Within a minute of the first whistle blowing, El Paso Locomotive took an early lead against FC Grande and never looked back. After a few touches, and some movement on and off the ball, it was the two El Pasoans who linked up to kick off the scoring spree. With an assist by Louis “Chapa” Herrera, Omar Salgado was able to put the ball into the back of the net and put the momentum in place. From the beginning of the match, the Lowry game plan was in place. El Paso Locomotive maintained heavy possession for the entirety of the match and put a passing clinic on display.
The second goal of the match came 4 minutes after the first. FC Grande committed a foul in the box and awarded Locomotive a penalty. It was Edson Partida who stepped up to take the kick. As the goalkeeper readied up, Partida exhibited an air of confidence and collectiveness, and as the whistle blew, he took an extra second and then began his approach. It resulted in his first El Paso Locomotive goal.
Another 20 minutes passed before another point was added to the score and it was for FC Grande who converted on a penalty to bring the score 2-1. El Paso Locomotive continued to show how they want to handle matches through their possession of the ball and the ability to show creativity in their passing. This creativity led to the third goal of the day for El Paso, which came to fruition from lovely passing, changing of the field, and a strike by Salgado that the keeper had no chance against.
That wouldn’t be the last goal of the day though. After getting the assist for the first goal, Chapa wanted one of his own. With textbook one-two passing and the ability to create space, Chapa received a ball right at the top of the box. With a single touch in, he let it rip with the accuracy of guided munition and curled it across the keeper, leaving him helpless. “Being my first Locomotive goal, and scoring it like that, it felt really good. I couldn’t have asked for anything else today,” said Chapa, who grabbed an assist and a goal in today’s 4-1 victory.
All of the goals came in the first half, but the second half followed in suite with the Locomotive style of play. With relentless possession and a handful of good looks, the match was El Paso’s from the beginning. The final whistle not only signaled the end of the match but also the end of El Paso Locomotive’s home preseason run. On Friday the team travels to face intrastate opponent, San Antonio FC on Saturday, February 23rd, and they close their preseason with a match against OKC Energy FC in Tucson, Arizona on March 2nd.