El Paso Locomotive FC capped off a successful first regular season at Southwest University Park with a 4-1 win over Portland Timbers 2 thanks to goals from Sebastian Velasquez, Nick Ross, and Josué Gómez. With the win, Head Coach Mark Lowry's side became the first expansion side to punch their ticket to the postseason this year.
EL PASO, Tx. – El Paso Locomotive FC became the seventh team to clinch a playoff place in the Western Conference with a 4-1 win over Portland Timbers 2, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the result. It didn’t take long for the hosts to break through the visitors’ defense, with midfielder Sebastian Velasquez receiving a short corner before weaving in and out toward the byline and into the box where he eventually fired past Portland goalkeeper Jake Leeker to open the scoring after four minutes. 17 minutes later, El Paso then took advantage of another dead ball restart when a throw from defender James Kiffe played in midfielder Nick Ross, who slotted past Leeker to double his team’s advantage. However, Portland quickly responded when midfielder Zachary Kobayashi collected a short clearance on the edge of the 18-yard box and picked out the far bottom corner to beat Logan Ketterer just one minute after going two down. El Paso would keep their lead through the half, and just after the hour mark all but put the game to bed. In the 68th minute, Velasquez turned from scorer to provider when he played in forward Josué Gómez just inside the area, and Gómez pushed a low effort past Leeker to restore his team’s two-goal lead. Then, 11 minutes later, Gómez added his team’s fourth and final goal when he took a cross from Kiffe on the left side of the box and bundled a one-time effort over the line to put an exclamation point on the result.
USL Championship Man of the Match
Sebastian Velasquez, El Paso Locomotive FC – Velasquez got things going for El Paso with the goal and assist while also creating three chances, winning 9 of 13 duels and completing over 86 percent of his passes, including 81 percent in the opposition half.