Wins for Austin FC Academy’s U-14 and U-15 sides against RISE Soccer Club marked a successful weekend for Austin FC’s youth teams as their MLS Next season continues. The U-13 team went down 1-0. But before the three Austin FC Academy sides headed up to Houston to take on RISE Soccer Club, they each worked on creating depth and width during all the three phases of play -- attacking, defending and transition.
Each week the coaches for each team emphasize a similar methodology, with this week’s exercises coming in the third week of a four-week curriculum. The first two weeks focused on creating depth and width individually, teaching how to use wide spaces and how to get in behind the defense.
This was also the third week that the academy trained at St. David’s Performance Center, which has helped both the players and the staff to explore new opportunities and possibilities.
“I think the kids are excited and motivated to be in the new facility and it’s allowing us to train in some bigger spaces,” said Austin FC Academy GM Tyson Wahl. “We have a turf space where we do some core strength and agility work so I think we’re just starting to open their eyes.”
Heading into the weekend, Wahl felt that the teams did a good job overall of implementing those teachings into the course of play. The results saw the U-13 side lose 1-0, while the U-14 and U-15 teams each earned victories.
“For the first time all season, we had a slow and lethargic start,” Wahl said when talking about the U-13’s. “It was maybe their weakest performance as a group so I think the challenge will be how do we respond from that.
“It will be a good learning opportunity for the kids to bounce back from that because they have had so much success all season, with a lot of wins and strong performances against other MLS teams.”
On a more positive note, Wahl’s biggest takeaway from the weekend came with the U-14’s who were able to beat their RISE counterparts 3-0.
“We were able to create a lot of chances and score multiple goals. They looked really strong and had a lot of the possession and had some really good attacking movements. There was a lot of fluidity to the attack. That was really good to see and we scored a couple high-quality goals.”