Welcome to ATX, Leo! Our new Finnish center back, Leo Vaisanen, arrived in Austin, TX for the first time Friday night.
Verde fans enthusiastically greeted the 25-year-old defender as he showed up just after 8pm at the downtown Fairmont. Leo shook hands with fans and talked to the media, grinning ear to ear, before he walked up to the hotel with Austin FC handlers in tow.
Earlier this week, Leo’s first U.S. stop was Orlando, FL, where he met up with his new Verde teammates at training camp. ATXFC played a preseason match against FC Cincinnati on Friday in Tampa, Florida. (Austin came up short in the friendly, losing 3-2 to the Orange and Blue.)
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Vaisanen will get settled in at the hotel before training starts in earnest at St. David’s Performance Center.
With the timing of his arrival, Leo’s likely to see minutes in the next preseason match vs. USL Side El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday, Feb. 4. Then the real work starts in 29 days when they take on St. Louis City SC on Feb. 25 at Q2 Stadium.
Austin FC 2023 home and away schedule
Coach Wolff is expecting Leo Vaisanen to be a regular in the 2023 Starting XI beside Julio Cascante on the backline, after the unexpected departure of Ruben Gabrielsen. We hypothesized here that Austin may have originally wanted Vaisanen over Gabrielsen, when both players were targeted by the club two years ago.