AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Bold FC announced today the signing of French defensive midfielder Thomas de Villardi for the 2019 season, pending league and federation approval. De Villardi arrives from Minnesota United FC, where he was selected in the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
“Thomas is a solid defender with great technical ability. His youth experience in France, college career in the United States and his selection by an MLS team make him an excellent prospect for our first-year club,” said ABFC Head Coach Marcelo Serrano. “He has an excellent reputation not only for his soccer abilities but also as a great person and leader on and off the field.”
The 24-year-old played collegiately at Duquesne University and the University of Delaware, spending two years with each program. De Villardi was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Conference selection following his junior and senior seasons at Delaware. He was named the CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Performer in 2016 and selected to the CAA All-Tournament team in 2015 and 2016. Following his freshman season at Duquesne, the midfielder was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.
“The Bold have given me an incredible opportunity to play in Austin,” said de Villardi. “I feel honored to be a part of an ambitious project in the USL Championship and can’t wait to start practicing with the group for the upcoming season.”
A native of Nogent sur Marne, Paris, France, de Villardi spent his youth career with En Avant de Guingamp of Ligue 1, the premier division in France, prior to beginning his collegiate playing career in the United States. De Villardi has also played with the Seattle Sounders FC and New York Red Bulls U-23 sides.
With the addition of de Villardi, Austin Bold FC has announced a total of 12 players (Faris Abdi, Xavier Báez, Edson Braafheid, Darío Conca, Kléber Gladiator, Sonny Guadarrama, Promise Isaac, Sean McFarlane, Marcelo Saragosa, Valeri Saramutin, Kris Tyrpak) for the 2019 inaugural season. The club will announce additional player signings in the coming weeks.
On Oct. 24, the club broke ground on Bold Stadium, a 5,036-seat soccer-specific stadium to be located adjacent to the Grand Plaza at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), the premier destination for entertainment and motorsports in the United States. The stadium is the first soccer-specific stadium built in Central Texas and has been engineered to provide an outstanding experience for both fans and players ahead of the Bold’s inaugural Spring 2019 season.
Austin Bold FC is preparing for its inaugural USL Championship season in 2019. Preseason will commence in February, with the regular season kicking off in March. Fans can purchase 2019 season tickets by calling the Austin Bold FC sales office at 512-655-6300 or by visiting AustinBoldFC.com. For more information about the Bold, supporters can follow the club on Twitter (@AustinBoldFC) and Instagram (@AustinBoldFC) and like Austin Bold FC on Facebook.