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(Austin FC)

Kickoff is around the corner, and Austin FC is getting closer to the start of their first season with its inaugural preseason matches.

Austin FC announced Monday that it would begin its first-ever preseason on Monday, March 8, at Fairmont Austin and St. Edward's University. Optional training sessions began Monday, March 1 and will extend through March 7.

Head Coach Josh Wolff, who was ranked as having the league's seventh-hardest job by the MLS last month, said that he is excited to see their hard work finally come to fruition.

"We are very excited to start our first preseason as an MLS club," Wolff said in a press release. "The organization has worked tirelessly for over two years for this moment, and we look forward to officially starting this project and getting our players and staff on the field."

The preseason training camp will include 21 players on the current roster as well as two unsigned SuperDraft picks and three invited attendees.

Training will include six weeks of closed-door scrimmages and matches before the 2021 MLS season begins on Saturday, April 17. No audience or media will be allowed to watch any events due to COVID-19 protocols.

The first two scrimmages will take place at St. Edward's against USL Championship teams OKC Energy on Friday, March 19 and Louisville City FC on Thursday, March 25.

Austin FC is temporarily training at St. Ed's while St. David's Performance Center, a $45 million training facility, finishes up construction. In exchange for renting out their space, the club will be giving back scholarship funds to Division II athletes at the university through the Austin FC Endowed Scholarship fund.

Every rostered player excluding new international signee Tomas Pochettino, who has yet to fill out his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, will be at the camp. The team has also invited Austin FC's unsigned SuperDraft picks Aedan Stanley and Daniel Steedman as well as three others: goalkeeper William Pulisic of Duke University, defender Samuel Rogers of the Tacoma Defiance and midfielder Luis Argudo of Inter Miami CF.

Three more preseason matches are scheduled for sometime in April before the season begins on April 17. The MLS official schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.


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