Rodolfo Borrell, former assistant coach of Manchester City, has received an offer to become the Sporting Director and Director of Soccer of Austin FC in Major League Soccer (MLS). Borrell was part of Manchester City’s success, helping the club win the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup in the same year. After a series of discussions with Austin FC’s founder and majority owner, Anthony Precourt, Borrell decided to accept the offer to join the MLS. He brings over 28 years of coaching and executive experience from clubs like FC Barcelona, Liverpool, and Manchester City.
Borrell highlights Precourt’s passion for the club, the vision, and the energy conveyed during the conversations. Borrell sees this opportunity as the right moment to join the MLS and contribute his vast experience and knowledge to the development of Austin FC. He will be responsible for shaping football at all levels of the club, including the first team, the MLS NEXT Pro team, and the youth academy.
“At the beginning of May, they contacted me. Then the conversations, those developed into Anthony traveling to Manchester to meet me personally, on behalf of all the ownership. We shared quite a lot of time together during the two and a half days that he came to Manchester. He showed me how dedicated he is, how passionate he is towards the club, the vision, the energy, everything. He made me feel very much wanted, which I think is very important for any professional. And this, in addition to many other factors, made me decide this was the right place and obviously the right moment to join MLS.”, said Borrell in a 1-on-1 conversation with MLSsoccer.com.
Borrell also mentions that he has been following the MLS since 2015 and praises the style of play adopted by Austin FC. He emphasizes the importance of long-term player development through the club’s academies. Borrell acknowledges the need to enhance the structure and recruitment process to reach the desired levels.
Rodolfo mentions that the decision to join Austin FC came at the right time, while he still feels full of energy to contribute to a club in the MLS.
“My Saturday evenings were from 9 pm UK time to 5 am or 6 am sometimes, which was crazy because obviously on Sunday I was paying the price at a recovery session. It’s much more difficult to get to leave Europe in midseason, although it can happen. So the fact that it’s now the end of our season in England, it has helped. But having said that, the opportunity is so exciting that possibly it would have come in the middle of my season in Europe, it would have been almost impossible to decline. So I think it’s the right place for me, for my family, and to help develop further the whole structure, with all the knowledge and experience that I have gathered during my almost 30 years at the high level of clubs in Europe. And I’m very happy and I’m very excited to join the Austin FC family. There have been people working very hard, and I’ve been very much made aware of that towards potential signings for the team. Right now I cannot say they’re going to happen, they’re not going to happen. And at the end of the day, the only thing I can do is trust the people that have been working at the club for a long period of time, who from now onwards I’m going to join, they’re going to join me and we’ll work together. If there is going to be any move, it’s giving an opinion, but mainly trusting them and backing them. From what I could see through my television, the team is already trying to play in a certain way, in a very clear way, in a very clear style,” Borrell said. “And well, I don’t think there needs to be a massive change on that.”, he said.
He expresses gratitude towards Pep Guardiola, with whom he worked, and highlights that his ambition to join the MLS has come to fruition. Borrell is excited to embark on this new phase of his career and help further develop Austin FC in the American league.
He also mentions that one aspect that needs to be better adjusted is accelerating the club’s development profile, Austin FC. While there have been promising progressions, such as Austin FC’s U-15 team winning the Generation adidas Cup and Austin FC II’s competitiveness in their first season in the MLS NEXT Pro, there are still additional levels to be achieved in team building and recruitment, both domestically and internationally.
Borrell emphasizes that Austin FC is a young club and player development is a long-term process. He mentions the importance of structure, technical programming in the academies, and quality coaching to develop players and integrate them into the club’s top teams.
Rodolfo expresses gratitude for having worked alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and mentions that it was a personal ambition to join the MLS. He feels that this is the right moment for him, despite it being difficult to leave Manchester City. Borrell values the opportunity to join a project in the MLS while he still feels full of energy and strength to contribute and take things forward for any club. He is excited to help further develop Austin FC in the league.
“Austin FC is a very young club and anybody who knows about academies would understand me saying that this is a long-term process. You cannot develop players overnight from the academy to get into the first team. This all relates to structure, it relates to academy technical programming, it relates to coaching, to be able to have the best coaches, to develop them, to fit them into the best teams within your academy system. I’m beyond grateful to have joined him and all the success that we have had together. And it was not a secret that it was an ambition of mine to join MLS at some point. But I believe this was the right moment. Although, sadly, we had to part ways, he wished me all the best in the future with my new club, which is Austin Football Club. And he was very happy for me, actually. That’s good. I’m glad it was left that way. It was important to join an MLS project at an age where I still feel full of energy and strength and everything in order to move things forward for any club. I didn’t want to come here in some sort of retirement mentality at all. So that’s why the decision at this stage in my career. I’m 52. I’m not old, but I’m not young. I think it’s the right time to help develop further a club in MLS”, Borrell in a 1-on-1 conversation with MLSsoccer.com.