Locomotive FC announces new player; 2022 season competition structure

Locomotive FC

Photo Courtesy: EP Locomotive FC

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Tuesday, officials with El Paso Locomotive FC announced the signing of defender Martín Payares, as well as the competition structure for the 2022 season

Payares, 26, comes to El Paso from the Primera A league in Colombia, where most recently he played 18 matches with 14 starts as a centerback for his third stint with Boyacá Patriot. The Colombian native has played his entire career in the Colombian top-flight, beginning in 2015 with Cortuluá, where he made his professional debut at 19, going on to make 12 appearances, 10 of which were starts with one goal.

As for the new schedule format, El Paso Locomotive FC, alongside the USL Championship, announced the competition structure for the 2022 season.

The league’s teams will be divided into two conferences with El Paso Locomotive set to compete as one of 13 teams in the Western Conference while the remaining 14 teams will compete in the Eastern Conference.

“Going into our fourth season we are extremely excited for the 2022 slate of games, both home and on the road…We have the opportunity to get back to hosting each Western Conference team home and away as well as a healthy slate of Eastern Conference teams that we have never had the chance to play in our previous three years.  This schedule proves to be the best yet and we cannot wait for the home opener to get started.”

Locomotive General Manager, Business Operations Andrew Forrest

Every team will play each of its conference foes twice – one at home, once away. Western Conference clubs will see the remaining 10 games be played against a combination of interconference and intraconference opponents – five at home, five away. Eastern Conference clubs will play their remaining eight games being played solely against interconference opponents – four at home, four away.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the top seven teams in each conference will qualify for the 2022 USL Championship Playoffs. The first overall seed in each conference will receive a bye to the Conference Semifinals of the playoffs. The bracket will be reseeded following the Conference Quarterfinals to ensure the first overall seed in each conference plays against the lowest-seeded remaining opponent. The USL Championship Playoffs will remain a single-elimination format, culminating in the 2022 USL Championship Final on a to be determined date between November 10 and November 14, 2022.

The 2022 USL Championship season will kickoff on March 11 and will see each team play a 34-game regular season schedule that will conclude on October 15, 2022. El Paso Locomotive FC’s home opener and full schedule for the 2022 season will be announced in January 2022.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
LA Galaxy II
Las Vegas Lights FC
Monterey Bay F.C.
New Mexico United
Oakland Roots SC
Orange County SC
Phoenix Rising FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
Sacramento Republic FC
San Antonio FC
San Diego Loyal SC

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Atlanta United 2
Birmingham Legion
Charleston Battery
Detroit City FC
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Loudoun United FC
Louisville City FC
Memphis 901 FC
The Miami FC
New York Red Bulls II
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
FC Tulsa

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