Jordan Burt recently shaved his customary mustache in hopes of giving people something else to talk about and helped his cause by scoring the only goal of Saturday’s win over Fresno at Weidner Field.
“I was getting too much press,” the Switchbacks captain said. “I wanted to get press about soccer, not my mustache.”
Just before the half, Burt lost his marker and nodded an Ish Jome corner kick into the side netting for the only goal of a 1-0 win that broke a five-game losing streak.
It was his second goal in as many games, as he’s taken on a more attacking role with the Switchbacks utilizing a different formation, and Burt a different look.
“I haven’t done that for a long time,” Burt, typically a central midfielder, said of his new position, “but I’m taking the challenge and kind of enjoying it up there.”
While Switchbacks coach Steve Trittschuh is not fond of the 4-4-2 formation, it’s gotten better results than his preferred 4-3-3 of late.
“I hate it to tell you the truth,” Trittschuh said.
“It’s working, so we’re just going to keep working on it.”
A backline of Ibrahim Yaro, Kris Reaves, Abdul Rwatubyaye and Jome made for a pretty easy night for keeper Andre Rawls, as the Switchbacks recorded their second clean sheet of the USL Championship season. After Jamal Jack was lost for much of the season with an injury, Rwatubyaye has helped steady the defense.
“Something’s working there,” Trittschuh said. “I think Abdul’s really helped out. Him and Kris are having a good partnership back there.”
The Switchbacks will look to continue the climb in the Western Conference at home next weekend against Tacoma Defiance. Before that comes a couple days off for a team coming off three games in eight days.
“Those guys just worked their butts off,” Trittschuh said. “They’re dead.”
The most eventful part of the opening 20 minutes was a rain shower that left a rainbow arcing over the southeast corner of the stadium. Jordan Schweitzer nearly got the Switchbacks on the board 35 minutes in only to see his powerful shot from distance ricochet off the post.
Some 10 minutes later, the Switchbacks got their game-winner.
“It felt really good,” Burt said. “It took all of us to play well, and that’s what it takes in this league, so just proud of the guys, and I think this is the start of something special.”
Saeed Robinson nearly doubled the lead in the second half, but Burt gave the Switchbacks all they needed for the night.
With another goal under his belt, and something else for media to talk about, Burt reflected longingly on a couple other mustaches on display Saturday.
“I’m jealous, man,” Burt said.