Matthew McConaughey is the latest celebrity superstar to invest in a Major League Soccer team, with the Hollywood actor becoming one of the owners of Texas-based Austin FC.
The True Detective star is a massive sports fan and has thrown himself into the venture, embracing a game that has traditionally been something of a poor relation in the United States.
McConaughey joins a growing list of A-List football club owners across the world, with the likes of David Beckham (Inter Miami), Ryan Reynolds (Wrexham) and LeBron James (Liverpool) all taking the plunge.
Soccer fans will be hearing a lot more from McConaughey in the coming months and years, so to save you from becoming Dazed and Confused, Goal brings you all you need to know about Austin FC.
On this page
- Who owns Austin FC?
- Which players are in the Austin FC roster?
- When will Austin FC make its MLS debut?
- Where does Austin FC play?
- Is Austin FC in FIFA 21?
Two Oak Ventures is the company which is majority owner of Austin FC.
Matthew McConaughey joined the club's ownership group in 2019, along with other local Austinite businessmen.
They include technology entrepreneur Eddie Margain, Dell executive Marius Haas and Bryan Sheffield, who is an executive at an Austin-based energy company.
When McConaughey's involvement with Austin FC was revealed, the actor said: "Austin FC is more than a quality investment for Austin, it’s a quality investment in Austin.
"The most diverse and borderless game in the world is now coming to one of the most multi-cultural, creative and diverse cities in the world.
"Austin FC is a healthy investment in our city’s culture and future."
Anthony Precourt heads up Two Oak Ventures. His company previously had an ownership stake in MLS team Columbus Crew and the initial plan was to move Crew to Austin.
The Austin FC roster is still being assembled ahead of the 2021 MLS season, but head coach Josh Wolff already has a small squad to choose from.
Squad correct as of January 25, 2021
|GK||Brady Scott||United States||Nashville|
|GK||Brad Stuver||United States||New York City|
|GK||Andrew Tarbell||United States||Columbus Crew|
|DF||Matt Besler||United States||Sporting Kansas City|
|DF||Julio Cascante||Costa Rica||Portland Timbers|
|DF||Hector Jimenez||United States||Columbus Crew|
|DF||Nick Lima||United States||San Jose Earthquakes|
|DF||Ben Sweat||United States||Inter Miami|
|MF||Diego Fagundez||Uruguay||New England Revolution|
|MF||Alex Ring||Finland||New York City|
|MF||Ulises Segura||Costa Rica||D.C. United|
|MF||Jared Stroud||United States||New York Red Bulls|
|MF||Daniel Pereira||Venezuela||Virginia Tech Hokies|
|FW||Jon Gallagher||Ireland||Atlanta United|
|FW||Danny Hoesen||Netherlands||San Jose Earthquakes|
|FW||Kekuta Manneh||Gambia||New England Revolution|
* Designated Player
Most of the players on the inaugural Austin FC MLS panel have been signed from other MLS clubs, so there will be plenty of experience in the ranks.
Ben Sweat has joined from Inter Miami, while Matt Besler has signed from Sporting Kansas City. Paraguay international winger Cecelio Dominguez is a Designated Player.
The majority of the roster are American, but there are representatives from Ireland, Colombia, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Finland and Uruguay as well.
Building our team and our identity.— Austin FC (@AustinFC) December 13, 2020
As players join us in the next few days, Sporting Director Claudio Reyna talks about who we want to be, on and off the field. pic.twitter.com/7z5jZnk1Cn
USMNT legend Claudio Reyna is the club's sporting director and is relishing the challenge of squad building.
"It's a mix of experienced players and certainly some younger players," Reyna said on Extra Time in December.
"I think that's also something you'll see, is that we're going to add some younger players into the team as well. It's really exciting.
"I've mentioned in a few other interviews that the enthusiasm for players wanting to come to Austin, to Austin FC has been amazing.
"We're excited about the opportunity to bring some exciting players for our supporters."
Austin FC will debut in MLS in spring 2021. Fixture dates have not yet been finalised, but it is anticipated that games will begin in early-to-mid March.
In January, MLS Commissioner Don Garber reiterated his desire to kick things off in March, noting an "unbelievably crowded calendar" had to be navigated.
He said: "As we learned from last year, and as we're seeing play out with the other North American leagues and even now with the Premier League and other European leagues, our schedule must provide us with the opportunity to make up any matches in the event that we have postponed games due to positive Covid tests."
Austin FC will play home games at the new Austin FC Stadium at McKalla Place in the North Burnet area of Austin.
This place. 10/10 would recommend. pic.twitter.com/IIksZnAt06— Austin FC (@AustinFC) January 15, 2021
Construction began on the new venue in September 2019 and it will be ready to host fixtures for the beginning of the 2021 MLS season in spring.
The stadium is soccer-specific with a grass surface and it has a capacity of 20,500. A safe standing area has been incorporated behind one of the goals, with the remainder of the stands being all-seaters.
Austin FC is not in FIFA 21. It may come as a disappointment to fans of the club, but it makes sense considering the timing of the game's launch.
EA Sports' flagship football game was launched in October 2020 at a time when the expansion team was not yet officially a fixture in MLS.
Had they been included in FIFA 21, Austin would have no players, or very few, with work still ongoing in terms of recruiting personnel.
As is normal, Austin FC should feature in the next instalment of the game (FIFA 22) when their playing roster is firmly established.
In the meantime, FIFA gamers can select Austin FC as a favourite team and use the club badge in Ultimate Team.