Austin FC Signs Rodney Redes as Its First Player

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The 2020 MLS season is still a work in progress, but 2021 expansion side Austin FC isn't letting the uncertainty of this year impede its work in getting ready for next year.

Austin has signed Paraguayan forward Rodney Redes as the first player in franchise history, the club announced on Monday. Redes joins from Club Guarani in Paraguay, where he will remain on loan until January. According to ESPN, Redes was purchased for a $2.75 million transfer fee, though he was not announced as a Designated Player.

“Rodney is a dynamic, attacking player, and we are proud to welcome him as the first signing in the history of Austin FC,” Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a statement. “Rodney is precisely the sort of player we intend to attract to Austin FC. At a very young age, he has already registered strong performances and collected valuable big-game experience in major competitions. I am pleased that we capitalized on this brief July transfer window to sign Rodney, and our staff looks forward to working closely with him.”

Redes has two goals in Club Guarani's seven league matches thus far, and in eight Copa Libertadores matches, he has scored three goals.

“The words I use to best describe Rodney are versatility and impactfulness,” Austin FC manager Josh Wolff said. “Rodney is a young player with qualities that can strongly influence any match as a result of his positional flexibility, eye for goal, and clear finishing quality. I am very pleased that we have secured a rising talent who demonstrates goal scoring ability in both the Copa Libertadores as well as his domestic league, and I believe that our supporters will appreciate his hunger and willingness to make Austin FC successful.”

Austin is joining MLS next season along with Charlotte. While Austin has announced his head coach and first player, Charlotte's big moves so far have been limited to the front office, with the club hiring a sporting director and technical director. The club's name and colors have not yet been made public. In comments made in May, club president Tom Glick had indicated that the club identity would be revealed in June, but that has yet to occur.