By Lizzy Becherano
Austin F.C marked their Concacaf Champions League debut on Tuesday in an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Haiti’s Violette, while an Amro Tarek own goal and goals from Miche-Naider Chéry set up a near-impossible comeback for the green -blacks in the second leg of the series.
Manager Josh Wolff took full responsibility for the defeat, admitting he failed to prepare the players mentally for international competition.
“I take responsibility for not having these guys mentally in the right space. Concacaf is a different animal. We talked about it, we tried to underline it. We have some of that experience within the group, but I have to create more tension in their minds to understand what this game will be like” Wolff said.
“It will be dramatic, it will be difficult, it will have ups and downs. And we’ve talked about them for a long time, but I haven’t done a good enough job preparing them. This is about me.
Violette had success attacking the right side of Austin’s backline, taking advantage of the defense’s imbalance. It was all too easy for Roberto Louima to find space and dribble in the box to connect with man of the match striker Miche-Naider Chéry for goals.
But it was the third goal that highlighted the team’s failure, as Amro Tarek attempted to clear a shot on target before sending it into the back of the net to seal a 0-3 defeat.
“We don’t have great relationships along the bottom line right now. Nick [Lima] he was playing centre-back, Amro was also there for the first time. These relationships have not yet been built and developed,” Wolff added.
“We are certainly weakened in central defence, to say the least at this point, but those players are good enough to handle it. We could have handled those situations better, but I think those relationships or lack thereof definitely make it a little more challenging.”
The Green and Black must improve quickly as they face an uphill battle in the second leg March 14 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Josh Wolff takes the blame for the 3-0 defeat in the Concacaf Champions League .