EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso Locomotive FC (0-1-0) was handed a 1-0 defeat by Sacramento Republic FC (1-0-0) to open up the 2023 USL Championship season at Southwest University Park on Saturday night.

Los Locos generated 12 shots, three of them on goal, but the squad did not get one ball to find the back of the net. Meanwhile, Sacramento Republic FC’s new addition, Russell Cicerone, scored the one and only goal of the match in the 42nd minute. Jack Gurr put in a low cross to Cicerone and he finished it from close range to send Sacramento Republic FC into halftime with the lead and eventually a 1-0 win once the match was complete.

“We did everything but score the goal. Money is made in the boxes,” Locomotive FC head coach Brian Clarhaut said postgame. “The group executed what I wanted to do in terms of match play. The group did well, and they battled. We gifted a goal. We need to be a team that is hard to beat. We can’t just give goals away.”

“If we put away some of the chances we created, I feel like this would be a different conversation,” Locomotive FC midfielder Nick Hinds said postgame. “We just have to look at our performance. We have to go back to the training grounds and work things out for Wednesday.”

Los Locos’ attacking group did take a hit prior to the game as their leading scorer from 2022, Lucho Solignac, was ruled out of the match due to an injury. Solignac was listed as questionable before being officially out for Saturday’s match. Clarhaut said postgame that Solignac is day-to-day.

“He [Lucho Solignac] is kind of day-to-day. We know how vital he is. I think he was super vital for this team last season. We will see, but other guys need to step up.” Clarhaut said.

With the loss, Los Locos are now 0-3-2 in season openers in club history.

El Paso Locomotive FC will have to start gearing up for its next challenge that is right around the corner. The Locomotive will host Colorado Spring Switchbacks FC on Wednesday, Mar. 15 at Southwest University Park. This will be the Switchbacks’ first match of the 2023 season.

“We have to get fresh quick,” Clarhaut said. “That is the focus. How can we recover as quick as possible?”

El Paso Locomotive FC will face off with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Wednesday, Mar. 15 at Southwest University Park. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. MT. KTSM is the new official TV broadcast partner for Locomotive in 2023. Matches will air on Estrella TV 9.2 and simulcast on KTSM.com.