Austin FC: Rodney Redes is the perfect first signing

Austin FC (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)
Austin FC (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images) /

2020Austin FC have begun to build their roster for the 2021 season. Signing young Paraguayan striker Rodney Redes is the perfect start.

Summer transfers are coming in, and not just for current Major League Soccer clubs. 2021 expansion side Austin FC have made a big move to sign Rodney Redes from Paraguayan club Club Guarani.

This is the first signing the club has made ahead of their inaugural 2021 season in MLS. ESPN reports the signing fee will be $2.75 million.

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Redes is a 20-year-old forward who has been playing professionally since 2018 for Club Guarani. He’s put together an impressive career thus far for a young player. In 82 appearances for the club, he has scored 12 goals. Along with experience in Paraguay’s top flight, he has made eight appearances in the Copa Libertadores, scoring three goals. That he has had success in South America’s premier competition illustrates his natural ability.

One of his best moments in recent appearances was a goal against Palestino in the Copa Libertadores that proved to be the match-winner.

This signing is a great start for Austin who are very proud of their first acquisition. And rightly so. Sporting Director Claudio Reyna spoke highly of Redes upon the announcement:

"“Rodney is a dynamic, attacking player, and we are proud to welcome him as the first signing in the history of Austin FC.”"

Redes will remain with Club Guarani or the remainder of 2020. When January 2021 comes around, he will join Austin for their upcoming MLS season.

The path Austin are going down here is very similar to how recent expansion club Inter Miami began to build their roster. Both of Miami’s first signings, Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza, were young attacking players from a South American league. Austin FC are continuing the trend in MLS as clubs are going after long-term signings they can develop as opposed to making Designated Player signings their first big move.

Redes should be able to become a lethal striker for Austin and add to the growing attacking talent in the league. He’s performed well in his native country’s professional league, and the transition to MLS should be smooth, especially with a manager like Josh Wolff at the helm who is a former striker himself. Wolff praised his future striker after the signing was announced:

"“[Redes is] a player that I think fits really well with what Claudio and I envisage this team being about. For him to be our first signing is a good indication of what we want to be on the field and off the field. He’s a young, hungry, dynamic player and I think the more I watched him and the more I’ve interacted with him the more you realize he’s a very focused young man.”"

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The future is looking bright in Austin and Redes is just the start. He is the ideal first signing and it leaves the expansion team on the verge of an extremely exciting first season in MLS.