EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso Locomotive FC kicks off its third USL Championship season against its heated regional rival, New Mexico United, on Saturday at Southwest University Park.
MATCH DETAILS: El Paso Locomotive FC vs. New Mexico United
VENUE/WEATHER: Southwest University Park; El Paso, Texas; 83 degrees with clear skies
RECORDS/STANDINGS: Locomotive: 0-0-0 (0 points, MTN-4); United: 0-1-0 (0 points, MTN-6)
PREVIOUS MEETING: El Paso Locomotive and New Mexico United last met in the 2020 Western Conference Semifinals at Southwest University Park last October. A first half goal from Dylan Mares was equalized by a stoppage time goal by Romeo Parkes to sent the playoff match to extra time. Staying level through added extra time, Locomotive took the win after a penalty shootout, courtesy in part by a massive save from goalkeeper Logan Ketterer.
SOUTHWEST UNIVERSITY PARK HOME FORTRESS: Locomotive FC has built a fortress at Southwest University Park with a record of 18-6-7 across all competitions. El Paso lost only once at home in the 2020 season, coming against New Mexico United on July 24, 2-1.
Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry: “We’ve gotten stronger and stronger at home. It’s because we are now used to the field. Baseball stadiums offer different challenges. We are using ours to our advantage. You get a shorter field, but a slightly wider one. You have to do certain things well to stop the ball going forward.”
NEW LOCOMOTIVE FC FACES: El Paso signed several new players to their 2021 roster, mostly bolstering its attacking front. Luis Solignac and Aidan Apodaca highlight the new signings in attack. Solignac led San Antonio FC goal scoring in 2020 while Apodaca has a goal per minute ratio of 60 over two seasons with Reno 1868 FC. Jose Aguinaga and Diego Luna bolster the midfield offensive, helping link the defense with the offense. Meanwhile, defender Niall Logue stands as the only new face on the backline, creating depth in an already solid defense.
Kickoff on Saturday night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Capacity at Southwest University Park is set at 70%.