AUSTIN (KXAN) — He’s only been on the field for eight minutes this season due to injury, but center back Julio Cascante has done more than enough in the eyes of Austin FC to earn a new contract.

The club announced Tuesday it signed Cascante to a 3-year contract with a team option for a fourth year, potentially keeping the Costa Rican defender in Verde and Black through 2026.

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In the season opener Feb. 25 against St. Louis City FC, Cascante went down with a “severe” groin injury that has made the club scramble to find a solid combination for the back line. At the time of his injury, the club said it would be re-evaluated in eight weeks, and that timetable is up next week.

According to the MLS Players Association salary guide, Cascante made $337,500 in guaranteed compensation last year. Those figures are typically updated in the fall on the players association’s website.

“I’m very happy to commit to Austin FC for the next few seasons,” Cascante said in a club press release. “This club and community have made me and my family feel at home since the beginning, and I’m excited to stay here and be part of the team as we continue to work toward our goal of lifting trophies.”

Austin FC (2-3-1, 7 points) takes on the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Q2 Stadium.