It’s no secret that Austin FC needs to improve its goalscoring. On Wednesday, the Club added a player who could help address that issue.
Austin announced the signing of 21-year-old forward
Moussa Djitté, a Senegalese striker who joins the Club via transfer from Ligue 2 side Grenoble Foot 38 in France. Pending visa and receipt of his ITC, the 21-year old Djitté will occupy an MLS U22 Initiative roster spot.
“He’s very aggressive. He moves into different spaces. He arrives and gets into good areas of the penalty box and then he can finish [with his] left foot or right foot,” said Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna. “He gets on the end of crosses with his head and so it’s our job as a team to set him up and get him in the right places. We believe he has those qualities to go to the next level.”
The young forward joins Austin after spending the last two years with Grenoble, scoring a total of 15 goals across all competitions. Previously he played for FC Sion in the Swiss Super League.
At the international level, Djitté has featured for the Senegal U-20 and U-23 National Teams.
“He played at a really good level,” Reyna said. “Ligue 2 in France is a breeding ground for top talents into Ligue 1 which then feeds into all the great leagues around Europe. It’s an excellent league that he’s coming from.”
Djitté will be a welcome addition to the Club after the two strikers on the depth chart have been out with injuries for much of the season. Danny Hoesen started the first few matches for ATXFC before going down with a hip injury. He is not expected to be back until the latter part of the season at the earliest. Aaron Schoenfeld has been nursing a left knee injury and has yet to appear in a match.
Those injuries have forced Cecilio Domínguez and Jon Gallagher into less familiar roles as pure forwards, so the addition of Djitté should allow them and others to flourish in their more natural positions.
Reyna added that Djitté is “a natural fit in that (center forward) position so he’ll bring us a balance that we need and at the same time we’re confident that he’s going to score goals.”
Djitté is not expected to debut for the Verde & Black before July 22 against Seattle Sounders, as he still must go through the visa process and get up to speed.
Reyna noted that Austin FC continues to evaluate other potential additions during the summer window. Austin FC has one open Designated Player spot remaining.
For now, Djitté will look to create more offense for a team that has been solid defensively. He’s coming to Austin looking to prove himself in a league that is becoming a place for young players to thrive.
“He’s very motivated. He had other opportunities, and of course a player like him can go to other clubs, but he wanted to come to Austin FC and come to MLS. That just shows the type of league that we are now, that we’re attracting these types of players.”