El Paso Locomotive (0-2-0, 0 points, West-10) dropped a 2-1 result against New Mexico United on Saturday night at Southwest University Park. Midfielder Dylan Mares recorded his first goal of 2022 in the first half in front of a second-best attendance record crowd of 8,124 El Paso fans.
“We have one of the best teams in the USL. We have some of the best players in the USL,” said Head Coach and Technical Director John Hutchinson. “When it clicks, the players will start believing in themselves and we are going to be a good team. Right now, I take full responsibility for what’s happening. We’ll keep pushing hard. I’ll look at myself first, work out where we can get better, and be more aggressive. Then we get back on Wednesday and we’ll go again.”
The Derby del Camino Real kicked off to a quiet start through the opening 20 minutes however quickly heated up after Mares found his 22nd-minute goal following the selfless and speedy pass from Midfielder Emmanuel Sonupe.
Locomotive kept the pressure going after the opening goal nearly finding a second with a distance shot from Defender Andrew Fox that forced United ‘keeper Alex Tambakis into a massive save and opened Midfielder Diego Luna open for a shot that pinged off the post.
The lead would not last into the half however when in the 32nd minute Neco Brett chipped the ball over Goalkeeper Evan Newton to equalize the scoring.
Despite dominating the second half through possession and play in the opposing half, Locomotive found difficulty placing the ball into the back of the net for the equalizing goal. High pressure from both sides tested one another’s defensive thirds, ultimately paying off for New Mexico United.
A wayward low clearance from Newton found the foot of Justin Portillo who sent it back towards Tabort Preston who quickly found the far corner in the 66th minute. For the remaining 20 minutes, Locomotive continued to dominate as it looked for the equalizing goal, but the ball did not fall El Paso’s way as the team fell 2-1.
El Paso Locomotive returns to Southwest University Park to host Las Vegas Lights in a quick turnaround match set for Wednesday, March 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT.
The night is highlighted with $2 specials and 2,000 Limited Edition Black Locomotive Flags as the Locos turn the stadium black in honor of the new kit. Tickets are available online at eplocomotivefc.com/tickets or by calling 915-235-GOAL.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
ELP: Dylan Mares (Emmanuel Sonupe), 22nd minute: El Paso Locomotive FC struck first in the night with a beautiful team goal that started with a perfectly weighted ball from Diego Luna. Sonupe utilized his speed to break past Alexis Souahy before selflessly lending the ball to Dylan Mares who took one touch for the goal.
NM: Neco Brett (Daniel Bruce), 32nd minute: Moments after Locomotive found the opening goal, New Mexico followed suit with a long ball starting with Alex Tambakis being pushed forward after a header from Bruce. Brett used the opportunity to break past the Locomotive defense and chip an onrushing Evan Newton to equalize the scoring.
NM: Tabort Preston (Justin Portillo), 66th minute: Off a poor low clearance from Newton, Portillo picked up the ball and sent it back to Preston, who fired it quickly and low into the far post to put New Mexico United in the lead just past the hour mark.
– The Locomotive lineup saw three changes from the first week with Ricardo Zacarias, Harry Brockbank, and Eric Calvillo earning starts for Sebastian Velasquez, Martin Payares, and Richie Ryan, respectively.
– With 8,124 fans in attendance for a standing room only crowd at Southwest University Park, this marked El Paso Locomotive’s second-largest crowd in History. The inaugural game against OKC Energy FC in 2019 had an attendance of 8,324.
– Defender Harry Brockbank earned his first start in a Locomotive jersey, as the only new face to appear in the Starting XI.
– Midfielder Dylan Mares opened his goal scoring account in 2022 with his picture-perfect 22nd-minute goal while Midfielder Emmanuel Sonupe recorded his first assist.
– Locomotive USL Academy Forward Noe Coutino earned his second consecutive appearance on the Locomotive bench.
Match: El Paso Locomotive vs New Mexico United | Date: March 19, 2022 | Venue: Southwest University Park
Weather: 72F and partly cloudy
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
El Paso Locomotive 1 0 1
New Mexico United 1 1 2
ELP – Dylan Mares (Emmanuel Sonpue), 22’
NM – Neco Brett (Daniel Bruce), 32’
NM – Tabort Preston (Justin Portillo), 66’
El Paso Locomotive FC (4-3-3): Evan Newton; Andrew Fox, Harry Brockbank, (Eder Borelli, 74’), Ander Egiluz, Shavon John-Brown (Matt Bahner, 45’), Eric Calvillo (Richie Ryan, 65’), Diego Luna, Dylan Mares, Christiano Francois, Emmanuel Sonupe (Nick Hinds, 78’), Ricardo Zacarias (Aaron Gomez, 66’)
Subs not used: Philipp Beigl, Noe Coutino
New Mexico United (4-4-2): Alex Tambakis; Harry Swartz (Jerome Kiesewetter, 91’), Sam Hamilton, Alexis Souahy, Rashid Tetteh, Chris Wehan, Daniel Bruce, William Seymore, Justin Portillo, Tabort Preston (Sergio Rivas, 72’), Neco Brett
Subs not used: Ford Parker, Ilija Ilic, Carl Sainte, Raddy Ovouka, Cristian Nava
Stats Summary: ELP | NM
Shots: 9 | 9
Shots on Goal: 3 | 3
Saves: 1 | 2
Corner Kicks: 6 | 4
Fouls: 18 | 13
Offside: 3 | 6
ELP – Andrew Fox (Caution), 29’
ELP – Dylan Mares (Caution), 30’
ELP – Harry Brockbank (Caution), 43’
NM – Justin Portillo (Caution), 44’
ELP – Ricardo Zacarias (Caution), 51’
NM – Alexis Souahy (Caution), 51’
NM – William Seymore (Caution), 77’
NM – Chris Wehan (Caution), 81’
ELP – Nick Hinds (Caution) 94’
Gallery by Ruben R. Ramirez – El Paso Herald Post