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Benedetto blog: Shane Malcolm makes Switchbacks history with national team call-up

March 19, 2018 Updated: March 19, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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photo - Switchbacks player Shane Malcolm moves to an open zone during a match against LA Galaxy II at Weidner Field, on Saturday, March 17, 2018. 

(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)
Switchbacks player Shane Malcolm moves to an open zone during a match against LA Galaxy II at Weidner Field, on Saturday, March 17, 2018. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette) 

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will be without Shane Malcolm for Saturday’s game against Portland Timbers 2 at Weidner Field, but it is through no fault of the right winger who started and played the full 90 minutes in the season-opening win against LA Galaxy II.

Instead, Malcolm will be with the Guam’s national team as it plays a friendlies against San Diego State and LA Galaxy II in the United States.

According to the Switchbacks' release, Malcolm is the first active member of the club to make a national team appearance.

“Being called up to the national team, it’s always an honor,” Malcolm said Friday.

“Those guys are family to me.”

While Switchbacks coach Steve Trittschuh will have to shuffle his lineup, he understands the opportunity is a big one.

“It’s an honor for him to go to the national team,” Trittschuh said. “Anytime you go to the national team, you can’t pass that up.”

Malcolm was a problem for LA in Saturday’s season opener. He assisted AJ Ajeakwa’s first-half goal and made threatening runs throughout, finishing with two shots. He appeared in all but two games for the Switchbacks a season ago, recording five goals and three assists. 

While Malcolm was born in Jamaica, he’s eligible to represent Guam through his paternal grandmother, according to his Switchbacks bio.

He’s made 20 previous appearances for the national team with two goals to his name.

“Getting to know the roots of my grandparents and stuff like that, it’s a good honor,” Malcolm said.

Malcolm is expected back for the Switchbacks’ March 31 game at Saint Louis FC.

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