Major League Soccer has formally unveiled its 27th team, Austin FC.
The Anthony Precourt-owned team puts MLS one franchise away from its self-imposed maximum of 28.
[ MORE: Atlanta signs Watford teen ]
Precourt unsuccessfully tried to relocate his Columbus Crew to Austin before working his way into an expansion team.
He insists Austin FC will have local investment, and that pleases MLS commissioner Don Garber. From The Austin Statesman:
“We will shortly be announcing that we’ll be welcoming in local Austin partners into our ownership group,” Precourt said. “I’ve had very productive conversations over the last year, and we have very strong interest in a great lineup of local Austinites that will be part of this going forward.”
“If not for those plans, we probably wouldn’t be here today,” Garber told the Statesman. “The final ownership structure will be one that would satisfy our real strong desire and preference to have our clubs have local roots.”
Austin joins Nashville and Miami as announced expansion teams, and AFC will begin play in 2021.
Home of the University of Texas and a myriad of popular musical acts like Spoon, Explosions in the Sky, and The Sword, Texas’ capital is an attractive spot for MLS and will have built-in rivalry capabilities between Houston and Dallas (with San Antonio a long-rumored MLS flirtation).
MLS will almost certainly expand beyond 28 teams, with Charlotte, San Diego, and Detroit among the league’s long-term targets.
Also of note: Alexi Lalas played guitar.