EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It took all of 20 seconds for El Paso Locomotive FC to light up the scoreboard against Rio Grande Valley FC, and it would prove to be the difference in their 1-0 win on Saturday night at Southwest University Park. It marks El Paso’s (1-0-1) first win of the season and Rio Grande Valley’s (3-1-0) first loss of the season.
Following the opening kickoff, the Toros played the ball back to goalkeeper Tyler Deric who was pressured by Lucho Solignac. Deric’s clearance was deflected back into his own net by Solignac for his first goal of the season, the only goal scored in the match just 20 seconds into play. It is the fastest goal scored in team history.
“He’s [Solignac] such an intelligent player when he presses and when he reads the opposition to sniff out moments before they happen,” said Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry. “It’s Lucho [Solignac] being a good player. That wasn’t luck.”
Solignac, who came over to El Paso from San Antonio FC in the offseason, scored a goal last season against Rio Grande Valley FC just nine seconds into a match. It remains the fastest goal scored in league history, with his goal scored on Saturday night just 11 seconds behind it.
“I’m super excited and I’m super happy, not just for the record — that’s just something that makes history — but for something that helped us win the game,” said Solignac. “For me, the most important part is that I helped the team win and we fought hard after [the goal] for 90 minutes. It wasn’t an easy game and I’m just happy we got our first three points of the season.”
With Logan Ketterer still on loan with Portland MLS side, Locomotive FC turned to Adrian Zendejas at goalkeeper. Zendejas, who was acquired by El Paso on loan from Minnesota MLS side earlier this week, produced a clean sheet in his first start with the team.
“I thought he played great,” said Lowry. “Adrian [Zendjas] had one save to make early in the game tonight, which he handled well. From that point on it was a lot of crosses that he came out and grabbed. The cross in the 94th minute where he came out and claimed it — he took a lot of pressure off of us tonight — and I just thought he played great.”
Zendejas’ first training session with the team came on Wednesday. He was officially introduced by the team on Friday and received the crash course on Locomotive’s style of play. The pressure was quickly taken off of him 20 seconds in when he saw the ball in the back of the net on the opposite side of the pitch.
“It was a lot of pressure taken off of me. I felt like I could be me and play those first passes with a lot of confidence,” said Zendejas. “My teammates have my back and I told them that I have their back. I feel like this is an all-around clean sheet team performance.”
Locomotive FC will look to keep the momentum rolling in their first road match of the season next week. El Paso will play at Sporting Kansas City II on Sunday, May 30.
Stats Summary: ELP | RGV
Shots: 15 | 5
Shots on Goal: 2 | 1
Saves: 1 | 2
Corner Kicks: 4 | 1
Fouls: 15 | 16
Offside: 3 | 2