Austin FC

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Austin FC
Austin FC logo.svg
Full nameAustin Football Club
Nickname(s)The Verde and Black
Los Verdes
El Tree
The Oaks
FoundedOctober 12, 2018; 3 years ago (October 12, 2018)[1]
StadiumQ2 Stadium
Austin, Texas
Capacity20,738
OwnerTwo Oak Ventures, LLC
ChairmanAnthony Precourt
Head coachJosh Wolff
LeagueMajor League Soccer
2021Western Conference: 12th
Overall: 24th
Playoffs: Did not qualify
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Austin FC is an American professional soccer club based in Austin, Texas. The club competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the Western Conference. Founded in 2018, the club began play in the 2021 season. Their home stadium is Q2 Stadium in north Austin. They are the first major professional sports league team to play in Texas' capital, which prior to 2021 was the largest city in the United States without such a team.

History[edit]

Austin FC is the first top-division major professional sports team in the Austin area. The city's previous experience with professional soccer includes the Austin Aztex FC, which moved to Orlando in 2008 and eventually became MLS side Orlando City SC; the 2011 reincarnation of the Austin Aztex, which went on indefinite hiatus following the 2015 Memorial Day floods washing out their venue at House Park; and Austin Bold FC, which played in the second-division USL Championship at Circuit of the Americas from 2019 to 2021.[2][3]

In October 2017, Columbus Crew SC operator Precourt Sports Ventures announced their intention to move the group's MLS franchise rights to Austin for the 2019 MLS season.[4]

After several sessions, the Austin City Council, by a 7–4 vote during a special session on August 15, 2018, granted the City Manager the authority to negotiate and execute a lease for a stadium with Precourt Sports Ventures.[5]

On August 22, 2018, the group unveiled the name and badge for the club at the North Door on Austin's east side.[6][7] The crest was designed by local Austin brand studio The Butler Bros, who explained the badge as including the signature color "Bright Verde" to "project the vibrancy and creative energy of Austin", intertwined oaks that "stand for the bond between Club and City", and the four roots uniting all compass directions of Austin, North, East, South, and West.[8][9]

In October 2018, an Ohio-based group which includes Jimmy and Dee Haslam, owners of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns, and Columbus-based physician and businessman Pete Edwards, announced their intentions to acquire Columbus Crew to keep the team from moving. MLS officials stated that if the transfer of the Crew's operating rights were successful, Austin FC would be an expansion team operated by Precourt to begin play by 2021.[10][11]

On December 19, 2018, Precourt Sports Ventures and the City of Austin reached a financing agreement for a new soccer-specific stadium to be constructed at McKalla Place, which was projected to open by early 2021.[12] Nine days after finalizing the stadium deal, Precourt Sports Ventures reached an agreement in principle to transfer the operating rights of the Columbus Crew SC to the Haslam and Edwards families in January 2019.[13]

On January 15, 2019, Austin FC was officially announced as an MLS club with a 2021 start date.[14][15][16] In July 2019, the ownership group was renamed to Two Oak Ventures and later expanded to include local celebrities and businesspeople.[17][18]

Josh Wolff was named the club's first head coach on July 23, 2019,[19] and Claudio Reyna was announced as their sporting director on November 21.[20]

First seasons[edit]

Before the start of their inaugural season, Alexander Ring was named the first club captain.[21]

Austin FC played their first MLS match against Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium on April 17, 2021, losing 0–2. The club secured its first victory the following week against the Colorado Rapids, winning 3–1. Diego Fagúndez scored the club's first goal and the following two were scored by the club's first Designated Player, Cecilio Dominguez.[22] Their home opener was held on June 19, 2021, against the San Jose Earthquakes, a match which ended in a scoreless draw.[23] The team secured its first ever home victory on July 1, 2021, defeating the Portland Timbers 4–1. Jon Gallagher scored the team's first home goal and the first MLS goal at Q2.[24]

Austin FC signed Sebastián Driussi, on July 29, 2021, from Zenit St. Petersburg for a $7 million transfer fee[25] He became the first player to score 10 goals for the club on April 16, 2022 and was named the club's first All-Star that season.

In 2022, Austin FC started the season with an MLS record 10 goals in their first two matches.[26] They lost 2–1 in their first ever cup match in the third round of the 2022 U.S. Open Cup against San Antonio FC on April 20; Fagundez scored the club's first ever Open Cup goal. On July 16, they won the Copa Tejas, the first trophy in franchise history.[27]

In August 2022, Austin FC announced the creation of a reserve side that would play in MLS Next Pro beginning the following year.[28]

Stadium[edit]

Construction progress, July 2020

Austin FC are the operators of a newly built stadium at McKalla Place. The stadium is near The Domain, a large shopping center complex. The stadium, built on public land and owned by the City of Austin, was privately financed by Two Oak Ventures. The lease was signed on December 19, 2018. The stadium seats 20,500 fielded its first Austin FC game on June 19, 2021.[29][30]

The club announced plans for a $45 million, privately funded training facility, the St. David's Performance Center, on November 13, 2019. The performance center, located in the Parmer Pond development in northeast Austin, will have four full-size soccer fields, one with a 1,000 capacity seating section, in addition to a 30,000 square foot indoor facility.[31]

Club culture[edit]

Austin FC currently has four supporters' groups, Austin Anthem,[32] Los Verdes, Burnt Orange Brigade, along with a group from New Braunfels, Oak Army New Braunfels.[33]

The club colors are bright green (stylized by the club as "verde," the Spanish word for the color) and black. The team's color scheme has been frequently highlighted in team promotions and at Q2 Stadium, with green lights flashing after each Austin goal.

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor Sleeve sponsor Ref.
2021– Adidas Yeti Netspend [34]

Broadcasting[edit]

For the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Nexstar Media Group serves as the team's broadcast partner. The majority of games appear on KNVA, with select matches also appearing on KXAN and KBVO. Adrian Healey serves as the play-by-play announcer, while Michael Lahoud joins in as a color analyst.[35]

Radio rights are held by Alt 97.5 FM, with Lincoln Rose on the call.[36]

In April 2021, Austin FC reached a deal with Univision as its Spanish broadcast partner. KAKW and KTFO will broadcast each regionally televised match in Spanish, while KLQB serves as Austin FC's flagship Spanish radio station.[37]

Ownership and management[edit]

Austin FC is owned by Two Oak Ventures, formerly known as Precourt Sports Ventures, which is led by CEO Anthony Precourt.[17] Other investing partners in Two Oak Ventures include actor Matthew McConaughey, local entrepreneur Eduardo Margain, former Dell executive Marius Haas, and energy entrepreneur Bryan Sheffield.[18]

Players and staff[edit]

Roster[edit]

As of August 4, 2022[38]
No. Pos. Player Nation
1 GK Brad Stuver  United States
2 FW Moussa Djitté  Senegal
3 DF Jhohan Romaña  Colombia
4 DF Ruben Gabrielsen  Norway
5 MF Jhojan Valencia  Colombia
6 MF Daniel Pereira (GA)  Venezuela
7 FW Sebastián Driussi (DP)  Argentina
8 MF Alexander Ring (DP and captain)  Finland
9 FW Danny Hoesen  Netherlands
11 FW Rodney Redes  Paraguay
12 GK Damian Las  United States
13 MF Ethan Finlay  United States
14 MF Diego Fagúndez  Uruguay
15 DF Kipp Keller (GA)  United States
16 DF Hector Jiménez  United States
17 DF Jon Gallagher  Republic of Ireland
18 DF Julio Cascante  Costa Rica
20 MF Jared Stroud  United States
21 MF Emiliano Rigoni (DP)  Argentina
22 MF Felipe  Brazil
23 DF Žan Kolmanič  Slovenia
24 DF Nick Lima  United States
31 GK Andrew Tarbell  United States
32 MF Washington Corozo (on loan from Sporting Cristal)  Ecuador
33 MF Owen Wolff (HG)  United States
37 FW Maxi Urruti  Argentina

Out on loan[edit]

No. Pos. Player Nation
19 DF Freddy Kleemann (on loan to Birmingham Legion)  United States
26 DF Charlie Asensio (on loan to Charleston Battery)  United States
34 GK Will Pulisic (on loan to North Carolina FC)  United States
MF Tomás Pochettino (on loan to River Plate)  Argentina

Technical[edit]

Executive
Majority owner & CEO Anthony Precourt
Sporting director Claudio Reyna
Chief scout Manuel Junco
Coaching Staff
Head coach Josh Wolff
Assistant coach Davy Arnaud
Assistant coach Rodrigo Ríos
Assistant coach Nolan Sheldon
Goalkeeper coach Preston Burpo
Fitness coach David Tenney
Youth coach Javier Cano Gallego

Source: [1]

Honors[edit]

Minor[edit]

Records[edit]

Seasons[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by Austin. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Austin FC seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs USOC Continental / Other Average
attendance
Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name(s) Goals
2021 1 MLS 34 9 21 4 35 56 −21 31 0.91 12 24 DNQ COVID-19 DNQ 20,738

Paraguay Cecilio Dominguez
Uruguay Diego Fagúndez

7
2022 MLS 24 13 5 6 50 31 +19 45 1.88 2 3 TBD Third Round DNQ 20,738

Argentina Sebastián Driussi

16
Total 58 22 26 10 85 87 -2 76 1.31 Argentina Sebastian Driussi 21

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise announced in 2018 but will not begin play until 2021.
  2. ^ Salazar, Daniel (January 15, 2019). "It's official: Austin has its first major league sports franchise, MLS commissioner announces". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  3. ^ West, Phil (January 3, 2019). "Austin soccer stadium opponents file petition seeking May vote". ProSoccerUSA.com. Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  4. ^ Wahl, Grant (October 16, 2017). "Columbus Crew Angling Toward Relocation to Austin in 2019". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Lyttle, Kevin. "Austin City Council votes 'yes' to MLS at McKalla Place". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "Precourt Sports Ventures reveals badge for potential Austin MLS club". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. August 22, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Bils, Chris (August 23, 2018). "City's MLS franchise to be dubbed Austin FC". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  8. ^ West, Phil (August 23, 2018). "Austin FC: Precourt Sports Ventures unveils new name, logo for proposed Texas MLS team". ProSoccerUSA. Archived from the original on June 17, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Barbaro, Nick (August 22, 2018). "MLS2ATX reveals team name, logo, colors, and more". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  10. ^ "Cleveland Browns owners emerge as potential buyers of Columbus Crew SC". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. October 12, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  11. ^ Clarke-Madison, Mike; Sanders, Austin; Barbaro, Nick (October 12, 2018). "MLS in Austin: Everybody Wins!". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  12. ^ "City of Austin, Precourt Sports Ventures announce stadium deal agreement". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. December 19, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  13. ^ "Agreement reached for Haslam, Edwards families to operate Columbus Crew SC". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Bogert, Tom (January 15, 2019). "Austin FC to begin MLS play in 2021 as league's 27th club". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Creditor, Avi (January 15, 2019). "MLS officially welcomes Austin FC as 27th franchise". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Bils, Chris; Bohls, Kirk (January 15, 2019). "Austin FC officially announced as 27th MLS club with 'local roots'". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Two Oak Ventures to own and operate Austin FC and attract local investors". MLSsoccer.com. July 17, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  18. ^ a b West, Phil (August 23, 2019). "Matthew McConaughey among four locals joining Austin FC ownership group". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  19. ^ "Austin FC name Josh Wolff first head coach | MLSsoccer.com".
  20. ^ "Claudio Reyna Departs New York City FC to Join Austin FC; Technical Director David Lee Promoted to Sporting Director | New York City FC".
  21. ^ "Alex Ring named Austin FC captain; coach Josh Wolff 'ready' for LAFC challenge".
  22. ^ "MATCH RECAP: Austin FC vs. Colorado Rapids".
  23. ^ LoRé, Michael. "Austin Finally Welcomes Its First Professional Sports Team: Austin FC". Forbes. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Timbers Staff. "Match Recap Austin FC 4, Portland 1".
  25. ^ Carlisle, Jeff (July 29, 2021). "Match Report: Austin FC signs Argentine midfielder Sebastian Driussi".
  26. ^ "Austin FC scores MLS-record 10 goals in first 2 games". www.fox7austin.com. Fox 7 Austin. March 7, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  27. ^ Koubek, Cameron (July 16, 2022). "Match Report: FC Dallas vs. Austin FC July 16, 2022". Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  28. ^ "Austin FC To Add MLS NEXT Pro Team in 2023". AustinFC.com. Austin FC. August 4, 2022. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  29. ^ "10414 McKalla Place". AustinTexas.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  30. ^ Bils, Chris. "Rising stadium signals that Austin FC, MLS are on their way". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  31. ^ Webb, Tom (November 13, 2019). "Austin FC announces plans for St. David's Performance Center; $45-million training facility to be located at mixed-use Parmer Innovation Center in Austin, TX" (PDF). www.Austinfc.cdn.prismic.io. Austin FC. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  32. ^ Bils, Chris (January 9, 2019). "Austin FC reveals details for 'Legendary Announcement' next week, including sweepstakes". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  33. ^ Bils, Chris (June 20, 2020). "Soccer notebook: For supporters, the price for Austin FC tickets is alright, alright, alright". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  34. ^ "Austin FC enter multi-year deal with YETI to be official jersey sponsor". MLSsoccer.com. February 10, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  35. ^ "Austin FC and the CW Austin, KXAN-TV, and KBVO-TV Announce English Language Channel Assignments".
  36. ^ "Austin FC Announces Lincoln Rose as English Language Commentator".
  37. ^ "Austin FC and Univision Announce Multi-Platform Spanish Broadcast Partnership".
  38. ^ "Austin FC Roster". austinfc.com. Austin FC. Retrieved February 7, 2022.

External links[edit]