Austin FC’s predicted player lineup going into 2021 season

Here’s our way too early Austin FC starting XI.

We couldn’t help ourselves with MLS is Back opening weekend only two months away.

Not that long ago, there weren’t even enough bodies for an 11-player squad. Now Austin lists 22 players on its team roster, including recently signed DP Tomás Pochettino. And there’s still space for more signings. MLS clubs can have an active roster of up to 30 players (with an 18-player game-day squad).

That leaves a little wiggle room to add a few more players to plug some holes, plus the Verde have a third DP spot that Reyna expects to hold onto until this summer.

All that to say, the 2021 ATX FC player roster could still grow before the inaugural match day.

Austin FC predicted 2021 starting lineup

Obviously, there’s a lot of guesswork to the lineup heading into the 2021 season.

Many positions are not locks, except for DPs Dominguez and Pochettino, as well as Ring, Sweat, and Lima. Individual battles for the six other starting spots will make for a juicy preseason in March.

In a typical 4-3-3 formation, this is what Coach Wolff’s lineup might look like.

  • Alex Ring, former NYCFC captain, anchors the middle as a No. 6.
  • Pochettino could slot in as a No. 10 or No. 8. Beside him we picked former NE Rev Fagundez, but #1 SuperDraft pick Daniel Pereira could get the nod once he’s up to MLS speed.
  • Manneh is penciled in on the right wing, but 20-year old Redes from Club Guarani, could push for the start, making it an all Paraguay duo on the wings.
  • On the backline, center backs Besler and Romaña could be challenged by reinvigorated former Timber Julio Cascante.
  • Finally, the club has a wealth of goalkeepers in Scott, Stuver, and Tarbell. (Not to mention draft pick Noah Lawrence.) Tarbell gets our nod simply based on eyeballing last year’s MLS stats.

Wolff and Reyna have stated that they want an attack-minded, possession-heavy squad that uses the Texas heat to wear down opponents.

If Coach Wolff leans on his time as an assistant on Berhalter’s Columbus Crew, we could see a 4-2-3-1 playing model. The No. 10, probably Pochettino, gets to be extremely creative here. Outside backs Sweat and Lima would look to push forward and get the ball wide where it can be whipped into a striker, in this case Hoesen (or a TBD third DP?).

What players would be in your Austin FC starting XI? Let us know in the comments.

Austin FC Player Roster // February 11, 2021

Brady Scott
Brad Stuver
Andrew Tarbell

Matt Besler
Julio Cascante
Hector Jimenez
Freddy Kleeman
Nick Lima
Jhohan Romaña
Ben Sweat

Diego Fagundez
Daniel Pereira
Tomás Pochettino
Alex Ring
Ulises Segura
Jared Stroud

Cecilio Domínguez
Jon Gallagher
Danny Hoesen
Kekuta Manneh
Rodney Redes
Aaron Schoenfeld

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