El Paso Locomotive FC tied the number four team in the Western Conference after being down one goal, and hometown footballer Omar Salgado provided the boot.
It was a physical contest that saw seven yellow cards and one penalty. With this draw, El Paso continue their unbeaten streak and extend it to six matches.
“I am so happy for Omar, he deserved it. His work-rate for the team is superb and I know this will build up his confidence and keep things going,” said Coach Mark Lowry. “I’m very proud of how the guys all played tonight. It was a fantastic performance and to have not lost in four road matches is brilliant.”
El Paso’s own Louis “Chapa” Herrera got his first start of the season alongside newcomer Drew Beckie, who recently signed from OKC Energy FC.
In the 41’ a game-changing penalty was awarded to Timbers 2 which saw Dairon Asprilla step up. Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer came up with a massive save to deny to the penalty, but Timbers 2 were able to scoop up the rebound and score.
Four minutes later Omar Salgado, who was the first player signed to Locomotive, netted his first goal of the season.
After receiving a pass at the top of the box, the left-footed attacker cut to the right to create space off the defender and let a shot rip with his right foot into the bottom corner of the net.
El Paso Locomotive FC plays their next match at home on Saturday, June 8th against LA Galaxy II. Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 915-235-GOAL.
Over the weekend, El Paso Locomotive FC and San Antonio FC fought to a draw in a preseason match in the Alamo City.
This budding Texas rivalry planted its early seeds. In a modified preseason format, the match consisted of a 45-minute period, a 30-minute period, and another 45-minute “mini game.”
This restructured format, especially in regard to the mini game, let El Paso Locomotive FC get the entirety of the squad on board. “All the guys got good minutes tonight and experience, which is important moving forward,” Said Head Coach Mark Lowry.
El Paso Locomotive came out swinging and looked to maintain and implement the high possession gameplay they exhibited this preseason.
With a few good looks on frame in the first half, one of the closest opportunities came off a bicycle kick by defender James Kiffe that kissed the cross bar. El Paso showed creativity in their attack and most importantly showed strength in their defense. Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer stepped up and showcased his pedigree, coming up with four massive saves to keep the sheet clean.
After 45 minutes, the sides remained scoreless and moved to the next period of play, scheduled for 30 minutes. In both halves, each side of the field saw action, with EP Locomotive and San Antonio FC fighting for the chance to take the lead.
After the final whistle, the game moved into what was labeled, a “mini game” that lasted 45 minutes and saw members of the Locomotive squad that shared common threads. The three local players, forward Omar Salgado, and midfielders Louis “Chapa” Herrera and Memo Diaz all saw the pitch together under the lights of Toyota Field.
“I am very happy with how the team competed, it was a great exercise for both teams and I am very pleased with how our team has progressed,” said Lowry after the 0-0 draw against Western Conference foe San Antonio FC.
El Paso Locomotive will play one final preseason match against OKC Energy FC in Tucson, Arizona on March 2nd.
The historic inaugural home opener takes place on Saturday, March 9th against OKC Energy FC! Season Ticket Memberships, Group Tickets, and Individual Match Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 915-235-GOAL!
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