‘We just can’t wait’: Plans for United Soccer League team no longer on hold


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Circuit of the Americas is back on track with plans to bring a United Soccer League team to the Austin-area by March 2019.

This comes after Austin City Council postponed discussion of a move to Austin by the Columbus Crew, a Major League Soccer team in Columbus, Ohio, which hoped to build a stadium along the shores of Lady Bird Lake in the “urban core” of Austin.

Roberto Pinto da Silva Jr., director of private and special events at COTA, says the circuit “went silent” with their own plans for a professional soccer team in Austin after the Columbus Crew announced the possibility of their relocation.

“We were always supporting and are very supportive of MLS in Austin,” Da Silva said. “We just can’t wait for [the Crew] to happen… and not have a team in either league.” The Crew plays in Division 1 professional soccer while USL is Division 2.

Da Silva says while the team name is still to be determined, they will be going forward with their plans for a stadium located on the COTA property in southeast Travis County — best known as the home of Formula 1’s U.S. Grand Prix. The stadium plan was unveiled to the public in August 2017. 

USL said at the time that 5,000 seats would be added around the same soccer field at COTA that FC Barcelona uses for its soccer camp. Da Silva said even though they may not be able to roll out the full experience by the time games start — because organizers had to put everything on hold for five months — he is confident the city is going to like what they have to offer.

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