Austin Dewing leaves Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to go into the Wild Blue there.
Perhaps the most beloved player in franchise history, the Colorado Springs native was promoted after Friday’s game with New Mexico United to complete his training as a pilot in the US Air Force.
“It’s tough,” said an emotional Dewing as he left Weidner Field for the last time as a professional player. “It was the end of a very long career. It was kind of my identity for many years.
“I have a lot of happiness, but a lot of sadness to be in transition. I am thankful for the times I have.
Dewing, wearing the No.3 jersey, was supported by around 30 close family and friends who attended his last game, a 3-1 loss to the Switchbacks in front of 5,600.
The 5-foot-8 forward was in his team’s lone goal when he assisted on Hadji Barry’s score 70 seconds into the game.
Dewing, 24, a graduate of Air Academy High School and Air Force Academy, was part of the Air Force World Class Athlete (WCAP) program which enables world-class athletes to train, assist and to participate in the Olympic Games, qualification forums, and preparatory competition.
“It’s hard to do both in the Air Force,” Dewing said of playing professional soccer and flying. “Especially with the training of pilots. There are a lot of demands out there and it is definitely my priority to move forward. “
Dewing joined the Switchbacks in the middle of the 2019 season and played 30 USL Championship games. He scored his only goal on May 14 in a 4-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City II. He has four career assists.
Dewing has started all three of the team’s games this season.
“The whole team and staff wish Austin every success in the next phase of his life,” said Switchbacks coach Brendan Burke. “It has been a pleasure working with him and he will be missed as a key contributor to our team so far this year.
“We know it will be difficult for him to leave the game at this level as his career is only just beginning, but we respect and support his decision.”
Dewing has enjoyed great success in his football career. He led his high school team to the 2014 Class 4A State Championship. He also started for three years on the school’s baseball team.
He rose through the ranks to the Air Force Academy where he was a starter for four years on the football team. He made 78 appearances, scoring 29 goals and totaling 19 assists.
In college, Dewing also appeared for the USL PDL Colorado Pride Switchbacks U23 team during their 2018 season. He made his professional debut by joining the USL Championship Switchbacks in June 2019.
“I’m just extremely grateful and blessed to be able to play for this long,” said Dewing. “Football has been a fantastic part of my life. “