Austin FC signed Argentine attacker Emiliano Rigoni through 2024, with a purchase option for 2025 and 2026. Rigoni will arrive in Austin in the coming weeks upon receipt of his P1 visa.
The 29-year-old right winger will occupy a designated player spot on the Verde and Black roster. A spot that came open last week after Cecilio Domínguez’s contract termination.
The announcement comes exactly one year after announcing the signing of Argentine DP Sebastián Driussi.
According to sources close to the proceedings, the transfer amounts to $4 million, with $2 million due from Austin FC immediately upon signing the contract and the rest to be paid in 2023.
At the age of 20, Rigoni made his professional debut with Argentine Club Atlético Belgrano in 2013. He tallied 73 appearances and 8 goals over three seasons. In 2016, he improved his surroundings with a move to Club Atlético Independiente.
After a short but productive season at Independiente (15 goals in 46 appearances), he signed a four-year contract with Russian soccer giant Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2017. Coincidently, Austin FC’s golden boot candidate and fellow Argentine, Sebastian Driussi, also signed on with Zenit that same year, overlapping time briefly with Emiliano.
Emi left Zenit on a series of loans: Atalanta, Sampodoria, and La Liga’s Elche. With all three clubs terminating his loan, he concluded his tenure at Zenit in 2021.
Brazilian top-flight club São Paulo FC picked up Rigoni in May 2021.
Austin FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna praised Rigoni’s top tier experience and ability at the winger position as a main contributor to his signing.
“He’s a winger with a lot of quality and experience competing in some of the top leagues around the world. His abilities are an excellent fit for our style of play.”Claudio Reyna
July 29, 2022
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What does Austin FC get with Emiliano Rigoni?
The front office must see massive talent in Emi. Not unlike the other summer signee Corozo, Rigoni comes to Austin with the baggage of under-performing at his last team, scoring only twice in 32 matches across all competitions in Brazil.
But, it’s not a loan deal this time around; we’re talking about a bonafide designated player contract (cha-ching!).
With only three DPs available per MLS club, a miss at this level can mean agonizing mediocrity for years. Austin has managed to get by without one DP — Cecilio Dominguez — but the Verde can’t survive on the talented foot of Driussi alone to get them all the way to an MLS Cup Final.
At first glance, Rigoni’s appealing qualities are apparent: extraordinary passing and crossing ability, adept with either his right or left foot, legit lethal at taking corners, and a strong finisher if put to the task.
You also can’t help to wonder what part Sebastian Driussi had, if any, in bringing in his former teammate and countryman. Just imagine if Emi can unlock Driussi (and Urruti?) even more in the attack.
We admire Wolff for using the summer transfer window to sign on even more firepower — fueling an already league-leading number of goals by the Verde. Although, he seems blissfully content to live with a backline that is injured and inconsistent lately.
What do you think of Austin FC signing Emiliano Rigoni?
“Austin FC is an ambitious Club and I’m excited to help the organization reach its goals this season and beyond.”
— Emiliano Rigoni
Emiliano Rigoni Player Bio
Full Name: Emiliano Ariel Rigoni
DOB: February 4, 1993
Birthplace: Colonia Caroya, Argentina
Emiliano Rigoni Career Club Stats
|Zenit Saint Petersburg||2017–2021||47||5|