EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Locomotive FC announced Monday that six players from the inaugural season are returning to fulfill their two-year contracts for the 2020 season. Richie Ryan, Logan Ketterer, Bryam Rebellon, Omar Salgado, Yuma, and Alexy Bosetti will be the first players signed to the 2020 Locomotive roster, pending league and federation approval.
Midfielder Richie Ryan made 31 appearances for the Locos this season and recorded the fourth-highest passing accuracy for the squad at 90.4 percent. Ryan made his professional debut with Sunderland in the English Premier League in 2003. He was an integral component of the midfield and highly contributed to El Paso’s average match possession of 57 percent across the season.
“Richie [Ryan] is such an integral part of what we are trying to create here on and off the field,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “His quality on the ball and intelligence on the field is second to none, and his leadership and character off the field help us cultivate an environment of high standards. He is a key figure in this process.”
Logan Ketterer held down the starting goalkeeper position and had 14 clean sheets, putting him in fifth place across the entire league. Ketterer saved 80 percent of the penalties taken against him showing his elite level of play. Ketterer conceded the second least goals against in the Western Conference.
“We saw Logan [Ketterer] get better and better as the 2019 season went along,” said Lowry. “He was a key part of the best defense in the West and I am excited to see how Logan continues to grow into his role and status as one of the best keepers in the USL.”
Bryam Rebellon made 27 appearances this season for El Paso, notching two goals, 53 interceptions, and boasted a 79 percent successful tackle rate. Rebellon was instrumental in the defensive efforts of El Paso and shutting down opposing teams’ attack and routinely muted their most explosive players.
“Bryam’s [Rebellon] intensity both going forward and defending is a key piece of our identity as a team,” said Lowry. “His reputation as a high-level right back was recognized throughout the 2019 season and I cannot wait to continue my work with Bryam and to see him reach even greater heights in 2020.”
Omar Salgado was the very first player signed to the Locomotive roster and appeared in every match (38), the most of any player on the squad. The hometown kid scored three goals in Locomotive colors and provided the second most assists (seven) in 2019. He proved himself to be one of the most difficult players in the league to face on the wing, showcasing his raw athleticism and strength on a consistent basis.
“It was enjoyable to watch Omar [Salgado] grow as the season went along. His all-around game, on both sides of the ball, evolved and developed as the season progressed,” said Lowry. “When he gets running with the ball, he is very exciting to watch and he is a very dangerous player for opposition defenses within the league.”
Yuma appeared for El Paso 26 times this season and amassed a 90.6 percent passing accuracy. For the 2019 campaign, Yuma recorded two assists and 20 key passes as a midfielder and defender. He was a key component in the Loco’s defensive and possessive gameplay.
“Yuma exemplifies what being a winner is all about,” said Lowry. “His desire to win, not only in games, but during training sessions, is such an important characteristic when trying to create a winning culture. He is another player with bags of experience and will play another pivotal role in our success next season.”
Alexy Bosetti joined Locomotive in mid-August via trade with OKC Energy FC. Since joining the Locos, Bosetti has scored two goals and proved to be another tool in the Lowry attack.
“Alexy [Bosetti] showed glimpses of his quality during his short time here last season,” said Lowry. “He is a player we are excited about for 2020, someone we see with huge potential to make a real impact on the league. His playing background really fits the type of profile we want here at the club.”
El Paso Locomotive FC forward Jerome Kiesewetter will not return in 2020. Kiesewetter has signed with Inter Miami FC. He will join the David Beckham-owned Major League Soccer club, which is set to play its first season in 2020. The German-born American striker appeared in 28 matches and led the team in goals scored (12). He sparked the flame that would lead El Paso to find its rhythm in the attacking half.
“Jerome made a huge impact on and off the field while in El Paso. We thank him for his commitment here and we wish him all the best with Inter Miami,” said Lowry. “We pride ourselves on player development and offering a platform through our style of play for players like Jerome to grow and establish themselves as top players within the USL, while also showcasing the ability and potential to move to the MLS or beyond. This is another example of how Locomotive has truly arrived within the global soccer landscape and Jerome’s success, and the success we had on the field in 2019, only motivates us to strive for more in 2020.”
Finally, Edson Partida will be returning to Toluca per his loan agreement which extended through the 2019 regular season. While with El Paso, Partida notched six goals across 15 appearances. Partida was also awarded the number one play by Sports Center’s ‘Top Ten’ in August for his bicycle kick goal against Tacoma.
Locomotive’s next order of business is signing forward Sebastian Velasquez among others, who provide continuity on a team looking win a championship in 2020.