Austin FC’s inaugural season ended with a thud, by way of a 3-0 collapse to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
Talk of a three-game sweep against the other MLS tree team quickly faded when Timbers’ Christhian Paredes nailed one in goal at the 17′ mark. Then mere minutes before half time—a nervy period that’s been the achilles heel of ATXFC—Portland doubled its goal count with an easy one at close range.
Austin never recovered in the second 45′, unable to put together a potent attack against a usually porous Portland defensive side. The Oaks were outshot 23 to 6, with just four on target, leaving Verde fans clamoring for changes from the club seconds into the start of offseason.
Here’s what Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said after the loss to Portland.
What went wrong today in contrast to the win just a few days earlier?
“We started really well. I think the energy then was nice. We didn’t sustain that. We certainly didn’t have the ability to put more plays together. We want to dictate things in a better way. The goal would’ve given us confidence. We didn’t create enough chances. We gave up, and throughout this year, we gave up some poor goals. It’s a poor goal to give up; it’s needless. And maybe that zaps some of our confidence, and certainly our energy, but it also lifts our opponent.”
Cecilio Dominguez didn’t start again. Is he in your plans for next season?
“Ceci’s definitely in the plans. He’s had a solid year. He played as a striker a lot of this year. In the two games against Portland, we used him in that way as well, and he did a really good job. It (Cecilio not starting the match tonight) was based a little on the last game when we performed so well. There’s plenty of room for improvement for a lot of guys, but he’s performed pretty well this year.”
Where can Austin improve after seeing their play against Portland?
“It’s a difficult game. When you go down against Portland…they have so much speed and athleticism, they can certainly hurt you in transition. It’s something we’ll need to get better at dealing with in the offseason and bring in some personnel that can help with that.”
On if Alex Ring will wear the captain’s armband next season
“Alex has done a great job. We need more leaders. We need more people that have that. Obviously, we brought in Sebastian (Driussi). He has another way of leading. Diego has been fantastic this year. We’ll see what the squad looks like next year, but I won’t focus too much on that yet. But, we need more on-field leaders. We need more (leaders) in the locker room.”
One thing you’ll take away from this season
“The ability to come in and really establish the way we want to play. To have the fluidity…the offensive ideas. I think the last 10-12 games, as we got a forward and attacking player, with Sebastian and Moussa, you can see what we can do. Offensively we became much more believable, much more dangerous. Defensively, we’ve got to continue to get better, But there’s some areas that we need to improve on. Consistency is something we got to get our head around. I was pretty proud with what we were able to do in a short time.”