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Questions continue to swirl around Austin FC star Cecilio Dominguez's MLS suspension

Cecilio Dominguez has been suspended from Austin FC following possible "off-field misconduct." (Austin FC/Twitter)

In the three days since one of Austin FC's top-billed players, Cecilio Dominguez, was abruptly announced as suspended pending an investigation into "possible off-field misconduct," rumors have swirled—but the club itself has remained tight-lipped.

Dominguez, who was tied as Austin's top goalscorer last season and is one of three star "Designated Players," will leave a large hole in his absence. Once dubbed the "David Beckham rule," players with Designated Player status are often the top players on a team's roster and can be paid above the league's salary cap. Player salaries have not yet been released for this season, but Dominguez's pay is likely similar to his $1.7 million salary last year.

A since-dropped domestic violence and psychological damage lawsuit was filed against Dominguez in 2017 by his ex-partner in Paraguay. However, no details on what alleged misconduct occurred have been made available.

Here's what we do know:

Austin FC reported the alleged misconduct to the league. The news came just a day after the Verde player celebrated his newly-minted green card on Thursday, leaving many to assume the club learned of his alleged misconduct on Friday, just before an official statement was issued. Austin FC seemed quick to report to the MLS, unlike recently at the Portland Timbers, where Andy Polo remained on the club for several days after news of domestic violence allegations were flagged to the team.

The club will not comment on details surrounding the investigation. The club told reporters it would not comment on Dominguez's investigation in its post-match press conference Sunday, although head coach Josh Wolff mentioned the adjustment made to the starting lineup as the news broke less than 48 hours before the club's Sunday match.

"We talk a lot about resiliency and hard work... those are the foundations," Wolff said. "And sure, there was something that happened this week that obviously affects our group to some degree, but that was never going to be an excuse."

When asked about when, if ever, Dominguez may return to the lineup, Wolff said it's "not something we discuss."


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