Transfer Tracker

Austin FC sign DP attacker Emiliano Rigoni from Brazil's Sao Paulo


Austin FC have added Argentine attacker Emiliano Rigoni as a Designated Player through the 2024 MLS season with options in 2025 and 2026, the club announced Friday.

The 29-year-old arrives on a transfer from Brazilian top-flight side Sao Paulo FC and reunites with Austin midfielder Sebastian Driussi after they were previously teammates at Russian Premier League side Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Rigoni, who joins Driussi and Alex Ring as DPs for the Verde & Black, arrives after Austin mutually agreed to a contract termination with DP winger Cecilio Dominguez. The Paraguayan international has since joined Liga MX side ​​Santos Laguna.

“We’re very excited to welcome Emiliano and his family to Austin,” sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a release. “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.”

Rigoni has 55 goals and 36 assists across 307 professional appearances since debuting in 2013. With Zenit, he won three league titles and two cup trophies.

Aside from time in Russia and Brazil, Rigoni has also played in his native Argentina for Belgrano and Independiente. He’s also completed stops in Spain for Elche and in Italy for Sampdoria and Atalanta.

A twice-capped Argentine international, Rigoni last featured for La Celeste in a November 2017 friendly against Nigeria after debuting earlier that year in a World Cup qualifier against Peru.

“Austin FC is an ambitious club and I’m excited to help the organization reach its goals this season and beyond,” said Rigoni. “I want to thank Claudio and Josh [Wolff] for this opportunity, and will give everything I have for this club and this fanbase.”

The move gives Austin’s potent attack a boost as the second-year club sits second in the Western Conference standings and fourth in the Supporters’ Shield race, enjoying a drastic turnaround from their debut campaign in 2021. Their 45 goals scored are the most in MLS.

Rigoni joins a small group of Sao Paulo products in MLS, with FC Cincinnati club-record signing Brenner joining last year from the Brazilian powerhouse. Houston Dynamo FC head coach Paulo Nagamura also started in their academy.