Austin FC officially welcomed into Major League Soccer


Austin FC will play their inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2021.

The Texans were ushered in as the 27th MLS franchise during a ceremony on Tuesday. They arrive having already courted plenty of controversy through their owner Anthony Precourt's bid to relocate his former outfit, the Columbus Crew, to the music mecca.

Following an impassioned campaign by the Save the Crew collective, Columbus kept its club thanks to a takeover from the Haslam and Edwards families. However, Precourt was rewarded an expansion franchise by MLS commissioner Don Garber after his efforts to move the Crew collapsed.

"People have tried for decades to bring major league sports here, but you came here and did things the way they needed to be done and presented us with the best stadium deal anyone has gotten, anywhere," mayor Steve Adler said in thanks to Precourt.

United States men's national team legend Alexi Lalas presented the ceremony, and at one point felt compelled to strum an acoustic guitar along to some chants he coaxed out of the onlooking Austinites. Lalas' musical efforts weren't really audible over the crowd, but that might be for the better.

With Austin FC's entry, MLS follows the NBA among North America's top five professional sports leagues in having three franchises hailing from Texas. Austin will enjoy state rivalries with FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo in MLS.

"I would anticipate we will continue to be a possession-oriented, attacking style of club," Precourt forecasted in an interview with the Statesman's Chris Bils. "We like beautiful soccer on the field. I think (former Crew and recently appointed USMNT coach) Gregg Berhalter's style is something you should continue to expect."

Austin FC officially welcomed into Major League Soccer
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