Colorado Springs Switchbacks already working to improve team, revenue this offseason

October 4, 2016 Updated: October 4, 2016 at 7:33 pm
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The process of building next year's Switchbacks team is well underway, only days after the coaches and front office saw the 2016 campaign cut short.

The organization considered it a successful year even as they work to improve the team on the field and revenue off.

"I think we did (well) because of the season we had," coach Steve Trittschuh said. "We were in every game - with the exception of the Orange County loss. We didn't put it together at the end as we should have."

The third-seeded Switchbacks (14-10-7, franchise-record 49 points) were knocked off by No. 6 Vancouver 2-1 on Friday in the first round of the United Soccer League playoffs.

"We didn't have as a good of depth as we expected," Trittschuh said. "We need players to push our starters more. We have already started looking at who is available and finding out who wants to come back to the team. Not everyone was happy with the amount of playing time they had."

"I want to bring in that consistent goal scorer up top who can score in the air," he said. "Mike did a good job but we need more of that next year."

The organization hopes to keep working toward profitability this offseason. Attendance rose to 3,152 for United Soccer League games, below the league average of 3,439 and 11th out of 29 teams. In 2015, it was 2,723. But, the team needs 4,000-plus a game to be profitable - a rarity in the USL. An influx of sponsorships last offseason was a significant help, team president Nick Ragain said.

"We need the place to be as full as possible," he said. "We feel with the size of the community and the success we've had, we can be top five or six."

The organization plans new family and business networking sections and an expanded military club. More game promotions, prizes and special events are likely and could bring more people to Switchbacks Stadium, which will seat 5,000 next season, as per USL rules.

Ragain said a downtown stadium would be a boon for the franchise with the additional seats and ability to host games and practices, and house physical rehabilitation and franchise operations in a centralized location.

Individually, defender Josh Suggs (2,648) was fourth in the USL in minutes played while forward Mike Seth was among the league leaders for most of the second half with a team-high eight goals and five assists. Goalkeeper Devala Gorrick set a franchise record with 12 shutouts along with a 0.86 goals-against average while playing a league-second 2,451 minutes.

"I'm very proud of the effort the guys put in making the playoffs for the second straight year in our second season," midfielder Rony Argueta said. "We need to come back next season and keep building."

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