EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Locomotive FC is aiming for a perfect week after claiming back-to-back victories against Loudoun United on Saturday and FC Tulsa on Wednesday night. With six points claimed, the Locos are after the last three points in a three-game week with what could be a statement victory against LA Galaxy II.
There was a lot of doubt surrounding El Paso Locomotive FC following the opening weeks of the 2022 USL Championship season. Opening the season with four straight losses in the regular season and an early exit from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, there were many who thought that El Paso’s Western Conference dominance had come to an abrupt end.
In recent weeks, Locomotive has silenced the doubters. The Locomotive form has been turning, earning three wins over their last five games, outscoring their opponents 12 to four. With a win against LA Galaxy II – a team that just shut down Phoenix Rising FC 3-0 – Locomotive would make a statement that it is a club that should never be doubted.
“From my point of view, we have been doing fantastic this week,” said Forward Lucho Solignac following the 3-1 win against FC Tulsa. “We traveled a lot; we’re training and barely resting. Hopefully, we are in a great position to go and get the nine points. As it looks right now, we are looking very good, very strong, and for me, that’s the most important. Despite the results, it’s the character, the hunger, and the energy the team is showing to turn these games around. Hopefully, we can continue to play this way and the result will come.”
From the start of the season, Coach Hutchinson has said that it would take time for things to click for this squad. It was a brand-new system with new players under a new coach. The transition into the new year was expected to be turbulent but the man in charge feels that his men are close to where wants them to be.
There is still work to be done as following the match against FC Tulsa on Wednesday, Coach Hutchinson noted that there were some good patches, and he was happy with the overall performance. He is glad the team is getting the results they deserve but there are still those patches that need work.
“We are still growing and still developing our football,” said head coach John Hutchinson. “It’s all about our principles and what we want to become. There are still things we need to work on. A lot of things we need to work on, and we want to add to that. There are still layers that I want to add to this team to make them more dynamic and more enjoyable. Not just for me, but more enjoyable for them with more enjoyable football.”
Getting to the point that Hutchinson wants the team to get, it’s going to take more time. The players are finding their footing and getting more solid. The roster is feeling more comfortable in their roles and what is being asked of them. With the improved form, the Locomotive locker room is feeling more confident and the whole team is looking to build on what has been coming together.
As the team moves into the weekend for its third game in just seven days, it does so knowing the week’s success, the hard work, and team confidence could put Locomotive above the playoff line for the first time since the 2022 season kicked off.
Entering Week 9, El Paso Locomotive and LA Galaxy II find themselves on opposite ends of the playoff line. El Paso sits 8th in the West while Galaxy II is just above in 7th. With only a point difference, between the two, a win for El Paso will put it back into a playoff position as the season approaches one-third completion.
While Los Dos has been dominating in their home field in Carson, California, they have yet to win on the road in 2022. The California club has also never won at Southwest University Park, having played in the El Paso stadium once in 2019, falling to a convincing 3-0 score line. History and form are on Locomotive’s side when the Sun City club welcomes LA Galaxy II to Southwest University Park for the first time in three years. There is confidence in the Locomotive locker room that El Paso will be walking away with a perfect week of nine points in three games within seven days.