Austin FC to debut North Austin training grounds with preseason tournament

Austin FC defender Héctor Jiménez
Austin FC defender Héctor Jiménez (left) kicks a ball during the team's preseason training camp March 14. The team is set to play in a preseason tournament in early April ahead of its inaugural season. (Courtesy Jimena Panduro for Austin FC)

Austin FC defender Héctor Jiménez (left) kicks a ball during the team's preseason training camp March 14. The team is set to play in a preseason tournament in early April ahead of its inaugural season. (Courtesy Jimena Panduro for Austin FC)

Major League Soccer franchise Austin FC will premiere the St. David’s Performance Center—home of the team’s training facilities—during a preseason tournament with other Texas soccer clubs.

Austin FC, the newest MLS team heading into the 2021 season, announced March 19 it will play a total of three preseason matches against other MLS teams FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo FC and United Soccer League team San Antonio FC. The preseason tournament, dubbed “La Copita,” will be held ahead of the start of the MLS season. Austin FC begins its 2021 season away against Los Angeles FC on April 17.

“I’m glad we have been able to organize La Copita, and we’re hopeful it becomes an important part of Austin FC’s preparations each season for years to come,” said Claudio Reyna, sporting director for Austin FC, in the team’s March 19 news release.

The St. David’s Performance Center will be home to games against Houston and San Antonio on April 3 and April 10, respectively. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the training grounds will not be open to the public or the media for the games.

Austin FC will travel to Dallas on April 7 for its second game of the tournament. USL's OKC Energy FC will play in one La Copita match against Houston on April 6, though it will not compete against Austin FC in this year’s preseason tournament.

Both of Austin FC’s home games in North Austin will be available to watch online through the yet-to-be-released Austin FC app. The app will be available for download through the iTunes App Store and Google Play ahead of the tournament, according to Austin FC.

With this tournament, Austin FC is opening the doors at its St. David’s Performance Center for the first time. Work on the $45 million training facility, located at 13400 Harris Ridge Blvd., Austin, started in June last year.

As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, the training facility includes four full-sized soccer pitches, including three natural grass fields and one artificial turf surface. The artificial turf pitch will include spectator stands with capacity for approximately 1,000 fans, according to Austin FC. Team players, leadership and technical staff will work out of the training facility.

The St. David’s Performance Center is part of the mixed-use Parmer Innovation Center, a 300-acre campus currently under development near Tech Ridge.

Construction on Q2 Stadium near The Domain in North Austin continues with finishing touches, Austin FC President Andy Loughnane told Community Impact Newspaper earlier in March. Loughnane continued to say that work stadium is expected to finish on its original timeline this spring.

Austin FC’s inaugural season will kick off April 17 in Los Angeles. The new MLS team will host its first-ever home game at Q2 Stadium, located near The Domain in North Austin, on June 19.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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