AUSTIN, TX. – Austin FC today announced the first player piece in the puzzle that will be their inaugural MLS roster in 2021. And Paraguayan winger Rodney Redes, 20, could represent something of a bellwether regarding Head Coach Josh Wolff and GM Claudio Reyna’s thinking as to the identity of their maiden team.
Austin FC Go Youth Versus Marque – Sign Rodney Redes
Redes is a largely unknown, albeit exciting young prospect, his signing a departure from the typical ‘marque player’ announcements so often seen with other franchises.
In selecting a player early in his career with an apparent abundance of hunger and drive to compliment his raw talent, Wolff and Reyna were clearly looking at the whole player, not just a name or reputation.
‘Rodney has so much passion for the game. We were impressed with his commitment and focus, he has an ‘all-in-for-the-team’ attitude’, said Wolff. ‘He’s very serious about his soccer, very committed to his craft, but also when you talk to him he has a youthful enthusiasm and a kid-like smile’.
Redes has directed that energy effectively in his short career to date, posting some encouraging stats. Since joining prestigious Club Guarani in the Paraguayan Primera División in 2018, he has featured in six of the teams seven matches this year, scoring two goals before COVID-19 paused the season back in March. Redes should have the opportunity to add to those numbers when the league resumes on July 17. Redes also played eight times in the fiercely competitive Copa Libertadores, scoring an impressive three goals.
In determining what the Austin FC team ‘DNA’ will be in 2021, balance and versatility appear to be watch-words for both Wolff and Reyna, a box that Redes checks emphatically.
‘We like that Rodney gives us many options offensively’, confirmed Reyna. ‘Though he’s predominantly a winger, he can play on the left-hand side or right-hand side, as a second striker, running in behind, as a number 9, he’s quick and will create chances and wants to score goals’. Wolff added, ‘In one of our Zoom calls he even talked about the excitement of being the first player to score in our new stadium!’.
If Redes can make the kind of explosive, attacking impact that Club leadership believe he’s capable of, not only will he prove to be a canny investment at the reported $2.75M transfer fee, he’ll greatly increase his chances of achieving one of his personal goals of representing Paraguay on the international stage.
Austin FC may have gone relatively ‘low-key’ with their first player signing, but if potential becomes reality Rodney Redes could soon be a name known and feared throughout MLS, perhaps even further afield.