AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Bold FC announced today the signing of goalkeeper Diego Restrepo for the 2019 season, pending league and federation approval. Restrepo arrives in Austin after spending two seasons with San Antonio FC, where he was named the 2017 USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year.
"Our ownership group requested that we bring in the best players and create a very strong team,” said Austin Bold FC General Manager Roberto Silva. “With the addition of Diego Restrepo, one of the top goalkeepers in the league, we have brought in an athlete who fits that profile and will be a tremendous fit to the team."
While playing with SAFC, the Venezuela native appeared in 51 matches and recorded 18 clean sheets. In 2018, Restrepo started 21 USL Championship matches, posting four clean sheets and registering a 71.2 save success rate.
In 2017, Restrepo led the league with 12 clean sheets in 27 games and guided the club to league-lows in losses (four) and goals conceded (24). In addition to his Goalkeeper of the Year honor, Restrepo was named to the 2017 USL Championship All-League First Team after recording a 76.7 save success rate and finishing runner-up in the USL Championship Golden Glove race with a 0.80 goals against average.
“I’m incredibly excited to join the Austin Bold family. I’d like to thank the coaching staff and front office for the opportunity to join the club in our inaugural season,” said Restrepo. “We have a great squad, and I look forward to joining my new teammates for preseason. With the quality we have, there’s no reason why we can’t reach the playoffs in our first season and compete for a championship.”
Prior to his time in San Antonio, Restrepo played the 2016 season with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, appearing in 11 league matches with 23 saves and a 1.36 goals against average and guiding the club to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He has also spent time with current USL Championship clubs the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Charlotte Independence, as well as with Metropolitanos FC and Deportivo Táchira of the Venezuela Venezuelan Football Federation First Division and América de Cali of the Colombian Liga Águila.
The 30-year-old played collegiately at the University of South Florida and the University of Virginia, spending two seasons with each program. Following his transfer to Virginia ahead of his junior yet, Restrepo led the Cavaliers to the 2009 ACC Championship and NCAA Championship and established school records for games played (25), minutes played (2348), shutouts (16), consecutive shutouts (11) and consecutive scoreless minutes (1176) previously held by former United States national team goalkeeper Tony Meola.
Restrepo moved to the United States when he was 11 and played with the IMG Academy before attending college. He appeared in 11 matches for the United States U-17 national team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2005 U-17 World Cup in Peru and appeared in three matches with the United States U-20 squad in 2007.
With the addition of Restrepo, Austin Bold FC has announced a total of 15 players (Faris Abdi, Xavier Báez, Edson Braafheid, Darío Conca, Thomas de Villardi, Kléber Gladiator, Sonny Guadarrama, Promise Isaac, Sean McFarlane, Marcelo Saragosa, Valeri Saramutin, Ryan Thompson, Kris Tyrpak, London Woodberry) 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 activities will begin on Monday, January 21, with the regular season kicking off in March. Fans can purchase 2019 season and match 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.