EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso Locomotive FC will put their five-game unbeaten streak on the line on Saturday when they host Real Monarchs at Southwest University Park. The match represents an opportunity for Los Locos to begin creating separation in the division standings.
Going into Saturday’s match against the Monarchs, Locomotive (8-1-4, 28 points) is alone in first place in the Western Conference Mountain Division, three points ahead of Rio Grande Valley FC. The Toros will play on the road against Phoenix Rising FC, the top club in the Pacific Division.
“It’s going to put us in a great spot if we can get results and get three points with all these home games,” said Locomotive forward Sebastian Velasquez. “I think if we can do that, we can move further up the table and stay away from the guys in second and third place.”
Locomotive head coach Mark Lowry knows that won’t be easy. El Paso is currently playing with a target on their back. Ranked No. 2 in the USL Championship power rankings, only behind Rising FC, every match feels like a final.
“When you’re at the top, people want to knock you off. It comes with the territory, but I think we are at our best when that’s on the line,” said Lowry. “We are definitely a team that can raise our level when it’s required.”
El Paso in 2-0 this season against the Monarchs, outscoring them 5-2 in those pair of matches.
Kickoff at Southwest University Park is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT. Locomotive has not lost a match at home in over a calendar year, dating back to June 30, 2020. Their unbeaten streak at home stands at 16 matches.
MATCH DETAILS: USL Championship Regular Season Game #14; vs Real Monarchs; 7:30 p.m. MT kickoff
VENUE/WEATHER: Southwest University Park; El Paso, Texas; 93 degrees and partly cloudy.
RECORDS/STANDINGS: Locomotive: 8-1-4 (28 points, MTN-1); Monarchs: 3-8-4 (13 points, MTN-7)
PREVIOUS MEETING: Locomotive met Real Monarchs at the beginning of the month, taking home the 3-1 win. Forward Lucho Solignac opened the scoring with an expertly placed goal from the top of the penalty area. Just 10 minutes later, the Monarchs were able to pull one back through Aris Briggs, but Los Locos would not be undone. Midfielder Diego Luna provided the advantage late in the game and forward Aaron Gomez headed home the insurance goal in second-half stoppage time to claim three points at Zions Bank Stadium.