COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – El Paso Locomotive FC took its first road victory in club history on Saturday evening as it defeated Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 2-0 at Weidner Field to shift into the playoff positions in the Western Conference. Here are three takeaways from the contest.
SEND IT IN, JEROME: You figured it was only a matter of time before Jerome Kiesewetter opened his account for Locomotive FC, and the former United States Men’s National Team forward finally did so thanks to a beautiful piece of skill and narrow-angle finish inside the opening minute of the second half.
That was added to by a high-level piece of movement and finishing in combination with Omar Salgado that added a second 11 minutes later. If those two players with immense playing pedigrees are now getting in sync, there are going to be good things ahead for El Paso overall, but more than that Kiesewetter did almost everything well on Saturday as he won 4 of 5 duels, completed 12 of 13 passes and hit the target with three of his four shots. The one that missed? That came back off the left post in one of the more remarkable goal-mouth scrambles you’re likely to see.
SETTING THE TEMPO: As well as Kiesewetter’s individual display was, this was a strong all-around team effort by Locomotive FC that illustrated the mentality that Head Coach Mark Lowry has tried to instill in his side. There were plenty of times throughout the contest where if felt like El Paso was the home side, dictating the speed of the game as it controlled more possession and won more duels and tackles that the Switchbacks. Twelve of El Paso’s 18 total shots came from inside Colorado Springs’ penalty area, and the visitors had almost as many shots on goal (8) as the Switchbacks managed overall (10). If this is a sign of things to come, Locomotive FC could make a nice run of form in the next few weeks.
SWITCHBACKS ON THE SLIDE: The month of April wasn’t kind to the Switchbacks, as illustrated by the change in the standings from April 1 to April 30.
That continued Saturday evening as the side fell for the fourth time in the past five games and saw its overall winless streak stretch to six games. Since taking two wins out of three games to open the season, Colorado Springs has scored only four goals in the subsequent six games and been held scoreless in four of those outings. All is not lost this early in the season, but next Saturday’s visit to a Las Vegas Lights FC side that is on a three-game winning streak at Cashman Field isn’t exactly the game the Switchbacks might be looking for to make a turnaround.