AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a year of firsts for Austin FC, the club will cross another one off the list on Friday when it takes on OKC Energy FC in a closed scrimmage.
“We’re excited by it,” head coach Josh Wolff said. “It’ll be a good test for, again, it’ll be our first real game against an opponent. My expectations are that we execute what we’ve been working on.”
Instead of a full 90-minute game, Wolff will treat it as two separate 45-minute games with two different groups of players.
“It’ll show us where we’re doing well and where we need to continue to work,” Wolff said. “You wanna put yourself in a position that all phases of the game get tested and certainly are there and ready to be utilized. That’ll be eye opening for all of us.”
While Wolff has two-and-a-half weeks under his belt on the field as a head coach, it’ll be his first time as a coach during a game.
“I think the most difficult thing is conveying my ideas and articulating them in a real simplistic manner that translates to our domestic players and our international players,” Wolff said.
For as global as soccer is, especially Austin FC’s roster, which has 14 international players, a majority of whom are from Spanish-speaking countries, that can make Wolff’s job even harder for conveying his message. But both he and the non-English speaking players are working to overcome that. Instead, it’s more the philosophy of his strategy that is the hardest thing to convey.
“I’m learning Spanish, I’m trying to speak to the players in Spanish, and they’re also trying to learn English,” Wolff said. “There’s the language barrier, and that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s more now relating our ideas and our philosophy and certainly the specifics to the way that we want to play to those guys.”