Jerome Kiesewetter knows his role and he plays it well.
“We create a lot of chances and I’m lucky I’m at the end of it,” the El Paso Locomotive FC striker said. “My job is to score.”
Score he has for Locomotive FC. Kiesewetter signed with El Paso four matches into its inaugural season and has netted a ridiculous seven goals on just 21 total shots this season. Want more? Every single goal has come in the last five El Paso matches, as Kiesewetter has climbed into sixth place in USL Championship in goals scored, just three back of the leader. He’s become the scoring threat Los Locos desperately needed.
“Jerome’s a high-level player. Every time we bring in a high-level player everyone’s game seems to go up a notch,” head coach Mark Lowry said. “A good player makes people around him better.”
Kiesewetter says his success is a product of Locomotive FC’s possession-based style of attack.
“We keep the ball moving and don’t just kick it long and hope for the best. That’s what attractive football looks like,” Kiesewetter said.
It was quite the feat for Locomotive FC to score Kiesewetter. The German-American has played in the top division of the German Bundasliga for Fortuna Dusseldorf. He has also made multiple appearances for the United States National Team. However, he was playing out of position for Fortuna Dusseldorf, so when Lowry offered him the chance to be, “The Guy,” for El Paso, Kiesewetter couldn’t pass it up.
“I saw myself as more of a striker. I played striker for the national team as well,” Kiesewetter said. “He saw that in me and that convinced me.”
Like many great strikers across the world, Kiesewetter has a nose for getting to the ball when it’s in the box and finding the back of the net for El Paso.
He’s a goal scorer,” El Paso winger Omar Salgado said. “He stays in the box and waits for that ball in.”
For Kiesewetter, it’s all instinctual.
“If you’re not fast, or big or strong, but you have that nose and you can score, that’s all that counts at the end of the day,” he said.
Since Kiesewetter has joined the team in the Sun City, Locomotive FC has begun a meteoric rise up the Western Conference standings in the USL Championship. Entering Saturday’s home match against LA Galaxy II, El Paso is in sixth place in the conference, and just five points behind first place New Mexico United. A win Saturday could get them within two points of first, something that suits Kiesewetter.
“I’m looking at wins; they matter more,” Kiesewetter said. “I just try to be a part of the win.”
He’ll try to extend his scoring streak on Saturday, at the same time that El Paso looks to extend its unbeaten streak to eight matches. Locomotive FC and LA Galaxy II kick off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at Southwest University Park.