Misc Soccer News

Vargish’s View: Switchbacks Look to El Paso for Season Opener

Switchbacks FC Sign Three Players from Open Tryout

March 14, 2023 – United Soccer League Championship (USL)Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC News Release

Far West Texas is on the horizon as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC begin their 2023 USL Championship campaign on Wednesday night against El Paso Locomotive FC. The match will kick off at 7pm at Southwest University Park, with live coverage by the voice of the Switchbacks, Ryan Kaufman, beginning at 6:30pm on XTRA Sports1300 AM and broadcast live from Trainwreck Bar and Restaurant. The Switchbacks will return to Weidner Field on Saturday evening to host Hartford Athletic with tickets available HERE.

Little Look at El Paso:

First-year Head Coach Brian Clarhaut has recruited heavily from Europe after spending the last seven years of his coaching career in Sweden – most recently with GIF Sundsvall. Swedes Petar Petrović and Erik McCue are two of the eight Europeans on El Paso’s roster in 2023. Spanish defender Yuma remains the Locomotive’s most recognizable face and central leadership figure.

Saturday evening saw the Locomotive fall 1-0 at Southwest University Park to Sacramento Republic. El Paso controlled the ball with over 60% of possession, but were not able to overcome a late first-half goal by Sacramento’s Russell Cicerone.

What the Switchbacks Say:

Switchbacks Head Coach and General Manager Stephen Hogan: “El Paso are always good and always a good football-possession team. [El Paso] always hold a lot of the ball because they are very technically savvy.

“Our lads just want preseason over and they’re ready to go. They’ve asked a lot of good questions and we have to understand that it’s not always going to be how we want it to be. And we talk about [that] quite a bit and how we get through those moments in every game is just as important as when we’re battering teams with transition moments or a press.

“Keeping our team structure – which we’ve worked on all preseason and we’ve been very good at [is key to a good result in El Paso]. The big question for us is obviously creating the chances – which we do – it’s just now putting them in the net. The big question in the league is, ‘oh you don’t have Elvis [Amoh], Hadji [Barry], and Michee [Ngalina], where are the goals going to come from?’ But there’s enough talent in [this team] that people haven’t seen yet and those guys are really annoyed about what people have been saying and what they’ve been reading so that’s the answer. Put the ball in the net and shut everyone up.”

Striker Aaron Wheeler. “It’s…

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