Sports

Soccer Watch

Watch Out for The Striker

Soccer Watch

Soccer news is the soccer news this week, with the announced launch of The Striker Texas, "a mobile app and website launching in February to provide news and interactive content" for soccer fans statewide. They've tabbed experienced beat reporters for each of Texas' three MLS teams, as well as for the NWSL's Houston Dash, and they promise deep coverage of lower leagues down to the youth level as well.

But what really caught my attention was the executive team here in Austin, led by three co-founders who've each already contributed a lot to the local soccer community: Chairman Rene van de Zande has been a longtime supporter at many levels, including an active ownership stake in the Austin Aztex and Austin Bold. Executive Director Roberto Silva has 20 years of pro soccer experience in his native Brazil, Spain, and most recently as the Bold's first general manager. Then there's senior writer Chris Bils, who's done a fabulous job at the American-Statesman over the past couple of years, covering Austin FC "since the team's existence was only a rumor," as he puts it, and giving huge credibility to a sports desk that had always generally treated soccer as a distraction from real football. Will his work continue to appear there as well? Or will they go back to treating soccer like un-American football? That's unclear at press time; what Bils would offer is that "I can confidently say that all of my Austin FC coverage will be on The Striker Texas." Best of luck to them all; look for it starting next month in the App Store, Google Play, and at www.thestrikertexas.com.

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