Sébastien Pineau has found his stride with Austin FC II. His six goals are tied for the team lead, and he has scored four of his goals in the last six matches.
Pineau – who was born in Chile but moved to Peru when he was three years old – began playing soccer when he was seven years old after his mother introduced him to the sport. At the age of 12, Pineau began training with Trujilio Academy then went on to make his first-team debut with Peruvian first-division side Alianza Lima.
Parmer Field at St. David’s Performance Center has proven to be the best home-field advantage in MLS NEXT Pro as ATXFC II has the most home wins in the league. Pineau sees similarities in the atmosphere at ATXFC II matches and his previous club Alianza Lima.
“The fans here definitely stand out,” said Pineau. “The support here is special. I experienced it in Alianza because it’s the biggest team in Peru and almost everyone in Peru is an Alianza fan. Here in Austin, I feel the same vibe and the same love the fans have with the club. Getting to play in front of all the fans here has been a special experience.”
Pineau has appeared in 20 matches for the Verde & Black but didn’t see his first start till the 11th match of the season. Adapting to a new club and country proved to be a challenge, but the 20-year-old acknowledges the support and guidance of Head Coach Brett Uttley and his teammates for helping him maintain a patient and positive attitude.
“From the moment I got here I was well received by the coaches, the team, and the Club,” Pineau said. “At first, it was difficult to adapt, I came to a new country and since I came alone it was even more difficult. Through it all, Brett always supported me and told me to stay focused and to keep training hard because every day I was going to get better. Then, the opportunity finally came for me to play, and thank God now I’m a starter.”
ATXFC II currently sits in second place in the Western Conference with just five matches remaining. As the season has gone on, Pineau has grown more at ease with his teammates, and he believes that this has had a positive impact on his performance on the field.
“Everyone on this team is new and players didn’t know each other but we have developed so much,” said Pineau. “The unity of the team on and off the field gave us the chance to trust each other and be comfortable with each other. The chemistry has shown on the field, and personally, it has helped me trust in myself and be able to score.”
Pineau has been enjoying his time in Austin from the moment he arrived. When asked what he likes about Austin, he simply replied, "Everything."
“The city is nice, and the Club is like being at home. I also think it’s because of the people here, they make you feel comfortable. I feel good here.”