Upon being officially introduced as Austin FC new sporting director, Rodolfo Borrell opened up on how and why he left Manchester City to join the MLS‘ Verde and Black.
After about three decades of experience in Europe with Liverpool, Barcelona, and Man City, Borrell firmly believed that it was the right time for him to try a new challenge in a new league.
“It’s much more difficult to get to leave Europe in midseason, although it can happen,” Borrell said in an interview with MLS. “So the fact that it’s now the end of our season in England, it has helped. But having said that, the opportunity is so exciting that possibly it would have come in the middle of my season in Europe, it would have been almost impossible to decline.”
“So I think it’s the right place for me, for my family, and to help develop further the whole structure, with all the knowledge and experience that I have gathered during my almost 30 years at the high level of clubs in Europe. And I’m very happy and I’m very excited to join the Austin FC family,” he said.
Austin FC are an exciting prospect, but what really drove the deal home for Borrell was club majority owner Anthony Precourt reaching out to the 52-year-old and even flying to Manchester to meet him.
“He [Anthony Precourt] showed me how dedicated he is, how passionate he is towards the club, the vision, the energy, everything,” he said. “He made me feel very much wanted, which I think is very important for any professional. And this, in addition to many other factors, made me decide this was the right place and obviously the right moment to join MLS.”
Austin, currently sixth in the Western Conference with 29 points, are looking to add reinforcements to their squad where they see fit as they gear up for the 2023 Leagues Cup and the back-end of the MLS season before the playoffs.
The Oaks have already loaned out forward Moussa Djitte to Turkish side Bandirmaspor and signed defender Brandon Craig on loan from Philadelphia Union. However, Borell knows that they will need more than that if they are to make another deep MLS Cup run.
“There have been people working very hard, and I’ve been very much made aware of that towards potential signings for the team.”
“Right now I cannot say they’re going to happen, they’re not going to happen,” he said. “And at the end of the day, the only thing I can do is trust the people that have been working at the club for a long period of time, who from now onwards I’m going to join, they’re going to join me and we’ll work together.”
“I didn’t want to come here in some sort of retirement mentality at all. So that’s why the decision at this stage in my career. I’m 52. I’m not old, but I’m not young. I think it’s the right time to help develop further a club in MLS.”