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Austin FC announced Monday the acquisition of 26-year-old Paraguayan National Team forward Cecilio Domínguez as the club's first-ever designated player.
Major League Soccer allows clubs to acquire up to three designated players whose total compensated and acquisition costs do not count toward the team's salary cap, which this year is $4.9 million.
"Cecilio, there's no doubt that he's going to get his form and be a really impactful player for us," Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said during a media call on Monday.
Domínguez will formally join Austin FC in January, ahead of the club's inaugural spring season, via transfer from Club Atlético Independiente of Argentina's Primera División. He will be on loan for the remainder of the year.
"I'm excited about the move to Austin, and I look forward to working with [Austin FC Head Coach] Josh Wolff and the team as we head into our first season," Domínguez said in a press release issued on Monday.
Cecilio is #VERDE now https://t.co/7zOsWhFCyz— Matthew McConaughey (@Matthew McConaughey)1598277815.0
Domínguez joins fellow Paraguayan forward Rodney Redes, whom the club announced as its first signing in early July.
"The duo has the potential to be a real threat in the league and generate plenty of goals," MLS Multiplex reported last month.
Austin FC has the rest of its roster to fill out, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
"We're busy with that of course," Reyna said on the call. "Plates are spinning."
In other news
Season tickets, which account for around 75% of the stadium's 20,500 seats, have nearly sold out, with only some $475 supporters section standing memberships left.
Season tickets for Austin FC's 2021 inaugural season range from $475, in the supporters standing section, to $912. (Austin FC)
"The incredible demand for major league sports in Austin is palpable and the love of soccer in Austin is real," Austin FC President Andy Loughnane told MLSSoccer.com last week. "The volume of support validates the strength of the Austin market."
The remainder of the seats will be sold on an individual match basis.
Austin FC's $260 million stadium in north Austin is expected to open early next year.
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Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."