IN-DEPTH: Austin FC searching for 3rd star to boost team

Austin FC

Austin FC sporting director goes in-depth with The Striker Texas

Austin FC at Seattle Sounders

The Seattle Sounders faced off against Austin FC during a home Major League Soccer game at Lumen Field on Sunday, May 30, 2021 in Seattle, Washington.(© Dougal Brownlie/for The Striker Texas)

AUSTIN (The Striker Texas) — Claudio Reyna has done very little in the way of public speaking since the Major League Soccer season began. Turns out, he’s been busy.

The Austin FC sporting director was generous to take nearly 30 minutes with Chris Bils of The Striker Texas last week discussing his plans for the summer transfer window, as well as several other pressing topics in the land of Verde. One of the most interesting things concerns the team’s search for a third designated player.

For MLS newbies, the Designated Player Rule — sometimes called the Beckham Rule — allows each MLS team to sign up to three players to high salaries that don’t count against the team’s salary cap. Typically, due to the higher salaries, designated players are expected to be among the team’s very best players.

Austin FC has two such designated players — Cecilio Dominguez and Tomás Pochettino. That means it has room to add one more.

Austin FC designated players Cecilio Domínguez (left) and Tomás Pochettino (right) during action against the Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field on Sunday, May 30, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Courtesy: Dougal Brownlie©)

Claudio Reyna tells The Striker Texas that it’s looking very closely at doing just that, and the search is “very active.”

We’re very active and looking for additions to the team in the summer. There’s been players that we’ve been speaking to, and it’s an important last piece to the team. Or, not last piece, but an important addition to the team for what we’re looking for.

We’re very active. When you’re targeting these types of players, there’s many of them that certainly come onto the list, but they also have other options. The better the players, the more options they have.

So we are competing, and sometimes that means that prices are driven up. Other leagues or other clubs are able to offer them probably a little bit more than we’d like to. But the ownership’s been great and supporting the team so far, and we are active in adding a third DP, and we’d also like to add another player in attack, as well.

Our focus is to add another piece in midfield, and just add more attacking threat into the team. The plan was always, and it continues to be, to see this squad that we started with, give them a chance, let them grow.

You need minutes, we haven’t played at home yet. It’s a real challenge to be traveling the day of the game and playing, and we’ve been very competitive. I think the last game against Nashville, we’d all say we were a little bit disappointed in that performance. But other than that, with the group we’ve had, we’ve performed really well.

But we want more, and now we’re able to see the squad and the team play and now we feel good about where we want to add some  pieces to the team. 

Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna

Reyna continues his interview with The Striker Texas and talks about other ways to create cap space to help the team, Austin FC’s rising star in keeper Brad Stuver, and the most pressing needs for Austin FC right now. He also talks about his playing days with Manchester City and seeing their rise to the top of the Premier League.

GALLERY: Austin FC photos from Seattle Sounders match

  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders
  • Austin FC at Seattle Sounders

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