Locomotive offense comes alive with four goals, steams past Colorado Springs 4-2

Locomotive+midfielder+Nick+Ross+tries+to+set+up+goal+early+versus+Colorado+Springs+Switchback+Saturday+Aug.+8%2C+2020.

Marie Salette Ontiveros

Locomotive midfielder Nick Ross tries to set up goal early versus Colorado Springs Switchback Saturday Aug. 8, 2020.

Michael Cuviello, Editor-in-Chief

 

The El Paso Locomotive (2-2-2) dominated all aspects of the match versus the Colorado Springs Switchback (1-1-3) with an offensive output that has not been seen all season culminating in a 4-2 victory over the Group opponent. 

In four games back from the United Soccer Leagues season restart, the Locomotive had averaged a little over a goal per game, scoring five goals in four games. On Saturday night, the offense produced four goals on just eight shots, including two from El Paso native Louis “Chapo” Herrera. 

‘Our pressure up top was fantastic and we were able to get a lot of runs and shots which will lead to goals,” Herrera said. 

From the opening minute of the match, El Paso dominated possession, with precise passing as it constantly attacked Colorado’s zones. At the 16-minute mark, a foul set up the Locomotives first goal. Midfielder Dylan Mares scored his second goal of the season from about 20 feet on a set play following the penalty that sneaked past the outstretched hands of the Switchback goalkeeper. 

Mares goal was the first freekick score in Locomotive history.  

“Coach has been speaking with us this week about creating better opportunities…I think we did that tonight,” Mares said. I think we improved on scoring in the chances that we had.” 

Five minutes later, at the 21-minute mark, Locomotive forward Josue Aaron Gomez took advantage of a sloppy pass from the Switchbacks, intercepting then beating Colorado Goalie Sean Melvin one-on-one for the Locomotives second score. This match marks the third game in a row that Gomez has scored a goal for El Paso. 

For the first time, this season, the Locomotive had built a two-goal lead going into the half and were converting its chances at favorable rates. 

The second half started much like the first with El Paso continually pressing and maintaining possession. 

At the 66th minute, two quick passes set up Herrera to speed past his defender to break away for his first goal of the season. Then before the smoke had cleared from the celebration of the previous goal, Herrera showed his tremendous speed with the ball off a defense piercing assist from forward Omar Salgado that led to his second score of the evening. 

Chapa is so good, Ive got so much trust and belief in Chapa, Head Coach Mark Lowry said. He does exactly what I tell him. He has the intensity to do what I tell him; he has tenacity. You cant teach that, thats a natural human characteristic he has in abundance.  

I think he is fantastic. When I put him in, he never lets me down. Ill take that kid to the moon and back because hell run through a brick wall for the team, hell run through a brick wall for this club, hell run through a brick wall for El Paso. Those are the guys we need; those are the guys we are going to win championships with. 

Within a span of two minutes, the Locomotive doubled its lead to a commanding four-goal lead over the Switchbacks. 

For over 80 minutes, it looked like the Locomotive would shutout its group rival but the Switchback continued to press for scores. Persistence finally paid off with a score from  Switchback midfielder Uvaldo Luna at the 82nd minute. 

Nine minutes later, at the 91-minute mark, Luna fought through heavy traffic for his second goal of the night punching one right past Locomotive goalie LogaKetterer which almost led to a fight as tempers flared. 

Holding on for the remaining minutes of the match, the Locomotive finished with a dominating 4-2 win over group rival Colorado, bringing the offensive output that Lowry had predicted would pay off soon. 

With the victory, the Locomotive took sole control of second place in Group C with eight points while the loss keeps the switchbacks tied for the cellar with four points. New Mexico United still leads the group with 10 points. 

The Locomotive has one week to prepare for its next road match against Real Monarchs SLC 8 p.m. Aug. 15 at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman Utah. The game will be televised on ESPN+. 

Michael Cuviello may be reached at [email protected]