Austin FC adds 5 new players in busy first day of MLS offseason

Verde fans were more focused on the day after MLS Cup this year.

Ringing in the first 24 hours of MLS offseason was a brief window for clubs to trade players prior to the Expansion Draft.

After owner Anthony Precourt sent up the Verde smoke signal with the date 12.13.20 fans knew there was going to be some hot roster action.

Austin FC did not disappoint—adding five players in about four hours.

And just like that the club’s player list nearly tripled in size.

Austin FC added 3 defenders, a midfielder, and a forward. Four of the five players were coached by, or at the same club as, Austin FC’s current technical staff, including Reyna and Wolff. Two have played for USMNT.

Combined these five player trades cost the club more than $1 million in general allocation money (GAM).

Here are the newest Austin FC squad members, in the order they were announced by the club.

Ben Sweat, Defender

Inter Miami’s Ben Sweat traded to Austin FC. Position: Left Back | Age: 29 | Transfer Fee: $100K. Consistent starting defender for Inter Miami CF in 2020. Before that Sweat spent three years at NYCFC with Sporting Director Claudio Reyna.

Ulises Segura, Midfielder

D.C. United’s Ulises Segura traded to Austin FC. Position: Midfield | Age: 27 | Transfer Fee: $150K. Verde looking for players that can play multiple positions. Segura fits that mold having played all but three spots for the Black & Red. He reunites with Assistant Coach Sheldon.

Nick Lima, Defender

San Jose Earthquake’s Nick Lima traded to Austin FC. Position: Defender | Age: 26 | Transfer Fee: $500K. Verde get a homegrown Quake with 20 GPs (2 goals) in 2020. He’s a capped USMNT player; on the squad when Josh Wolff was the Assistant Coach.

Julio Cascante, Defender

Portland Timber’s Julio Cascante traded to Austin FC. Position: CB | Age: 27 | Transfer Fee: $250K. A bit of an enigma for Verde fans with just 5 GPs (1 goal) in 2020. Cascante came to the Timbers from Costa Rica’s Saprissa with a reputation as an enforcer on the backline.

Jon Gallagher, Forward

Atlanta United’s Jon Gallagher traded to Austin FC. Position: Forward | Age: 24 | Transfer Fee: $225K. Verde get a versatile forward with 4 goals (16 GP) for the Five Stripes in 2020. Previously, the Irishman was on loan to Aberdeen FC (2019). Gallagher reunites with Assistant Coach Rios.