Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC has exercised its contract option on attacking midfielder Jairo Henriquez for the 2024 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced on Wednesday the club had exercised its contract option to retain attacking midfielder Jairo Henriquez for the 2024 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
“I am very happy to return to the team this new season,” said Henriquez. “It will be a better year and hopefully, we get the opportunity to play in the final. I hope to also improve my individual game throughout the season."
Henriquez will be returning for his third season with the Switchbacks. In 2023, Henriquez made 23 appearances and recorded six goals and two assists in 1,449 minutes. The 30-year-old’s campaign was highlighted by a spectacular bicycle kick finish at Weidner Field that helped seal a 2-0 victory against Sacramento Republic FC, a notable result as the Switchbacks progressed to the postseason for a third consecutive season.
“Excited to have Jairo returning for 2024. He contributed to the team with some wonderful goals last season,” said Switchbacks Technical Director & Assistant Coach, James Chambers. “His quality as a player and personality as a person are both assets to the club. We are looking forward to seeing him push on again next season.”
Retaining Jairo Henriquez for the new season would have been a reasonably easy decision for the Switchbacks, with the veteran playmaker not only a good draw at the box office but also capable of brilliance in the final third. The 30-year-old has 10 goals, six assists and 43 chances created in 38 appearances since his arrival midway through the 2022 campaign.
The big question will be whether Henriquez can find a higher level of productivity within Colorado Springs’ lineup next season, something for Head Coach Stephen Hogan to try and unlock in his second year at the helm. For a team that wants to play entertaining, attacking soccer, Henriquez upping his numbers would augur well for a high finish in the Western Conference.