AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC will field a second team to play in MLS NEXT Pro next season, the club announced Thursday.

MLS NEXT Pro is Major League Soccer’s development league that gives teams a chance to get young players ready for top-level play and reserves a way to keep their skills sharp in a professional setting. In its inaugural season this year, 21 teams compete in MLS NEXT Pro. Along with Austin FC, six other MLS franchises will put teams in the league next season to bring the total to 28.

“The team will provide valuable competitive opportunities, and will play a key role in bridging the gap between the Austin FC Academy and First Team,” said Claudio Reyna, Austin FC’s sporting director. “We’re excited to announce the addition of an MLS NEXT Pro team in 2023.”

Every team in MLS NEXT Pro except for Rochester NY FC is affiliated with an MLS team. Rochester is an independent professional team.

The team’s name, crest and home field will be announced at a later date, the club said.