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(Austin FC/Twitter)

Rodney Redes

Jersey Number: 11

Hometown: La Colmena, Paraguay

Position: Forward

Age:

Former Club: Club Guaraní



Background

Redes (left) last played on Paraguayan team Club Guarani with Austin FC teammates Cecilio Dominguez (right) and Jhohan Romana. (Austin FC/Twitter)

On July 6, Rodney Redes made history as Austin FC's first-ever signee for a hefty transfer fee of $2.75 million. Then 20 years old, the young forward had already spent three seasons with Paraguayan team Club Guarani, appearing in 72 matches and scoring 122 goals with the club.

In what was a "dream come true," Redes played in eight matches in the Copa Libertadores, South America's highest ranking tournament, in 2020. With the help of teammates Cecilio Dominguez and Jhohan Romana, the young forward scored three goals in the tournament and helped the club reach the finals last December.

"Playing against a lot of teams, against a lot of countries was very eye opening," Redes said. "(I'm) looking forward to bringing that experience to Austin FC."

With Austin FC

Austin FC's first-ever signee got the star treatment when he joined the club, complete with a video promo and plenty of press coverage.

Redes may not yet have star power, but he brings a lot of life to the newly-formed program. He might not start for the club's first-ever match, but he could pack quite a punch as he develops into his prime.

Although Redes was still on loan for the remainder of 2020, sporting director Claudio Reyna was already predicting that Redes would bring goals to the budding team.

"Rodney's an attacking player who's going to provide us with goals and assists and just constant threats with his ability to run into spaces," Redes said. "He's a handful for defenders."

So far, Redes has lived up to expectations. He's already scored twice in the team's three preseason scrimmages and made the highlight reels for both the first week of training camp and the scrimmage against Louisville City FC.

In his weekly press conferences, Wolff has given Redes the nod for both his skill and energy.

"Rodney's always smiling (and) he works tirelessly," Wolff said. "His verticality, to run behind lines, to arrive in the penalty box, I think that's the most impressive."

With seasoned players like Dominguez and Danny Hoesen already no-brainers for the starting lineup, Redes will need to compete with more experienced players Kekuta Manneh and Jon Gallagher. He was Austin FC's first pick for a reason, though. At 21, Redes has potential as a starter for plenty of years to come as he grows into his prime.

Off the pitch

Redes grew up in La Colmena, Paraguay, a small town that was was also home to the country's first Japanese settlement. As a child, all he knew was soccer, Redes said in an interview with Austin FC.

"This place that I grew up is a very humble town," Redes said. "My life was soccer. Even on my birthday, all I wanted was a ball so I could play with my friends."

Redes, Dominguez and Romana all have an advantage to many of their fellow Austin FC teammates: they've already played on the same team.

All three played for Club Guarani in the 2020 season, giving them extra time to gel and find a groove on and off the field.

In November, Redes popped an assist to Dominguez to score for Club Guarani. Hopefully there's much more where that came from as they switch from yellow to Verde.

"I think the chemistry that we have on and off the field will be very important," Dominguez said on the two playing together for both teams.


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