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The Austin Aztex are Back

2011 September 26
by Brian Quarstad

The Austin Aztex will be back playing soccer next year just as they were when they started out in 2008, participating in the USL Premier Development League (PDL).

David Markley, founder and minority owner of the previous Aztex franchise, spoke to former Aztex supporters, Eberly’s Army (formerly Chantico’s Army) on Sunday giving them the news.

Markley was the original owner of the Aztex PDL team in Austin. The Austin  businessman was Director of Operations in 2008 and General Manager for the Aztex PDL team in 2009. He owned the rights to a PDL team in 2007 but soon relinquished those rights to Phil Rawlins who had plans of playing at a higher level. Rawlins did elevate the team to USL-1 and then the USSF D-2 Pro League before disbanding. He then moved to Orlando, starting a new team which participated this past year in USL-PRO. Understandably, the move was not taken well by the many Aztex supporters in the Austin area.

According to a press release, Markley has been working to bring soccer back to Austin since Rawlin’s move to Florida. His new team will keep the Aztex name but has already released a new logo. It features the lone star which is representative of the state’s capital, and emphasizes the letters ATX, a commonly used acronym for the city.

“I am glad to help build a bridge where Austin’s talented athletes can pursue their dreams of playing professionally,” said Markley. “Twenty players who participated in our PDL team in 2008 and 2009 have gone on to play professionally, with two more poised to join their ranks. Austin da Luz and Matt Gold are currently competing in the MLS, and Miguel Gallardo was recently named USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year. I’m excited to see which of Austin’s elite players will follow in their footsteps next.”

For further information or updates check out the Austin Aztex website or the Eberly’s Army website.

18 Responses
  1. Bart permalink
    September 26, 2011

    This is good news for Austin, and for those “Not Yet Ready for Professional” players that are still in college and others who need a little more training and experience at a higher level.

    The PDL league is a great link between amateur youth soccer and professional soccer at all levels. I am glad to see this happening.

  2. JXU permalink
    September 26, 2011

    Fantastic news.

    PDL makes sense for Austin right now. David has the experience to make this work. A USL Pro division in Texas may be on the horizon (with SS&E and the Dutch Lions sounding like they may be working on teams), but even if not, there’s good competition in the PDL here with Laredo and El Paso.

  3. Strikers Return permalink
    September 26, 2011

    Congratulations to soccer fans in Austin. Very glad to hear they’ll have a team to come out and support again starting next season. Hopefully they can regather the growing fanbase they had in 2010 and continue to grow it next year. The press release states that the PDL team is going to be a foundation for developing a future pro team in the area. Hope to hear more about that in the future. But for now, good luck to Austin in 2012!

  4. Soccer Boy permalink
    September 26, 2011

    I love the buckeyball on the logo. I am sure BQ loves it too!+

  5. Josh permalink
    September 26, 2011

    this is def good news. Can’t wait to drive up from H-Town to watch the Dynamo beat up on em!!!

  6. September 26, 2011

    Austin Aztex are looking good!

  7. September 26, 2011

    The logo’s not a bad idea, but the execution’s a bit off.

    And, could they at least not use a clipart buckyball? Thicken up those lines!

  8. September 26, 2011

    Great news for Austin! I felt so bad for their fans after the old Aztex pulled a Colts and skipped town. Would love to see them in NASL someday, Austin v. San Antonio could be a great rivalry.

    Logo needs some work. Dig the color palette, but it definitely needs some thicker lines around the shield and on the ball. It’s unfortunate to see teams, even low budget, lower division clubs, coming out with sub-par identities. All they have to do is ask, and there are plenty of talented folks out there who can produce some great work, and would probably be willing to do it on the cheap for the good of soccer in the USA. I know I would. Like that one awesome San Antonio logo someone did that was way better than any of the choices they had.

    Good luck Austin!

  9. Bart permalink
    September 27, 2011

    @F19

    Unfortunately, by the time Austin truly is ready for pro soccer, San Antonio will be realizing that there are no profits to fund Morgans Wonderland, and will be shutting that puppy down.

  10. yankiboy permalink
    September 27, 2011

    @Bart

    Very predictable and unfortunately, probably dead correct.

  11. yankiboy permalink
    September 27, 2011

    Very nice news for the Austin fans who will enthusiastically support the reborn Aztex.

    Not trying to rain on the parade, just a question:

    Any chance that EA doesn’t really rally around this team, seeing as how they are going to be competing in the PDL and there is no guarantee that a move up to USLPRO or the NASL is even something that the management can reallistically hope for???

    I’m going to keep it real, here: I Baltimore comes back as a PDL club (which they were originally supposed to be in the very beginning bofore they decided to go play USL2), I’m probably going to maybe a game a season. I wouldn’t be a season ticket holder or get too emotionally invested in the team.

    I respect PDL. It just doesn’t hold enough of my interest for me to go all in. I saw one W-League match this year. I’m wish that I didn’t even make it out to a Real Maryland game.

    Just curious if this news will inspire some of the angry supporters to dream of having a professional club again or if it will do more to make them pull out the Phil Rawlings photo covered dart boards, thinking about how they were “done wrong”…

  12. JXU permalink
    September 27, 2011

    Early reaction here is people are thrilled to have a team again (among the hardcore, at least). There are casual fans who are not even aware that the original team left (and who also didn’t understand what league the Aztex were playing in – that whole USSF D2 thing was a bit confusing for some people).

    What attendance will look like is yet to be seen. If I remember right, the original PDL team was drawing around 800-900 for league games towards the end of the first season, and drew about 1200 for a US Open Cup match against Atlanta Silverbacks.

    It will be interesting to see what kind of crowds the PDL team will draw. I’m wondering myself if we will see numbers more like the original PDL first season, or if it will be more in the direction of what the pro team was drawing (due to name recognition by the casual fans, etc).

  13. yankiboy permalink
    September 27, 2011

    @JXU: Thanks for the 411 from down there. After people got burned last time, I wonder if it will be harder to get some of them to support another team.

  14. September 29, 2011

    Hill Country Indoor is pumped about having upper level soccer in Austin again !!!! We’ll be at the games for sure!!!!

  15. September 29, 2011

    Who specifically is HCI other than a future indoor soccer facility? This feels like spam.

    Also, I am not sure I would call PDL “upper level soccer”. It may be good quality soccer but these are college players not pros. I would consider upper level soccer MLS, NASL and USL-PRO, which the Aztecs will not be…at least in the near future.

  16. Bart permalink
    September 29, 2011

    BQ

    Compared to what Austin currently has, I would submit that Hill Country Indoor has made a correct statement.

  17. leo permalink
    October 7, 2011

    As a true austinite, I am glad to see the aztex back. As for all the questions regarding attendance next season I think it all just depends on were they play. House park..sorry stadium but great location. If they return there yes the name will draw people back in the thousands. People don’t care about the league I’m pretty sure many won’t notice its a pdl team or care. I love the aztex since pdl but never saw a game in pdl cause they played in round rock…that’s a drive if you don’t know. And from articles released by usl, and since the CHERRY PICKING the mls has left the usl needing strong markets like austin so I’m sure austin pro by 2013 I’M sure of it.

  18. October 7, 2011

    You may be sure of it but that’s not what I’m hearing from my sources who seem to be in the know. They would need to find new money which is not there presently.

    If they went USL PRO they would need another 5 teams or so around the area or end up like a LA Blues were this season. And the USSF D2 requirements are in place that would mean if they wanted to go to the NASL an owner has to have very, very deep pockets.

    I may eat my words but I would not be so sure if I were you.

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