Fans of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks will have to wait until the club's home opener March 18 for fireworks.
They'll have to wait until the 18th for fireworks on the pitch too as the Switchbacks drew 0-0 against New Mexico United on Saturday in the club's second to last preseason match.
Colorado Springs was the stronger team in terms of time of possession. In the first half, the Switchbacks created multiple opportunities on net, but weren't able to get any past New Mexico goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
Colorado Springs had several scoring chances off a corner kick in the 12th minute, including a bicycle kick from midfielder Maalique Foster. But New Mexico came up with two goal-line saves to keep the Switchbacks off the scoreboard.
Coming out of the half, New Mexico challenged the Switchbacks' back line and keeper Christian Herrera more often. But Colorado Springs held firm.
Midfielder Zach Zandi was a late substitution in the game and nearly scored a goal in the 83rd minute. Zandi dribbled the ball into New Mexico's box and fired off a shot through a pair of United defenders. The attempt was stopped by Tambakis.
Veteran forward Aaron Wheeler nearly put the Switchbacks up in stoppage time with a one-on-one opportunity against Tambakis. But he fell as he attempted to corral a cross from midfielder Drew Skundrich.
"We set out to do one or two things defensively this week at training and especially in the first half we came out really, really structured and really professional," Switchbacks head coach Stephen Hogan said after the match. "One or two things offensively that didn't really come off, we lost chances, especially early on so that's something we need to capitalize on. But the structure of what we've done defensively all week leading up to this, we executed, and we said that at halftime."
Colorado Springs' historic postseason run to its first conference final last year has at least one fan ready to see the Switchbacks conquer the USL Championship.
"I think it was a lot of buildup over all of the years and how they've grown. So it was very exciting to see them make a final," Switchbacks fan Ariane Carrillo said of last year.
Carrillo has been a fan of the Switchbacks for five years and had season tickets when the Switchbacks were at the old Weidner Field off Powers Boulevard, now called Martin E. Ragain Field.
She didn't hold back her excitement about the 2023 season.
"Win it, win it, win the whole (darn) thing," Carrillo said of her expectations for the year.
The Switchbacks play their final preseason game Wednesday against CSU-Pueblo.