Image: North Texas Soccer Club via FC Dallas Website
FC Dallas has officially announced the temporary departure of homegrown midfielder Thomas Roberts. Roberts will play for Austrian Bundesliga club SK Austria Klagenfurt from now until May 2022. In addition to the loan, FC Dallas also announced a contract extension for Roberts that includes a club option for 2023. (https://www.fcdallas.com/news/fc-dallas-loans-homegrown-thomas-roberts-to-sk-austria-klagenfurt)
The news of the loan was first announced by 3rd Degree, an independent Texas soccer website, at the beginning of July.
Roberts was originally signed midway through the 2018 season, during Oscar Pareja's tenure. He did not play professionally under Pareja and instead he made his Major League Soccer debut in 2019 under new head coach Luchi Gonzalez. He played six gamesin MLS, all in 2019 but he could not get back onto the field after that season.
He made several appearances for FC Dallas' second divison team, North Texas Soccer Club in USL League One. During his time in USL-One, he scored three goals and registered one assist.
Roberts has already made his debut for Austria Klagenfurt in their last preseason game which was played today. He scored his first goal for his new club in twenty-two seconds. Klagenfurt would go on to win the game 11-0 against six tier club FC St. Veit. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_St._Veit)
Austria Klagenfurt will play Wiener Neustadt in the Austria Cup on July the 17th. The winner of the Austria Cup will play in the latest play-off round for a spot in Europa League. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020%E2%80%9321_Austrian_Cup)
Their newest Bundelisga campaign will begin just a few days later on July 25th against Wolfsberger AC. (https://us.soccerway.com/teams/austria/sk-austria-klagenfurt/15756/)
If Roberts does well during his time in Austria, then it is possible that the loan could become a full transfer or gain him interest from another club in Europe. At the moment, Twitter will be the best place to get updates on Roberts' progress with Klagenfurt.
By Melanie G. Isbell