what is who many Valuable player?
This is a qualitative question, but the criteria are generally widely agreed upon. Above all, you need to improve your team’s chances of winning. They need to make their teammates look good. And ideally, they’ll be deeply integrated into the team’s culture, allowing their influence to extend beyond the field.
Despite failing to win MLS’ best individual award in 2022, Austin FC talisman Sebastian Driussi has demonstrated these values and more in his second season in the league with Austin. Driusi helped the team to his second-place finish in Western Conference regular and postseason play. The Argentinian ace finished second to Nashville SC’s Hanymuktar in his MLS MVP race for 2022, but Austin was keen to keep Driusi. On Tuesday, the club signed Starr to a new contract that runs until the 2025 season, with an option for a further year.
“I’m happy to renew my contract with this club”, said Doriusi. athletic on Monday through a translator. “We had a big offer from the England team, but we chose this city, this project and this project to continue to grow with Austin. , in reality, we are very happy to continue this organization.”
Austin has a new legend. 🌳
Sebastian Driusi will stay here. pic.twitter.com/sLfQVLAz08
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) February 14, 2023
Shortly after Austin was eliminated in the conference finals by eventual champions LAFC, CBS Sports reported Three Premier League clubs were interested in signing the top XI playmaker.Argentinian Outlet the next day TyC Sports pitch to Leeds United As a prime candidate to bring driusi back to Europe. And, of course, his boyhood club, the River, where his plate was a suitor who hoped to bring the local son back to his longtime competitor.
Ultimately, a number of factors ensured Doriushi was less tempted by the offer.
“Together with my family, we have decided to stay here,” Driussi said. “River wants me at the club so he’s always watching what happens with my contract. Because I feel comfortable here.For a player, it’s about being happy where you are, and the truth is, that’s how I feel right now.”
Driusi has been Austin’s keystone since debut
Driusi was the obvious focus of coach Josh Wolfe’s offense when he joined Austin midway through the first season of 2021. polished up. Austin finished the year his second lowest in the West, but the seed was planted for growth. Zenit Sankt The acquisition of Driusi from his Petersburg was a much-needed jolt of talent and drive for the MLS rookie.
Doriusi was also not the club’s first Argentinian playmaker. The honor went to Thomas Pochettino. He scored just two goals and two assists in 31 games for the struggling expansion side. He was loaned to River Plate for the 2022 season.
“It was difficult for Thomas.” Wolf said athletic March 2022. Part of being here is really embracing what this league is all about and the challenges they bring.
Driusi has 5 goals and 5 assists in 1,379 minutes in 2021. This is a great return for players who are still figuring out new leagues and nuanced play systems, not in MVP-level leagues.
With Pochettino paving the way for midfielder Daniel Pereira for Austin’s second season, Doriusi found more room to create, and it paid off. Driusi more often fell in the defensive third alongside Pereira and captain Alex Ring to start Austin’s attacking sequences in the defensive half rather than functioning as a merchant in the final third.
“In the position Josh asks me to play, it’s not just about starting offense, but also defending when defending,” Driusi said.
“He told me to go to that spot to launch an attack,” he said, pointing to the area highlighted in yellow on the heat map shown above. “Diego Fagundes plays for that team, but I love playing with him because of the unique ability he has to play, to understand me and to communicate with him. I felt very comfortable.
“I think the photos show that I did a good job, and I hope that in 2023 there will be more yellow than red.
Driushi recorded 22 goals and 7 assists in 2,882 minutes of the regular season last season. Unsurprisingly, that level of output, combined with Austin’s run up the western table in his conference, brought him to national attention. He became the club’s first All-Star in his July and firmly established himself in the league’s MVP race. A clear MVP favorite of his has emerged from the pack in recent years, making the awards something of a procession. Josef Martinez in 2018, Carlos Vela in 2019 and Carles Gil in 2021.
For 2022, the shortlist quickly narrowed down to two candidates. Doriushi and Mukhtar. one step smarter Its 23 goals and 11 assists accounted for 65% of Nashville SC’s offensive output.The latter eventually won the prize 48%-17% margin.
Voting for seasonal awards in American sports tends to take place at the end of the regular season. Postseason accomplishments don’t count toward MLS’ annual honors, so many Austin FC fans are left with a bone to choose from. Austin edged out Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas to advance to the conference finals, while Nashville were away to the LA Galaxy where he lost 0-1 and finished scoreless.
This step was a little more interesting for Driussi.
“It was my first year in the league, so I had no idea how the voting process would work,” Driussi said of last year’s award. “It seemed strange to me because we were able to go further in the playoffs and I was able to score more playoff goals than my competitors. , On the other hand, I know it’s the rules, I respect that decision and the experience will help me to be even stronger this year.”
If Doriushi and Austin improve breakout second seasonThroughout the postseason, Austin created chances, but was signed to Austin as a designated player in July after winger Emiliano Rigoni moved from São Paulo. Joined in and missed some big shots from close range.
Doriusi, who had made a similar adjustment a year earlier, backed his fellow Argentinean for success in 2023.
“I also arrived at the club midway through the season, so it’s understandable. It took me about six months to fully adapt,” said Doriusi. “I hope he has all the confidence of us and the coaching staff and that he feels supported and that he can show everything he can. I know him very well, I know what type of player he is, he helps us a lot in attack and I hope he has a great season.”
Austin has also struggled to score frequently from strikers since his debut, putting Doriusi under pressure to score.
After Danny Hosen led the line in 2021, Maxi Urruti was brought in and offered a more balanced approach with a focus on defensive pressing and off-ball movement. Scored 9 goals. This surpassed his expectations of 6.3 goals, but still falls well short of what is expected of someone leading the line of title contenders.
The club doubled its proven MLS scorers and signed Gyasi Zardes and Will Bruin in free agency. Zardez worked with Wolff in Columbus and with the U.S. Men’s National Team, learning Austin’s style of play and seemingly giving him a stepping stone to quickly integrate into offense. Though behind, the 31-year-old is two goals away from becoming the 12th player to reach 100 goals in MLS.
Bruin, who scored 77 career goals in Houston and Seattle and won the MLS Cup with the Sounders in 2019, is no slouch either. Certain tricks bode well for him in 2023.
“We have three experienced strikers who have played in this league for many years,” said Doriusi. “It’s been very good for the team. We know they’re going to give it their all because no matter who plays, everyone understands what the coach is thinking. We know the league well, and the numbers speak for themselves, so anyone can do it.”
Off-season World Cup trip
After watching rivals LAFC win the MLS Cup and amid speculation about suitors from abroad, Driusi spent the offseason on the trip of a lifetime.
Doriusi followed his days on the river and several former teammates with the Argentina youth national team as Argentina advanced from Group C after initial fears over Saudi Arabia. As he survived the knockouts leading up to the World Cup title, he and his fellow compatriots headed to Qatar for a 14-day stay.
“A dream come true,” Doriusi said. “I always wanted to watch the World Cup in person, but when I was in Russia I had preseason (with Zenit) at the same time so I couldn’t do that. It was an incredible experience to see these players lift a trophy so important for the whole of Argentina. I was so happy for them and for Argentina.
“There were a lot of people from Argentina. Obviously, we didn’t get a chance to meet the players because they were so focused on their respective games. It was a beautiful and unique experience, I don’t know if I can do it again, but I hope I can.”
During his time on the river, Driusi shared a locker room with World Cup winners Gonzalo Montiel, Equiquiel Palacios, German Pesella and Guido Rodriguez. Watching provided a truly unparalleled off-season.
Of course, currently coveted by another MLS club is another Argentinian winner, Lionel Messi. The world is an extension with Paris Saint-Germain, Stateside move to Inter MiamiDriussi keeps his fictional sales pitch fairly brief.
“I hope one day he will come,” Doriusi said. “The level of this league is going up year by year.”
Unless or until Messi calls Miami home, Doriusi will turn away from No. 7 this winter and serve as the brightest Argentinian to wear the No. 10 shirt in MLS. . It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the club’s third season was as competitive as its second, and even less prolific. With a number of key players returning from his MLS Cup trip with a squad 90 minutes away, the striker’s position should be more stable in Zardes’ presence.
Despite finishing close in the postseason and MVP voting, Doriusi and his teammates should be motivated as the season draws near.
“Last year was a great year, not just for me personally, but for everyone at the club. We didn’t make it to the final we had,” Doriusi said. “But it’s been a great year, not just for me, but for the team and the entire staff. Now I’m going to get back to that level and do the same job as last season to get back in the playoffs.”
(Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)