Austin FC, expected to be the 27th Major League Soccer franchise, took one step closer to that Tuesday afternoon by revealing a Jan. 15 event that will bring together MLS commissioner Don Garber, Austin FC Chairman and CEO Anthony Precourt and Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
The gathering is being billed as a “legendary announcement” — building off the #GrowTheLegend hashtag the club coined for its brand launch last August — likely similar to the one last May that heralded FC Cincinnati’s transition from the United Soccer League to MLS.
The invitations, initially sent to a select list of Austin soccer fans, directs recipients to RSVP to an event at a downtown Austin venue next Tuesday afternoon. Fans in Central Texas, who have anticipated the news since Garber discussed Austin FC’s impending arrival during the State of the League address the day before MLS Cup 2018 last month.
At least one fan — Sergio Tristan, founder of U.S.-based El Tri supporters’ group Pancho Villa’s Army — took to Twitter to declare his excitement:
What could it be? What could it be?
Honored to be invited. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be part of #AustinFC from its birth!
— Sergio Trist10 (@SergioTrist10) January 8, 2019
The “legendary announcement” adds to an eventful January for Austin FC, including the announcement of club president Andy Loughnane and an initial 15-person staff, the filing of a petition from a group of community activists who oppose the stadium that PSV will build on City of Austin land in time for the 2021 season opening, and determinations from Adler and PSV lawyer Richard Suttle that the petition won’t impact plans for the future home of Austin FC.
The event in Austin will come just six days after tomorrow’s event in Columbus, in which a new Columbus Crew SC ownership group — led by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and team doctor Pete Edwards — will officially commemorate its acquisition of investor-operator rights to the franchise, previous sold to PSV in 2013. That event will also welcome new Crew coach Caleb Porter and GM Tim Bezbatchenko, both with previous Ohio connections, to the organization.