El Paso Locomotive travels to Orange County, California for the first game the 2020 season, on Friday night at 8 p.m. MT.
Locomotive and Orange County split their games last year, with each team winning 2-0 at home.
Last year on March 30, Locomotive FC earned their first win in club history against Orange County SC. These two teams finished within four points of one another in the final standings in 2019, with Orange County SC and Locomotive finishing fifth and sixth place respectively, both avoiding the play in round.
In the 2019 playoffs, Orange County fell to eventual champions, Real Monarchs SLC, in a crushing 6-2 defeat. After beating Fresno FC 3-2 and cruising past Sacramento Republic FC 3-0 in front of a raucous El Paso crowd, Locomotive also faced Real Monarchs SLC in the playoffs, resulting in a heartbreaking 1-2 loss in the Western Conference Finals.
Starting the 2020 season, both teams have a player suspended due to red card infractions from 2019, Locomotive local star Omar Salgado and Orange County Forward Harry Forrester. Neither will be available for selection for the match.
Of the five new Locomotive players for 2020, three have already had a major offensive impact. Marios Lomis, a clinical striker from the Netherlands, previously played in the Championship with NCFC in the Eastern Conference and has shown promise in the offseason.
Distel Zola, a French born midfielder who played his career in France, promises to be another attacking weapon for Coach Mark Lowry. Dylan Mares will be pulling the strings in midfield as a creative and attacking option who scored multiple goals during preseason under a TBA moniker until he was announced this Monday.
With the recent re-signing of Forward Aaron Gomez and Defender Mechack Jerome returning from an Achilles tear to secure the backline, Locomotive appears poised to hit the ground running in California.
The teams will meet again in El Paso on Saturday, August 22nd in Southwest University Park in a match that could have major playoff seeding implications.
With the home season opener just 9 days away, Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets can be purchased online or by calling or texting 915-235-GOAL.