HERRIMAN, Utah – El Paso Locomotive FC traveled to Salt Lake City in their first road match of their inaugural 2019 USL Championship season. Locomotive came away with a draw and one point in the 0-0 result.
The first half saw El Paso Locomotive implement their high-possession game plan and brought with it a few good looks.
Forward Derek Gebhard had a breakaway in the 32nd minute with just the keeper to beat but was fouled from behind, which resulted in a Real Monarchs red card. Monarchs proceeded to play a man down for the remainder of the match.
A late substitute in the 69th minute saw midfielder Joshua Castellanos come onto the pitch. With 20 minutes of gameplay he registered three shots. A few late scoring opportunities in the waning minutes were cause for alarm for Real Monarchs but goalkeeper David Ochoa kept it level on a curled shot from Castellanos and a header from Defender Bryam Rebellon.
El Paso maintained 63.8 percent possession across the match and boasted an 86.8 percent passing accuracy (584 passes completed). Chiro Ntoko led the team in passing accuracy at 97.4 percent.
El Paso Locomotive FC plays their next match at home on Saturday, March 23rd. Good tickets remain for upcoming matches including the Saturday, March 23rd game vs. regional rival Rio Grande Valley FC and the Saturday, March 30th match against Orange County SC.
Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets can be purchased
El Paso Locomotive FC has signed Joshua Castellanos (United States) and Chiro N’toko (Belgium), bringing a wealth of soccer experience to the new club.
According to club officials, Castellanos will find his place in the midfield and comes to El Paso from Jacksonville Armada, the former Club of El Paso Locomotive FC Head Coach, Mark Lowry and forward, Derek Gebhard who was signed earlier this year.
During the 2018 season, Castellanos saw ten starts in 12 games played and netted four goals and one assist. Chiro N’toko, center back, has spent the majority of his professional career in the Eerste Divisie and the Eredivisie which is the highest level of professional soccer in the Netherlands.
N’toko will be an integral component of the defense and is coming from the Fortuna Liga in Slovakia, where he played with FK Senica. With these two signings, El Paso Locomotive FC’s roster is officially five players signed with more announcements to come.
Head Coach, Mark Lowry has brought two players from Jacksonville Armada thus far and said, “Having worked with Josh this past season, I was eager to continue our work together. He is a very exciting young player; he is an extremely hard worker, comfortable receiving under pressure and has that extra bit of creativity in the final third that is hard to teach. He will be a great asset to the group. I am very excited to see where we can go on this journey because he has a lot of talent and is far from his full potential.”
With over ten years of professional experience playing in Europe, N’toko brings with him invaluable experience and knowledge of the game.
“When building a winning team, I believe the center backs are a critical piece, and no stone was left unturned in our pursuit to bring the right one to this Club. In Chiro, we have a center back who is comfortable building our possession from the back and is aggressive and athletic enough to defend in the manner with which we plan to play this season. His experience and character are second to none. Playing at the highest levels in Holland he has been drilled on playing out from the back; he is a born winner and will be a great leader for us on and off the field,” said Mark Lowry.
In front of a packed house at their soon to be home, officials with Mountain Star Sports announced the El Paso USL’s franchise first coach and technical director Mark Lowry.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join Mountain Star Sports Group as the first-ever head coach for El Paso’s new USL club…I’m excited to help bring high level football to this town and, with such amazing ownership, we expect to be a contender from day one,” Lowry said.
Lowry comes to the Sun City by way of the Jacksonville Armada Football Club – a member of the NASL – and the Orlando City Soccer Club in MLS. Born and raised in Birmingham, England, Lowry worked for two English Premier League (EPL) teams. There he served as Player Scout and Academy Coach for the Wolverhampton Wanderers and Player Scout for Birmingham City FC.
The newly-named coach added, “We will be bringing the best players possible to put a competitive team on the pitch. I am very much looking forward to getting my family settled here in El Paso and getting started.”
Lowry will start with El Paso USL in August, and his wife and two daughters will join him by the end of the year.
“Our extensive search provided exposure to many very talented and experienced soccer coaches, but Mark’s passion, recent success, training, and progressive approach stood out. His enthusiasm for the sport of soccer and his desire to win, combined with an appreciation of the role a team plays in a community and the significant responsibility that comes with his role, convinced us that he was the right choice to lead our soccer operation on the field,” said Alan Ledford, President of El Paso USL.
“Mark has a proven track record in coaching and team management. He’s progressive and he has an innate ability to relate to players both on and off the field which is essential for a successful soccer club,” said Andrew Forrest, General Manager for El Paso USL. “We think Mark is one of the best and brightest young coaches in the United States and he brings a wealth of top flight knowledge from his international training and experience to our organization.”
The as-of-yet-unnamed franchise will begin play in March at Southwest University Park. For more information about season tickets and deposits, interested fans can visit the team’s website.
El Paso USL revealed the top five finalist nicknames for the team to be voted on by the public beginning today. In April of this year, the community was invited to submit team name ideas.
El Paso USL fans submitted more than 1400 name ideas for the team.
The finalist names include:
“We had a lot of fun reviewing the list of names submitted by El Paso USL fans,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “There was certainly a great deal of thought put into the submissions, and the region’s passion for soccer was definitely evident. Based on the feedback we received, we know our local fans are quite creative, but that tradition is equally important to them.”
The team name announcement later this year will include the team’s colors and crest. Uniforms and mascot reveals will be scheduled subsequently.
“This is definitely an exciting time to be an El Paso soccer fan. It’s been thrilling to follow the unpredictable World Cup matches with local soccer supporter groups and fans. It is really rewarding to witness the enthusiasm for El Paso USL,” said Andrew Forrest, General Manager for El Paso USL. “We look forward to announcing the official team name, along with all the other design elements.”
Each of the finalist names was submitted by multiple individuals during the name entry period. As part of the Name the Team contest, those who submitted the winning name will be entered in a drawing. The person selected as the winner will win the grand prize, which includes 2 season seats for the 2019 season, 2 official jerseys, and the winner’s picture taken with the team during the 2019 season.
The criteria for selecting a team name includes name popularity based on public entries and voting, creativity, how well the name represents El Paso, and family-friendliness.
While the public input is an important element of the decision-making process, MountainStar Sports Group will make the ultimate name selection based on the aforementioned criteria and USL approval.
El Paso USL soccer will debut in March of 2019. Those interested in placing a Season Seat Deposit to be among the first to select their Season Tickets can do so with a $50 per seat deposit online or may call 915-235-GOAL. Ticket prices and packages will be announced in the coming months.
At a Wednesday news conference, Officials with El Paso USL announced that Omar Salgado has signed as the first player of the newly launched club, owned by MountainStar Sports Group (MSSG).
Salgado will be part of the inaugural 2019 squad with El Paso USL, which is one of four teams to join USL for the 2019 season.
“We are thrilled for Omar to join the team and be the first ever El Paso USL player. He is a terrific young man who I believe will be a tremendous asset both on the field and in the community — the community he grew up in — and he is excited to return to as a professional soccer player,” said Andrew Forrest, General Manager of El Paso USL.
Salgado was raised in El Paso and holds dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico. The striker was active in youth soccer in the Sun City, playing for the Texas Fire Soccer Club. Salgado attended St. Joseph School and Cathedral High School.
The terms of Salgado’s contract with El Paso USL include his being loaned to Las Vegas Lights FC for the remainder of the 2018 season. The signing and loan are pending league and federation approval.
Salgado, who plays as a Forward, comes to El Paso USL with an impressive background, having played for both the United States U20 and U23 National Teams, and in both Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Previously the No. 1 selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Salgado has also spent time training with multiple English Premier League clubs.
“We are proud to welcome Omar home as the very first player of the very first El Paso USL team. This is El Paso’s team and nothing symbolizes that more than bringing a true El Pasoan on board as our first signing,” said Josh Hunt, Chairman and CEO of MountainStar Sports Group.
“This was a remarkable opportunity for us to sign a world-class player with international experience whose roots are firmly planted in El Paso. Omar is a wonderful person who will represent El Paso well both on and off the pitch,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “We are happy to welcome him home.”
A former Cathedral High School student, Salgado left El Paso at the age of 15 to further his career with soccer giants Club Deportivo Guadalajara, better known as Chivas.
With Chivas, he scored seven goals in 10 appearances and was named Player of the Tournament in South America’s U-17 Copa Liberatores competition. Salgado left Chivas when he accepted a call-up for the United States U-20 team, and also has represented the United States at the U-17, U-18, and U-23 levels.
Salgado, now 24, was selected first overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC after training with current English Premier League sides Everton FC and Fulham FC. He started in four of his first 14 appearances as a rookie, scoring Vancouver’s lone goal in his first start against the Columbus Crew.
The striker suffered two fractured foot injuries in 2012 and 2013, the second of which sidelined Salgado for the entire 2013 MLS season. After a successful loan to USL club Charleston Battery in 2014, the striker was recalled by the Whitecaps first team before being traded to New York City FC and purchased by Tigres UANL of Liga MX three weeks later at the end of that year.
Gallery by Alicia Renteria, Multi-Media Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
The Name the Team Contest for the El Paso United Soccer League (USL) team has been extended by 15 days. Soccer fans have about two more weeks to log in or to enter their ideas for the name of El Paso’s new USL Team here.
The entry period will conclude at 11:59pm on Friday, April 20, 2018 and will be followed by a second phase of the process in which select names will be voted on by the public. The team name will be announced this summer.
The person selected as the winner will win the grand prize, which includes 2 Season Seats for the 2019 season, 2 official jerseys, and the winner’s picture taken with the team during the 2019 season.
“We are having fun engaging fans in the Borderplex with the team naming process. The responses we received to date are thoughtful and playful, and reflect the region’s enthusiasm for professional soccer. We’d like to hear more from the community, so we encourage everyone to participate,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group.
In addition, participants who are under 18 years of age are encouraged to participate as long as they and their parents or legal guardians comply with the Official Rules. Multiple entries are permissible.
Those who do not wish to enter online can also submit an entry by sending a standard size postcard with name, address, city, state, and zip code, day and evening phone number, and email address to El Paso USL, Name the Team Contest, 1 Ballpark Plaza, El Paso, Texas, 79901.
The criteria for selecting a team name include name popularity based on public entries and voting, creativity, how well the name represents El Paso, and family-friendliness. While the public input is an important element of the decision-making process, MountainStar Sports Group will make the ultimate name selection based on the aforementioned criteria and USL approval.
In the case that the final name was not submitted by the public, all those qualified participants who submitted names will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize. Fans are encouraged to visit the USL Team Page to see a full list of USL teams from across the country.
The final team name selected will dictate the team’s colors, crest, uniforms, and mascot, all of which will be revealed later this year after the team name is announced this summer.
“The hometown pride of soccer fans is evident in the entries we’ve seen so far. We are getting a true sense of how the team name will shape the entire brand of El Paso USL. From the team crest to the mascot, we envision that the tradition of the game will blend with the cultural feel of the Borderplex,” added Ledford.
El Paso USL soccer will debut in March of 2019. Those interested in placing a Season Seat Deposit to be among the first to select their season tickets can do so with a $50 per seat deposit online or may call 915-235-GOAL. Ticket prices and packages will be announced in the coming months.
As the Major Arena Soccer League regular season starts to wind down, the El Paso Coyotes are looking to win their way into the playoffs, starting this Saturday against the Rio Grande Valley Barracudas.
The Coyotes are 7-8 and in third place, three games behind the Soles de Sonora, 10-6, in the Southwest Division. The top two teams from each division — Southwest, Pacific, Eastern and Central — qualify for the playoffs.
Monterrey, who is 15-0, has already clinched a playoff spot, while the 3-14 Barracudas are out of contention. That leaves the Coyotes and Soles battling it out for the final playoff pass from the Southwest Division.
El Paso has beaten Rio Grande Valley three times this season, including their last meeting on January 28, when the Coyotes came away with a 6-5 victory.
The Coyotes have been led by midfielders Hugo Puentes, who has 22 goals this season, and Christian Gutierrez with 21. Both are among the top five scorers in the league. Guiding the Barracudas is midfielder Moises Gonzalez, who leads the team with 15 goals and 10 assists.
Prior to Saturday’s home match, the Coyotes will have a chance to boost their record as they face the Tacoma Stars (7-9, third place in the Pacific Division) on Friday, February 2, in Washington. The game will be live streamed at MASLtv on YouTube at 8:35 p.m. MST.
The Coyotes and Barracudas start at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, February 3, at the El Paso County Coliseum, located at 4100 East Paisano. Tickets, which are buy one, get one free, cost $5, $10, $15 and $25, and are free for kids. They are available at the Coliseum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000 and online.