When Austin FC takes the pitch on Saturday at Q2 Stadium, it will have been 125 days since the team last played in front of its fans at home. After an incredible 2022 campaign which saw the Verde & Black reach the Western Conference Final and qualify for the Concacaf Champions League, Austin opens its 2023 season - the third in its history - against MLS newcomers St. Louis CITY SC at 7:30 p.m. CT on February 25.
Fans can watch the match for free in English or Spanish - no subscription required - in over 100 countries via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
- Stream: Click here to watch the match, or access it through any device compatible with the Apple TV app.
- Radio: The match will be broadcast live locally in English on iHeart Radio’s Alt 97.5, and in Spanish on Univision’s TUDN Radio Austin (104.3-HD2, KLQB-FM).
Austin FC Outlook
The slate has been wiped clean after a 2022 season in which Austin FC recorded a 25-point improvement over its 2021 performance (tied for the league record by a second-year expansion team) and finished second in the Western Conference. The first step in a busy 2023, during which the Verde & Black will compete in four different competitions, comes on Saturday.
The team has lofty ambitions which include lifting at least one trophy in 2023. A fast start, like the one Head Coach Josh Wolff’s side enjoyed last year, is key to achieving that objective. Austin opened the 2022 season with a 5-0 victory over FC Cincinnati at Q2 Stadium, setting the tone for the year ahead.
Saturday’s match may offer the opportunity for fans to see some of Austin FC’s nine offseason arrivals in competitive play for the first time. Striker Gyasi Zardes (97 career MLS goals) and defender Leo Väisänen (23 senior international appearances for Finland) are just two of many new faces who could feature vs. St. Louis.
There are of course key returners who are likely to be on display as well. 2022 MLS All-Star, MVP finalist and Best XI midfielder Sebastián Driussi, midfielder Diego Fagundez, goalkeeper Brad Stuver, and defender Jon Gallagher all signed contract extensions with Austin FC over the offseason, and will be hungry to make an impact in the team’s 2023 debut.
St. Louis CITY SC Outlook
St. Louis finds itself in a very familiar position for Austin FC fans. Two years ago, the Verde & Black faithful headed to the Club’s first-ever match, an away game in a raucous environment, and St. Louis is set to do the same.
Saturday is a huge occasion for St. Louis as the team plays an MLS game for the first time in its history. Though they haven’t had much time playing together, the squad under Head Coach Bradley Carnell has plenty of experience from both in and outside of the league.
Center back Tim Parker has over 200 MLS appearances to his name from stints with Houston, New York Red Bulls, and Vancouver. Austin fans are sure to recognize winger Jared Stroud as well, who spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons in the Texas capital.
Club captain Roman Bürki spent seven years with German giants Borussia Dortmund and will be the team’s anchor from the goalkeeper position. João Klauss, a Brazilian Designated Player, and Tomáš Ostrák also arrived from Europe and will likely be tasked with providing the attacking punch. U.S. youth international Indiana Vassilev played in the academy of Tormenta FC in his native Georgia before joining Aston Villa, where he rose through the ranks to make four English Premier League appearances.
Possible St. Louis Lineup
(4-2-3-1, R-L) - GK: Roman Bürki; Jake Nerwinski, Tim Parker, Kyle Hiebert, John Nelson; Njabulo Blom, Eduard Löwen; Rasmus Alm, Tomáš Ostrák, Jared Stroud; João Klauss