EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Locomotive FC (9-6-6, 33 pts., West-5) are one of the hottest teams in the USL Championship right now, as they carry a 10-match unbeaten streak into Oakland, California when they play Oakland Roots SC (5-6-10, 25 pts., West-9) on Saturday, July 16.
These two sides have already met once this season. Back on Apr. 23 as both squads played to a 1-1 draw at Southwest University Park. Now three months later, the two will meet again as it will be the Locomotive’s first trip to Laney College Football Stadium.
Locomotive FC look to extend their unbeaten streak to eleven matches but also walk out of Saturday’s match with three points. They’ll have to do it without two of the Locomotive’s impactful players: defender Yuma and forward Lucho Solignac.
Yuma went down in the early minutes of the Locomotive’s last match against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on July 9. Locomotive head coach and technical director John Hutchinson says Yuma will “more than likely” miss this next match against Oakland Roots SC, but is expected to possibly return for their match against San Antonio FC on July 23.
Meanwhile, forward Lucho Solignac will serve a one-match suspension against Oakland Roots SC, as Solignac was on the receiving end of a red card last Saturday against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
Even with Solignac and Yuma’s presence out of the puzzle on Saturday, Los Locos are focused on grabbing a result in enemy territory.
“Well Lucho [Solignac] is out suspended and Yuma’s going to miss this game but the boys know their roles and responsibilities,” said Hutchinson. “That’s the key. Its all about us, our football. How can we improve from the weekend? We are still looking at what we need to become better at.”
“I think their [Oakland Roots SC] position in the table reflects their quality actually,” said Locomotive FC defender Andrew Fox. “I have always thought they are a tricky side and they really try to play a decent brand. It will be good, it will be our first trip over there. “It’ll [weather] be a little bit cooler, which will be refreshing and we will see what happens but we will be going in to win for sure.”
Oakland Roots SC are coming off a 3-3 draw against Sacramento Republic FC on July 9. They currently have the league’s Golden Boot leader, Ottar Karlsson, with 13 goals to lead the Oakland offense. Meanwhile, Locomotive goalkeeper Evan Newton, the league leader in clean sheets (8), will look to shut down Karlsson and the Roots.
El Paso Locomotive FC will take on Oakland Roots SC at Laney College Football Stadium on Saturday, July 16. The match is scheduled to kick off at 8:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.