EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Locomotive FC began their second week of training on Monday as they continue to prepare for the upcoming 2023 USL Championship season.

These training sessions and preseason matches will be a vital as the Locos work to put the pieces together in their first year under head coach and technical director Brian Clarhaut.

“It’s been good. It’s still early. We’re doing new exercises, different exercises that the boys are doing for the first time, so it takes them some time to get used to, ” El Paso Locomotive FC head coach Brian Clarhaut said. “We’re trying to lay the foundation of our tactics a bit, so finding a balance of putting in a tactical session, then with hitting them with some fitness throughout the weeks and setting the standards and foundation of how we want to play.”

“We’re still going with the same intensity, and we want to keep the ball, you know, our kind of brand of football,” El Paso Locomotive FC midfielder Nick Hinds said. “It’s just, you know, new coach, new assistant coach, we all need to figure out the tactics and just come together as a team again.”

Along with the training sessions, the club has six more preseason matches in store to collect more data on their squad. The Locomotive already got one preseason match under their belt as they faced off with their U-20 squad on Saturday.

“We played our academy. It was a good game. I think first and foremost to get a good an 11 versus 11 game under their legs.” Clarhaut said.

The Locomotive will look forward to their next opportunity for game time reps as they’ll face off with MLS side Austin FC in a preseason match on Feb. 4 and 5.

“We looked a bit on our defensive organization. Now, this week we’re looking a little bit more on our offensive organization,” Clarhaut said. “It’s going to be a lot of minutes on a lot of guys because we have two games in a row. Plus, we got guys getting visas and stuff like that. So, it’s more about us focusing on our shape. They are a good opponent, top team in the league, so it will be challenging. I think they’ve had a few more weeks of preseason, but let’s see where we’re vulnerable at in our defensive shape. Let’s see what areas we need to work on. Let’s get film and let’s get tested. That’s what preseason is for.

“It’s going to be a tough test, obviously playing against an MLS team,” Hinds said. “My kind of mindset is it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, at the end of the day, a game is a game, so we just got to keep working at what Brian [Clarhaut] is trying to put out there so we could perfect it and be ready for the season.”

That will be the second of seven preseason matches the Locomotive have scheduled before the start of the regular season.

El Paso Locomotive FC will open up the regular season on March 11 against Sacramento Republic FC at Southwest University Park.