Switchbacks winger Shane Malcolm has found a rhythm.
On the field, Malcolm has scored in consecutive home wins as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks continue to fight for playoff position.
Off the field, his music, which he records under the name Komodo Dragon, is growing.
Malcolm’s two worlds converged when the Switchbacks included the Komodo Dragon track “Count it Up,” in the pregame playlist before a 4-2 win over Tulsa on July 21.
Malcolm had an assist and added a late goal in the win.
Saturday, the club played Komodo Dragon’s “Wishy Washy” before the Oklahoma City match. Malcolm again secured the three points with a late goal that earned the top spot on the United Soccer League’s skills of the week.
“It’s funny because that song came on towards the end of warm-up ... but I just remember at that moment, it was just like I got this sudden burst of energy,” Malcolm said. “It was like ‘All right, yeah, now it’s time to turn up.’”
While his Caribbean-inspired raps probably won’t make the cut for Tulsa’s playlist ahead of Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. match with Colorado Springs sitting two points back of the final playoff spot, Switchbacks coach Steve Trittschuh hopes to see Malcolm stay in a groove.
“He’s stepped it up,” Trittschuh said. “There were some games there it wasn’t there for him, but we need him to do that and be a big part of this game.”
Malcolm has a home studio in his Colorado Springs apartment but does most of his producing and recording in the offseason.
“When I’m in season, it’s more so like how do I package this and deliver it so people accept it well,” Malcolm said.
People seem to be doing that.
When the league posted video of Malcolm’s goal against Oklahoma City — his fifth of the season — where he worked a one-two with Toby Uzo and chopped the ball back onto his left foot to shake a defender and set up a cool finish, fans of Malcolm’s work took to the comments.
“I look on the USL’s Instagram and people were commenting ‘Wishy Washy’ on the USL’s Instagram and on my personal Instagram,” Malcolm said. “I’m like ‘All right, well, the people they’re taking to both.’ It’s like you’re doing well on and off the field. Let’s hope that continues.”
Malcolm is expected to miss the Switchbacks’ next home game Aug. 29 and the following match at Los Angeles, as he spends another week with the Guam national team.
Azira out, Toye in
Trittschuh said the Switchbacks had a good week of training ahead of a trip to Tulsa’s compact field, but it wasn’t without some surprise.
Michael Azira, who showed well in his Switchbacks debut Saturday on loan from Colorado Rapids, trained in Colorado Springs on Wednesday before Trittschuh took a call that informed the coach of the midfielder’s trade to Major League Soccer club Montreal Impact.
“It’s good for him. He’s an MLS player,” Trittschuh said. “He did what we had to do for us last weekend and was fantastic for us.”
Now the coach hopes another loanee — Mason Toye, the No. 7 pick of the 2018 SuperDraft by Minnesota United — can have a similar impact, as he’s expected to meet the team in Oklahoma before making his USL debut for Colorado Springs.
Trittschuh saw Toye, who has an assist in his young MLS career, at the draft combine and liked what he saw from the striker.
“He’s a big kid. He can score in many different ways,” Trittschuh said. “He’s got good speed, he’s strong. He’s good in the air. He’s got a good shot, so it’s really finding that player than can find the back of the net.”