With the grind of the MLS season fully underway, there are teams that are shining and well on their way to making a playoff appearance. There are teams that are on their way to dwelling in the MLS basement and may never see light again this season. And there are squads like Austin FC who just grind away and don’t seem to go up or down the MLS table too drastically on a weekly basis. If there ever was a soccer team desperately in need of a seasonal reset button, Austin FC would be a prime candidate to get the whole organization back on the right track.
Austin FC – not really a good team, not really a bad team either.
Austin FC is what coaches like to call underachievers. On paper, this squad should be a pretty solid side but a plethora of injuries including star midfielder Sebastian Driussi are taking their toll on the squad. An underwhelming 2-4-4 record and ten total points doesn’t really help the cause but all is not lost at this point. One of the telltale issues that Austin FC has had so far this season has been an overall lack of offensive production. With 90 total shots and 41 of that on-frame, Austin FC has found the net only ten times in ten matches. With an 11.1% conversion rate, Austin FC’s attacking third has been anemic at best.
Could the draw in Portland be the reset button that Austin FC needs?
If there was a team in need of magically producing a reset button to get the season back on track, Austin FC would be a top candidate. If the injuries haven’t put a dent in the El Tree roster by now, losing young defender Owen Wolff to U-20 international duty for the coming month will certainly hit Austin FC pretty hard (and yes, he’s the son of head coach Josh Wolff.)
Last Saturday night, Austin FC pulled off a 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers and while a basic draw isn’t really a symbol of on-pitch success, the feel of this match was more of a win for El Tree. Down at the end of the match, Austin FC found a way to at least salvage a point and actually hurt the Timbers who seemed to control much of the tempo of this match (thank goodness for late-night MLS Season Pass broadcasts.)
Combined with the draw that felt more like a win, Austin FC gets another chance on Wednesday to divert their attention away from the MLS weekly grind and play New Mexico United in a Lamar Hunt Open Cup match. If you’re looking for a diversion, why not use this match to find that reset button and pull off a win?
Austin FC needs to just go out and play the Beautiful Game.
After all, the Open Cup is another competition with a trophy and a chance for success and be in the CONCACAF Champions League and possibly earn another trophy. Take the wins and draws when you can get them and go after any trophy you can since this is soccer and the last time I checked it’s a competitive sport so if you’re Austin FC, just go out and play some soccer and have fun playing the Beautiful Game.