Major League Soccer

Austin FC fans condemn the return of Cecilio Dominguez

Lizzy Becherano
Austin FC fans condemn the decision to reinstate Cecilio Dominguez into the league.
Austin FC fans condemn the decision to reinstate Cecilio Dominguez into the league. / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Austin FC forward Cecilio Dominguez has been reinstated by Major League Soccer following his suspension. 

The player was being investigated by the league for possible off-field misconduct, stemming from a report of a domestic dispute with his partner.

Dominguez missed five games during his time away, but upon the conclusion of the investigation he was cleared to return to the team and participate in all activities. He will, however, have to attend counseling mandated by Major League Soccer

Austin FC fans did not take the news lightly, with many protesting his return. 

Austin Anthem, an independent supporters group for the Western Conference side, immediately put out a statement following the team’s announcement of his comeback, condemning the decision. 

“Threats and violence toward anyone do not belong in our club or community. Wearing the badge symbolizes the trust our community has bestowed on players and staff. It is something that is earned through action," the statement read.

"Recent events involving Cecilio Dominguez raise significant concern. We do not know exactly what happened between Dominguez and his partner. Based on the information we have today, however, one thing is clear: Dominguez has lost the trust we have placed in him.

“Austin FC is tasked with the responsibility to have a team and staff who represent the best of this city. We urge the club to continue down this path, and in order to do that, we believe that Dominguez should not represent this club or community on the pitch. Our organization cannot, at this time, support Cecilio Dominguez’s return to the active Austin FC roster.” 

The supporters group went on to show their displeasure with the club’s management of the situation, pleading for future transparency. 

“Going forward, we call on the club to provide increased transparency regarding their process for handling these sorts of incidents," the statement continued. "Austin FC must review their vetting process to ensure individuals with a history of domestic violence are not welcomed at this club, regardless of skill.” 

Few details were provided about the league’s investigation and the involvement of law enforcement.

MLS simply announced the player’s return, with the following statement: “Following a thorough investigation by T&M USA, LLC, an external investigative firm engaged by the League, MLS has reinstated Domínguez subject to his participation in ongoing counseling. 

"MLS thanks the Austin Police Department and Victim Services and Austin FC for their support and cooperation in this matter.”