Austin FC will be adding up to five players to its roster ahead of the new year and its spring 2021 season.
The MSL Expansion Draft, where new teams get to choose players with MLS experience, will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, and will be broadcasted on AustinFC.com, as well as on the clubs social media platforms.
As the only expansion team making its debut in 2021, Austin FC will be the only club to partake in the expansion draft, meaning that fans of Austin's newest professional team won't have to sit and wait for other teams to make their picks. Instead, Tuesday could look more like a coming out party for the team rather than your typical draft.
Per MLS rules, Austin FC will be permitted three minutes for each player selection, and the soccer club can claim one player from each of the participating MLS clubs. No trades will be permitted during the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft window, which ends as soon as the allotted three minutes for the fifth pick ends.
"Our Club has been working diligently for many months to arrive at this moment, and the Expansion Draft marks a vital step in the process of building our 2021 inaugural roster," said Claudio Reyna, Austin FC sporting director in a press release. "We are excited to add up to five important players to our squad, and we look forward to continuing to build our roster in advance of our first MLS season in 2021. I urge all our fans to make sure they tune in on December 15 to see who we select."
Austin FC will be allowed to fill out its roster at noon on Dec. 16, when MLS free agency begins.
The new team has already added forwards Cecilio Domínguez and Rodney Redes earlier this year and look to add more through free agency and the draft. Each MLS roster holds 30 players, with 18 being eligible for the game day squad roster during the regular season and playoffs.
MLS has not yet announced a schedule or opening day for Austin FC and its $260 million dollar stadium.
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Samsung might soon be making more moves in the Austin metro.
The tech giant, which made waves as it announced plans to build a $17 billion chip plant in Taylor in late 2021, might be looking to expand in the Northeast Austin area, according to an Austin Business Journal report.
ABJ said the South Korean company is seeking more tax breaks from nearby Taylor and Manor school districts. The company filed documents requesting Chapter 313 incentives related to the breaks Saturday, and ABJ said each district will review the requests separately on Tuesday.
"While we do not have specific plans to build at this time, the Chapter 313 application process is part of our long-term planning to evaluate the viability of potentially building additional fabrication plants in the U.S.," Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC.'s director of communications, Michele Glaze, told the ABJ.
But Samsung has made headlines for more than just the $17 billion plant: In early 2022, the company caught heat for two separate spills of millions of gallons of wastewater into tributaries near its semiconductor plant.
While no expansion is promised, ABJ speculates that expansions could occur at the 1,200 acre planned Taylor factory or near the chipmaking factory on Austin's East Parmer Lane. Both expansions could bring even more revenue and job opportunities to Samsung's Texas home.
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A first minute error gave Austin FC an early setback, but with the help of two red cards and two second-half goals, the Verde and Black still forced a last-minute tie in a messy home battle against Orlando City SC Sunday night.
With the 2-2 draw, Austin dropped from No. 1 in the MLS West conference but still earned a point in the standings thanks to a penalty kick goal from Sebastian Driussi and a breakthrough shot from striker Moussa Djitte, who scored his first goal with the club in the final minute of play.
Here are the top three takeaways from the match:
A fateful mistake
Just days after his highlight reel-worthy LAFC performance, Austin keeper Brad Stuver scratched heads as he gave away a goal seconds into the game. Stuver's fateful pass went straight to Orlando's Junior Urco, who was already in the box and tapped a quick pass to Ercan Kara to score the first goal of the match.
The mistake forced Austin to chase a tie for the rest of the match, especially as center back Ruben Gabrielsen benched himself in the 20th minute. The team later said Gabrielsen has come down with something similar to a stomach bug.
Orlando would score two minutes later, and Austin FC left the first half looking like the opposite of its "Best in the MLS" self from just days prior.
The two red cards
By the 60th minute of the match, however, the tides had turned. Orlando's Rodrigo Schlegel, who had already racked up a yellow card on a handball, was ousted from the game two minutes later for yet another handball, this time in the penalty box.
Austin's main man Sebastian Driussi took the kick and sent it in for his eighth goal of the season to make it 2-1.
And just over five minutes later, Orlando's Cesar Araujo was the second man in purple kicked out of the match after he kicked Alex Ring on a slide tackle near the box. Austin was left with just over 20 minutes, and just nine opponents left, to try and tie it up.
The 'Mouss' is loose!
As the whistle blew and regulation time ran out, Orlando seemed to have won the match. The team had withstood many, many close calls—including two shots off the post from Austin FC's Diego Fagundez and Maxi Urruti—as Austin FC flooded the box with 22 cracks at a goal.
But thanks to the chaotic nature of the game, Austin FC was given nine extra minutes to tie it up. Moussa Djitte was the one who finally broke through five minutes into stoppage time, earning his first goal in Verde to put a 2-2 cap on the wild home match.
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