PLAYOFFS ROUND TWO! Head coach Josh Wolff and team captain Alex Ring spoke with the media ahead of the Western Conference Semifinals. Q2 Stadium is sure to be rocking again on Sunday as Austin FC gets home-field advantage in a Texas Derby matchup.
Check out highlights of what Josh Wolff and Alex Ring said in the press conference before Austin’s match vs FC Dallas in round two of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Austin hasn’t beaten Dallas in 5 games. How does that factor in this Playoff game?
Josh Wolff “I think you want to use them [the games] as a reference point, but the playoffs are the playoffs. It’s a different game. It carries different weight. The game in Dallas was for Copa Tejas and that also had a little different spirit. But it’ll be challenging. they’re a good team. They provide challenges. But we also know how to find ways to score goals against them as well.”
How did the first Playoff game help prepare Austin FC for this one?
Josh Wolff “That scare. That little bit of wobble in the first game puts us in a space where we should be extremely comfortable. We know what Q2 is. We need to harness that energy and use the electricity in the stands.”
What can we expect to see from FC Dallas
Josh Wolff “They’re a good team with the ball. And I think Paul Ariola and Ferreira provide verticality. Velasco has more quality with final passes. They’re all fairly comfortable with the ball. Defensively they’re aggressive. They’re in a 4-3-3 so the front six get after you. We’ve had different levels of success breaking through that and we’ve also pressed them and won balls in transition to score goals. So the balance has got to be right.”
What’s your recovery process after the first Playoff game that went into a penalty shootout
Alex Ring “I think we’re all fine. We had two days off after the game. But you know it’s a week. It’s a week to recover, so I don’t see that as an issue. The boys look good in practice, so we’ll be ready.”
How does your previous experience in the playoffs with New York help?
Alex Ring “It’s one and done. This is the furthest I’ve gotten in the playoffs so that’s something I would like to change with Austin. The playoffs are a dogfight. I think I said it last game—there’s a certain level of tactics, but in the end it’ll be down to who’s willing to do more to win. I think we showed that last weekend, after a bumpy first 20 minutes, you know our team has fight. We have spirit. I am very confident in our team right now.”
How does the team use preseason predictions from MLS pundits as motivation?
Josh Wolff “It was an illustration of how we were thought of. That’s the long and the short of that. If they take that personal…I don’t know. It was just showing and illustrating how we were looked at…how we were viewed by the league, maybe by players in the league, by pundits in the league. It was just an initial stance and a reminder to our guys that we got a lot to prove. It certainly struck a chord with our guys.”
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