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Week 2: Wolff talks preseason progress before first-ever scrimmage
(Austin FC/Twitter)

With exactly a month away from their first-ever match, Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff said he's looking forward to testing out the team for their inaugural scrimmage on Friday.


USL club OKC Energy will be the first team to face ATXFC's newly-formed roster. The scrimmage, which will consist of two 45-minute sessions on Friday at St. Edward's University, is closed to media and fans.

Wolff said in a press conference on Tuesday that he hopes to see both their strengths and weaknesses shine through in the scrimmage.

"My expectations are that we do what we've been working on. It'll show us what we're doing well and where we need to continue to work," Wolff said. "It's about how much we can score goals and minimize the opponent."

In the scrimmage, Wolff said he hopes to get as many players as possible to play a full 45 minutes in the scrimmage.

"Hopefully we get everybody that we need to 45 minutes," Wolff said. "If that means that we split time for a couple of guys, then we'll do, it but the goal is to get the majority of the guys that we need to 45 minutes."

Center back Julio Cascante said that the team still has a long way to go because everyone on the team is hoping to be at their best.

"We are still learning," Cascante said. "It's going to be tough, but it's because everyone wants to be perfect, because we have that intensity (and) we have that way of perceiving the game, but we're ready."

With week two of training underway, Wolff said he can tell that the team's values include quickness and intensity.

"I think we have a very dynamic group," Wolff said. "We play with speed, we play with tempo and intensity (and) our ideas are starting to come out."

This week saw Argentinian Designated Player Tomas Pochettino hit the pitch for the first time. Wolff said Pochettino, who arrived two weekends ago and began training Monday after quarantining, has a lot of conditioning to do but will soon be vital to the team.

"Tomas has been out for a couple of months, but his qualities are clear," Wolff said. "He has a responsibility to the ball in certain parts of the field that's great, and he takes chances in and around the penalty box. It is early, and again I think we're going to see much more in the coming weeks, but it's clear he has quality, and that's always nice to see."

Pochettino's arrival means that all but one rostered player have made it to Austin. Defender Zan Kolmanic has been called to play for the Slovenian national team in the European U21 Championships, which could last until June. In the meantime, Wolff said plenty of players are developing chemistry on the field, including DP Cecilio Dominguez, forward Danny Hoesen and midfielder Diego Fagundez.

"You see a lot of little relationships out there already forming," Wolff said. "Cecilio Dominguez and Danny Hoesen have a nice connection in and around the penalty box, and I think Tomas will show a similar component. There's an intuitiveness to how they play."

Preseason training consists of two daily sessions starting at 10:30 a.m. Wolff said the team has worked hard to make it to Austin and is continuing to be persistent as they head into their first season.

"The focus of the players has been fantastic," Wolff said. "The amount of work they put into a day has been very good. We've got a ways to go, but we just keep charging and the guys have been very receptive."

After Austin FC plays OKC Energy on Friday, the team will gear up for another closed-door match against USL team Louisville City FC on Thursday, March 25 before their first-ever match on Saturday, April 17 at LAFC.

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