AUSTIN (KXAN) — Monday marks the start of Austin FC’s six-week preseason camp at Fairmont Austin and at a temporary training facility at St. Edward’s University ahead of the team’s debut season in Major League Soccer.
The camp will consist of scrimmages and matches involving the team’s 21 rostered players, two unsigned draft picks and three training camp attendees. The team will eventually move to its permanent training site in north Austin at St. David’s Performance Center once work is complete at the facility.
While preseason was initially supposed to begin last month, it was pushed back two weeks due to collective bargaining negotiations within the league, but league officials said they still expect the season will provide a full 34-game schedule for all 27 clubs, including Austin FC.
“We got to get ready for the start of the season because there’s a level of fitness, and certainly competing, that comes with playing in MLS. And the way we want to play that’s also going to ask and demand a lot from the players so we’re gonna keep building, it’s going to take time, but the goal is to get better each week and the start of the season is the start of the season, but we want to be in a good place by the end of the season,” Josh Wolff, Austin FC’s head coach explained.
As part of the agreement for temporarily training at St. Edward’s University, Austin FC reports students will get to benefit from the partnership through the Austin FC Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will be used to support NCAA Division II student-athletes.
Austin FC estimates work on the Q2 Stadium will wrap up by the end of March or early April, but officials said they will have to finish some additional work before they can host matches. They expect the first match to take place at the new stadium in June.