1. Duke at the Death
Before Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC hit the field for the 2023 season opener, it was known they would be a new team. It might have been appropriate to offer a late winner who didn’t seem to be coming for the visitors in a game that felt ready.
The key was the willingness of both sides to find a winner. El Paso were undoubtedly dominant in the second half, but as the game progressed, the field went up and down as substitution moments became so crucial. After Switchbacks 6-foot-4 center forward Aaron Wheeler got the possession 25 yards from his own goal, Deshane Beckford made a beautiful pass to a quick Duke Lacroix as Colorado Springs broke through the defense in stoppage time. The visitor moved quickly through the Chase. A veteran of Sacramento Republic FC most recently, the player held off a defender and scored a perfect finish into the right corner to give the Switchbacks his second straight win in the opening game.
2. Switchback to correct start
Newly promoted head coach Stephen Hogan hired five new signings after a tumultuous offseason in Colorado Springs Given the change in the Switchbacks offseason, it’s almost essential for the visitors to get off to a strong start was. Only he scored a goal 109 seconds later from Jairo Henriquez’s brilliant assist for newcomer Marrick his foster, giving Colorado his Springs an early lead.
There was a lot to do from there, but without Lacroix’s late finish, it may not have been the celebratory night Hogan and the club envisioned. This will be a huge boost of confidence for a team that made it to the Finals but left the team in the off-season and was pushed down the pecking order in preseason predictions. Saturday’s home opener against Hartford Athletic is a chance to see the Switchbacks maintain the standards they have achieved over the past two seasons and become strong postseason contenders.
3. Locomotive FC is not rewarded
El Paso Locomotive FC have suffered two losses since the start of the season, but in terms of their fortunes so far, there can be ample argument that the team may have drawn a short straw. In the 89th minute, when Colorado Springs goalkeeper Christian Herrera equalized with a brilliant save, Luis could have led El Paso to victory, seeing his Sorignac shot.
Locomotive FC played solidly for the second game in a row, outscoring the visitors in both total shots (14-12) and shots (6-4). But at the start of a season when results don’t go their way, or in the case of head coach Brian Krallhout, at the start of his tenure, the pressure starts to mount to find something to put his hat on. Saturday’s game against Detroit City FC will therefore be a very important match for El Paso.