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Switchbacks forward Austin Dewing (7) battles for the ball with Real Monarchs defender James Moberg (40) during the first half of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC home game against the Real Monarchs Salt Lake City at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Chancey Bush/ The Gazette)

There will be at least one Colorado Springs native on the roster when Switchbacks FC’s debuts its new downtown stadium in 2021.

The Switchbacks announced Air Academy and Air Force graduate Austin Dewing will be back for a third season with the club. Dewing grew up in the area, playing Pride Soccer Club as a youth before leading Air Force on an NCAA Tournament run during his senior season. After graduating from the academy, Dewing joined Switchbacks FC during the 2019 season as part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program. In 2020, he recorded two assists in 352 minutes.

"Thankful and excited to be back with the team," Dewing said in the team release announcing his signing. "Looking forward to a great year."

Though he’s still looking for his first professional goal after scoring regularly as a Kadet and Falcon, Dewing’s high work rate and explosive athleticism have put him in dangerous positions over his first two professional seasons.

"We are fortunate to be able to retain Austin for another season in his hometown club," Switchbacks General Manager Brian Crookham said. "His energy and effort can change a game quickly and his ability to put defenders on the back foot gives him a real chance to break out in 2021."

Last season there were three Switchbacks with Colorado Springs ties. Will Vint was born in town before the game took him to England as a teenager, while Alejandro Padilla’s family moved to the area when he joined the Colorado Rapids academy. With Vint and Padilla’s future in part controlled by the Rapids, there’s no guarantee either will be in Colorado Springs for the 2021 season, but Dewing, the first Springs native to play for his hometown’s professional soccer team, will be on the first squad to call the downtown stadium home.

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