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MLS adds Austin as 27th team


Washington (AFP) – Austin FC was announced Tuesday as Major League Soccer’s 27th club, the first top-level sports team for the Texas capital debuting in 2021 in a new 20,000-seat stadium.

“We think we are the league for a new America and that America lives here in Austin,” MLS commissioner Don Garber told a crowd at the announcement ceremony.

“We need to be here because of what you are and I promise you it’s going to be great. Major League Soccer is a perfect fit for the city of Austin.

“We are so thrilled to welcome Austin FC and MLS’s 27th soccer team.”

Austin FC chairman Anthony Precourt donned his new MLS scarf for the green and black and joined the celebration.

“Core supporters, this day is for you,” he said. “This sight is so great my heart is about to explode. Austin FC is for all of you.”

Precourt had bought the Columbus Crew and planned to move the club to Austin before the league responded to Columbus supporter pleas and eventually made a deal to sell the Crew to a group including owners of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and giving Precourt an expansion team in Austin, the 11th-largest US city.

“Our intent is to build a team that will be a perennial contender for MLS Cup,” Precourt said.

A new $225 million stadium will be funded by Precourt’s investment group with groundbreaking set for later this year.

“We are extremely proud to be the first major professional sports league to become part of the fabric of this important and thriving American city,” Garber said.

Austin FC becomes the 17th club to join MLS since 2005, with FC Cincinnati to debut later this year and new teams coming in Nashville and Miami, where former Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham is among the owners, also added in the past 13 months.

Austin will have instant rivalries with two other MLS clubs in Texas, the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. JP

    January 16, 2019 at 10:32 am

    27 clubs is by far too many for a league which isn’t close to having the best talent in the world. It just dilutes the talent pool even more and makes the quality of play poorer. MLS was actually somewhat exciting back when it only had 10 teams in the 1990’s. This many makes the case for finally going pro/rel even more of a no brainer. A 16 club MLS would be fine.

  2. Texian

    January 16, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I would guess half full stadiums within a couple of years of the franchise starting. Has the MLS even done the research into how well Austin supports soccer teams? It’s not a pretty picture.

  3. Ivan

    January 16, 2019 at 10:10 am

    This smacks like a pyramid scheme-gotta get that new franchise fee every year to keep the league operational…

    • Christopher Harris

      January 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Bingo. A ponzi scheme.

  4. Jack Goff

    January 16, 2019 at 5:22 am

    MLS seriously needs to make the league promotion – relagation if every city is gonna have a franchise.
    Does 1 state need 3 pro teams?

    • jason

      January 16, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      California sir? Also it should have 4 with Sacramento. Means nothing. At this point MLS should move to somewhere betwen 32-40 teams and split up to MLS East and MLS West. Two distinctive leagues with the winners of each meeting in MLS cup at the end.

  5. Joaquin Ramirez

    January 15, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    So, what happened to MLS in San Antonio, Tx? Any comments from Mr. Garber, or the Spurs Organization and Judge Wolf?

  6. Joe

    January 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Club names better than Austin FC

    LeftTX United
    AC Hippie
    Austin Offended

    Seriously the other two MLS teams in Texas seem to be doing great, why not add a third in a smaller market dominated by college football? MLS is such a joke even commenting on this article is giving them more than they deserve,

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