Austin FC Academy players and staff are back in Texas after the program’s second annual trip to visit PSV Eindhoven. The Austin FC U-17 team and staff spent 10 days in the Netherlands training, competing, and exchanging knowledge alongside the famed Dutch Eredivisie club.
Austin FC and PSV announced their partnership a year ago, with the clubs’ intending to share “knowledge and expertise on scouting, education, player development, and more.” Thus far, they’ve done exactly that.
“The trip was a really big opportunity for the players to understand the level in Europe,” said Austin FC Academy U-17 Head Coach Abraham Pajuelo Lopez. “Another takeaway for us is learning European soccer. It's important for our players to understand a different playing style. We learned different principles from PSV and got some ideas for us as a staff.”
During the visit, the team spent a day in Amsterdam, approximately a two-hour bus ride from Eindhoven. The players and staff visited iconic locations such as the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum, and experienced the city’s famous bike culture. While in Eindhoven, the team received a tour of Phillips Stadium, the home of PSV.
“It was amazing,” said Austin FC Academy defender Mason Miller. “We don’t see those things every day. Just to go there and look at the city, look at the culture there, and the environment. It was just fun to walk around with the guys and have fun and build that chemistry off the pitch.”
The Academy played four matches and went unbeaten against U-17 teams from the Netherlands and Belgium. In the first match, they competed against Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (RUSG) and won 3-0. Their second match was against Sparta Rotterdam, playing to a scoreless draw. The Academy then went on to defeat OH Leuven 2-1 in the third match and tied 2-2 against PSV’s U-17 team in their final contest.
Ervin Torres, one of four Austin FC Academy products to appear in an Austin FC II match this season, was one of the 20 players to take in the trip abroad and scored in the team's 3-0 victory.
“It was a great trip,” said Torres. “Going on the trip was a great learning experience and I had a lot of fun.”
The trip serves as part of Austin FC U-17's preparation for the 2023-2024 MLS NEXT season, which begins on Saturday, September 9 with a match against Houston Dynamo FC U-17. To stay up to date with the Austin FC Academy this season, follow @austinfcacademy on social media or visit austinfc.com/academy.