Austin FC inks Argentine Tomas Pochettino to Designated Player contract

Midfielder Tomás Pochettino joins the Verde via transfer from Talleres de Cordoba in Argentina. Talleres publicly reported the deal to be $2.5 million.

It marks the second ever DP signing by Austin FC, after bringing in Paraguayan winger Cecilio Dominguez from Independiente back in 2020.

The Pochettino trade didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. First reported by César Luis Merlo in a January 25 red siren tweet, fans spent the next several weeks practically begging owner Precourt to flash his signature Verde smoke signal on Twitter to make it official.

Several obstacles appeared to put the brakes on the transfer as February rolled around.

First, it was reported that Boca Juniors still had a 20% percent stake in Tomás, which Talleres had to acquire in order to complete the deal with Austin FC. Second, this was all happening during tense MLS CBA salary negotiations, which likely had owners and players hesitant to put their signature on a contract.

On February 10, fans finally got their wish — the green smoke plume from Precourt — and early AM the next day the signing of 25-year-old Tomás Pochettino was official.

In the press conference, Head Coach Josh Wolff gushed about the talented central midfielder.

Like Wolff, Sporting Director Reyna pontificated on his attack-minded prowess, but also pointed out Toto’s creativity numerous times.

“Tomás will be an extremely important player for Austin FC, and he will contribute significantly to the development of our attack as a creative threat. I know how excited Tomás is to arrive in Austin, and our Club is looking forward to seeing his creativity translate well in MLS. ”

Claudio Reyna, Feb. 11, 2021

What does Austin FC get in Tomás Pochettino

With only a couple months to 2021 kickoff, Verde fans were praying Austin FC would bring in a DP to provide teeth to the attack, and the club delivered with Pochettino.

Ask any armchair soccer analyst or MLS pundit and they’ll probably tell you this deal makes good sense on paper.

Toto’s flexibility gives Wolff options in the middle playing as a No. 8 or 10, valuable for a MLS squad that will most likely mimic Berhalter’s U.S. national team. Wolff’s also keen on his high profile DPs being in their peak playing years — Pochettino is 25 (Dominguez is 26). Tomás has a golden leg to boot, as evidenced by his Copa Diego Maradona accolades back in Argentina.

The cherry on top may be the $2.5 million transfer fee. It’s a bargain by most accounts. Even Talleres fans on Twitter are speculating what dubious deeds must have happened to let go of Pochettino for such a low fee. But it’s no secret Austin had its eye on cash-strapped South American teams, ready to pounce on exactly this kind of deal.

Preseason training starts early March, so he should arrive in Texas soon and we’ll get a chance to check him out with our own eyes.

Real Name: Tomás Pochettino (nickname “Toto”)
HT: 5-10
DOB: 02.01.1996
Birthplace: Rafaela, Argentina
Nationality: Argentina
Instagram: @totopochettino32

Tomás Pochettino Career Stats

Talleres (loan)2018-21464
Defensa y Justicia (loan)2016-18444
Boca Juniors201510

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