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I guess we should go ahead and start a USL thread apart from the Austin FC/COTA threads. 

First item of business, name the team, coach, players, and kits

Second item, sign a top-flight ... track athlete?

Usain Bolt in negotiations to join new USL Austin franchise

22 hours ago
By 
  • Chris Bils, American-Statesman Correspondent

The United Soccer League franchise in Austin has a seat at the negotiating table with Usain Bolt.

The World’s Fastest Man has been eyeing a career in professional soccer, and Austin is on a short list of teams ready to make it happen. Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, told Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte on Thursday that the race is between USL Austin and the Central Coast Mariners in Australia.

“The Australian team is in a better position than we are,” USL Austin general manager Roberto Silva told the Statesman. “Financially, our proposal is far away from the one (Bolt) has over there. I think we beat them on all other aspects of the proposal besides the financial one, and we have our sponsorship team at this moment trying to meet with some local sponsors that could bring us very, very close to having him.”

The parties have been negotiating for several months. Silva said the offer to Bolt is a long-term contract that extends beyond soccer. The idea would be to make him an icon and spokesperson for the new team, for the city of Austin and “sports overall in the U.S.” But, Silva admitted, “maybe he’s worth more than the (USL) franchise.”

Reports surfaced last week that USL side Las Vegas Lights FC was interested in signing Bolt, but that the cost would likely be too high.

Bolt, 31, retired last year after a sprinting career that included nine gold medals. He remains the world record holder at 100 and 200 meters and a global celebrity. The Jamaican said often throughout his career that he would aim to make a transition to soccer, and that his dream is to one day play for Manchester United/

He appeared in Austin last fall for the United States Grand Prix, where the British media peppered him with questions about his soccer ambitions.

A career at the top level in Europe remains a long shot, but he’ll have to start somewhere. Silva said USL Austin wants to be that place.

“Bolt is an icon. It’s very confident and aggressive of him to leave come out of being the best track and field athlete in the history of the sport, and leave that and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be one of the best in another sport,’” Silva said. “It’s very bold, if I may. That’s the attitude we want from our franchise.”

The team will announce its brand, coach and several players at a press conference Aug. 3 at Circuit of the Americas. Silva said it is unlikely a deal with Bolt could be reached by then.

The team currently has verbal agreements with eight players, and Silva expects “three to five” will be present at the unveiling. Some are still on contract with other teams and won’t be announced until the end of their respective seasons.

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On 7/28/2018 at 8:33 PM, skittlebrau said:

Those guys suck and I hope they fail. I’m still dubious that they ever get off the ground.

Yeah I'm skeptical as well, and Usain Bolt? Lulz. OK.

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Ha! Good. I hope they do mixed use out at COTA because being out there for concerts fucking blows. Apart from the world class soccer venue at McKalla, i absolutely CANNOT wait for a decent setting for a stadium show.

Edited by Bottlecap

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5 hours ago, skittlebrau said:

Affordable Housing at COTA? LOL. Wow.

Even bigger lulz:

"Multi-purpose mixed use development built within and around existing racetrack and related structures, to include a resort hotel and water park, indoor sports facilities, office buildings, condominiums, restaurants and parking garages, car club, wharehouses (sic. dunno if they meant warehouses or whorehouses), and related uses."

Condos? Restaurants? A Resort? Come on, man. It's fucking Elroy, ffs, and the dude wants to build the Domain there.

I had heard he was trying to get some kind of hotel out there, probably in an attempt to make the property more attractive for sale. It doesn't make sense otherwise. You can't run a profitable hotel based on occupancy a few days out of the year and empty rooms the rest of the time. 

 

Here are their proposed "districts". Seems like a lot of overlap...

-Conference District

-Entertainment & Stadium District

-Resort & Sports District

-Business & Car Club District

-Hospitality & Car Enthusiast District

-Amusement District

-COTA + Track District

Edited by wood

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I for one cannot wait to have an office in Elroy, TX.  The 3-hour round trip for downtown lunch meetings alone will make it worth the shitshow.  

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35 minutes ago, Lobo said:

I for one cannot wait to have an office in Elroy, TX.  The 3-hour round trip for downtown lunch meetings alone will make it worth the shitshow.  

Definitely going in the sales pamphlet...

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If you take out the children, there's what---7 people at that press conference?  

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6 hours ago, Lobo said:

If you take out the children, there's what---7 people at that press conference?  

Too damn far to drive out there for anything other than a race. 

Elroy FC would be a better name.

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2 hours ago, skittlebrau said:

Too damn far to drive out there for anything other than a race. 

Elroy FC would be a better name.

Elroy Futbol Cartel?

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Lulz. Just happened upon this. Hadn't seen it before now. Reminds me of when I measured the spot they wanna shoehorn their stadium into. 'Stadium'. Yeah...

SIAP.

080917%20austin%20soccer%20cut%202.JPG

 

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2 hours ago, crackamacgowski said:

Looks big enough to hold tens of fans.

Yep. Maybe even fifteens of 'em!

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3 hours ago, wood said:

Yep. Maybe even fifteens of 'em!

But Susan Spataro assured me that Mr Epstein was the one person who really cared about soccer in Austin and would ensure that fans had a first class experience!

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Heh .. lol. 

 

ETA: Damn. Did she really say that? Of course she's in no way biased, right?

Edited by wood

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1 hour ago, skittlebrau said:

See, they're gonna be Austin's team, because the players will mostly be random people off the streets of Austin.

I bet they're pumped to play in that badass 'stadium'.

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They should field a team comprised solely of homeless people. Nothing more Austin. The uniforms could be a nod to Leslie Cochran.

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Here's a rendering of what I can only assume is Epstein's dream of what this might look like.  wood posted an article in the FC Austin thread, figured I'd at least put the rendering here.  I don't have anything against the USL, or the "Bold" but man, that's really far out to go for a soccer game.  Especially if/when they start playing MLS in NW Austin.

 

 

44752948_2006111013015462_15914480765291

Edited by utee94

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1 hour ago, utee94 said:

Here's a rendering of what I can only assume is Epstein's dream of what this might look like.  wood posted an article in the FC Austin thread, figured I'd at least put the rendering here.  I don't have anything against the USL, or the "Bold" but man, that's really far out to go for a soccer game.  Especially if/when they start playing MLS in NW Austin.

 

 

44752948_2006111013015462_15914480765291

Yep. The USL couldn't draw at House Park, but they're gonna get crowds out in BFE SE Travis County? OK. :jlawgif: Frankly I'll believe this even happens when I see it. Epstein's already built in his excuse for not pulling it off with the whole "We're in a tight spot with the COA permitting & inspection process" narrative.

Edited by wood

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5 hours ago, skittlebrau said:

Also, there’s no way they build anything resembling that rendering. 

I'm guessing something more like this:

fields_park_arlington_county_soccer_fiel

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What’s the benefit to burning your relationship with the entire soccer community? This move turned off any pro-MLS folks that were willing to buy tickets because they love soccer that much, and also made multiple groups who were pro-both team become #BoycottTheBold yesterday.

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Yeah this was such a stupid move by Bobby, even if everyone already knew he was behind this shit. It's given everyone a rallying point. I absolutely love that he did it though, if for no other reason than the comedy of it all. 

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Austin Bold FC will host San Antonio in first home match http://statesman.com/sports/20181214/austin-bold-fc-will-host-san-antonio-in-first-home-match

I wonder when the 'stadium' construction starts. I was out there not long ago & they had done some prep work for the pitch, but no stadium work had been done. These stories always read like there's a stadium out there or there's actual construction that's been going on.

 

Edited by wood

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Quote

 

Excitement level: 100

...

16 people are talking about this

 

lolol.

ETA: Just saw that was a pinned tweet & not a current one. My bad. Still funny tho. Look at the stadiums in the video compared to the POS COTA's gonna (supposedly) have.

Edited by wood

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Austin Bold FC preparing to start inaugural United Soccer League season this spring

https://communityimpact.com/austin/southwest-austin/business/2019/01/23/austin-bold-fc-inaugural-usl-season-spring-2019/

lololol....

Quote

Austin Bold FC preparing to start inaugural United Soccer League season this spring

Construction is underway at Austin Bold FC's new stadium. 

...

Construction of the team’s new 5,000-seat stadium is underway. Austin Bold FC General Manager Roberto Silva said the foundation for the project was completed Jan. 14, and installation of seats has begun. The team expects the stadium to be completed by opening day.

“It’s amazing, us all being here for the first time together,” Bold head coach Marcelo Serrano said at a media event Jan. 22. “The feedback from the community, it’s definitely a good sign [for]soccer coming to town. “

Set for success?
“I think this is the first time in professional soccer Austin has a real shot,” Silva said.

He said the Bold “could not be more different” from the Austin Aztex, the now-defunct soccer franchise that played games at Austin ISD’s House Park from 2012-15 and played one season in the USL in 2015 before being dissolved.

He pointed to the Bold’s under-construction stadium and the overall experience it will offer fans as well as the quality of players the Bold have put together as reasons he believes the franchise will be successful. Both are due to owner Bobby Epstein’s willingness to invest in the team and his passion for the game, Silva said.

Soccer analytics website Transfer Markt already lists the Bold’s roster as having the highest market value in the USL, something Silva said shows the team should compete from day one. He said he expects the market value of the team’s opening day roster could be worth double of any other squad in the league, according to Transfer Markt.

Signed players include former San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo; veteran midfielder Dario Leonardo Conca; longtime Mexican League midfielder Xavier Baez; forward Kleber Freitas, who spent most of his career playing in Brazil and Ukraine; and former Nashville SC defender London Woodberry.

“We have a proper home, a specifically [designed]and privately funded stadium, which is important to us,” he said. “We are trying to create a different soccer environment overall, and I think that is something that helped bring those players [to Austin].”

Silva said he looked for players who were good people, not only good athletically, in order to create a positive locker room environment.

“I have a feeling we did it right, and we’re on the right track,” he said.

Local competition
Austin Bold FC will start playing at least three seasons before Austin FC begins playing MLS games in North Austin. (???) The Bold started as a grassroots effort with local ownership, and Silva said Austin FC’s different approach to coming to Austin caught Bold ownership by surprise.

While the franchises will not be directly in competition on the field, they will be competing for entertainment dollars with each other as well as other local events and activates, he said.

“I look at my squad; I look at my ownership and the stadium we are building, and I think of the barriers we have already passed over the last year (???); why not break this one and make this successful despite whatever happens with MLS in Austin?” Silva said.

On Jan. 14, Anthony Precourt, the investor-operator of Austin FC, told Community Impact Newspaper he felt both teams could benefit each other and increase soccer’s popularity in the area, which Silva said he agrees with.

Silva said the Bold’s ownership is not against Austin FC joining the area but feels the deal given to the group by the city of Austin will give MLS an unfair advantage and a head start on being profitable locally.

“It has little to do with the competition it brings this franchise; I believe we can make it successful no matter what,” he said. “It’s just that we [feel]it has to be an even playing field.”

Serrano said the culture around the sport in Austin will be important for both franchises.

“We are soccer people,” he said. “For me, it’s not this team or the other team. If I love the game of soccer, then it’s about soccer.”

 

 

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Posted (edited)

'Stadium' seating complete on two of three sides. About 2000 seats so far.sUsayqWZpJVhfnLkS4QdzM3_r5_vj7dbJY4CHdS9

EV2DEuJ-4Cs32nKsTBoO7-fXH3xipgq9xHi9LqzN

Edited by wood

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Judging from ticket sales, that should be plenty.

 

Going to their kit launch at Seton on Tuesday morning out of morbid curiosity.

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1 hour ago, skittlebrau said:

Judging from ticket sales, that should be plenty.

 

Going to their kit launch at Seton on Tuesday morning out of morbid curiosity.

Photos, please! I gotta go back to work Tuesday. I wanna see that massive crowd.

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