AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team star Claudio Reyna will be building a roster in Austin. Reyna, introduced to the media Tuesday, is joining Austin FC as the team’s Sporting Director in charge of all soccer operations with the club.
“We’ve got a real talented and experienced person here to lead our club,” Austin FC owner Anthony Precourt said about his new Sporting Director.
Reyna is considered one of the most accomplished American soccer players of all time. He competed professionally from 1994 to 2008. He played midfield in 282 games scoring 23 goals. Additionally, he is one of three Americans to ever be named on a FIFA World Cup All-Star team.
Reyna will be working with his previous teammate, Austin FC’s head coach Josh Wolff, to build the club’s roster.
After a successful playing career, Reyna went into management and the front office for Major League Soccer franchises. Reyna worked as the Director of Football Operations for New York City FC where he played a pivotal role advancing NYCFC to the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals four years in a row.
The allure of building a team from the ground up is certainly attractive. Reyna says he’ll follow previous expansion team models while also adding his own spin to lead the club.
“There’s learning from every expansion team and recently there have been successful ones. It’s a challenge…I think we can learn from other clubs. Having support is crucial as we build and grow. Certainly, there’s no one way to build a team, but there are examples of successes. We’re going to be open to many ways to build the team. I think the enthusiasm and support is going to help shape the team,” Reyna said.
A lifelong East Coaster, Reyna will be transitioning to a new style and culture, but he says the opportunity in Austin “ticked every box.”
“The opportunity to be in a city with it’s first professional team is a new challenge and something that really motivated me. It just made sense. It ticked every box,” Reyna said.
Austin FC broke ground on its McKalla Place Stadium on September 5. Precourt said Tuesday everything is on schedule in regards to the construction of the stadium and practice facility.