Can the A-League take a page out of the MLS book of expansion?
Austin F.C has been unveiled as the next expansion team to join Major League Soccer, America’s top-flight football league.
The Texan capital city will see its first major professional sports team compete in the 2021 MLS season as it becomes the 27th entrant in the ever-expanding league.
Austin F.C will become Texas’ third MLS team, born in the shadows of more-established franchises F.C Dallas and Houston Dynamo.
Steve Adler, Austin’s mayor since 2015, supported a sentiment that the expansion announcement was a remarkable step forward for the Texas capital, proclaiming: "This is a historic day for Austin, as MLS becomes the first major league to plant roots in our beautiful city."
MLS commissioner Don Garber noted the characteristics which made the city, 11th largest in the U.S by population, an attractive prospect as an expansion franchise, stating: “Austin is a thriving metropolitan city - the personification of what we mean when we say MLS is a league for a new America.”
The team has had an identity since its infancy as an expansion candidate in mid-2018, unlike recent expansion franchise F.C Cincinnati, whose colours and logo were announced sometime after their admittance into MLS for its 2019 season.
The Austin F.C club crest features a green-outline shield on a black background, with the city name emblazoned high within the shield in a white font.
Beneath this secondary focal point lies the primary one, a green tree comprised of eleven leaves, symbolic of the number of players which take to the field to represent the club and its supporters.
A proposed 20,000 seat stadium is under works to be completed for a planned Spring 2021 opening.