EP Locomotive players surround OC player as ball flies past
Photo courtesy EP Locomotive FC

Leandro Carrijo’s late goal secures tie, earns road point for Locomotive

El Paso Locomotive (12-2-6, 42 points) earned a point on the road with a 2-2 draw against Orange County SC at Championship Soccer Stadium on Friday night.

Midfielder Nick Ross opened the scoring in the 20th minute while Forward Leandro Carrijo closed out the game in the 90th minute to take the point.

El Paso dominated the opening moments of the match, controlling possession and the tempo of the game. Within the first ten minutes, Forward Lucho Soliganc picked a lobbed pass forward that Midfielder Diego Luna was able to pick out with a half volley to test the OC keeper and set the tone for the first half.

While Luna would take another chance and Defender Macca King would create meaningful chances, it would be Ross that opened the scoring in the 20th minute with nothing but time and space to coolly provide Locomotive a lead going into the halftime break.

In a complete reversal from the first half, Orange County controlled the second 45 minutes putting El Paso Locomotive on the backfoot, testing the best defense in the USL Championship. In the end, Orange County had the answers finding two goals within minutes of each other through Ronaldo Damus in the 61st and Sean Okoli in the 67th.

Not to be undone, Head Coach Mark Lowry made tactical changes to the field to swing momentum back into Locomotive control, affording a capitalized opportunity through Carrijo to earn the equalizer and steal a point from Championship Soccer Stadium.

Up next, El Paso Locomotive returns home for another inter-division matchup against Sacramento Republic FC of the Pacific Division. The contest is scheduled for Saturday, September 11 with kickoff from Southwest University Park set for 7:30 p.m. MT.

Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 915-235-GOAL.


ELP: Nick Ross (Sebastian Velasquez), 20th minute: From the corner of the field Velasquez cut deep into the middle before laying the pass off to an unmark Nick Ross at the top of the 18-yard-line. With no one from the Orange County side testing Ross, he had nothing but time to settle on the ball and prepare his shot before sending it to the back of the net for the opening goal of the night.

OC: Ronaldo Damus (Eric Calvillo), 61st minute: With nothing but pace, Calvillo got in behind the Locomotive defense, sprinting down the right side, attacking the Locomotive final third. With some time, Cavillo sent a low pass across the face to goal to Damus who simply redirected the ball to equalize the scoring.

OC: Sean Okoli (Brent Richards), 67th minute: Just shy of the 70th minute, Brent Richards sent in a cross from a far distance to an unmarked Okoli at the center of the box. Free near the penalty spot, Okoli connected the header that slipped past Logan Ketterer for the go-ahead Orange County goal.

ELP: Leandro Carrijo, 89th minute: In the dying moments of regulation time, Locomotive got on the front foot offering an attack that ended with a deadly cross to the center of the box. While the Orange County SC ‘keeper Patrick Rakovsky deflected the initial chance on frame, it bounced back into the patch of Carrijo who put away the last-minute goal to split points at Championship Soccer Stadium.


– The last time Locomotive visited Championship Soccer Stadium was for the 2020 Season Opener, just a week ahead of the temporary season hiatus.

– Forward Leandro Carrijo found his third goal of the season, scoring on his birthday in the dying moments of regulation time to steal a point from Orange County.

– Midfielder Nick Ross earned his second goal of the season with his 20th-minute goal. Ross last scored against Indy Eleven with an early 2nd-minute stunner.

– El Paso Locomotive rebounds from only its second loss of the season with a comeback rally to secure a draw.

Match: El Paso Locomotive at Orange County SC  |  Date: September 3, 2021
Venue: Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, California   |   Weather: 75F and clear skies

Scoring Summary              1          2          F

El Paso Locomotive FC      1          1          2

Orange County SC              0          2          2

ELP – Nick Ross (Sebastian Velasquez), 20’
OC – Ronaldo Damus (Eric Calvillo), 61’
OC – Sean Okoli (Brent Richards), 67’
ELP – Leandro Carrijo, 89’


El Paso Locomotive FC (4-2-3-1): Logan Ketterer; Eder Borelli (Matt Bahner, 75’), Yuma, Mechack Jerome, Macca King (Bryam Rebellon, 75’), Nick Ross (Aaron Gomez, 75’), Richie Ryan, Diego Luna (Leandro Carrijo, 78’), Dylan Mares (Chapa Herrera, 94’), Sebastian Velasquez, Lucho Solignac

Subs not used: Ben Beaury, Jose Aguinaga

Orange County SC (4-3-3): Patrick Rakovsky; Michael Orozco, Brent Richards, Rob Kiernan, Kevin Alston, Dillon Powers, Eric Calvillo, Thomas McCabe (Ben Mines, 68’), Brian Iloski (Thomas Enevoldsen, 92’), Ronaldo Damus, Sean Okoli (Aidan Apodaca, 81’)

Subs not used: Seth Casiple, Nathan Smith, Kobi Henry, Abraham Romero

Stats Summary: ELP | OC

Shots: 5 | 12
Shots on Goal: 3 | 2
Saves:  |
Corner Kicks: 1 | 8
Fouls: 16 | 16
Offside: 6 | 2


OC – Thomas McCabe (Caution), 59’
ELP – Diego Luna (Caution), 64’
ELP – Yuma (Caution), 83’
ELP – Richie Ryan (Caution), 87’
ELP – Matt Bahner (Caution), 90’

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