El Paso Locomotive FC took to the road in their first true away game of the preseason in a face-off with intrastate USL Championship Club, San Antonio FC. This budding Texas rivalry planted its early seeds in the heart of hill country. In a modified format, the match consisted of a 45-minute period, a 30-minute period, and another 45-minute “mini game.” This restructured format, especially in regard to the mini game, let El Paso Locomotive FC get the entirety of the squad on board. “All the guys got good minutes tonight and experience, which is important moving forward,” Said Head Coach Mark Lowry.
El Paso Locomotive came out swinging and looked to maintain and implement the high possession gameplay they exhibited this preseason. With a few good looks on frame in the first half, one of the closest opportunities came off a bicycle kick by defender James Kiffe that kissed the cross bar, leaving San Antonio FC and El Paso Locomotive FC alike, breathless. El Paso showed creativity in their attack and most importantly showed strength in their defense. Logan Ketter, who hadn’t been tested much during his preseason stint stepped up and showcased his pedigree, coming up with four massive saves to keep the sheet clean.
After 45 minutes, the sides remained scoreless and moved to the next period of play, scheduled for 30 minutes. In both halves, each side of the field saw action, with EP Locomotive and San Antonio FC fighting for the chance to take the lead. Locomotive was on track to score with multiple instances of buildup play and looks on goal but couldn’t find that last one percent to put them ahead in this first meeting of the Texas clubs. After the final whistle, the game moved into what was labeled, a “mini game” that lasted 45 minutes and saw members of the Locomotive squad that shared some common threads. The three El Pasoans, forward Omar Salgado, and midfielders Louis “Chapa” Herrera and Memo Diaz all saw the pitch together tonight under the lights of Toyota Field. Although the “mini game” saw no club go up a goal, you could see the chemistry on the field with all the 20 players who were rotated throughout the match.
“I am very happy with how the team competed, it was a great exercise for both teams and I am very pleased with how our team has progressed,” said Lowry after the 0-0 draw against Western Conference foe `San Antonio FC. El Paso Locomotive will play one final preseason match against OKC Energy FC in Tucson, Arizona on March 2nd, before they play their inaugural home opener on March 9th against, OKC Energy FC.