Austin FC name Juan Delgado as academy technical director as youth plan ramps up

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Austin FC have made a major hire on the youth front, bringing in Dr. Juan Delgado as their academy technical director.

Delgado was recently working as the head of scouting for the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar, and also had stops in Spain as Valencia's academy technical director and Villareal’s director of coaching for their youth sides. 

At the helm of Valencia's academy from 2006 to 2007, he worked with players including David Silva (Manchester City), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Isco (Real Madrid FC), Jordi Alba (FC. Barcelona), Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund), Joan Bernat (PSG), Pedro Xirivella (Liverpool FC), Grimaldo (Benfica FC) and Jose Gaya and Carlos Soler (Valencia FC).

“Juan Delgado will have a tremendously positive impact on Austin FC’s academy and youth soccer in Central Texas,” Tyson Wahl, Austin FC’s academy GM said in a club statement. “Juan’s combination of top-level experience within La Liga Academies, the Aspire Academy, and within governing federations around the world make him a world-class professional and we are delighted to welcome him to Austin.”

Delgado will be responsible for building the coaching methodology used by Austin FC’s academy and create synergy behind how their youth teams and senior squad play. Ahead of the club’s 2021 entry into MLS, Delgado will also work intimately with Wahl and Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna on the long-term player development plan for academy players.

“I am very proud to have the chance to join Austin FC academy and to bring my experience, knowledge, contacts and passion for developing young talent to such an exciting club,” said Delgado. “ ... The future of soccer in the USA is very exciting and I am motivated to begin helping to identify and develop young talent in Texas and throughout the USA, and to bring what I have learned over many years working at the highest level of our game to this exciting new team in Austin.”

Delgado is fluent in four languages (Spanish, English, Catalan and Portuguese), which should only benefit Austin FC’s fully funded academy. They began competing in the Fall of 2019 with an Under-14 team (2006 birth year or younger) and will expand to include Under-13, Under-14, and Under-15 teams in 2021. 

“Austin FC’s ability to recruit top-level professionals, like Juan, demonstrates the appeal of the City of Austin, our club, and our ambitions,” Reyna said. “His track record speaks for itself, and the roster of players he has worked with shows that his methods and practices are tried, tested, and proven to be successful. We are delighted he is joining our growing soccer operations team and are excited to have him start work with us very soon."