AUSTIN (The Striker Texas) — Prior to the start of the Austin FC season, most people in the Texas capital knew the name Brad Stuver about as well as they knew Brad Tillery. The former is quickly becoming a household name, while the latter helped make it possible for fans to purchase the Verde keeper kit that Stuver has made his own.
The Striker Texas has been all over the Stuver story since he won the starting job over Andrew Tarbell. The 30-year-old has had to wait nearly a decade to lock down the No. 1 role for an MLS squad, and the charity work he and his wife Ashley Stuver do off the pitch with the Laundry Project has further endeared him to the fanbase. Plus, who doesn’t look good in that sweet Verde top?
We caught up with Stuver on Tuesday to discuss everything about his star turn.
Chris Bils: So I wanted to talk to you about the ‘keeper kit and just kind of what that was like for you yesterday, seeing it go on sale, go kind of big on Twitter and obviously sold out, which has got to be a good feeling for you since it’s your your jersey, right?
Brad Stuver: Yeah, I mean, it was definitely cool. I know on other teams that I’ve been on, they haven’t always sold goalkeeper jerseys. I know MLS says that there’s not a market for it. So to be able to see the goalkeeper jersey go up for sale, and within a day get sold out, I think it’s amazing. I think it’s a testament to how amazing our fan base is and how engaged they are and how ready they have been for soccer to come to Austin.
CB: Yeah. And obviously the the social media campaign has just been something fun, I think, for the last couple months. I was telling Brad (Tillery) yesterday, it’s kind of been one of the more joyful things of the whole Austin FC Twitter experience over the last few years. How well have you gotten to know him and his wife? And what has that been like, coinciding with you earning the starting role and playing so well?
BS: I saw some of his videos early on, like he tagged me in one of them that said he would like bribe me by giving Ashley and I a dinner away at a restaurant here in Austin, and we just kind of let it go. That was early on. And then I think it was the FC Wentworth video that kind of got everyone’s attention, probably one of the most recognizable videos that they did. And I started talking to him a little bit. We just went back and forth, and he brought up the Laundry Project and he donated so I wanted to make sure that he got one. And I know that the club saw the enthusiasm around the jersey and they did everything they could to get it into the team shop. So I’m glad that they were rewarded by selling out as well.
Check out more from the full interview with Brad Stuver, including what Stuver had to say about the message he left for Tillery when he shipped him his very own Austin FC keeper kit.