Rodolfo Borrell, Manchester City’s Assistant Coach, set to join Austin FC as Sporting Director

UPDATE: Austin FC officially introduced Rodolfo Borrell as the club’s Sporting Director on June 30.

For fans of the global game, June and July are slow months for club football outside of Major League Soccer. In the absence of actual club football, fans usually spend their time digesting all kinds of media about the latest transfer rumors. In the past, the grand majority of those transfer rumors came from incredibly unreliable sources. It was incredibly hard to differentiate reality from straight clickbait. 

And then Fabrizio Romano came along. Essentially, if Fabrizio tweets it, it’s legit. If he adds the #herewego hashtag, then you can bet the farm that it’s going down.

I am no different than your average soccer fan. Every morning I wake up and start my day by checking Fabrizio’s twitter feed to check if Declan Rice to Arsenal is a done deal to review any potential transfers that are materializing. 

Wednesday morning, we got an absolute #fabbomb, that actually didn’t involve a potential player transfer but did involve Austin FC:

WHOA 🤯🤯🤯

If you’ve never heard the name ‘Rodolfo Borrell,’ don’t worry. I hadn’t either. But I have heard of Manchester City, the club that just won the treble: the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup. I have also heard of Pep Guardiola, arguably the best manager in world football at the moment (and one of the best to ever do it).

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Borrell served as Guardiola’s assistant coach at City, and previously served as their Global Technical Director. He’s also played key roles in the youth academies at Manchester City, Liverpool, and Barcelona. He’s helped develop and coach some of the finest players in world football: Leo Messi, Kevin De Bruyne, and Erling Haaland, to name a few. In short, he has an incredible eye for talent and, although we won’t officially hear from the club for a few days, he’ll be our new Sporting Director.

Here are five thoughts about this major move from Austin FC:

  • Let’s start off with some humor. I felt like this comment on Fabrizio’s original post was too good not to share:
  • Sean Rubio has been solid in his role as Interim Sporting Director after replacing Claudio Reyna. And while Rubio was probably a few years away from being ready for the Sporting Director role, Borrell’s arrival may not necessarily mean the departure of Rubio. Rubio has the one thing that Borrell doesn’t: MLS experience. For better or worse, Major League Soccer is its own beast, and the league operates very differently from leagues in other parts of the world. I could see a world in which Rubio stays on to support Borrell with the MLS-related intricacies of the job. If so, count that as another win for Austin FC.
  • The MLS transfer window opens on July 5 which means this move is coming at a really good time. Admittedly, the summer transfer window for MLS clubs can be hit-or-mostly-miss when it comes to immediate impact, but Austin FC signed Sebastian Driussi in the summer of 2021 and that worked out for us quite well (eventually). To be honest though, I think Austin FC fans are more worried about the ‘now’ than the ‘later.’ You all know how I feel about Kipp Keller, but news from the club yesterday that they weren’t likely to pursue another central defender in this window was…not ideal. Maybe Borrell changes that.
  • I cannot overstate how big of a move this is for the club. And look, it is very possible that it doesn’t lead to the impact that one would think, but it’s also very possible that this works out really, really well for Austin FC. Either way, it says something very loud and clear about the club’s ambition. You’d be hard-pressed to find a successful football club that doesn’t have an incredibly strong front office and technical staff. Again it doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s a major move and a step in the right direction. Which brings me to my last point…
  • This move does not bode well for Josh Wolff’s future with Austin FC. Look, I’m not here to argue #wolffin or #wolffout based on past and current results. I’m looking at this with an eye towards the future. Let me say this again in case it didn’t register earlier: Austin FC is bringing in the top assistant coach of the best manager in the world from the best football club in the world to be its Sporting Director on a multi-year deal. The profile of player that the club will be able to attract will change. Austin FC is going to change, it’s going to take the next logical step. And I don’t think Wolff is going to be the guy to lead Austin FC there. I could be wrong, but unless Wolff leads us to a deep playoff run, or outright wins the Leagues Cup, I think he’s gone at the end of the season. 

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One comment

  1. I agree with you. I believe this is a big step and a change in direction play style wise. I was a fan of Kipp his first year but the last couple of games he’s come on, he has played scared. At least that’s how I see it. We need a solid CB and a true striker. And Rigoni needs to either step up or step out.

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