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How Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC kept rolling with victory against Rhode Island

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/18/24, 9:50AM EDT


Ronaldo Damus continues to heat up, Switchbacks take advantage of lapses by visitors for fourth consecutive league win

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC took its fourth consecutive league victory before a sellout crowd of 8,023 fans at Weidner Field on Friday night to move into seventh place in the Western Conference. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Sw

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC continued its surge up the Western Conference standings on Friday night with a 3-1 victory against Rhode Island FC before a sellout crowd of 8,023 fans at Weidner Field as Ronaldo Damus scored twice to continue his recent scoring streak to rally the side from an early deficit.

Here are three storylines we took away from the action.


During the early part of the campaign, there didn’t seem to be much chemistry between newly-arrived Haitian international Ronaldo Damus – who had bagged double-digit goals in his first two seasons in the Championship – and his new teammates. On Friday night the shift that has occurred since then was in evidence as Damus was regularly involved in the build-up of attacking movements and scored another pair of goals – one sharply taken finish in the first half and another clinical penalty kick to seal the win after being brought down in the box – to give him five goals in the last three games.

Damus finished the night with three shots, and a game-high six touches in the opposition penalty area, as the Switchbacks recorded only nine shots overall but made the most of them to secure victory.

“The reality is that the boys have been a little bit more aggressive in one-v-one [situations],” said Switchbacks Head Coach James Chambers. “When you get defenders that actually defend and if they defend well great, but then you when you go after them next time, and you’re waiting for them to slip up, we’ve done that over the last couple of weeks, that means, yeah, we could’ve had a few more goals, been a bit more clinical in the final third. But we’re happy, we’re just motoring along, but we have to keep going.”


Norwegian winger Jonas Fjeldberg’s minutes have been limited so far this season due to a nagging toe injury but the impact he had coming off the bench just past the hour mark helped tilt the game in the Switchbacks’ favor. The hosts had taken only one shot in the second half before Fjeldberg’s determined, weaving run past three Rhode Island defenders and low cross that was turned in for an own goal with Damus lurking to finish just two minutes after entering paved the way for Colorado Springs to take victory.

Fjeldberg backed that up by being a pest in midfield, winning 5 of 5 ground duels and making four recoveries as Rhode Island tried to get back into the game. It was his winning possession in midfield between two RIFC players that sprang the hosts on the counterattack that resulted Damus being brought down for a penalty to seal all three points.

“I had to be patient all season, I’ve been struggling with my toe, so I’m just very happy to be back 100 percent and getting that trust from Coach,” said Fjeldberg. “I’ve been slowly putting more and more minutes and all credit to [Coach Chambers] for giving me the opportunity – it was about time I contributed something.”


Rhode Island put together arguably its best performance of the season last weekend at home to Sacramento Republic FC, and appeared to be on its way to another good display on Friday night when Frank Nodarse scored his first goal in two calendar years – ironically enough also at Weidner Field against the Switchbacks – as it had the better of the early going on the road.

But then the hiccups that have beset the side began to reappear. A miscommunication between two defenders on a headed clearance left Damus alone to take possession and power home an equalizer just before the half-hour mark before the second half own-goal and a late conceded penalty by Stephen Turnbull that seemed borne from the frustration of another result that had slipped away as he shoved Damus to the ground.

There were still positive aspects for the expansion side to take away – finding a way to get Jack Panayotou more involved after he bagged an assist for a second consecutive game from a set piece, had four chances created overall and completed 18 of 18 passes feels like a must – but right now the ups and downs that new clubs experience keep finding a way to show up.

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