In true Austin fashion, a Matthew McConaughey-narrated introduction preluded Austin FC's first-ever pick in the MLS SuperDraft: Virginia Tech midfielder Daniel Pereira.
As the MLS's only expansion team, Austin FC was given the first pick in all three rounds of the draft alongside an additional 11th pick in the first round. The draft, which featured 171 college seniors, Generation Adidas players and select eligible players, allowed Austin FC to round out its roster with some younger players before their inaugural season.
With Clemson's Philip Mayaka regarded as a first-pick favorite before the draft, Pereira was thought to be a top-five draft contender but came as a bit of a surprise as the first overall pick. Pereira, who signed with Generation Adidas to become eligible in professional leagues, scored six goals and six assists in his two years at Virginia Tech.
Alongside his mother and father, Pereira said in an interview during the draft that he was surprised and honored to make the first pick.
"I wasn't really expecting to be No. 1… it's an honor," Pereira said. "I'm really happy, my family is crying. It's a moment I'll never forget."
Pereira's favorite color is green, so he should have no trouble stunting the verde jersey for his first professional season. Despite having the jersey of his choice, Pereira said in an interview on Instagram Live that he will still have to adjust to both Texas and the big leagues as he moves down to Austin.
"I've never been to Texas, (so) it's a whole new life I'm about to be living," Pereira said. "Obviously, it's my first year, so I'm going to have to adapt to the MLS first."
Although he said he's better at attacking than defending, Pereira said he hopes to utilize both sides of the ball to earn a starting position.
"I'm a very mixed guy (and) I'm going to bring a lot to both sides of the game," Pereira said. "It's going to be an amazing first year and hopefully I'll earn a spot on the team."
Austin FC has already landed star midfielder Diego Fagundez, who at 25 has been the youngest player to reach 100 appearances in MLS history and the youngest MLS player ever to reach 25 goals. With Fagundez and Pereira as the SuperDraft's top pick, the team has stacked considerable starter options in the midfield prior to their inaugural season.
In the 11th pick of the first round, Austin FC drafted Freddy Kleemann, a Washington defender who contributed to a team that produced 12 shutouts, surrendered only 14 goals and finished ninth in the NCAA in 2019.
At 6'4, Kleemann looks to be a physically strong central back alongside veteran defender Matt Besler. With seven total defenders, Austin FC appears to be solidifying both their middle and back lines.
To kick off the second round, the club went with University of Virginia forward Daniel Steedman. A Glasgow, Scotland native, Steedman tallied five goals and seven assists at UV and assisted in the game-winning goal in the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Tournament. After Virginia, Steedman signed to Atlanta United in 2020.
For their final choice, Austin FC selected goalkeeper Noah Lawrence in the first pick of the third round. Lawrence played in 36 games with five shutouts to his credits while at the University of Cincinnati before signing to Ohio State in 2020.
Austin FC chose balance in the SuperDraft, taking a player of each position to round out their roster at four goalkeepers, seven defenders, five midfielders and five forwards. That puts the club at 21 total players, nine away from the 30 athletes allowed on an MLS team's active roster.
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Austin Nicholson was ahead of the curve when he got his vasectomy in September 2021, saving himself a long line as Austin-area doctors say the demand for sterilization has seen a “significant” spike since Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday.
Nicholson, 25, said he would prefer to adopt children, had felt the Supreme Court decision coming for a while, and, wary of the consequences, he decided to pull the trigger and make an appointment.
“A big part of it was the political climate. We could both potentially face consequences and she would definitely face more consequences, which I also personally would not want,” Nicholson said. “I didn't want to be stuck in Texas and have a potential abortion on the mind when it's illegal.”
According to vasectomy specialist Dr. Luke Machen of Austin Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, the clinic received over 150 vasectomy appointment requests combined on Friday and Monday following the ruling. Typically, the clinic performs 45-50 vasectomies per month.
The Austin Urology Institute reported that they received about 70 calls in the first hour after the ruling was released. OBYN at Women’s Health Domain reported receiving over 100 requests from women interested in getting their tubes tied.
“I would say a significant number of patients who scheduled recently have mentioned the Supreme Court case,” Machen said. “A lot of guys have said they were thinking about having a vasectomy over the last year or so, and the ruling was the final push to get it done.”
The average patient at Austin Fertility who receives a vasectomy is about 37, though Machen said he has started to see an increased number of patients with zero children choosing to get a vasectomy. While they put together a study, Machen expects demand for the procedure to plateau but stay higher than before the ruling.
Machen said vasectomy is the most effective form of permanent birth control, requires only about a week of recovery time, is reversible with success rates of up to 95% and has no effects on sexual function or testosterone.
Nicholson said the procedure was less than $700, he was never in any pain, had very little recovery time and has never regretted the decision—in fact, he has happily recommended the procedure to friends.
“It helps me feel better knowing that I won't put a woman in that situation where she'd have to be faced with a potentially life-altering decision, or consequence even,” Nicholson said. “I actually have had three of my friends ask me questions about it and tell me that they were considering it.”
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With unique programming at each of Valencia’s properties, there’s something for everyone to enjoy all summer long.
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