EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Rivalry renewed.
El Paso Locomotive FC will host New Mexico United in the first of four matchups between two clubs that do not like each other. The dislike was on display in two meetings last season — a 2-2 draw at Southwest University Park in El Paso, followed by a convincing 3-0 United win at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque. Both games featured multiple scuffles including two red cards in the match at Southwest University Park.
“I think the proximity does have something to do with it, but I think both fan bases are some of the best in the league,” said Locomotive FC forward Omar Salgado who will make his season debut after serving a two-match suspension. “The dislike between both of them [fan bases] is something you can feel and you can definitely feel it on the pitch as well. There’s definitely that rivalry that exists and it’s a healthy rivalry.”
Locomotive FC netted a 1-0 win over Rio Grande Valley FC in the USL Championship re-start on Saturday. New Mexico United also captured a win, 2-1 over Colorado Springs. With just 12 games to play in ‘group play’ and this being the first for El Paso, points are at a premium.
“Every game is almost double what a normal game would be in terms of importance,” said Locomotive FC forward Dylan Mares, who scored the game-winning goal against Rio Grande Valley FC in the 83rd minute.
Kickoff on Wednesday night has been moved up a half hour to 7 p.m. Fans are still prohibited from attending games, but the match will air on ESPN+.
Locomotive FC Notes
El Paso Locomotive FC signed forward Leandro Carrijo from Liga MX side FC Juarez, pending league and federation approval, the club announced Tuesday. The signing builds further on the partnership across the Borderplex following the loan extension of midfielder Josué Aarón Gómez and the recent signing of defender Eder Borelli.
“Leandro [Carrijo] will be another excellent addition to our group and once again highlights the relationship we have with FC Juarez,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “Leandro [Carrijo] has been a proven goal scorer throughout his career, his quality is undeniable, and I’m looking forward to seeing him playing in our system and staying in a region where he is already loved by so many.”
A prolific and proven striker, Carrijo joins Locomotive FC as one of the top goal scorers for FC Juarez, having scored 73 goals across 102 appearances. Playing a seasoned career across leagues in Brazil, Hong Kong, and Mexico, the 34-year-old veteran is clinical in the final third having scored 36 goals in 77 appearances across the three leagues. The Brazilian’s storied career is championed with a Minas Gerais State League title win in 2007 as well as an Ascenso MX Apertura win in 2015 with FC Juarez.
Name: Leandro Carrijo
Weight: 185 lbs
Born: 9/3/1985 (34 yo)
Hometown: Uberaba, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Last Club: FC Juarez (Liga MX)
El Paso Locomotive FC’s roster headed into 2020 Return to Play, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Goalkeepers (2): Jermaine Fordah, Logan Ketterer
Defenders (7): Drew Beckie, Eder Borelli, Andrew Fox, Mechack Jerome, Moses Makinde, Chiro N’toko, Bryam Rebellon
Midfielders (9): Guillermo Diaz, Fabrice Fokobo, Louis Herrera, Dylan Mares, Saeed Robinson, Nick Ross, Richie Ryan, Yuma, Distel Zola
Forwards (4): Leandro Carrijo, Aaron Gomez, Marios Lomis, Omar Salgado
Transaction: El Paso Locomotive FC signs forward Leandro Carrijo from Liga MX side FC Juarez