Family Bucket List!!! Speaking for the Austin FC Professional Soccer Team

Goooooooooooal!!! I am excited to share that we achieved a FAMILY BUCKET LIST GOAL and saw amazing pro soccer, too (including yelling out Gooooooooal!). I was invited to speak for the inspiring Austin FC professional soccer team and take Denise, Rya, and my dad to a game. Denise even caught a soccer ball during the game!

What the Austin FC didn’t know when they invited me was that Rya and Denise’s **absolute favorite thing to do together** is to go to Austin FC games. They. Love. The games. It’s their favorite mother-daughter activity. You can imagine their thrill when I shared that we were going to a game and getting to sit in the front row! And, with one extra seat, I took my dad, too!

My dad had never been to a professional soccer game, was unsure what to expect, and left as a huge fan. He could not believe the nonstop action, physical intensity, and “unbelievable athletes” on the field. After the game, Rya unexpectedly got to meet several of the Austin FC players who were so kind, including her favorite player, Nick Lima, who photobombed(!) Rya taking pictures—which, for Gen Z, is even cooler than an intentional photo.

Getting to speak to this great sports organization revealed its culture, values, commitment to excellence, and outstanding leadership. I see how they live their mission to unite people across our city and the region—and across generations!

Candidly, before working with Austin FC, I did not understand how many different departments and leaders it takes to run a professional soccer team and a major sports arena. There are operations, sales, marketing, facilities, HR, finance, food and beverage, and then the complexity of the pro sports team itself. Each leader must deliver on their mission for everything to be exceptional, whether that is great food, technology integrations, team performance, or fan engagement. So many moving parts and a gorgeous arena, too!

As a kid, I played soccer for six years. I loved it. Denise played soccer in middle school and high school for six years (her team won third in the state; mine got participation trophies). Rya is now in her third season playing soccer—she’s a forward, no surprise. But even with all that connection to the sport, I gained a much deeper appreciation of what it takes to lead a professional soccer organization from my time working with the Austin FC.

Big high-five to the entire organization for creating unforgettable experiences for fans and for helping to unite the Austin community. You make everyone feel welcome, whether they show up solo to stand the entire game cheering, with a large corporate group, or as a family. We are grateful and inspired by your impact!

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