As we continue in our inaugural MLS Season, Adrian Healey sat down with Cecilio Domínguez to learn more about his past, and give us the chance to get to know him a little better.
Moving to Austin
HOW WERE YOUR FIRST FEW WEEKS IN AUSTIN?
Great, before arriving to Austin I took some time to do some research on the city and its people and I really liked it because I consider myself someone who is normally happy, and arriving to “the city of live music” made me feel super excited.
When I arrived, it was everything I hoped it would be: a beautiful city who is growing rapidly. I really like the city and I feel very comfortable right now. There is a lot of Spanish-speaking people, which makes the language transition a bit easier and that also makes me feel very comfortable.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST WHEN LIFE GETS BACK TO NORMAL?
I hope to get better acquainted with Austin. I believe there is a lot to do, but without a doubt, I hope to see people back together. I love the history of Austin and it being a city of live music. I’m honestly looking forward to possibly going to a concert soon.
HOW DOES AUSTIN COMPARE TO OTHER CITIES YOU HAVE LIVED AND PLAYED IN?
That’s a very tough question, it’s very difficult to compare with COVID. It really turned the world upside down, so that’s why it’s really hard to compare. It really is a beautiful city and I like it a lot. I always tell my friends that there is a feeling surrounding this city and a connection with Austin and the club, which I really like. That’s really attractive to me so that’s a huge plus.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN SIGNING WITH AN EXPANSION TEAM?
It is honestly a huge plus, it being a new team and all. There are a lot of expectations and we’re getting along very well as a team. We want to be the best we can be so that Austin FC can be the biggest team in the U.S. I’m really happy with everything we have accomplished so far.
Playing for Austin FC
WHAT EXCITES YOU THE MOST ABOUT PLAYING FOR AUSTIN FC?
I had always told my agent that I wanted to play in the U.S. I really like the league [MLS] and Austin FC made me a really interesting offer. I also liked the challenge of it being an expansion team. There are a lot of expectations surrounding the team so that’s really exciting and only adds towards the anticipation of finally playing and winning games. Hopefully that leads to bigger things such as winning titles. I hope to make our fans proud of this club.
TALK ABOUT YOUR TEAMMATES AND FRIENDSHIPS WITHIN THE TEAM:
I get along with them very well. I’ve really enjoyed the short videos Austin FC has produced in announcing the players – to be able to see their characteristics. In all honesty, I get along with everyone very well. I’m also learning English with a couple of them, especially the Paraguayans Rodney [Redes] and [Jhohan] Romaña – we know each other fairly well. But aside from them, we have a lot of great friendships forming within the team so I’m really happy with everything so far.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON AUSTIN FC AND THE PERSONALITY IT WILL TAKE ON AS A TEAM?
Based on everything so far, one of the characteristics I really like is that every team member wants to have a chance at the ball. I think it’s going to be a very aggressive team – attacking and defensive. That’s really exciting to me, I see that this team is very organized and interested in doing things the right way. This will help us be the best team in MLS.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR NEW HOME Q2 STADIUM?
It’s beautiful – es hermoso. I love it, I love it. I was able to take a tour and I honestly loved it. It’s crazy within itself. I could envision myself on the pitch – I could envision our fans on the stands. I hope it’s a party for all. The stadium is honestly beautiful.
WHO WERE YOUR SOCCER HEROES GROWING UP AND WHO ARE THEY NOW?
I’ve always had one idol who’s style I’ve really enjoyed – Ronaldinho. He has a lot of my characteristics, so I really enjoyed his style of play. Today – I really like Cristian Ronaldo, I think he’s a very disciplined player and incredibly hard working. Also, Messi and Neymar – players who I follow and all that they can do.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST GAME YOU WENT TO SEE?
In reality, I don’t remember. When I was with Sol de América - I went to see my team. I was with the youth team – I was about 15 or 16 – and went to see a Sol de América game. I don’t remember who they played against but that was my first game.
WHAT'S YOUR MEMORY OF YOUR FIRST PROFESSIONAL GAME?
Yes, I remember my first game. I went in at the second half - I was so excited and terrified at the same time about what was going on. I made my professional debut at the age of 16 and only played a few minutes – but that joy was also fear for what I was experiencing.
ARE THERE OTHER TEAMS AND LEAGUES YOU CURRENTLY FOLLOW?
I watch a lot of Premier League matches. They’re [teams] all honestly at the same level – there are a few who are better but there is always a lot of soccer going on, so I really enjoy that.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER SPORTS?
I really enjoy the NBA and the NFL - even though I don’t quite understand all the rules.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD AND FAMILY:
I left home when I was young for the reason that I always wanted to be a professional soccer player. A lot of people [back home] had their doubts that I would make it at the professional level, but I remember that nothing was going to stop me. My mother and father have always been supportive of me and they never doubted me in that sense.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF SOCCER?
I really enjoy spending time with friends. I also enjoy shopping, playing video games and spending time with my family. That’s something really important to us - as soccer players. Being close to my family helps me a lot. Family and friends are really important to me.
CAN YOU COOK, AND IF SO, WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE DISH?
Well, I don’t really enjoy cooking. But I did live alone a few years, so I had to learn how to cook. Mostly the basics – chicken, rice and salads – that’s about it.
FAVORITE MUSIC /FAVORITE ALBUM?
That’s hard. I can’t really just pick one album. I like joyful music - I enjoy it a lot. I honestly can’t really just pick one album, I like pop, reggaetón and cumbia. I like all of it so it’s hard to just pick one.
VACATION TIME: BEACH, CITY OR MOUNTAINS?
It’s between mountains and beaches. I really like green and fields, but obviously I also like the beach. I would go half and half – mountains and beaches.