The Crew SC/Austin Aztex partnership extended a little further over the weekend as Columbus joins D.C. United and FC Dallas in Austin for the ATX Pro Challenge in February. The brief tournament will take place on Feb. 13th and 15th. Columbus faces FC Dallas at 6:45 pm on 2/13 with the Austin/ D.C. game following. The winners acing off on Sunday and the losers playing what amounts to a third place game.
The partnership between Austin and Crew SC is in its first year, but there are significant ties between the teams already. In addition to Columbus participating in the February tourney, Aztex coaches recently took part in Crew SC's college combine on December 14th.
The Aztex have to fully rebuild their roster as they make the jump to USL Pro and will only get a handful of players on loan in the Crew SC partnership. Getting a chance to look at some college talent and work with Crew SC staff will be valuable as Austin builds their team.
These are signs that both sides want to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Crew SC gain a valuable partner for development of pro talent while Austin can utilize the resources of a bigger team like Columbus.