The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC are switching things up for another exciting season on the field. This United Soccer League team has been bringing the most popular sport in the world to Colorado Springs since 2015, and continues to grow in talent and speed with every game. Third-year midfielder Rony Argueta has been named team captain this year by head coach Steve Trittschuh – an honor he did not expect.
“I was actually surprised when coach announced I would be team captain – my experience as a pro soccer player is not as extensive or in-depth as a lot of the guys on the team,” said Argueta. “For example Josh Suggs or Aaron King or Luke Vercollone who has been captain the past few years. We also have some new additions this season like Chris James, who is probably one of the top-experienced on the team and has played at the highest level with New Zealand; or Shane Malcom, who has played at the highest level with Guam, so it came as a surprise to me when I was named captain.”
Argueta’s biggest dream is to play in MLS one day, so he’s taking this new role as a challenge and as an opportunity to grow. “More than anything I want to keep learning and keep growing and make my teammates better and make myself better at the same time,” said Argueta. “I think I’ve been recognized for my hard work. I’m definitely more of a lead-by-example type player and I’m not very vocal, but I can be; and if I step up and be vocal more consistently I can help my team out and really be a leader.”
The Switchbacks had a dramatic win this past Saturday, June 10 in LA with a 2-1 lead thanks to two goals by Kevaughn Frater – one in the 65th minute and the other just before stoppage. Argueta is actually a California-native and was excited to go to LA and have his family come out and watch the game, and described that it’s always motivating and refreshing to see them. They, along with thousands of fans, certainly saw an incredible game – the win marks the team’s first in LA.
“My biggest responsibility is making sure my teammates are healthy not only physically but mentally – I need to make sure they’re happy because at the end of the day that’s when we all play well, when we’re happy.” Argueta described that being team captain is like a management role in some ways, and he needs to check that everyone is involved. “We have a lot of international players, so there are different customs and ways of living and doing things, so I think it’s important to understand to all of that and not exclude anyone,” he said.
This year’s team is about 50/50 returning and new players. “I’m excited to learn from my teammates and really become like family with these guys,” Argueta said. Though he is a fan-favorite and an exceptional player, Argueta tends to be hard on himself. “I tell myself that I need to be more short-minded and just take everything day-by-day; because no one is perfect and I’m the example that my team is looking up to. What’s most important is that I’m learning every day – that will have the most impact on my growth not only as a player but as a human being.”
Don’t miss Switchbacks FC next home game at Weidner Field, Saturday, June 24 at 7 p.m. against San Antonio FC. Afterwards, enjoy post-game fireworks! Also start your Independence Day weekend celebration with the Switchbacks FC on Saturday, July 1st with an Independence Day-sized fireworks show.
To learn more or buy tickets, visit SwitchbacksFC.com.