Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC scored either side of halftime in a 2-0 victory against the LA Galaxy II on Saturday night at Weidner Field. The Switchbacks took the lead in the 25th minute as A.J. Ajeakwa curled home a tremendous finish from the top-right corner of the penalty area into the top-left corner of the net, and then almost doubled their lead six minutes into the second half when Jordan Burt’s looping finish came back off the crossbar. Burt found the net from the penalty spot in the 55th minute, however, firing into the top-left corner of the net after a handball by the Galaxy II in their penalty area. Saeed Robinson almost added a third for the Switchbacks on the hour-mark with a low shot that whistled just wide of the right post, but the hosts were rarely threatened defensively as the saw out the opening-night win.
25’ – COS – A.J. Ajeakwa (Shane Malcolm)
55’ – COS – Jordan Burt (penalty kick)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Colorado Springs Head Coach Steve Trittschuh said prior to Saturday’s game that he hadn’t had many questions answered in the club’s preseason. Thanks to a solid opening display from his side in its opening regular season contest that earned the club its second season-opening victory in four years, Trittschuh likely left with more answers than he entered as A.J. Ajeakwa scored a great opening goal and his defense clamped down strongly on the visiting attack. Bigger tests will arrive soon, but now the opportunity to build early-season momentum is at hand as Colorado Springs looks to return to the postseason at the end of the year.
2. Jordan Burt had been a mainstay on the back line for the Switchbacks, but his move into the center of midfield provided impetus throughout Saturday’s game. Burt connected play well, and also was creative in making four key passes ahead of his well-taken penalty kicks. Teaming up with Josh Suggs down the left side with regularity, Burt got into dangerous positions to try and tee up A.J. Ajeakwa and the rest of the Switchbacks’ attack in helping the hosts earn all three points.
3. After last season’s struggles, the Galaxy II will have been disappointed not to put in a better showing in a venue that has seen the side have some success in the past, and instead was left with a frustrated performance that rarely saw the side test Colorado Springs goalkeeper Steward Ceus. Los Dos finished with only one shot on goal, and four shots overall, a poor display that mirrored much of what went wrong for the side in 2017.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jordan Burt, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Burt helped control the tempo in midfield and scored a good penalty kick to lead the Switchbacks to a comfortable victory.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Portland Timbers 2 – March 24, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field
LA Galaxy II at Fresno FC – March 24, 10 p.m. ET, Chukchansi Park