Sebastián Driussi brings "much-needed" quality in Austin FC return


Austin FC got their MVP back in a big way Wednesday night, as Sebastián Driussi returned from a month-long injury to score the 2-1 game-winner over Minnesota United FC at Q2 Stadium.

First, the Verde & Black faithful gave the Argentine Designated Player a hero's welcome return when he replaced Ethan Finlay as a 61st-minute substitute with the game level at one. That excitement turned into outright euphoria 21 minutes later, with Driussi pouncing on a ball inside the box to seal the late victory in dramatic fashion.

Head coach Josh Wolff was just as ecstatic about having last year's Landon Donovan MLS MVP runner-up and their captain back in the mix as Austin enter one of the busiest stretches of the season.

"It’s fitting, it’s quite fitting for Seba and what the expectations are," Wolff said postgame. "It should help give us confidence and momentum."

Driussi, who was sidelined with a groin strain, reached three goals (to go with an assist) on the season. While not on pace to replicate the 22g/7a he produced during a breakout 2022 campaign that guided Austin to the Western Conference Final, his impact on the club goes way beyond numbers, according to Wolff.

"He’s our leader and, you know, he has been since the moment he got here. And that’s what leaders do: they show up on big nights and the big moment and they deliver," the coach said.

"And he’s done that time and time for us since he’s been here and we’re gonna need him to continue do that, but we’re gonna need to support him along the way as well."

That support almost failed to materialize Wednesday night when Hassani Dotson appeared to score the equalizer for Minnesota in the final moments – only for Video Review to call back the goal for offside.

But in the end, Austin ended up with maximum points, making it three wins out of their last four matches. And with just three days rest before hosting Real Salt Lake on Saturday (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), Wolff hopes to get even more from Driussi this weekend.

"We gotta find ways to keep getting him minutes obviously in a responsible way, to see what the volume can be in the next game," Wolff said about his star attacker.

"He brings a level of calm and quality to the group that’s much-needed."