Austin FC is getting closer to finalizing its roster with the addition of four players to its roster through the Expansion Draft.
Sports Director Claudio Reyna and Head Coach Josh Wolff were able to pick up to five players of the 162 eligible players for the new Austin FC team in Tuesday's Expansion Draft. The MSL Expansion Draft is a chance for new teams to choose players who already have MLS experience.
Here we go! @AustinFC https://t.co/iCXD3Mx826— Anthony Precourt (@Anthony Precourt)1608073035.0
With the first pick, Austin FC went with Danny Hoesen from the San Jose Earthquakes. The 6'1 Forward from the Netherlands is a quick and strong playmaker, who helped San Jose last season.
Fans should expect a lot from Hoesen who has scored 23 goals in his MLS career. It'll be important for him to be a leader on this team if the young Austin team wants to make a mark in year one.
With their second pick, Austin FC went with value. Jared Stroud from the New York Red Bulls not only fits in with the club's identity but also comes with a small contract making him a valuable asset to the organization.
He played in 20 matches with 11 starts in 2020. Stroud is also only 24 years old, so similarly to much of the Austin FC roster, he has a lot of room for growth and development. The midfielder is the type of pick fans should want because the upside is there.
With the 2nd pick in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft, Austin FC selects midfielder Jared Stroud (@JollyJ_Tweets) from… https://t.co/FUA0s2YhQW— Austin FC (@Austin FC)1608074209.0
The organization kept the theme of "upside" with the selection of goalkeeper Brady Scott for the third pick.
Scott is an American-born player who is well known on the USA Armature circuit playing for both the USA Under 18 and U20 teams. At 6'2, Scott has the build you want for a goalkeeper.
With the 3rd pick in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft, Austin FC selects goalkeeper Brady Scott from Nashville SC. https://t.co/aiUTg3ZjNz— Austin FC (@Austin FC)1608074258.0
With the fourth pick, FC went with a more experienced American Player in LA Galaxy's Joe Corona. The 30 year old can play in multiple positions for the club. The pick was given high praise by the announcers of the draft who all agreed that when building an expansion roster you look for players like Corona because of his versatility and leadership.
The goal for an expansion team is to acquire players who will either immediately make you a contender, help you build a foundation or be used to acquire other pieces.
With the 4th pick in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft, Austin FC selects midfielder Joe Corona (@JoeCorona15) from the… https://t.co/XjQJl7jwoE— Austin FC (@Austin FC)1608074377.0
The fifth pick Kamal Miller was traded away almost as quickly as he was picked. The 22-year-old center back was traded to the Montreal Impact for $225,000 and a 1st Round Draft Pick (11th pick) in 2021 SuperDraft which is currently set for Jan. 11-15.
With the 5th and final pick in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft, Austin FC selects defender Kamal Miller (@KMillz_00) f… https://t.co/r2CEwC1G4b— Austin FC (@Austin FC)1608074499.0
After the draft, Head Coach Josh Wolff said that he and the organization were looking for players that would be fast, score and show the fans a good time. After tonight's draft it appears they got what they were looking for and a little more by flipping Miller for a pick and cash to go sign another player.
Austin FC might not keep all of these players around, with the option of trading them for picks or other players in the future, but from the way that Wolff spoke after the draft, it would surprise many if this team hits reset and looks for new faces after next season.
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With a taste of MLS play under their belts, Austin FC is entering the second half of a scoreless inaugural match.
The club has been given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
The two breaks aside, Austin FC has been holding their own against the match favorites. In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team has been quick and intense, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. ATXFC has also kept about equal possession with LAFC, although their shot attempts haven't been quite as nervewracking as the home team.
LAFC has given goalkeeper Brad Stuver some scares with 11 shot attempts, four of them on goal. By contrast, Austin FC has had five shots on goal.
LA has pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense isn't as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and defensive midfielder Alex Ring has shown the qualities that make him captain as he leads his teammates through their first ever match.
Will Austin FC win against the odds? It's tough to tell, but Austonia will keep you updated!
It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!
Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.
5 p.m: Kickoff!
It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!
4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home
Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.
4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium
Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!
~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds
With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.
~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA
(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)
Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.
Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.
11:45 a.m: We landed!
View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)
Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.
We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.
8:20 a.m: LA bound
Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.
A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.
As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.