Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff has praised the role of the club’s fans after they secured a debut appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Wednesday.
Moussa Djitte’s hat-trick was enough to guide the Verde and Black to a 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in front of another partizan Q2 Stadium crowd. The victory sealed Austin’s first appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs after missing out in their 2021 expansion year.
Speaking to reporters after Wednesday’s match, Wolff couldn’t help but champion Austin’s supporters, who have quickly established themselves among the most passionate in Major League Soccer.
“This fanbase and this city pushes us and encourages us,” Wolff said. “When we grab a goal you can see how quick the game goes in our direction. The more you ensure you’re playing in front of these fans and getting this boost, the better our chances are, whoever is here. We’ve shown that. We can beat anybody in this league.”
Uruguayan forward Diego Fagundez echoed his head coach’s sentiment, describing the atmosphere inside Q2 Stadium when the going is good.
“I think players get that energy. You see it when we score goals, the stadium explodes,” said Fagúndez. “It’s green, everybody is cheering, water throwing everywhere. It’s just an amazing feeling. Not everybody wants to come here and play. It’s a tough place to play.”
Despite their strong form at the top of the Western Conference in 2022, Austin will still be underestimated as they head into the Playoffs as debutants. However, they’re all but certain to hold home advantage through most rounds, and according to Wolff, the manner of their win over RSL on Wednesday was merely a ‘snapshot’ of what’s to come.
“Last year was last year. It was laying the foundation,” he said. “It was difficult at times. But we had ideas and certainly hopes and dreams that it would continue to evolve and grow and it has. Tonight’s performance was literally a snapshot of what we’ve talked about all year.”
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