EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After one of the most grueling starts to the 2023 USL Championship season any club has had, no one would’ve blamed El Paso Locomotive FC for being ready for a week off.
Instead, El Paso was upset about its bye week last Saturday.
Los Locos put together arguably their best performance of the season in a 1-0 win over Orange County SC on April 8, before getting a 14-day break until a home match vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds on April 22.
For that reason, El Paso head coach Brian Clarhaut and multiple players said they would’ve preferred to play a match, as opposed to having the week off.
“You have a risk that maybe you can shut that off if you don’t have a game right away,” Clarhaut said. “But give our schedule, I also think we needed those days off.”
El Paso played seven matches in the first three week of the season, so the rest did come at a good time, despite what Locomotive felt at the time.
Heading into this week’s home match vs. Pittsburgh, Locomotive FC is unbeaten in its last three USL Championship matches and sits in eighth place in the USL’s Western Conference.
What’s more, defender Marc Navarro is expected to return to the team on Saturday according to Clarhaut, after missing three matches with an injury.
Pittsburgh and El Paso will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Southwest University Park.