AUSTIN, Texas (August 4, 2014) —The Austin Aztex announced today they have come to an agreement with Paul Dalglish as head coach and technical director of the team. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.
Dalglish, age 37, served as assistant coach under Jeff Cassar at Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake during their 2014 campaign and will begin his role with the Aztex starting mid-August.
Dalglish is a familiar coach for Aztex fans. Previously, Dalglish took the reins as head coach of the Austin Aztex for their inaugural 2012 season and compiled 26-8-4 record as head coach in two seasons across all competitions. Dalglish was named 2013 USL Premier Development League Coach of the Year when he helped the Aztex finish the season with one of the top records in the league and a goal differential of +30 during their championship run. Dalglish also identified talented players during his first two seasons with the Aztex, as eight squad players were drafted in the two previous MLS SuperDrafts.
“We are thrilled about Paul’s return to Austin,” said Aztex owner, Rene van de Zande. “He is very familiar with the Austin soccer landscape and we see in Paul a very talented and energetic coach with strong leadership capabilities. This made him the perfect fit for a franchise that has high ambitions in a fast growing market. Paul has soccer in his DNA and an ability to identify and work with young talent, another quality we were looking for in our coach. It is for these reasons we offered Paul a long term contract to give him the time to help us build the franchise and reach our short and long term goals.”
The Scottish-born Dalglish brings extensive experience as a professional player in Europe and the United States, having started his youth career with clubs Celtic FC in Scotland and Liverpool FC in England, continuing as a professional player in England, Scotland and the United States. In the US, Dalglish played for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer and helped the club capture two consecutive MLS Cup victories in 2006 and 2007.
“My family and I are extremely excited to be coming back to Austin,” Dalglish said. “The challenge of leading the Aztex in their inaugural year in the professional ranks was one I couldn’t refuse. I will work tirelessly to help build a team that our supporters including Eberly’s Army and the City of Austin will be proud of, a team that will be willing to fight for their lives to defend the Aztex jersey whilst also playing the beautiful game in an attractive, exciting manner. I will be sad to leave the fantastic players and staff that have become friends behind in Salt Lake City. They have made me a better coach and a better person. Finally, I’d like to thank the ownership group at the Austin Aztex for putting their trust in me to lead the team and for providing me with the tools necessary to be successful.”
Manuel Buentello, who served as head coach for the Aztex in 2014, will resume his position as an assistant coach and scout for the Aztex, a role he served under Dalglish from 2012 to 2014.
In June, the Austin Aztex were introduced as USL PRO’s most recent expansion team, growing the league to 18 members. USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams in 2014, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. In January 2013 USL PRO entered into a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO.
The Austin Aztex currently play at House Park, a 5,500 seat stadium located near downtown Austin. The Aztex enjoy a strong home field advantage at House Park, where a record 4,750 fans attended the USL PDL Southern Conference Semifinal in July 2014. Tryout dates for the 2015 Austin Aztex squad will be announced at a later date.
About the Austin Aztex
The Austin Aztex will compete in USL PRO starting in 2015 under the helm of head coach Paul Dalglish. The team played in the USL Premier Development League (PDL) from 2012-2014 and won the 2013 League Championship in just their second year in operation, earning the USL PDL Franchise of the Year award. The Aztex finished each USL PDL among the top ten highest-drawing teams in the league and drew a record crowd of 4,754 in the 2014 playoffs. The franchise is owned and operated by ATX SOCCER LLC, chaired by Rene Van De Zande, President and CEO of Emergo Group and founded by David Markley, VP of Technology Development for Fallbrook Technologies. In addition, ATX SOCCER LLC grew in 2014 with the addition of Bobby Epstein of Prophet Capital Management and Paul Thornton of TAG Presents as new inverstors. For more information, visit www.austinaztex.com.
USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams in 2014, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Teams have already been announced for 2015 in Colorado Springs, Louisville, St. Louis and Tulsa, with more additions expected soon. Through aggressive and deliberate growth in adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, USL PRO is building a robust, national professional soccer league in a format that promotes the benefits of regional league play. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.