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Rundown | El Paso Locomotive vs Switchbacks FC

By Derick Fox, 10/13/21, 1:15PM MDT

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What to Know for the Final Regular Series Showdown with Colorado Springs

You know what’s better than soccer at Southwest University Park? Soccer with dogs at Southwest University Park! Our first ever Pups at the Pitch is this Wednesday and as an avid lover of all things dog, I’m so excited to see everyone bring their furry little friends to the stadium! Anyway, let's roll over that for now and fetch some storylines on tomorrow’s game. (I’m sorry.)

MATCH DETAILS: USL Championship Regular Season Game #28; vs Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC; Kickoff 7:00 p.m. MT

VENUE/WEATHER: Southwest University Park; El Paso, Texas; 74F degrees and clear skies

TICKETS: Click Here!

WATCH: ESPN+

RECORDS/STANDINGS: Locomotive: 15-2-10 (55 points, MTN-1); Switchbacks: 12-7-9 (45 points, MTN-3)

PREVIOUS MEETING: Only two weeks ago, Locomotive traveled to Weidner Field for the final time in the season. The two sides played patiently against one another, not seeing a lot of chances to threaten one another’s goal. Colorado Springs began getting a bit more threatening, but it would be Forward Leandro Carrijo that broke the deadlock in the 81st minute. Midfielder Bryam Rebellon sent the low pass that Carrijo redirected into goal. Los Locos seemed destined to get their first win over Switchbacks in 2021, but late-game pressure and a poor back clearance from El Paso put the ball into the back of the net to end the game 1-1.

2021 Deadlock

After three matches so far in the 2021 USL Championship season, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC is the only team that Locomotive has played multiple times and has yet to get a full three points against. The teams have played to three draws – two ending 1-1 and the other ending scoreless. The two clubs have been in an absolute deadlock with one another throughout the season. Try as they might, neither team can get the advantage. With the teams set to face each other one last time in the regular season, it’s an opportunity to get the head-to-head series advantage while holding significant playoff implications. Which speaking of…

Significant Playoff Implications

Wednesday's match carries significant playoff implications for both teams. For El Paso Locomotive FC this match could guarantee a home playoff game and even set up the Sun City club for more home playoff matches deeper in. A draw or a win against Switchbacks would make it mathematically impossible for El Paso to fall below second place, which means Locomotive would earn the right to play the Western Conference Quarterfinal at Southwest University Park. That would be huge for Head Coach Mark Lowry and his squad since Locomotive has undeniably made a fortress of Southwest University Park with a 21-game unbeaten streak, including two playoff games in 2020. The more points the better for Locomotive too, since for the rest of the playoffs, home-field advantage will be given to whichever team earned the most points in the regular season. Obviously, Mark Lowry wants to play as many games at home as possible, so every point from here on out are must-win points.

For Colorado Springs Switchbacks, this match could mean the difference between hosting the first playoff game or playing it away from home somewhere in the Pacific Division. The Switchbacks are locked in a heated battle for second place with San Antonio FC with only two points separating the two teams after 28 games played. Every point will matter as the Colorado Springs team seeks to use Weidner Field as one of the stages for a Western Conference Quarterfinal.

23 Game Fortress

I’m going to harp on this as much as I possibly can because I absolutely love this stat. 23 games is absolutely incredible and the Locos have an opportunity to make it 23 games unbeaten at Southwest University Park tonight. As of gameday, ahead of kick off, Locomotive is 446 calendar days undefeated at home, officially passing both Tampa Bay Rowdies (426 days) and Orange County SC (399 days) records. It’s still a ways to go before Locomotive starts testing the records of Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Indy Eleven, and Charleston Battery, but a win or a draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC is another step towards those two-year unbeaten streaks. Not to mention, it’s another step for an unscathed season in El Paso.

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