EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Reinforcements are on the way for El Paso Locomotive FC. Sebastian Velasquez, who signed with the team on July 9, has officially been cleared to play.
Velasquez most recently played in South Korea with Suwon FC, as well as Real Monarchs SLC, the same team El Paso will host on Saturday night at Southwest University Park.
“It’s quite exciting,” said Velasquez. “I’ve actually been talking to a lot of the guys and there has been bets put on the table. There’s been a lot of trashing talking, but I’m really excited.”
An attacking minded midfielder, Velasquez began his professional career in the MLS where he played with Real Salt Lake from 2012-2014. He saw the pitch 38 times and scored two goals. In 2015, he played a season with New York City FC and made 12 appearances.
Velasquez will be called upon in El Paso’s 15 remaining regular season games to score goals, something the team has not been able to do outside of Jerome Kiesewetter (10 goals this season).
“We are missing that piece between Jerome and the rest,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “That’s what Velasquez is coming here to do. To score 5, 6, 7, 8 goals to fill that void. If you look at the top team in the league, they have three players who have ten or more goals. That’s what we need right now.”
Kiesewetter continues to battle injuries and was sidelined on Wednesday against San Antonio FC. Lowry thinks he is a 50/50 shot to play on Saturday night, which makes the Velasquez addition even more important.
“We get into the best positions in the league,” said Lowry. “We have more chances than any other team in the league. We dominate the ball in terms of territory and we’re around the opposition’s box more than they’re around ours. Why aren’t we turning this positioning into goals? That’s what we’re looking for and that’s what Velasquez came to do.”
Velasquez is best known for his speed and his ability to get around multiple defenders on his way to the box. His style of play compliments El Paso’s brand of soccer.
“I’m a creative player,” said Velasquez. “I love to be on the ball and I love to have the ball. If your team always has the ball it means you’re going to have the ball a lot more. I thought it was a perfect fit for me and coach [Lowry] really impressed me with his style of play, what he believes in and what he wants for the club.”
Real Monarchs SLC is just one point behind El Paso in the Western Conference standings, making Saturday night’s match even more important. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.