The 2021 season of Major League Soccer is just a few weeks away, and fittingly enough for an idea that was conceived 27 years ago, will have 27 teams this campaign with the addition of a new expansion franchise in the form of Austin FC.
The 2020 season had two new franchises in the form of Nashville and Inter Miami and both teams-the former in particular, gave a good account of themselves in their debut season. Nashville finished 7th in their Conference and were just a game away from reaching the EC final, going down in extra time to eventual MLS Cup winners Columbus Crew.
Austin will be looking to follow in Nashville’s footsteps in their debut season and in Claudio Reyna, they have an experienced Sporting Director at the helm of affairs. Former MNT international Josh Wolff will serve as their first manager. The club have also unveiled their new strips for 2021, and both can be seen below.
Like with all MLS franchises, Austin’s uniforms have been made by Adidas. The sportswear giant have given the club a green and black number for their primary shirt, with a white top (named the Legends jersey) to serve as the club’s alternate kit.
Inside the neck tape of the home jersey are the words “Estamos Listos” while on the away shirt, there are a bunch of icons unique to the city of Austin. The kits were made in consultation with supporters, and this is reflected in the unique parts of the necktape and the jock tag. The home jersey has the words “ATX” EST 2021 (referring to Austin, Texas and the year of the club’s founding) In Netspend and Yeti, the club also have two local companies adorning the sleeve and front respectively- a rarity in modern day club soccer.
The MLS is dwarfed by the NFL in most of the United States, but Austin, interestingly, is a city which doesn’t have a football franchise to its name. This MLS team is actually the first major professional league outfit to set up base in the Texas capital. Actor Matthew McConaughey is a co-owner of the club, and his association is likely to bring in more media coverage, just as David Beckham did for Miami last year.
The jerseys will be available for supporters to purchase in both replica and authentic versions, but the latter carries all those unique elements (necktape for example) that aren’t present on the former.
While the home kit has the famed Adidas stripes on both shoulders, the change uniform has it only on a single sleeve, as can be seen in the pics below.
Coach Wolff has gone for a mix of experience and youth in his roster and it will help the club that several players brought on board already have previous MLS experience. Nashville attracted excellent crowds in their debut season, and Austin, playing in a new 20,500 capacity stadium, will be hopeful that the city embraces them wholeheartedly in the same manner