It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for Austin FC fans so far in the 2023 season.
Player injuries, poor play, and questionable decisions steered the club near the bottom of the Western Conference standings midway through the season. The club has since turned a corner, winning 4 of its last 6 league matches.
To keep the momentum going in its final 11 regular season games—after the MLS All-Star/Leagues Cup break—they’ll need all the help they can get.
Enter the 2023 MLS Secondary Transfer Window.
Indicating there would be some roster changes, Josh Wolff first commented about the transfer window after the blowout loss to Sporting KC in June.
“We’ve got to do our best to enhance the roster. It’s looking inside the league, outside the league, and it may mean we have to move some players as well.”Josh Wolff, Austin FC Head Coach (June 10, 2023)
Unfortunately, Austin FC’s hands are tied on any blockbuster transfers. With several underperforming players under contract through the end of the season, it’s unlikely any teams would jump to pick up their contract.
Right away Austin FC has some pre-transfer window turnover as player loans come due.
- Moussa Djitté (forward) was loaned to AC Ajaccio until June 30, 2023. Update: Djitté loaned to Turkish side Bandirmaspor until June 30, 2024.
- Aleksandar Radovanović (defender) is on loan from KV Kortrijk until June 30, 2023. Update: Radovanović officially left Austin FC on June 30.
2023 Austin FC Player Transfer Rumors
Check out the latest rumors and reports of potential incoming and outgoing footballers.
Matt Hedges / Austin FC
Transfer: Incoming Position: Defender Age: 33 Transfer Fee: $500K (GAM)
Gone to Texas! Matt Hedges is coming home after a brief stint with Toronto FC. The 33-year-old center back, who spent his career at FC Dallas, will return to the Lone Star State wearing Verde, according to The Athletic’s Tom Bogert. The mustachioed soothsayer of MLS transfers expects the deal to go through for $500,000 in general allocation money. Coach Wolff recently told local media his target in the summer transfer window was a tried and true center back to bolster the defense, and it appears he found his man.
Brandan Craig / Philadelphia Union
Transfer: Incoming Position: Defender Age: 19 Transfer Fee: N/A (Exchanged 3rd Round 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick)
Austin wasted no time once the window opened. On Day One, the club acquired 19-year-old center back Brandan Craig via an intraleague loan through the 2023 season. The young defender’s highlights include playing for the U.S. U-20 MYNT at the FIFA U-20 World Cup (with Owen Wolff). He’s a Philadelphia Union homegrown who progressed through the Academy and debuted professionally with Philadelphia Union II in 2020. In 2021, Craig signed a first team contract but appeared only once as a substitute in 2022.
Note on the transaction: Austin may have to pay out up to $125,000 in 2024 GAM depending on performance-based incentives.
Owen Wolff / Austin FC
Transfer: Outgoing Position: Midfielder Age: 18 Transfer Fee: $1 mil (est.)
After breaking into the first team at the start of the season, the rumor that Owen Wolff is leaving for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven is only gaining steam in 2023. We previously reported it last year following a tweet by Taylor Twellman and now The Athletic’s Tom Bogert has teen Wolff on his watch list of players on the move this season. It makes sense given the multiyear player development deal the Verde and Oranje agreed to back in September 2022.
Rogelio Funes Mori / C.F. Monterrey
Transfer: Incoming Position: Striker Age: 32 Transfer Fee: $3.5 mil. (est.)
Our beleaguered front line may get an upgrade if this rumor from El Porvenir MX has any truth to it. Austin is targeting Rogelio Funes Mori in the summer transfer window. It’s not the first CF Monterrey player that has been linked to the club — see Vincent Janssen (2022) and Miguel Layun (2021).
Aleksandar Radovanović / KV Kortrijk
Transfer: Outgoing Position: Defender Age: 29 Transfer Fee: $500K (est.)
Rado’s loan to ATX officially ends on June 30 unless a transfer option is triggered by the Verde. Our POV: all signs point to Aleksander leaving. The Serbian center-back just hasn’t cracked the depth chart like we thought he would — and he’s had plenty opportunity due to player injuries and poor defense play. At the end of the day, if the Belgian club puts a reasonable price tag on him, Rado’s stay in Austin could be extended.
Ruben Gabrielsen / Lillestrøm SK
Position: Center Back Age: 31 Transfer Fee: $600K (est.)
Former Verde & Black center back Ruben Gabrielsen recently posted a cheeky Instagram story of himself training that said “Eyes forward” and tagged Austin FC. Looks like someone still has Texas on their mind. While we know it’s likely for the views, imagine Austin filling a defensive black hole for the club with a proven player like former No. 4. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder… just maybe he wants to return to ATX.