MLS formally announces Austin expansion team for 2021

After a long and often rocky courtship, Austin, Texas, and Major League Soccer became a match.

The league formally welcomed Austin as its 27th franchise with a raucous downtown party Tuesday, full of chanting and flag-waving, and Commissioner Don Garber calling the Texas capital a “perfect fit.” MLS said Austin will begin play in the 2021 season.

“We think of us being a league for a new America,” Garber said. “Austin is diverse. It has enormous energy. It has people who really believe in the city. … We need to be here.”

The city recently signed a lease with Austin majority owner Anthony Precourt, a San Francisco-based investor, to provide land for a privately funded $225 million stadium. The Austin venue will be an open-air facility with a grass playing field on land that has been vacant for 25 years.

The move has been long expected as Austin became the target destination for efforts last year to move the Columbus Crew. The Crew instead will stay in Ohio under a new ownership group.

“We’re going to unite this city. We’re going to fight for this city. We’re going to make you proud,” Precourt said.

Europe: Tottenham striker Harry Kane was ruled out for around two months because of ligament damage in his left ankle, dealing a huge blow to the English team’s chances of winning the English Premier League.

The England captain, who thrived in the World Cup, was injured in the last seconds of the 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.

•Newcastle advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup by beating second-tier Blackburn 4-2 after extra time in a third-round replay.

In other replays Tuesday, third-tier Shrewsbury scored three goals from the 71st minute to rally to a 3-2 win over second-tier Stoke and set up a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that knocked out Liverpool.

Sheffield Wednesday won 1-0 at Luton and next plays titleholder Chelsea.

•Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, 36, is planning to retire at the end of the season, ending the career of one of the best netminders in the EPL.

Cech, who plays for the Czech Republic, has a record 202 shutouts in his 15 seasons in the EPL since joining Chelsea in 2004 from French club Rennes. At Chelsea, he won the Champions League, four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and one Europa League.

After 11 years at Stamford Bridge, Cech moved to Arsenal in 2015.

Asian Cup: Australia is through to the knockout rounds at the Asian Cup, needing a stoppage-time goal from Tom Rogic to beat Syria 3-2 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

Australia will play the Group F runner-up — 2011 champion Japan or Uzbekistan — Monday in the first knockout round.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/MLS-formally-announces-Austin-expansion-team-for-13536984.php.

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