a kick out of q2
It turns out games aren’t the only thing you can win in Major League Soccer. Austin FC and Q2 Stadium really cleaned up. The MLS Players Association (MLSPA) announced choices made in the 2022 Player Voices Poll, some of which were especially flattering to Austin in the stadium’s first year-and-a-half open.
Q2 Stadium was the most popular venue across the league in response to two questions: “What is your favorite MLS stadium to play in?” and “Which MLS stadium has the best pitch?” The choice for the most “impactful [player] in supporting their community” was decisive — the players agreed on Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver for the second year in a row.
Austin FC was the second most popular club footballers would play for, given a choice, according to a release by Austin FC. The published poll results do not show this level of detail, nor even this particular question. It continues to award midfielder Diego Fagundez as the league’s second most underrated player (after Columbus Crew’s Darlington Nagbe), and Designated Player Sebastián Driussi the runner-up position for league MVP (after Nashville FC’s Hany Mukhtar).
In opposition to all the love for Q2, players chose the LAFC field at Banc of California as the venue with the best home-team advantage. This may come as some small validation for Austinites in the wake of Austin FC’s Conference Finals loss on this field on October 30. The poll also gave a nod to the National Women's Soccer League, naming San Diego Wave FC’s Alex Morgan as its best current player.
This is a fitting cap to Austin FC’s record-breaking season: the team sold out all of its home matches in 2022, including both regular season and playoff games. With more sold out matches last year, this brings the club to 36 sellouts in a row, “the longest active sellout streak in MLS.” The average attendance at an Austin FC game was 20,738, meaning nearly 750,000 seats filled during that streak.
Even though the soccer season is over, we won’t be without it for long. Re-entry drafts already started on November 17 (with Austin trading up to the top spot), and it’s only a matter of time before Austinites can keep that sellout streak going.