Austin FC signs Argentina’s Pochettino as designated player

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Attacking midfielder Tomas Pochettino has signed with Austin as the Major League Soccer expansion club’s second designated player.

The Argentine transferred from Talleres, a Córdoba-based club in Argentina’s top division.

“He will offer us pace and versatility in the midfield and we are confident he will make an immediate impact on our attacking end,” Austin coach Josh Wolff said Thursday.

The 25-year-old is the second South American to sign with Austin as a designated player, joining Decilio Dominguez, a Paraguayan national team forward who had been with Argentina’s Independiente.

The league’s designated player rule allows a club to sign up to three players whose salaries and acquisition costs may exceed the player’s salary budget charge maximum of $612,500 under the salary cap. Each team’s starting salary budget is $4.9 million this year, rising to $9,225,000 including general allocation money and targeted allocation money.

The MLS season starts April 17.

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