El Paso Locomotive FC (4-West, 4-3-1, 13 points) return to action Friday in a rematch against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, with Locomotive looking to continue its five-game unbeaten run with payback on the Switchbacks for an early season loss at Southwest University Park, as well as retain an undefeated 1-0-5 record at Weidner Field.
Of all the opponents Locomotive has faced over the years, none are as familiar to El Paso as the Switchbacks. This upcoming match will be the 15th overall meeting between the sides, with Locomotive leading the series 6-2-6.
Locomotive will be looking to use their current momentum to overturn a three-game winless streak against the Switchbacks and hope to retain their undefeated record at Weidner Field, where Locomotive have yet to lose a match (1W, 5D).
EL PASO LOCOMOTIVE FC (4TH WESTERN CONFERENCE, 4-3-1, 13 PTS)
El Paso has a chip on its shoulder and will want a positive result in this early season rematch with its Western Conference rival.
The match in Week 2 saw Locomotive dominate offensive play, but a stoppage time goal from the Switchbacks denied Los Locos from walking away with a point. Play and results on the field have improved greatly since and with the momentum Locomotive is bringing into this match, expect a showdown.
One player who’s stepped up in front of goal for Locomotive is forward Ricardo Zacarias, scoring three goals and providing one assist to start the season. Zacarias is in career-high form and is quite familiar with scoring goals against the Switchbacks, as he was the lone goal scorer against the Switchbacks in Week 2, a beautiful strike from outside the box that was nominated for Goal of the Week by the USL Championship. Additionally, the Las Cruces native’s first ever goal for Locomotive was in a 4-2 win over the Switchbacks in 2021. He’ll be one to keep an eye out on in this match.
Other notable players include midfielder Denys Kostyshyn, who scored the game-winner against San Diego Loyal SC and earned a spot in Week 8’s Team of the Week, as well as 20-year-old defender Miles Lyons, who Clarhaut has called up time and time again to step up big for this team.
COLORADO SPRINGS SWITCHBACKS FC (2ND WESTERN CONFERENCE, 5-2-1, 16 PTS)
Second in the West with 16 points and a break-even goal difference (9 GF, 9 GA), the Switchbacks were able to capitalize early and hold out a result against Charleston Battery, handing the Eastern side their first loss of the season.
In its last five league matches, Colorado Springs has lost once, a 4-0 thrashing from Western leaders Sacramento Republic FC.
LO QUE ESTAN DICIENDO
Head Coach and Technical Director Brian Clarhaut on how Locomotive’s chemistry has contributed to the impressive run of form.
“The heart and brotherhood we’re seeing this team possess right now, I’ve not seen that in my career. The type of work rates that these guys are putting in, it’s a credit to them.”
Defender Miles Lyons on what Locomotive is doing to prepare for its rematch against the Switchbacks.
“The boys in training will work hard and look to improve from our game against San Diego. [Colorado Springs] is a tough team to beat, so we have to bring our A-game.”