While Precourt Sports Ventures continues its high-profile search for an Austin stadium for its Major League Soccer team, the United Soccer League and hopes to have a franchise playing here by the start of the 2019 season, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday. The USL franchise will play at a new, 5,000-seat stadium at the Circuit of the Americas, plans for which were announced by COTA chairman and USL Austin majority owner Bobby Epstein in August.
While the USL—the second-tierl men’s pro soccer league in the United States—granted an expansion team for Austin last summer, according to the Statesman, Epstein put plans on hiatus while the first-tier league team searched for a home here. The USL franchise would be likely have request a move to a different market if PSV team Columbus Crew were to move here, the paper added.
Precourt told the Statesman that USL Austin would risk losing its franchise if it waited any longer to move on getting a team playing here. The USL team will play in a new stadium to be located between the Austin 360 Amphitheater and the COTA’s grand plaza, as Epstein announced last summer.
The fields are currently used as the FCB Escola training academy, an arm of FC Barcelona, the daily reported, and in March the Spring League, a privately owned training league and scouting event will for NFL hopefuls, will take up occupancy at COTA. Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, former quarterback for Texas A&M and, for two seasons, the Cleveland Browns, will participate in the camp, hoping to jump-start his attempt at a comeback.
• USL Austin given the green light by soccer league for 2019 [AAS]
• Next stage in Johnny Manziel’s comeback attempt is participating in Spring League [CBS Sports]