The Colorado Springs Switchbacks will return to action Saturday with a road game at El Paso Locomotive FC. It will be the first meeting of the season between the United Soccer League Championship clubs.
After starting the campaign with two bye weeks in the first month — going 14 days and 15 days, respectively, between matches — the Switchbacks will get into a regular flow of games over the course of the next five months.
“It will be nice to play a couple of times a week,” said Switchbacks defender and captain Jimmy Ockford.
The Switchbacks return home June 16 to host Tacoma Defiance at Weidner Field.
The Switchbacks have used three goalkeepers in their first four matches. That is rare in the professional soccer world, as well as most other levels of soccer.
Abraham Rodriguez was in net the first game of the season when the Switchbacks played in San Antonio. He conceded three goals and made two saves.
Andrew Pannenberg got the starts against Sporting Kansas City II and New Mexico United. He allowed three total goals and made three saves.
Canadian Sean Melvin was called upon to start Saturday’s game against San Antonio. He was solid while allowing one goal and making one save.
Melvin is expected to be the team’s regular goalie the rest of the way.
“’Ocks’ and a lot of the guys were able to bail me out,” Melvin said after the second San Antonio game.
The Switchbacks will have their first giveaway night of the season Wednesday when fans receive masks courtesy of Capelli Sport.
Other giveaways include seat cushions (July 4), bobblehead night (July 23), bucket hat night (Aug. 28), mustache night (Sept. 25 in honor of Switchbacks defender Jordan Burt), free underwear night (Oct. 2) and soccer ball night (Oct. 16).
DID YOU KNOW?
Forward Dantouma “Yaya” Toure is the youngest player on the Switchbacks at age 16. He turns 17 Saturday.
The oldest Switchbacks player is midfielder Jose Torres, 33.
Torres was selected to the 23-man United States men’s team roster for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and started a group stage game against Slovenia. That game is considered one of the most controversial matches in U.S. international play history.