Following on earlier news from Steve Goff that D.C. United was looking at Texas for some portion of preseason training, the Austin Statesman is reporting that D.C. United has committed to playing in a preseason tournament in Austin with FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew SC, with the USL PRO Austin Aztex hosting the tournament. The tournament will be a doubleheader semifinal, with D.C. playing the Aztex on February 13 in one match, with the Final and third-place matches played on a February 15 doubleheader.
This will be D.C.'s first trip back to Texas for preseason since 2008 and on the surface, would seem to be setting them up nicely ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League match ten days later against Alajuelense in Costa Rica. Their certainly further South than say, opposed to Charleston, and would have some time to get acclimated to heat ahead of going even further down South. Additionally, the tournament will be held on the University of Texas campus in Austin, at a 20,000 seat venue named Mike Myers stadium (excellent!), compared to the normal Aztex home of House Park, which only seats 6,000.
In the offseason the Aztex announced a partnership with the Crew so their inclusion was a no-brainer also, and with the Houston Dynamo going to Charleston for the 2015 preseason, Dallas fills the Texas MLS contingent.The Aztex are home to MLS alum Paul Dalglish as coach and D.C. United 2014 draft pick Travis Golden plays for the squad. The Aztex have quietly been developing some MLS players as well, with Dillon Powers, Kekuta Manneh and Blake Smith all as alums.