Switchbacks midfielder Jordan Schweitzer puts a lot of stock into the popular phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” if his response after a deflating 2-1 loss to visiting New Mexico United in extra time of the third round of U.S. Open Cup play Wednesday at Weidner Field is any indication.
When asked about a game-changing penalty decision that went against Schweitzer in the 93rd minute, he was riding on the high road.
“No comment,” Schweitzer said.
Colorado Springs coach Steve Trittschuh couldn’t bring himself to follow suit after “the softest of penalties,” according to a neutral ESPN+ broadcast team after Schweitzer fought Daniel Bruce for the ball and the New Mexico winger went down to slight contact.
“The guys know what happened,” Trittschuh said. “We got screwed. What else can I say.”
To make matters worse, Rony Argueta was sent off after the referee ruled the midfielder bumped her while protesting the controversial call. Former Switchback Kevaughn Frater went on to bury the ensuing penalty kick for the game-winning goal.
“It just baffles me,” Trittschuh said. “There’s a foul before the penalty, she runs into Rony, and I just don’t understand it.”
Afterward, the only coach in club history expressed his frustrations by running onto the field and berating the official before New Mexico keeper Cody Mizell stepped in and set off another expletive-laced conversation.
For much of the night, it looked like the Switchbacks would be able to avoid frustration.
Jordan Burt buried the first goal and put the hosts in front early in the second half with a left-footed strike that dipped and bounced into the bottom of the far post.
That goal stood up until Chris Wehan struck in the final three minutes of extra time to ensure the game would go beyond the standard 90 minutes.
“For 80, 85 minutes there, we played well,” Schweitzer said. “I think it’s the first time this year we took something from the previous game to the next. I think there was a lot of positives from OKC, and it showed here. Unfortunately, this is the game.”
There, the coach agreed.
“For the most part,” the coach said, “these guys (bleeping) worked their (butts) off tonight.”
After the decision, the visitors controlled possession with the man advantage and the Switchbacks had few chances before a corner kick in the final seconds of the game.
Things don’t appear to get any easier for the Switchbacks, at the bottom of the Western Conference, ahead of a visit from Fresno FC on Saturday in a return to United Soccer League Championship play after being eliminated from Open Cup play by the league leaders.
Not only did the Switchbacks regular starters go more than 90 minutes Wednesday, spelled most frequently by Colorado Rapids academy players, but there doesn’t appear to be a possibility of bringing in any fresh legs or faces.
“That’s another frustration. It’s one thing on top of another. Nothing’s going to change. Guys are going to still work, but they’re being overworked,” Trittschuh said.
“We’ve got to sit in and manage our legs. It goes against what I want to do, but it’s what I want to do right now.”