Austin FC announced on Friday that the Club has exercised the transfer option for defender Žan Kolmanič. On loan with ATXFC during the 2021 season from Slovenian club NK Maribor, Kolmanič signed a three-year deal with the Verde & Black to keep him in Austin through 2024.

“Austin is one of the coolest, most welcoming communities I’ve ever spent time in,” said Kolmanič. “I’m very grateful to Claudio Reyna and Josh Wolff for having the belief in me to make the move permanent and look forward to getting back to work with my teammates. The future of Austin FC is very bright.”

In his first season in Major League Soccer, the 21-year-old native of Murska Sobota, Slovenia made 30 appearances, including 23 starts. Kolmanič tallied four assists, tied for third-most among Austin FC players, while his 41 key passes were second-most on the team and fifth-most among all MLS defenders. He also ranked third among ATXFC players with 32 interceptions.

During the 2021 season, Kolmanič earned his first call-up to the Slovenian Senior Men’s National Team. He was a member of his country’s roster for FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Malta and Russia in October.

“Žan has an incredibly bright future,” said Club Sporting Director Claudio Reyna. “He’s one of the best young defenders in Major League Soccer, and he will only continue to improve in coming seasons. We look forward to seeing Žan continue his development in the Verde and Black.”

Before joining Austin FC on loan in March 2021, Kolmanič spent the 2017-2021 seasons with 15-time Slovenian PrvaLiga Champion NK Maribor, where he made 45 appearances (43 starts) and contributed six (6) assists across all competitions, helping Maribor capture the 2018-19 PrvaLiga title. Kolmanič also made seven (7) starts in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 UEFA Youth League with the NK Maribor U-19 side.

Transaction: Austin FC exercises the transfer option for defender Žan Kolmanič, who signed a three-year deal with the Verde & Black, extending the player’s contract through 2024.