Louis ‘Chapa’ Herrera (20) and Omar Salgado celebrate the 68th minute goal that put the Locos for good. | Photo by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – El Paso Herald Post
El Paso Locomotive FC created distance over the playoff line with a 4-2 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night.
Hometown talent shined in the victory as Memo Diaz, Louis ‘Chapa’ Herrera, Aaron Gomez, and Omar Salgado all contributed, with Gomez and Chapa recording goals on the night.
“I don’t see any reason why this team can’t go on a winning streak now because we have the quality,” stated Head Coach, Technical Director Mark Lowry.
“We’ve been playing really well. We just have to keep pushing ourselves to be better every day. I know the guys in there will do that, we’ve got a great locker room. Experience players that are always pushing each other every single day to be better. I’m looking forward to this week of training because even though we’ve won the calmness will be there. We’ve got some things to clean up and some things to work on which ultimately will make us a better team.”
Locomotive FC (2-2-2, 8 points) dictated the early goings of the match, exposing the gaps and mistakes in the Switchbacks FC defense with through-balls that put Los Locos into menacing positions.
The pressure paid off after drawing a foul at the top of the 18, giving way for Dylan Mares to beautifully put away the goal from the freekick.
Moments later, Gomez capitalized on a bad back pass from Colorado Springs, converting a one-on-one opportunity to help secure 2-0 at the half-time.
The second half mirrored the first as once again Locomotive FC dominated possession with passing accuracy to find the lanes past the Colorado defense.
Chapa recorded his first professional goal and punctuated it with the brace in the 66th and 68th minutes of the game, tapping home the cut back passes from Salgado and a combination pass Nick Ross and Gomez.
The comfortable Locos lead began to grow thin as Switchbacks FC’s Uvaldo Luna netted a brace of his own, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap providing Locomotive FC with the 4-2 win.
Up next, the Locos Blue head out on the road to the site of the 2019 Western Conference Final for a rematch against the 2019 USL Championship title winners, Real Monarchs.
Kickoff from Zions Bank Stadium is set for Saturday, August 15 at 8:00 p.m. MT.
Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – El Paso Herald Post | Video courtesy El Paso Locomotive FC
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GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
ELP: Dylan Mares, 16th minute – After drawing the foul, Dylan Mares stepped up at the top of the 18 to take the free kick. A shot of textbook beauty, Mares curved the ball into the far side of the net just out of reach of a diving Sean Melvin for the opening Locomotive goal.
ELP: Josue Aaron Gomez, 21st minute – Capitalizing on a bad back pass from Switchbacks FC, Gomez intercepted the ball at a crucial time with only Sean Melvin between him and goal. A left footed shot low into the near post, doubled the advantage for the Los Locos.
ELP: Louis Herrera (Nick Ross, Aaron Gomez), 66th minute – Linking up with quick passes and the cutback in at the edge of the touchline, Chapa fought off his man to get a touch on goal to score his first professional goal with one touch to the far net.
ELP: Louis Herrera (Omar Salgado), 68th minute – Chapa made it a brace, mirroring the first goal of the night, taking one touch on the far post after Salgado passed back to create an open easy goal for Chapa to convert.
COS: Uvaldo Luna (Austin Dewing), 82nd minute – Chaos in the box led to a lofted cross to switch the play close to goal. While Logan moved to stop it, Luna took a low shot to the far post just out of reach of Ketterer to pull on back on the scoreline.
COS: Uvaldo Luna, 91st minute – In a heavily populated penalty area, Switchbacks FC made a run to cut through the traffic. Taking a bounce off a Locomotive defender’s foot, Luna saw the opportunity to rifle a goal down the middle to cut the deficit down by one.
– Recent signing, Defender Matt Bahner makes an appearance on the bench for Locomotive FC, subbing in for his debut in the 86th minute.
– Aaron Gomez continued his run of form, notching his third goal in as many games with the simple conversion in the 21st minute.
– The hometown connection shined as Omar, Aaron Gomez and Louis Herrera connected for multiple goals throughout the night. Paired with minutes from Memo Diaz, the four local Locomotive players highlighted tonight’s matchup.
Match: El Paso Locomotive FC vs Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Date: August 8, 2020
Venue: Southwest University Park; El Paso, Texas | Weather: 97F and sunny
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
El Paso Locomotive FC 2 2 4
Co. Springs Switchbacks FC 0 2 2
ELP: Dylan Mares, 16′
ELP: Josue Aaron Gomez, 21′
ELP: Louis Herrera (Nick Ross, Aaron Gomez), 66′
ELP: Louis Herrera (Omar Salgado), 68′
COS: Uvaldo Luna (Austin Dewing), 82′
COS: Uvaldo Luna, 91′
El Paso Locomotive FC (4-1-2-1): Logan Ketterer; Andrew Fox, Yuma, Mechack Jerome, Guillermo Diaz (Matt Bahner, 85′), Richie Ryan, Nick Ross, Louis Herrera, Dylan Mares, Aaron Gomez (Moses Makinde, 85′), Saeed Robinson (Omar Salgado, 61′)
Subs not used: Jermaine Fordah, Drew Beckie, Distel Zola
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (4-4-2): Sean Melvin; Andre Lewis, Kris Reaves, Adrian Diz Pe (Rony Argueta, 46′), Jordan Burt, Ever Rubio (Uvaldo Luna, 46′), Hiroki Kurimoto, Joan Cervos, George Lebese (Luke Ferreira, 66′), Aidan Daniels (Austin Dewing, 46′), Christian Volesky Mamadi Camara, 73′)
Subs not used: Alejandro Padilla, Abraham Rodriguez
Stats Summary: ELP/COS
Shots: 8 / 13
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 13
Offside: 2 / 1
COS – Kris Reaves (Caution), 15′
ELP – Memo Diaz (Caution), 23′
COS – Ever Rubio (Caution), 37′
COS – Jordan Burt (Caution), 87′
ELP – Dylan Mares (Caution), 90’+