McConaughey’s Latest Role: Turning Soccer Into a Hit in Austin

Matthew McConaughey, the actor known for his Texas drawl and roles in “True Detective” and “Dallas Buyers Club,” has a new calling: minister of culture for a professional soccer team.

The 51-year-old is one of the owners of the Austin FC, a new Major League Soccer team. The squad begins its inaugural season on April 17, and McConaughey sees it as his job to bring the DNA of Austin, Texas, into every game.

McConaughey’s Latest Role: Turning Soccer Into a Hit in Austin

“On any given night when you’re in that stadium, it should feel, smell and taste like the best of Austin,” the Texas native said during a news conference held over Zoom.

While still overshadowed by bigger pro sports in the U.S., MLS has gained more clout in recent years. Team prices have soared, with the Los Angeles Football Club fetching a valuation of more than $700 million last year, and the league has charged bigger figures for expansion squads looking to join.

McConaughey is just the latest celebrity to invest in Major League Soccer. The LAFC is co-owned by Will Ferrell, and Drew Carey is a longtime backer of the Seattle Sounders.

“It doesn’t need me to bring more attention,” McConaughey said of the sport. “It’s happening. I’m on the train with it.”

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