Soccer Watch: More Players for Austin FC

Žan Kolmanic
Žan Kolmanic (Courtesy of NK Maribor)

Austin FC announced two more player acquisitions as we go to press Wednesday, strengthening their roster and building on their youth strategy. First came Slovenian left-back Zan Kolmanic, who despite being just 21 has already logged four seasons with top Slovenian side NK Maribor, plus 39 youth national team appearances. He's on loan from Maribor and will fill an international roster spot once he gets his visa and transfer papers.

Also announced Wednesday, also on loan, is 19-year-old midfielder Sebastian Berhalter, who arrives from the defending champion Columbus Crew with an option to acquire his rights permanently after the season. The UNC grad was a homegrown player in Columbus, where his father Gregg used to coach before becoming U.S. national team coach in 2018. So Austin may be new to him, but he'll be joining a lot of folks at AFC whom he's known for a long time.

That gives the club 24 players on roster, but they've also invited two unsigned SuperDraft picks, plus three others – most notably another famous relative, Duke goalkeeper William Pulisic, a cousin of U.S. international Christian Pulisic – to participate in their upcoming training camp, which kicks off Monday, March 8, at St. Edward's, with an eye to moving to the new St. David's Performance Center later in the spring. All training sessions are closed-door events and, of course, under strict COVID protocols. AFC also announced that they'll be playing three preseason matches in April prior to the start of the MLS regular season. Details and the full schedule will be out in the coming weeks.

The Austin Bold had roster news of their own this week: re-signing popular midfielder Amobi Okugo, who's been a mainstay for the club throughout its first two seasons... The UT Longhorns play Texas State this Friday; catch it at 7pm on the Longhorn Network.

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