The move sees Austin have a professional soccer team for the first time since the disappointing departure of the original Aztex in 2011, also in USL.
In a previous interview from Aztex owner David Markley with the San Antonio Soccer Examiner, after winning the PDL Championship in 2013 Markley hinted that the side was looking at going professional but didn’t want to do things in an insecure way. It’s clear that Markley has taken some time to find the right investment, leading to the team making the USL Pro move for 2015.
After being burned by Phil Rawlins, Markley was able to attract Bobby Epstein and Paul Thornton to join the ATX SOCCER LLC group that also contains Rene van de Zande, with both bringing in plenty of Austin Sport experience including the USA Grand Prix and the recently held X Games at the Circuit of the Americas.
The move to USL Pro marks the next logical step in the resurrection of the Aztex after claiming the 2013 PDL Championship, and leading their division in 2014 the time had come for a self-promotion to USL Pro, America’s third division.
After the 2013 announcement that USL Pro linked with MLS to become the reserve league for MLS there were rumors of the Aztex linking with a team and making the jump sooner but instead the side have done it on their own, without needing MLS assistance.
With the Aztex the USL Pro will bring the total number of teams in the league up to 18 in 2015 despite losing Orlando to Major League Soccer.
Indeed the departure of Orlando is the one disappointment as Austin won’t be able to get revenge over their former owner in league play.