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Colorado Springs midfielder Zach Zandi takes a tumble during the Switchbacks game against San Antonio FC (Photo By, Isaiah Downing, Special to The Gazette)

Switchbacks midfielder Zach Zandi, defender Jimmy Ockford and veteran forward Aaron Wheeler will once again call Weidner Field home in 2023, the club announced Friday. 

Zandi, Wheeler and Ockford all played big roles for Colorado Springs in 2022.

Ockford played in 30 games with the club last season, starting in 28. The defender recorded 81 clearances and 43 interceptions in 2022 to go along with 31 tackles. The 2023 campaign will mark his third season in Colorado Springs. 

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Coming off a near five-year hiatus from professional soccer, Wheeler joined Colorado Springs in June where he provided a consistent presence in the Switchbacks' attack as a substitute. 

He played in 21 matches in 2022 and scored four goals for the club.

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Zandi has struggled with injuries for Colorado Springs in the past, but remains one of the club's most impactful players when healthy. 

He scored five goals for the Switchbacks last season and had a passing accuracy percentage of 76.7%. 

Zandi started in 17 games for Colorado Springs and played in 19 in a season that was cut short by a summer injury that sidelined him for 3 months. Zandi also will enter his third season with the Switchbacks. 

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"I think Zach continues to get better every year and we look forward to working with him for many years beyond this," Switchbacks head coach Brendan Burke said in a release. "He is an important piece of what we have accomplished already and intend to build here."

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