So You Want to Play in the EPL…

Here’s your chance. USL expansion team Austin Aztex, which is under the same ownership as newly-promoted EPL team Stoke City, will hold open tryouts in Oxnard in January. Be quick, because registration closes Friday.

Aztex Coach Adrian Heath, a former player with Everton and Stoke City, is the coach of the Aztex and explained why the team is coming to Southern California to scout for players:

“From our point of view it’s simpler us going there than trying to get 20-30 players over to Austin. We know it’s a hotbed of talent over there in California, it’s one of the hotbeds of talent in terms of football. We think we can look around and get some good players.

“The owner and myself are both Stoke people and we’re both born there … obviously we’ve got a very, very close relationship with them – and they’ll be coming over to see us in the preseason to play an exhibition game. So if we see a player that’s got the talent and has the mindset of going over to Europe, this would be a real advantage.

If we were to get two or three (players) from the tryouts over there and a similar number from the tryouts in Austin in February, that’s six players for your roster and we’d be very very pleased with it. You don’t really know beforehand so it would be a pleasant surprise to get that sort of number.

We’ve (also) got a relationship now with (Mexican club) Monterrey. If that’s the road (a player) would like to go it would be a good opportunity for them. We’ve got very, very close links with Monterrey. Maybe for Hispanic players if they want to start their career in soccer this would be a perfect opportunity for them and if we felt they were good enough we could let them go down to Monterrey and let them have a look as well.”

Register here.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!