COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 7, 2022) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced today Steven Echevarria, Dennis Erdmann, and Christian Herrera would all be returning for the 2023 season.
Echevarria on his re-signing: “For 2023 the expectation we’ve put on ourselves is to bring a championship home to Colorado Springs. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity ahead and excited to get started in January.”
Echevarria, 26, enters his third season with the Switchbacks. Starting the season Echevarria would typically sub on late in matches, but as the season drew on, his reliability earned him more minutes later in the year. In 2022 he appeared in 33 matches, starting 20, for a total of 1,833 minutes which was a nearly 793 minute jump from the 2021 season. Echevarria would add two season assists in the postseason helping Colorado Springs reach their first Western Conference Final in club history.
Echevarria signed with the Switchbacks after training with the team throughout 2020. The New York native signed with the New York Red Bulls Academy in 2011 before playing a four-year career at Wake Forest where he appeared in 79 games, totaling seven goals and six assists. Echevarria played with NYRB II in the USL Championship in 2018 where he made 19 appearances as the team made it to the Eastern Conference Final.
“Stevie became an integral part of our team this year, his work rate and game management are excellent and we are excited to have him with us again next year,” said Head Coach and GM Brendan Burke on the announcement.
“I’m really happy to go into another year with the coaching staff and the club,” said Erdmann. “I want to complete the goal we missed last year, to become champions!”
The 32 year-old defender returns to the black and blue after joining the team at the start of the 2022 season. In his first season in the Pikes Peak Region, Erdmann played in 19 matches for 1,288 minutes before his season ended early due to injury. Before going down, Erdmann gave the coaching staff options on defense by adding important depth to the Switchbacks defensive core which was tested throughout the season.
With more than a decade of experience, Erdmann’s professional career started in Germany with SSG Bergisch Gladbach in 2011, where he tallied six goals in 36 appearances. He played with Schalke 04 II from 2012-2014, where he earned four more goals before moving on to Dynamo Dresden for the 2015 season. After one season there, he signed with Hansa Rostock until 2017, where he made 67 appearances. He was with 1 FC Magdeburg from 2017-2019 before signing with 1860 Munich for two seasons.
“Dennis had a frustrating year by his own standards through multiple injuries, but his mentality and technical ability make him a very valuable part of our group,” said Burke. “With a full off season we are looking forward to a healthy and productive 2023 season with him.”
“I feel that now more than ever we have a real opportunity to win a championship and that’s the biggest factor form e coming back,” said Herrera regarding his return. “I’m looking forward to winning a championship next year.”
Christian Herrera, 25, will begin his second season with Colorado Springs in 2023. During the 2022 season, Herrera would appear in seven matches for the club, gathering 28 saves and a single Save of the Week honor. Though Herrera didn’t have consistent starts in 2022, he gave the Switchbacks peace of mind behind routine starter and recent retiree Jeff Caldwell.
Herrera’s professional career began with the the USL side Real Monarchs, playing on their academy team. Herrera spent the 2016 season on loan to C.F. Pachuca, and the 2017 season on loan to Portland Timbers II, before signing with the Swope Park Rangers for 2018. In 2019 he moved to Orlando City B, before spending 2020 between Oakland Roots and Tacoma Defiance. Herrera officially joined Tacoma Defiance for 2021, on loan from the Oakland Roots. Last season, Herrera notched three clean sheets in 18 matches, with a 69% success rate.
“Christian is expected to challenge to start this year on a regular basis,” said Burke. “We liked his presence and energy and communication level every day, even during the off season.”
Name: Steven Echevarria
Height: 5’ 8”
Date of Birth: April 9th, 1996
Hometown: Slate Hill, NY
Name: Dennis Erdmann
Height: 6’ 2”
Date of Birth: November 22nd, 1990
Hometown: Kerpen, Germany
Name: Christian Herrera
Height: 6′ 7″
Date of Birth: April 20th, 1997
Hometown: Las Cruces, New Mexico