Austin FC coach Josh Wolff has backed star man Sebastian Driussi to go on and win the MLS’ Most Valuable Player award for 2022.

Driussi has been in sensational form this season and leads the MLS for total goal contributions with 21, having scored 14 times and provided a further seven assists.

He is the leading contender for the season’s Golden Boot, and ahead of Austin’s clash with the San Jose Earthquakes, Wolff has been talking his talisman up for the MVP award.

Driussi was named the MLS Player of the Month for July, the second time he was scooped that prize this season.

“He continues to demonstrate why he deserves [MVP consideration],” said Wolff, as quoted by Goal.com.

“And within our team, what I like is now his understanding inside our game model, how he can continue to affect the game.”

“Sebastian continues to perform at a high level for Austin FC and we’re very proud of him for earning his second Player of the Month award this season,” said Austin sporting director Claudio Reyna. “He has been a great addition to our locker room.”

The ‘Quakes, meanwhile, this week confirmed the signing of Carlos Akapo, who was a free agent after leaving LaLiga side Cadiz.

“Carlos is a talented player with significant experience for both club and country,” said Earthquakes general manager Chris Leitch. “He’s made 200 professional appearances in Spain, including more than 50 in LaLiga. He will be an important addition at a position of need. He’s also capable of contributing on both sides of the field which should improve the flexibility and versatility of our roster.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Austin FC – Sebastian Driussi

Thirteen of Driussi’s 21 goal contributions (eight goals, five assists) have come at home, the most in the league, as the Argentine has contributed to at least one goal in seven of his 10 home appearances this season.

San Jose Earthquakes – Nathan

Nathan attempted seven shots in the Earthquakes’ last game, tied for the most by a San Jose player this season. He is the second defender to attempt seven shots in an MLS match since the start of the 2019 season after Keegan Rosenberry of the Colorado Rapids did so against FC Dallas in April this year.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– San Jose are unbeaten in four meetings with Austin (W2 D2) despite facing two-goal deficits in two of the four meetings. The Earthquakes came from 3-1 down to win, 4-3, in Austin last September and overcame a 2-0 deficit at home on April 2 to rescue a 2-2 draw.

– Austin bounced back from a home defeat on July 24 with a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. The win marked the 13th straight game in which Austin has scored, the longest streak in team history and the longest active run in the league.

– San Jose have just one win in 11 away matches this season (D3 L7), winning 3-2 at the LA Galaxy on July 13.

– The Earthquakes have managed just one clean sheet in their last 19 on the road dating back to last August.

– The Earthquakes’ 46 goals conceded are the second-most of any club in MLS, yet they have scored 36 goals – fourth-most in the Western Conference.