Update July 23rd
The news we’ve all been waiting for, Josh Wolff has been announced as the first Head Coach of Austin FC. In a press conference at the Continental Club, Wolff was introduced by Owner Anthony Precourt and President Andy Loughnane to the media and a few select fans.
Josh Wolff is joining us from the United States Men’s National Team where he serves as an assistant coach and chief scout of the CONCACAF region for the team. Wolff is going to remain in this position until the end of 2019 with the conclusion of the November FIFA friendlies. The one thing that stood out to me is how Wolff is scouting all of CONCACAF, which should help us when the time comes to build a roster. While a General Manager will more than likely have the final say on all roster decisions, Wolff’s expertise of the region will more than come in handy.
One of the main topics of the event was the impending hiring of a General Manager/Sporting Director for Austin FC. We got a chance to talk to Anthony Precourt where he said “We’re in the early stages. The sporting directors going to have a lot of say in the roster and the hiring decisions as we build our soccer operations. We want there to be really strong chemistry so having Josh sit down with the sporting director and talk philosophies is going to be crucial.”
General Manager Announcement
I would look for the General Manager position to be filled sometime before the end of 2019 and look for it to be someone with a lot of experience. Bringing in a new coach poses a little bit of risk and a learning curve so having an experienced GM will be huge. Having a veteran to lead the ship is something that can’t be overstated when starting a new team. Possibly even a GM who has experience with an expansion team?
While we’re still 19 months away from any soccer with Austin FC, I would expect there to be a lot of announcements coming in the next few months. Austin FC seems to feel it’s very important to have a foundation ready to go well before any games are played. I can’t help but agree with this stance and hope that we will have some serious progress in 2019. If you weren’t excited already, having a face for the team has to get you excited.
Expect attacking but organized soccer from Austin FC in 2021, two things that are very important to Wolff. Making the playoffs in four of the five years in Columbus playing attacking and organized soccer is a prove recipe for success. Clearly, Precourt wanted someone he knew and someone that could be trusted. Wolff fits the bill and will look to get things rolling in just a short few months before focusing fully on Austin FC!
If you’re looking for more information, scroll down just a little bit and see what I wrote about Josh Wolff on July 8th when the first rumor surfaced about Wolff becoming the Austin FC head coach.
Make sure to check out our podcast with Will Parchman where we break down the hiring and talk about Austin FC.
Posted July 8th
In out of nowhere news, Austin FC has been rumored have found its first head coach. First reported by The Athletic Soccer, Sources: Josh Wolff expected to become Austin FC’s inaugural head coach. Hopefully, Josh will be more excited to coach Austin FC than he is in this picture!
Sources tell @TheAthleticSCCR that USMNT assistant Josh Wolff is widely expected to become the first head coach of 2021 MLS expansion club Austin FC.
— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) July 8, 2019
Josh Wolff has a long history with U.S. Soccer and played 12 seasons in the MLS for the likes of Chicago Fire, Kansas City Wizards, and D.C. United. As well as a stint in Germany with 1860 Munich, who have some of the best kits in soccer every Oktoberfest.
Wolff scored 94 goals in 319 appearances at the club level, including four seasons with double-digit goals. At the international level, Wolff scored nine goals in 52 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team. Wolff also appeared in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup.
For those of you who want to see what Josh Wolff was like as a player, here’s a minute-long video of Wolff doing his thing for the Kansas City Wizards. Some really good passes and a lot of tap ins!
Now on to the important stuff, who is he as a coach? Following his retirement from the game in 2012, Wolff joined D.C. United’s staff as an assistant coach where he worked for one season.
Next on his coaching journey was a stop in Columbus where he served as an assistant coach for 5 years. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone but it looks like our first coach will have a connection to Columbus and Precourt. During his stint in Columbus, he was an assistant to Gregg Berhalter, who Wolff later followed to the U.S. National team. The interesting tidbit comes in the fact that Wolff and Berhalter were both teammates at 1860 Munich, who were in the 2. Bundesliga at the time.
If Wolff becomes Austin FC’s head coach, it will be his first chance to prove himself as the man in charge. Only 42 years old, Wolff could be a good young name to lead the charge in Austin from the start. Precourt and co. will have a familiarity with Wolff which is huge, the coach and owners being on the same page is often an overlooked aspect of soccer.
There’s no information on when Wolff will start or how much longer he will be with the U.S. National Team but that news is destined to come out soon enough.
Make sure to follow us on all social media platforms, @TalkAustinFC and check out our podcast!
(Picture Credit Austin FC)