Former Gamecock Josh Wolff named Austin FC head coach
AUSTIN, TEXAS —- Former South Carolina men’s soccer standout Josh Wolff has been tabbed as the first Austin FC head coach, the organization announced today. Austin FC is set to become the 27th club in Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2021 and will become the first major league team in Austin.
Wolff, a native of Stone Mountain, Ga., played for the Gamecocks from 1995-97 while appearing in 43 games with 21 goals. He was notably named a Freshman All-American as a forward in 1995 and earned an ISAA/NSCAA Scholar All-American honor in 1997.
“Josh Wolff is one of the rising stars in coaching in the United States,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “He has excelled at every level as a player from college to professional to full U.S. international in a lengthy career. He’s played for some of the top coaches and coached alongside some top coaches. I can’t think of a better choice to launch a franchise. Great choice Austin!”
Wolff previously served on the staff of current USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter for five seasons while at Columbus Crew SC (MLS) prior to re-joining Berhalter on the USMNT staff where he assisted in the team’s recent run to the final of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Wolff started his MLS coaching career in 2012 with D.C. United where he was an assistant coach through 2013. In 2014, he joined Columbus Crew SC as an assistant coach.
“It is a tremendous honor to join Austin FC and begin the process of building Austin’s team into a world class club for all of Austin to enjoy,” Wolff said. “Our stated ambition is to establish ourselves quickly within MLS as a vibrant, attacking side and we want to reflect the diverse, competitive, and passionate makeup of our Club’s home, both on and off the field.”
Before becoming a coach at the highest level in the United States, Wolff’s stellar playing career spanned from 1998 to 2012, in which time he featured as a goal-scoring forward in both MLS and Germany’s 2. Bundesliga. In total, Wolff made 367 combined appearances for his club sides while tallying 106 goals and was named to the MLS All Star team in 2002 and 2006. Wolff was most recently inducted into Sporting Kansas City’s (MLS) Sporting Legends Hall of Honor after registering 46 goals in 164 competitive appearances for the Club.
Wolff regularly featured for the USMNT from 1998 through 2008 including two appearances in FIFA World Cup competitions, in 2002 and 2006. During his national team career with the USMNT, Wolff registered 52 caps and scored nine goals while wearing the Stars and Stripes. Wolff ultimately became synonymous with the legend of “Dos a Cero” after scoring an important goal for the U.S. in the historic World Cup qualifying win over Mexico in 2001. He was also a CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion in 2002 and 2005, scoring the game-winner against Costa Rica in the 2002 final. Wolff was notably named U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Athlete of the Year in 1998 and was a US Olympic team athlete in 2000, joining Team USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.