Major League Soccer

Austin FC prepares for first Texas derby

Lizzy Becherano
Josh Wolff during Austin FC vs Colorado Rapids
Josh Wolff during Austin FC vs Colorado Rapids / C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

Major League Soccer expansion team Austin FC prepares to face Houston Dynamo FC in their first ever Texas Derby on Wednesday at Q2 Stadium. 

Austin FC kicked off their inaugural season in April, commencing with two victories in three matches before going eight games without another win. The Texas-based expansion team now sits in last place of the Western Conference table with 13 points in 15 games.

“We haven’t gotten enough points at home and we can’t run from that reality,” Wolff said. “We’ve got to continue to compete. This team will come in and they’ll be organized, they’ll be disciplined, their physicality is real, their speed is extremely good.

"There are some things we have to match and also be aware of, but we also know there’s some things we can do that can obviously hurt them and we have to do what we haven’t done lately, which is score some goals.”

Houston will be looking for a win to break into a potential playoff position. The Dynamo stands in ninth place with 18 points in 16 matches, just one victory away from challenging seventh place Real Salt Lake for a post-season position.

“We expect it to be heated,” Wolff said. “They’re obviously needing points just like we are. We’re the home team and they’re a good side, so it will be a competitive, spirited game. I’m sure of that.

"It brings another element – an on-field intensity, as well as an off-field intensity. Those things tend to merge and start to really spark and drive what the derbies can become. We hope this one with Houston, as well as the one with Dallas, is full of big moments.”

During the media availability, Wolff mentioned he instilled a different derby mentality during training. He’s insisting to players that his upcoming match will not be like any other. The teams can expect a fired up atmosphere with greater intensity than regular season games. 

“You have to let plays go because that’s what it’s going to be like,” Wolff said. “There’s going to be physicality, there’s going to be intensity and again it’s our first one of these."