AUSTIN (KXAN) — FC Barcelona, one of the most recognizable soccer brands in the world, is opening an academy in Austin where children will learn to play the FC Barcelona-style complete with the organization’s core value.
The FCBEscola teaches respect, effort, ambition, teamwork and modesty alongside soccer fundamentals; the Austin branch will be one of 26 globally and only the third in the United States and is expected to open this summer.
FCBEscola will be housed in part at the Circuit of the Americas, where owner Bobby Epstein announced he will build a soccer field for the program. A rendering shows a soccer pitch in the shadow of COTA’s iconic tower. The program will also use facilities at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex.
“The City of Austin and the Austin Sports Commission have been instrumental in bringing FC Barcelona’s Escola system to the city. This new program will not only help local players experience firsthand the best international, professional and developmental soccer pathway but will also put Austin on a global soccer stage.” said Marc Segarra, co-founder of ISL Futbol, the largest partner of FC Barcelona in the United States, and Barcelona native.
“The Austin Sports Commission is proud to help facilitate a partnership with FC Barcelona — one of the premiere sports brands in the world — to bring FCBEscola to Austin. This partnership between FC Barcelona and the Circuit of the Americas will undoubtedly benefit countless youth soccer players in the Austin area,” said Austin Sports Commission’s Matt Motl.
“We also want to thank Mr. Bobby Epstein and his team at COTA for stepping up in a major way to support this partnership,” added Austin Sports Commission Executive Director Lance Aldridge, “The Austin Sports Commission is excited to continue to find ways to further utilize COTA as a complete sports and entertainment destination.”
Children ages 6 to 16 will have the opportunity to take entrance exams in early May in order to enroll in the program.
FCBEscola will be taught by members of the FC Barcelona staff and former players who are relocating to Austin as part of their commitment to the program.