AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC has been ready to make its Major League Soccer debut for some time – that’s even reflected in one of the club’s mottos, “listos.”
Years of waiting by the most patient fanbase in the MLS will finally come to an end Saturday when the team faces LA FC in its first-ever game, an occasion that marks “Austin history,” according to the club’s president Andy Loughnane.
“It’s another surreal milestone – having our first ever match in the history of the club,” he said.
“This is Austin history,” Loughnane added. “This is not just Austin sports history.”
Speaking at Q2 Stadium days before the kick-off of the 2021 MLS season, Loughnane said the players, who have formed a bubble along with coaches while training at St. David’s Performance Center are “taking a lot of pride in launching a team.”
“It’s taken a while to get to this point but this is a sense of accomplishment and pride that I hope everybody will carry with them for a lifetime,” he said.
Austin FC opens the season with a seven-game road trip before fans get the chance to see their team in action at home, with the curtain-raiser at Q2 Stadium on June 19 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Loughnane added that while the club’s players and staff are excited about the season, it’s a big moment for the city of Austin, too.
“We’re the first major league team and we’re going to play the first major league game in the history of the city on Saturday against LA FC, but this is an important milestone for the city,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of work that’s gone into this and it’s taken an entire community to put this together,” Loughnane added. “I’m pretty proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”