Here’s Austin FC’s predicted starting XI heading into its debut match.
Not that long ago, there weren’t even enough bodies for an 11-player squad. Now Austin lists 24 players on its team roster, including recently signed defender Žan Kolmanič from Slovenia. 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).
It leaves a little wiggle room to add a few more players down the road, including a third designated player (which Reyna expects to hold onto until this summer).
All that to say, the 2021 ATX FC player roster could still grow during the season, depending on how things are going.
Austin FC Predicted Starting Lineup
Obviously, there’s a lot of guesswork to the lineup heading into the first game.
Wolff and Reyna have stated that they want an attack-minded, possession-heavy squad that uses the Texas heat to wear down opponents.
Even though training camp is over, in our eyes not every position is locked up. Preseason individual battles at a few spots, such as striker, center back, and goal keeper, will make for a juicy starting lineup release by Austin FC for the Los Angeles FC match.
In a standard 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.
- Twenty-year old Redes from Club Guarani is penciled in on the wing, making it an all Paraguayan duo on the outside wings. Manneh carries MLS experience and could get the early season start instead, depending on Redes’ knee injury suffered in camp.
- 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. It’s a tough call between Stuver and Tarbell, be Tarbell gets our nod for this match simply based on his previous MLS experience.
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, possibly Dominguez or 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 // March 25, 2021