What Austin FC coach Wolff said after stunning loss to Houston

Austin FC leaves Houston with their tail between their legs in an embarrassing 3-0 loss to a Dynamo squad that’s endured a 16-game losing streak. The club has some serious soul searching to do before they face LAFC at Q2 Stadium on Wednesday.

El Tree gave up a goal before the 1′ mark and proceeded to allow Houston’s offense to dictate the game with additional goals at 24′ and 64′. ATXFC managed just two shots on target, out of 15 total shots, despite controlling possession and having three times as many corner kicks as the Dynamo.

Here’s what Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said after this Texas Derby match.

On giving up a goal in the first minute

“Unacceptable. Completely unacceptable. Just the general demeanor of the players at the beginning of the game is unacceptable.”

Wolff called out one player’s particularly poor performance that led to the quick goal. “Dani Pereira wasn’t even close to being up to speed. Does he even know who Quintero is? Did he even do the research? We have plenty of video, things available, that allow guys to know who their direct opponents are. Similar to what he did against Dallas — no commitment to the next action.”

As you’ll see later, Pereira wasn’t the only player to feel Wolff’s wrath. “A few people had a level of intensity that was lacking, and it cost us.”

How did the team respond after that quick start by Houston?

“I thought the second half energy and tempo was much better. We made some changes.” 

Those half time changes included benching Pereira and Pochettino. “Tomas [Pochettino] went on his own page to some degree in the first half.” Wolff continued to describe how Poche was out of position, hogging corner kicks, and not making runs behind the line.

“Between him and Dani we had to make a change.”

More on the substitutions at half

“We brought in Rodney to bring us verticality. Sebastian to bring us mobility. I think the second half started much, much better. We created chances. We had urgency to get balls wide…get in front of goal.”

What needs to happen to turn things around?

“The starting point of all this is the mentality and the mindset of what it takes to come onto the field. These guys have played a number of games. Guys part of our league, and guys that haven’t been part of our league, have played enough games to know what’s required now in MLS. Too much softness out there. Not winning tackles. Not competing. Flopping around on the ground. It’s unacceptable. These guys are going to need to dig in, and so are we as a staff. And that’s what this is about.”