KickerATX interview with Roberto Silva, GM of the Austin Bold

Roberto Silva came to the United States with, “a wife, two kids, and nine bags.” He moved to Austin simply because his sister lived here. However, with his experience in the business offices of some of Brazil’s top clubs, Silva became involved with the Austin Aztex during their exciting, but doomed 2015 season. He was promoted to GM after the 2015 Memorial Day floods destroyed the club’s House Park home, but the rot was too deep and the Aztex could not recover dissolving in 2017. Professional soccer was yet again lost to ATX.

That is until last year when Bobby Epstein, owner of Circuit of the Americas (COTA), fielded the Austin Bold for the 2019 USL Championship season. Between the collapse of the Aztex and the birth of the Bold, Roberto Silva worked as the Director of Special Events at COTA. So when the Bold came about, the perfect man for the job was already on staff.

It’s probably fair to say no one man has done more for the club than the affable Brazilian. He brought on manager and countryman Marcelo Serrano, manages player scouting and acquisitions, and all business aspects of club. Together with Serrano, Silva was able to recruit talented and experienced players from around the globe. Kléber, nicknamed “Gladiator”, has scored 200-some goals in Brazil’s top division. Edson Braafheid, a former Dutch international, has featured for Bayern Munich, and played in the 2010 World Cup Final. Xavi Báez was a Liga MX mainstay with over 200 appearances for Chivas Guadalajara. This wasn’t your average USL Championship squad.

Despite, or more likely because of, the unorthodox team design, the Bold performed well for an expansion club. They were able to slug their way to 8th in the Western Conference securing a play-off spot and beating LA Galaxy II in the first round to advance to a Conference Quarterfinal against Phoenix Rising. Playing away from home at a sold-out stadium, the Bold produced a stubborn 0-0 result and only lost after a penalty shoot-out that went 9 players deep ending 8-7.

Now entering their sophomore season, Kicker ATX got a chance to sit down with Roberto Silva ahead of the Bold’s first preseason match Sunday February 9th against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

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