AUSTIN (KXAN) — What was thought as a big signing for Austin FC turned into a bust, and now midfielder Tomás Pochettino has been loaned to another club.
Austin FC announced Monday that Pochettino will go to Club Atletico River Plate, a team based in Argentina, on a one-year loan with an option to buy his contract outright afterward. Pochettino is from Argentina and played for Talleres, one of the best clubs in the Argentine domestic league. He was signed as a Designated Player and occupied one of the team’s international roster spots.
According to salary data released by the MLS Players Association, Pochettino was guaranteed $624,447 in his first year with the club.
The attacking midfielder was heralded to be one of the team’s top scorers and creators when he was signed, but the on-field performance never met the hype. In 31 appearances for Austin FC, he scored just twice and assisted on two other goals. Both his goals came in the same match, a 3-2 win over Houston on Aug. 4.
The rumor mill regarding Pochettino caught fire when Austin FC announced it was extending the contract of captain Alex Ring and making him a Designated Player, creating four players with such distinction on the roster. MLS only allows three DPs for each team — those spots are reversed for top-level players to who clubs want to offer more money without going against salary cap restrictions.
Cecilio Dominguez and Sebastian Driussi are the other DPs on Austin’s roster along with Ring.
Austin FC opens its second season in MLS on Feb. 26 at Q2 Stadium against FC Cincinnati.