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‘Fatigued’ Locomotive play leads to underwhelming draw versus San Diego Loyal SC

Gianluca Cuevas
Charlie Admas attempts a free kick from outside the box to try and break open the score.

The El Paso Locomotive FC (12-712) said goodbye to Southwest University Park Wednesday night as the team’s regular season stint ended in El Paso.  

In an uneventful game versus the San Diego Loyal SC (14-8-9), the Locos managed to keep the Loyal at bay but could not score in the ninety minutes. The result ended with a 0-0 score. 

The next few matches are pivotal as the Locos are at the cusp of playoff eligibility. Only the eight top teams from each conference qualify for postseason play. Entering Wednesday, El Paso was seventh in the Western Conference standings. 

El Paso came off a major 3-2 victory over Charleston Battery (16-8-3) Saturday which helped the Locos remain in playoff contention. 

Playoffs are on the minds of a lot of Locos fans like Luis Calvillo, who conveyed nothing but enthusiasm for El Paso’s squad. 

“I’m hoping we win,” Calvillo said. “It’s the last home game. Hopefully we can get the win and move onto the playoffs. We’ll be here supporting (the Locomotive) no matter what.” 

First half 

The match started off uneventful, consisting mostly of fielding by both defenses. 

The Loyal maintained the slight upper hand with two shot attempts, one shot on goal and three corner kicks. 

The most notable play was a nullified goal from the San Diego Loyal in the twenty-sixth minute. The goal was overturned following an offside call. 

Some solid defensive work from El Paso kept San Diego off the board in the first forty-five, but offensively struggled to make any moves only noting two shot attempts with two corner kicks. 

The first half would end with a tie score of 0-0 with no added stoppage. 

Second half 

The Locos started the second half with the substitution of forward Petur Knudsen for forward Aaron Gomez. 

The Locomotive had an opportunity to score in the fifty-fifth minute following a yellow card foul by Loyal defender Carlos Guzmán. Unfortunately for El Paso, the free kick flew over the goalkeeper. 

In the seventy-sixth minute of the match, midfielder Eric Calvillo had the first major scoring opportunity for the Locos following the free kick. Calvillo would traverse a number of Loyal defenders on top of the penalty box. A slight hesitation from the Salvadoran would force the ball to veer right from the goal. 

San Diego found its first major scoring opportunity of the second half following a foul committed by Calvillo in the eighty-eighth minute. The kick was blocked by forward Christopher Garcia stopping Loyal’s momentum. 

With only two minutes of stoppage, neither team could find enough momentum to find a goal. 

The Locos finished with four shot attempts, two corner kicks and zero shots on goal. Meanwhile, San Diego had two shots on goal, eight shot attempts and seven corner kick. 

Goalkeeper Benny Diaz made his presence felt at the net despite only being credited with two saves. 

First time Locomotives fan Luis Loaiza felt El Paso could have given more in order to secure the win a much-needed win. 

“I feel like the Locomotives could have done a lot better,” Loaiza said. “I feel like they weren’t putting enough pressure. I Feel like a San Diego defense was really, really, really good, really strong. I feel like if (San Diego) made longer passes on the Locomotives they would have found better opportunities to score.” 

Head Coach Brian Clarhaut attributed the underwhelming match to the short week during the postgame presser. 

“I think it was a fatigued match,” Clarhaut said. “The fans could see that. But I think both teams were pretty defensive it was hard to breakdown and limit us to our chances.” 

Wednesday’s match recorded an attendance of 6,792, which was the largest crowd for a week-night game. 

The Locomotive now heads to Memphis, TN to take on Memphis 901 FC for the first matchup in the franchises’ history. 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela Armendariz is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram 

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About the Contributors
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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