Expansion USL-1 club to face three MLS teams in preseason

Austin Aztex News Release – www.austinaztex.com

Monday, January 12, 2009

AUSTIN, TX — For the first time ever, Central Texas soccer fans will have a chance to see Major League Soccer action up close and personal as the Austin Aztex FC announced it will host three top MLS franchises during a two-week span starting in late February. The teams coming to the Capital City to take on the Aztex at Nelson Field are the New England Revolution, Houston Dynamo, and Columbus Crew.

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While the Aztex organization is proud to bring the well-known MLS brand to Austin, Aztex owner Phil Rawlins said he is particularly pleased to bring in such highly regarded and respected clubs.

“We wanted to bring in the best the MLS has to offer,» said Rawlins. «New England has been to the MLS Cup three of the last four seasons. Houston won it two years in a row (2006 and 2007) and Columbus is the reigning champion. We believe Austin fans deserve an opportunity to see top-level professional soccer in the USL First Division and the MLS.”

The Revolution, who are owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, arrive in Austin on Feb. 23, where the team will train for four days before playing on Feb. 28 against the Aztex in its first of two preseason exhibition games (the other against the Carolina Railhawks). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.

“Traveling to Texas and North Carolina is ideal for us,” Revolution head coach Steve Nicol said. “Both Austin and Carolina will allow us to get some quality training time on excellent surfaces. We’re looking forward to some great weather and competition as we get ready to open the 2009 MLS season.”

A week later (Sat., Mar. 7), the Aztex hosts the Houston Dynamo, a perennial power in the MLS, then conclude the three-game exhibition MLS schedule on Sat. Mar. 14 hosting current MLS Cup Champion, the Columbus Crew.

According to Crew technical director Brian Bliss, the Crew is looking forward to an opportunity to visit Austin and compete against the Aztex.

“We are excited to come and train in a warm weather climate and to play an exhibition game against what I am sure will be strong competition,” said Bliss.

Aztex head coach Adrian Heath said he expects the three games to not only provide top-level soccer and an overall great atmosphere, but they should also help him identify his starting roster for the 2009 season.

“Exhibitions are a great way to evaluate talent and since this will be our first-ever game action, I believe these games will allow us to really identify who will see considerable playing action in the upcoming season,” said Heath.

Tickets for all three exhibition games as well as 2009 season tickets are now available. To purchase tickets, go to www.austinaztex.com.

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Edwin Jusino
Director Ejecutivo de FutbolBoricua.net. Actualmente estudiante de Historia de las Américas en programa combinado Maestría/PhD de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto Metropolitano. Lleva más de una década cubriendo el fútbol de Puerto Rico. Actualmente está trabajando su disertación doctoral sobre el pasado presidente de la FPF, el Dr. Roberto Monroig. Hincha del Club Atlético de Madrid y de la Selección Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. Puede contactarle via twitter o Instagram en @erjusinoa