The Colorado Springs Switchbacks spent much of the early season trying to find more consistent scoring, but a 4-1 loss at Las Vegas last Saturday brought the focus back to being a sound defensive squad ahead of Saturday’s 6 p.m. match against the Swope Park Rangers at Weidner Field.
“The past few weeks we’ve had the problem of trying to score goals, so we’ve been trying to remedy that in training, so we got away from the defensive side of it,” coach Steve Trittschuh explained Friday. “This week, we got back to the defensive side of it to make sure we’re all on the same page. It’s been a good week, actually. They want to right their wrongs from last weekend.”
The four goals scored by the expansion Lights marked the squad's first loss by multiple goals and only the second time they allowed more than a single goal in a USL match this season.
“We’ve left the errors (in the) past,” said center back Pascal Eboussi through teammate JJ Tambe, who translated Eboussi’s native French to English. “Now, we try to practice for Saturday’s game. We look forward … we’ve been working hard, and we hope for a victory.”
Steward Ceus, who had his fingers taped together after allowing the first of Las Vegas’ goals, is expected to be back in goal Saturday, as Trittschuh said there is no fracture or ligament damage in the ailing pinky.
Trittschuh mentioned an uncharacteristic lack of focus while marking as most bothersome.
“It just wasn’t us,” the coach said. “The thing for me, the defensive side of it wasn’t what we’ve been doing.”
The Switchbacks dropped a 1-0 match at Swope Park in April, but Trittschuh expects to see a much different squad, as Sporting KC - the club’s MLS side - has a busy week with U.S. Open Cup play and a Saturday game.
Sam Hamilton, a Rapids loanee, will not be available Saturday, but new signee Karsten Hanlin is anticipated to make his debut in the midfield after parting ways with Real Monarchs.
“He’s going to play in the middle tomorrow, but he can play honestly, any position I put him in,” Trittschuh said. “The last game with the Monarchs, he went up top.”
Switchbacks set to add another player to the attack
Nicolas Amoako, a 20-year-old originally from Ghana, trained with the club this past week and is expected to officially become a member of the team in coming days.
“He probably would’ve dressed tomorrow, but his paperwork just didn’t come in (in time),” Trittschuh said.
An agent with Trittschuh’s trust made the connection and during a brief trial, the Switchbacks coach saw something he could use from the left-footed attacker.
“He’s something that we don’t have,” Trittschuh said. “He’s got a good change of pace, he wants to attack players. … He’s got to get altitude fit.”
Maybin to serve suspension Saturday
Trittschuh provided clarity for those who were uncertain why forward Marty Maybin was sent off in the second half of Saturday’s game.
“He did elbow him, but it’s funny because he gives him the red card, but it happened before (play stopped),” Trittschuh said.
Maybin was not given an additional suspension from the league and should be available to return for the June 17 game at Portland.