There was no rust on the Locomotive Saturday night, as El Paso defeated the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 1-0, returning to the pitch for the first time since March.
The return to play for Locomotive was a unique one, as the game was played in a nearly empty Southwest University Park, save for staff and a few dozen ‘Cardboard Conductors’ serving as stand-ins for the fans.
The Loco’s lone goal was scored by Dylan Mares in the 83rd minute, securing the win and giving the club 3 points for the victory.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was at the game – socially distanced of course – and we bring you his view of the match via this gallery.
El Paso Locomotive FC unveiled its 2020 Regular Season ‘Return to Play’ schedule in conjunction with USL Championship Thursday.
The Locomotive Return to Play schedule boasts eight games at Southwest University Park, five of which are played on Saturdays. Locomotive FC kicks off its return to play with an inter-group match as the Copa Tejas rivalry reignites against Rio Grande Valley FC.
The Locos resume the 2020 Regular Season as part of Group C alongside Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, New Mexico United, and 2019 USL Championship title winners Real Monarchs. Featuring three playoff teams – two of which were Western Conference finalists – and a rejuvenated Colorado side, Group C boasts high caliber teams that will bring fierce competition for a 2020 playoff spot.
Locomotive is set to play each team in its group four times in a two-home and two-away format, rounding out the remaining three games with inter-group play against Texas rivals Rio Grande Valley FC and San Antonio FC as well as 2019 Regular Season title winners Phoenix Rising FC.
After opening the Return to Play season against RGVFC, Locomotive welcomes New Mexico United for back-to-back games at Southwest University Park on July 15 and July 24. Locomotive FC highlights each Saturday in August starting with a contest away against Phoenix Rising and home and away matches with Colorado Springs and Real Monarchs.
September proves to be the tightest month with 6 games slated. The Locos play on each Saturday while playing Switchbacks FC on two separate Wednesdays, however, September is highlighted with three straight home matches at Southwest University Park.
The 2020 season comes to a head with a 2019 Western Conference final rematch on October 4th as Locomotive FC travels to Utah to play Real Monarchs.
Locomotive FC holds a 2-1-3 (9 points) record across all three teams in its group. Throughout its 2019 inaugural campaign, the Locos swept the Colorado series with two wins, recorded a loss and a draw against New Mexico United, while playing to scoreless draws against the Monarchs.
Current 2020 ticket holders will receive additional information via email on how to select tickets to upcoming Locomotive games. To receive the latest details on ticketing, sign up for the waiting list here.
For fans wishing to purchase a Cutout Conductor to represent them in the stands, visit the Cutout Conductor website here.
Thursday morning, El Paso Locomotive FC officials announced the club will return to play on Saturday, July 11th with a homecoming at Southwest University Park against Rio Grande Valley FC.
“We are very excited to be back in action on July 11 and playing at home in El Paso makes it even more special,” said Head Coach and Technical Director Mark Lowry.
“We have always taken great pride in representing the Borderplex community and playing for each and every El Pasoan during what has been a difficult year for everyone makes this an emotional moment. We are the only live professional sport in El Paso at the moment, and we want to put on a show for everyone watching at Southwest University Park or at home. I do ask that everyone continues to follow CDC guidelines, wear your mask and maintain the required distancing inside and outside of the stadium so we can put a show on for you all in a safe and friendly environment.”
The inter-group play serves as one of three matches for Locomotive outside of Group C and reignites the Copa Tejas rivalry for 2020. Ticketing information will be made available shortly.
To receive the latest details on ticketing, sign up for the waiting list here.
Locomotive FC and Rio Grande Valley faced off twice in 2019, seeing the two sides play to a 2-2 draw at Southwest University Park and a 1-0 loss on the road. The opening weekend matchup marks the first game for Locomotive since its scoreless season opener in early March and the first at Southwest University Park since the exciting 3-0 win over Sacramento Republic FC in the 2019 USL Championship Western Conference Semifinals.
Current 2020 ticket holders will receive additional information via email on how to select tickets to upcoming Locomotive games. To receive the latest details on ticketing, sign up for the waiting list here.
Fans unable to attend the match in person can become a Cutout Conductor by purchasing a cutout image of themselves to help fill the stands in home games through the 2020 season. For more information or to purchase a Cutout Conductor, visit the Cutout Conductor website here.
Fans of El Paso Locomotive FC have the option to help fill the stands with a standup image of themselves during home games at Southwest University Park as a Cutout Conductor, the club announced Monday.
“One of our Sales Executives, saw this idea from a team in Germany and we quickly adapted it for El Paso,” said Andrew Forrest, General Manager, Business Operations.
“This is an innovative idea that we thought could be great fun for Locomotive fans, whether they attend the game or not. Dovetailing that with the ability to benefit COVID-19 relief funds, it was a no brainer. We appreciate L&F Distributors working with us on this idea and helping to bring it to fruition. I cannot wait to see all these ‘fans’ in Southwest University Park on July 11th.”
A portion of the net proceeds from Cutout Conductors sold will benefit COVID-19 relief funds in the El Paso community.
Presented by Estrella Jalisco and Stars Scholarship Fund, cutouts can be purchased starting at $35 by clicking here.
The team is finalizing details related to the number of fans that will be able to attend 2020 Locomotive home matches in-person.
The Cutout Conductors will be placed in various sections throughout Southwest University Park and will represent the team’s fans as Locomotive FC continues through its second season of the USL Championship.
Fans will be able to upload a hi-res photo from the waist up wearing their Locos gear (hats, scarves, jerseys, shirts, etc.) and that picture will be printed on a 19″x 36″ cutout.
The cutouts will help fill the stands throughout the remainder of the 2020 USL Championship season.
At the conclusion of the season, each cutout will be signed by a Locomotive FC player before being returned to the fan to take home as a keepsake.
For more information or to become a Cutout Conductor, please visit the Cutout Conductors website here.
El Paso Locomotive FC returns to play in July after being placed in Group C of the USL Championship for the remainder of the 2020 Regular Season.
Locomotive will be joined by Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, New Mexico United, and 2019 Western Conference Final foe Real Monarchs.
Locomotive FC resumes play with 15 games remaining on its schedule after having opened the 2020 season in March, securing an important point on the road against Orange County SC.
The Texas club will play each member in its group four times, with the remaining three matches being played against teams from nearby groups.
2019 saw Locomotive sweep Colorado Springs in two separate 2-0 victories, earn a point against New Mexico United and pick up two scoreless draws against Real Monarchs through the Regular Season.
The season culminated in a Western Conference Final showdown between Locomotive FC and Real Monarchs that resulted in a heartbreaking loss for El Paso after 120 minutes of play.
Filled with three 2019 post-season teams – including the 2019 USL Championship Title Winners and their Western Conference Finalist rival – Group C offers some of the most competitive matches in the West. Every point will matter to secure a top-two finish to book a ticket to the 2020 USL Championship Post-Season.
For the latest information on the 2020 USL Championship Season, follow El Paso Locomotive FC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
For information on Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets and to be first on the ticket waiting list for 2020, signup online or call or text 915-235-GOAL.
The USL Championship announced on Wednesday an updated format for the remainder of the 2020 season that will see clubs divided into eight groups to complete a 16-game regular season followed by a single-elimination playoff.
El Paso Locomotive FC will have 15 games remaining in its schedule after having secured an important point on the road against Orange County SC in March to open the season.
Championship clubs will be divided into eight regionalized groups with each team completing a 16-game regular season. There will be five groups made up of four teams, and three groups made up of five teams to cover the 35 member clubs of the Championship.
The regular-season games will be played over 13 weeks, concluding on the weekend of October 2-4. Games completed prior to the season suspension in March will be counted and included in the schedule, with teams that were active on the opening weekend of the season having 15 games remaining in their schedule.
Each team’s schedule will be made up of 12 games from within its own group, with the remaining four games to be played against teams that fall within a similar geographic region. Through this, each team placed in a four-team group will play its four fellow group members three times.
Games played prior to the suspension will count toward the allotment of 16 overall games, either as in-group contests or as one of the additional four contests that will complete the schedule.
Teams will be initially scheduled to play a balanced schedule of eight games home and away in regular season. However, the Board of Governors has also approved the ability for clubs to play an unbalanced amount of home and away matches, if necessary.
For example, if a club is experiencing difficulties with venue availability due to the impact of COVID-19 in their community.
As previously announced, the Championship will allow five substitutes to be used for the remainder of the 2020 season, with each team having three opportunities to make its substitutions during regular play.
Substitutions may also be made at halftime without counting against a club’s three in-game opportunities.
The 2020 season will conclude with the top two teams from each group in the regular season advancing to the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs, producing a field of 16 teams overall in a regionalized single-elimination bracket. Group winners will be paired with Group runners-up in the round of 16 with home advantage being determined by record for the remainder of the bracket.
For the latest information on the 2020 USL Championship Season, follow @eplocomotivefc on social media.
For information on Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets and to be first on the ticket waiting list for 2020, signup via this link or call or text 915-235-GOAL.
Staff and players from El Paso Locomotive FC held a press conference Friday afternoon, just one day removed from the USL announcing a return to playing on July 11th.
While no exact dates or matchups have been set, Locomotive staff and players are thankful to be again preparing to return to the pitch.
We’re excited to have games on the horizon,” Locomotive Head Coach Mark Lowry shared. “we’ve been training for a few weeks now, in small groups, and we’ve been working hard…so to have the excitement, the potential of games coming up soon, it’s very exciting.”
General Manager Andrew Forrest, agreed adding that everyone was glad to be getting back to work.
“We’re ready to go, five weeks from tomorrow (June 6)…we’re looking forward whether it’s here or there, we’re looking forward to putting on a proper game day and having the best experience possible,” Forrest added.
Enjoy the interview below, shot by our Chief Photographer Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta, and the gallery and footage of practice, courtesy EP Locomotive.
El Paso Locomotive FC is set to return to training through small group sessions of no more than four players the club announced on Monday.
The announcement comes following the modifications of the USL Training Moratorium, however, in accordance with local and state health guidelines, as well as the guidelines outlined by the United Soccer League, no one other than the players and staff will be allowed be in attendance during the work outs.
As no date has been yet set for the return of soccer to the pitch, Locomotive team officials have announced several fan participation contests, to keep the faithful engaged during the sport’s hiatus.
Locos fans can upload match day videos and photos to their Fan’s Eye View presented by Estrella Jalisco for a chance to be the virtual Estrella of the Match. The person chosen as our virtual Estrella of the Match will win a exclusive Estrella Jalisco cooler
Each fan-submitted videos and photos will be put together in a video that shows the match day experience from the fans’ eyes.
“I was like, what’s happening out there?” Herrera laughed. “When [my wife] started recording me so I figured it was something. I thought it was just going to be my family, I didn’t think it would be the whole team.”
El Paso Locomotive FC is teaming with USL Championship and various clubs across the league to support local charities through the month of April, the club announced Wednesday.
Locomotive FC, along with other clubs, have already begun using their online presence to help their local communities since the temporary suspension of the Championship season and delay to the start of the USL League One season were announced.
Teams, including El Paso Locomotive FC, will also be aiding in local charities during the upcoming USL eCup: Rocket League Edition that begins on Wednesday afternoon. Locomotive FC GK Logan Ketterer will be playing on behalf of the El Paso Food and Beverage Workers Fund throughout the online tournament.
In 35 communities across the country, USL Championship clubs will be participating in the initiative, with donations to be made to local charities of local charities of the club’s choosing.
“The El Paso Locomotive FC Foundation’s mission is to create a positive financial and cultural impact on families and children in our community through creative programs and events,” team officials shared. “El Paso Locomotive FC – in conjunction with MiLB side El Paso Chihuahuas – have helped local organizations raise more than $1.5 million through in-stadium fundraising, have provided $300,000 in monetary donations and $150,000 in in-kind donations.”
A percentage of all Locomotive FC merchandise sold online will be donated to the El Paso Locomotive FC Foundation to provide support during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though the USL Championship is temporarily suspended, the competitive spirit of the league and Locomotive FC Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer lives on as the Locomotive man-between-the-pipes enters the inaugural USL eCup Rocket League Edition on behalf of the El Paso Food and Beverage Workers Fund.
“I’m a super competitive person, so being able to still compete and do something is awesome,” Ketterer said about joining the tournament. “I guess we can see if my goalie skills will translate to Rocket League.”
Kicking off Tuesday, March 31, 32 teams from USL Championship and USL League One will compete against one another in the virtual arena of Rocket League. The World Cup style tournament is divided into a best-of-three group stage contests and best-of-five knockout rounds. The tournament will come to a head in late April with a best-of-seven Final to determine a clear winner of the USL Rocket League.
Teams were drawn in their respective groups on Wednesday, seeing Locomotive FC draw into Group 4 alongside Championship sides San Antonio FC, Rio Grande Valley FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
“I think it’s great that the league is looking to create a tournament and try new things,” Ketterer exclaimed. “This is a difficult situation for everyone and it’s fantastic that they are willing and able to go above and beyond to try to make things happen and keep the buzz of the USL season going.”
Each team will be playing for a charity of their choosing, with Ketterer representing the El Paso Food and Beverage Workers Fund. Part of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, the EPFB Workers Fund supports those in the community who work in the service industry directly.
Throughout the tournament, links will be provided on each team’s Twitch stream, providing fans and spectators an opportunity to support the charities and the players.
“I’m extremely excited to be representing El Paso Locomotive FC in this tournament,” the young goalkeeper concluded. “Hopefully we can support some charities along the way and have a great time, while we still all practice safe and responsible health habits by staying at home.”
El Paso Locomotive FC and KVIA-TV/CW collectively announced Monday they will continue their partnership to broadcast Locomotive FC matches on the local CW with weekly full-game rebroadcasts of five highlighted matches from Locomotive FC’s inaugural season.
All rebroadcasts are scheduled to kick off every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. MT starting on March 28 with Locomotive’s 3-1 Regular Season victory over eventual Western Conference Semifinal foe, Sacramento Republic FC.
Each match up will be highlighted by commentary and analysis by Head Coach Mark Lowry during the half-time break and after the full-time whistle.
“During this extraordinary time, we’re excited to be able to bring these matches from 2019 to our fans who miss the opportunity to watch their Locomotive team live,” Locomotive FC President Alan Ledford said. “Coach Lowry and the guys are looking forward to being back on the pitch, but in the meantime, this will provide a fun opportunity to see some great Locos soccer.”
Locomotive FC’s home matches against LA Galaxy II, Fresno FC and the 4-1 win over Portland Timbers 2 that earned El Paso a playoff berth will highlight each Saturday following the March 28 rebroadcast of May’s clash against Republic FC.
The five-game series will culminate on April 25 with a replay of the Western Conference Semifinal against Sacramento that saw El Paso punch its ticket to its first appearance in the Western Conference Final.
“El Paso Locomotive and KVIA-TV aren’t waiting for the soccer season to resume,” said KVIA-TV General Manager Kevin Lovell. “We’re happy to be bringing several of the best inaugural season Locomotive games back to the airwaves. Get your soccer fix and tune in!”
See the full rebroadcast schedule below:
Saturday, March 28; 4:00 p.m. MT – Home vs. Sacramento Republic FC (Regular Season; 5/18/19)
Saturday, April 4; 4:00 p.m. MT – Home vs LA Galaxy II (Regular Season; 6/8/19)
Saturday, April 11; 4:00 p.m. MT – Home vs Portland Timbers 2, (Regular Season; 10/15/19)
Saturday, April 18; 4:00 p.m. MT – Home vs Fresno, (Regular Season; 10/2/19)
Saturday, April 25; 4:00 p.m. MT – Home vs Sacramento, (Western Conference Semifinal; 11/2/19)
El Paso Locomotive completed their 2020 preseason with a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes. The team faced 2019 USL regular season points champion and Western Conference rivals, Phoenix Rising FC, in an exciting match in Tucson.
El Paso’s newest offensive star, who will be announced on Monday morning, scored the first two goals of the contest to put Locomotive up 2-0.
The second goal was described by Head Coach Mark Lowry as “an absolute rocket from 20 yards out that found the top corner.”
After halftime and multiple Locomotive substitutions, Rising clawed their way back into the game after converting a penalty to bring the score to 2-1.
Local product and Bravos loanee, Aaron Gomez, scored the final goal of the match for El Paso to extend the lead to 3-1 before Phoenix found two late goals to see the match end in a draw.
“After a productive preseason that saw the boys work hard, this is a great result to see the team into the first week of the regular season and we will be ready to compete on March 14th in front of our amazing fans at Southwest University Park,” remarked Head Coach Mark Lowry.
For those wanting Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets can be purchased online or by calling or texting 915-235-GOAL
Tuesday afternoon, El Paso Locomotive FC officials announced that the club had re-signed Jermaine Fordah for the 2020 season, pending league and federation approval.
“It’s great to have Jermaine back. He was an important part of the team last season. He brings a great work ethic and positive attitude to training every day. Every coach in the world will tell you how important that is and I’m excited to see him develop in year two,” said Head Coach Mark Lowry.
A fan-favorite for his off the field personality, Fordah appeared between the sticks twice during the regular season.
One of those appearances resulting in a clean sheet against eventual 2019 Champions, Real Monarchs.
Fordah is now the 19th rostered player for El Paso and joins a 15-man returning core (Logan Ketterer, Drew Beckie, Chiro N’toko, Mechack Jérôme, Richie Ryan, Nick Ross, Omar Salgado, Alexy Bosetti, Andrew Fox, Louis “Chapa” Herrera, Moses Makinde, Guillermo Diaz, Yuma, and Bryam Rebellon) who made it to the Western Conference final in their inaugural run.
New players to the Locomotive roster include Fabrice Fokobo, Saeed Robinson, Marios Lomis, and Distel Zola.
More roster announcements are slated for the near future before Locomotive kicks off their second season on the road in Orange County on March 6th and then return home to face Portland Timbers FC 2 on March 14th.
With year two almost here, its time for fans to get ‘All aboard’ via Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets that can be purchased online or by calling or texting 915-235-GOAL