition to winning 14 trophies so far in his career. This is an impressive resume for any player, let alone at 25 years old. He is a world-class competitor, and we are excited to welcome him to Austin and our club.”
Driussi fills a big need for Austin, who haven't had a natural center forward starting up top since the fifth game of the season when Danny Hoesen went down with a long-term injury. Backup forward Aaron Schoenfeld is yet to debut while dealing with injuries of his own, while U-22 Initiative signing Moussa Djitte is yet to be available for selection.
“Sebastián is a phenomenal and versatile player who will elevate our attack and make us more dangerous going forward,” said head coach Josh Wolff. “We've had our eye on him for quite some time. We are confident that Sebastián’s international experience and pedigree will raise the level of our entire group and help us compete for a playoff spot this season.”
Austin have struggled in attack during their expansion campaign, getting shut out in eight of their last 10 matches. They've scored 10 goals in 14 games, tied for league-low, with four of those 10 coming in one game. However, Driussi isn't eligible for their match this Saturday against the Colorado Rapids (9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).
Driussi's best seasons as a pro came in 2017 with River Plate, when he scored 18 goals in 29 matches, then in 2018-19 with Zenit, when he recorded 10 goals and eight assists across 27 appearances.
He is Austin's third DP alongside forward Cecilio Domínguez and midfielder Tomas Pochettino.