EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The only remaining unbeaten team in the USL Championship resides in El Paso at Southwest University Park. Locomotive FC (3-0-3, 11 points) will look to keep it that way when they take on Real Monarchs SLC (1-4-2, 5 points) at Zions Bank Stadium on Friday night.
Sitting atop the league’s power rankings, Locomotive is coming off a two-game week with a 2-0 win over Indy Elven last Wednesday, before ending the week level with Switchbacks FC, 1-1 on Saturday. Defender Macca King and midfielder Diego Luna each earned USL Championship Team of the Week honors after netting goals en route to four points.
The Monarchs come into the match with just one win on the season and sit at the bottom of the standings in the Western Conference Mountain Division. They have, however, seen changes to their starting lineup with numerous MLS players from their parent club, Real Salt Lake, getting some work in during the international break.
“We believe whether it’s a younger team they put on the field or a more experienced team like they have the past couple of matches, we can get three points,” said Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry. “We can score goals, we can create chances and the goal is to come out of Friday with three points.”
Staying unbeaten has become a point of pride for this club and they realize it creates a target on their back. Los Locos fully plan on getting Real Monarchs’ best shot on Friday.
“Everyone is talking about the standings and how they’re last in the division, but that doesn’t really matter,” said Luna. “Every game is going to be a competition, especially going on the road and having that away feeling. We’re going in unbeaten and with the mindset that every game is a final.”
The last time El Paso visited the Beehive state, Locomotive ended its 2020 regular season with a statement 4-0 win over the 2019 USL Championship title winners. Kickoff from Herriman, Utah, is set for 8 p.m. MT and will be streamed live on ESPN+.