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Matthew McConaughey and Will Ferrell go head-to-head in MLS opener

Andy Hampson, PA
·3-min read

A “war of words” has broken out in Hollywood and it has nothing to do with the latest blockbuster – just football.

This weekend sees the start of the new Major League Soccer season and two of Tinseltown’s stars are set to go head to head in Los Angeles.

Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey is the latest A-list actor to invest in the game and his new Austin FC team come up against none other than fellow movie star Will Ferrell’s LAFC in their first game.

Fellow actor Will Ferrell is also involved in the game with LAFC
Fellow actor Will Ferrell is also involved in the game with LAFC (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The two may be good friends backstage but it looks like being a different matter in the football stands.

“Will and I are just ‘war of words’ right now,” said True Detective star McConaughey as he looked ahead to Saturday’s opener at the Banc of California Stadium.

“We are having some fun with some words back and forth. We are building our lyrics towards this.

“I’ll probably talk to him before the game this weekend and we’ll lay some sort of bet on it, and it’ll start it off because I think we’re going to have many more bets to come!”

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McConaughey, 51, has been a minority owner of his home city club since 2019. The Texas-based franchise were awarded a place in MLS for this year as the competition expands to 27 teams.

Living locally and being a keen follower of the sport, McConaughey jumped at the chance to get involved.

Speaking to reporters on a pre-season press call, McConaughey said: “I travel the world with my job and what’s the one game that’s always in town, whether I’m in Reykjavik, Cleveland, New York, Cape Town? Football.

“My kids have picked it up, my wife is Brazilian, so I sure had to start picking it up more than I already had when we got married. Soccer has become a part of my family.

“I’m into legacy choices now. I’m not interested in becoming a mascot. I don’t mind being a face of some things but I’m interested in more than being just a mascot. I’ve always dreamed of being in at ground level and helping build a team.”

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Austin FC are the first top-level professional team in any sport to represent the city. Such is interest they have already sold 15,500 season tickets and have a waiting list of 15,000.

McConaughey sees it as a long-term project.

“We have not built it in a day and we are not going to be a fad,” he said. “This is just the beginning. The seed is planted to grow into a big strong oak, a legend.

“It is 100-year war. We have the long view for what we are building, what we are going to become.”

To start off with, however, he may not need to look much further than this week’s opponents for a good blueprint to follow.

LAFC, part-owned by Ferrell, joined MLS in 2018.

“I went to a couple of games there,” he said. “The product was good on the pitch and I talked the owners. There is a lot to learn from LAFC.”