Austin FC announced as 27th MLS franchise, will begin play in 2021

Austin FC will become Major League Soccer's 27th franchise, the league confirmed on Tuesday.

The Texas club will join MLS as an expansion franchise after its ownership group Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) spent the past year exploring moving its previous club -- the Columbus Crew -- to the Texas capital.

"Austin is a thriving metropolitan city -- the embodiment of what we mean when we say MLS is a 'League for a new America,'" said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "We are extremely proud to be the first major professional sports league to become part of the fabric of this important and thriving American city.

"In their support of a world-class soccer stadium that benefits the entire community, the leadership of the city of Austin has shown tremendous faith in our league and the sport of soccer in North America. I want to thank Anthony Precourt for his continued commitment to our league and Mayor [Steve] Adler and the political leadership of the city of Austin for their belief in Major League Soccer."

Prospective new Crew owners the Haslam and Edwards families said last week that plans are moving quickly to close the sale, leaving PSV clear to launch the expansion side in Austin.

Austin FC will begin play in 2021, in a $225 million privately financed stadium on city land, a partnership for which officials in Austin approved last month.

"This is a very proud moment, and we are so happy to share it with the people of Austin, city leadership, the dedicated soccer fans of the region, and everyone who believed in our mission to bring Major League Soccer to this incredible community," said Precourt.

"The greatest way we can show our gratitude is in our actions as leaders of Austin FC. Our intent is to build a team that will be a perennial contender for MLS Cup, to build a stadium at McKalla Place that rivals the best sporting venues in North America, and to cultivate a club culture that brings people together and always give back."