Austin FC continue impressive expansion with latest signings

Austin FC (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)
Austin FC (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images) /

Austin FC have added MLS free agents Diego Fagundez and Matt Besler

Austin FC’s buildup to their inaugural MLS season in 2021 has been very promising. As if it wasn’t impressive enough, the additions of former New England Revolution winger Diego Fagundez and Sporting KC captain Matt Besler have even further confirmed their good work.

Fagundez leaves New England after spending 12 years with the New England Revolution organization. Fagundez was New England’s first-ever homegrown player and signed his first Revs contract when he was just 15 years old and still is the club’s youngest ever player, making his debut as a 16-year-old in August of 2011. The Uruguayan leaves New England after making 278 appearances and scoring 54 goals for the Revs.

Besler, who broke the news with an entertaining video, played with Austin head coach Josh Wolff and assistant coach Davy Arnaud in their time with the Kansas City Wizards. Besler brought an end to his 12-year Sporting KC career last month. The 2014 World Cup veteran left Kansas City after making 345 appearances for the club, more than any other player in club history. The 33-year-old center back also won an MLS Cup title in 2013 and three U.S. Open Cup titles with SKC.

These two are a pair of additions that were transformative figures at their old clubs. They now enter territory completely new to them, and that is starting all over with an expansion franchise. The good thing for them is that they will be joined by some good talent. Austin’s goalkeeper battle between Andrew Tarbell and Brady Scott could get interesting. Austin has signed MLS Cup-winning goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell from the Columbus Crew.

Tarbell’s best days were with the San Jose Earthquakes, where he made 49 appearances over the course of four years and was their first-choice keeper in 2018. Tarbell may be the veteran presence to help usher young American Brady Scott into MLS. The 21-year-old signed with Austin after failing to break into the Nashville SC team last season.

The Austin FC defense looks like they have potential with some good experience. They have former Portland Timbers center back to partner with Besler with ex-NYCFC left back Ben Sweat and ex-San Jose Earthquake right back Nick Lima. If those four can find some good chemistry, they can be difficult to break down.

The midfield is also looking promising with former Columbus midfielder Hector Jimenez and ex-NYCFC midfielder Alex Ring. Former New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud and former Saprissa and DC United midfielder will also be good options.

More. Sporting KC moving on from Matt Besler is the right decision. light

Up top, Austin will be led by their only Designated Player signing so far in former Club America forward Cecilion Dominguez. Former San Jose forward Danny Hoesen will also be heavily involved. The less experienced Jon Gallagher and Rodney Redes will look to have breakout seasons as well.