Don’t sleep on Austin FC in 2020. The club is one season away from taking the pitch for the first time, but there’s still so much to do before then.
Here are some major milestones you can expect this year.
Stadium Naming Rights Announced
Our mind was blown after Austin FC named YETI as the jersey sponsor—not sure how the club can top that with a TBD stadium sponsor. Actually, that’s not true. If you know us by now, speculation is our thang and we have several ideas of local and regional companies that would make a great fit and have the $$$$ to afford it. (Four dollar signs because this is a monster frickin’ deal.) In fact, according to a Sports Business Journal story, Austin FC has already turned down a 10-year, $35 million offer. Look for a stadium sponsorship announcement in mid-2020.
Groundbreaking for Training Facility
In 2019, Austin FC announced a new $45 million training facility coming to Northeast Austin. Officially called the St. David’s Performance Center, it will be a “home away from home” for players and staff. Also soccer operations staff and the youth academy will be headquartered here. This is a significant investment to create a world-class facility and it should pay dividends in the form of enticing players to sign with the club, as well as showcasing the quality of training to be found here. Expect a mid-2020 groundbreaking and a Spring 2021 opening, based on our latest information from the club.
MLS Expansion Draft
If it goes down like last year, then new clubs Austin FC and Charlotte can each add five MLS players from the expansion draft for their inaugural season. A rep from each club has 3-minutes to make a pick in each of the five rounds. A few MLS clubs will be exempt from exposing their players for the draft, but all other teams can only protect 12 players on their roster (leaving the others open to being snatched up in the draft).
We won’t go through all the ins and outs of the draft, but you can brush up on expansion draft rules in your spare time. Last year the draft was held in mid-November for expansion clubs Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC.
Also, be on the watch for Austin FC to sign players from other leagues during the 2020 transfer window. The club could fill a DP slot or two this summer. After the unfortunate financial fallout on soccer clubs worldwide due to COVID-19, there’s opportunity to acquire players at bargain basement prices.
Game Jersey Unveiling
One of two official game jerseys will be released in late 2020. Timed to maximize the holiday shopping season, we already know YETI will have its name on the front of it.
My biggest question is what color will the jersey be? Given that the training jersey is VERDE it seems unlikely that the bright green color will be an option. And a black home jersey would just be too hot in the Austin heat, even if games start after 7pm.
We do know Adidas will design and manufacture the jersey, much to the chagrin of many fans who have mercilessly mocked their skills.
— Capital City Soccer (@CapCitySC) January 29, 2020
So, What are Austin FC Fans Most Excited About?
We conducted an informal Twitter poll to find out what fans were excited about and in a sample of more than 80 fans…(drumroll) “Game Jersey Unveiling” captured the most votes. It surprised us that it beat out the first player signing, which will likely be a significant DP player.
Regardless, the jersey unveiling is obviously a huge deal in the mind of fans and we expect the club to throw their biggest party yet when they reveal the Austin FC kit.
Leave a comment and tell us what you’re most looking forward to this year.