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Vargish's View: Colorado Springs Switchbacks Host Orange County For 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular

By Roland Vargish, 07/02/19, 1:00PM MDT

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The largest fireworks show in Southern Colorado is on-tap on Independence Day as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC host Orange County SC at Weidner Field on Thursday evening.  The first 600 fans at Weidner Field will receive a Switchbacks blanket, courtesy of Oakwood Homes, with tickets for Thursday’s clash still available HERE.  

Thursday’s match against Orange County will be the first of three games in a row for the Switchbacks at Weidner Field.  On July 13th, the Switchbacks host the Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Movie Night, with the Better Business Bureau sponsoring the third part of the Switchbacks’ poster giveaway series.  A week later the Switchbacks welcome the Oklahoma City Energy FC to Weidner Field for Margaritaville, with a free jersey T Shirt giveaway pre-game courtesy of Weidner Apartment Homes. 

On Friday evening, Jon Eddy Productions will present Billy Ray Cyrus and Johnny McGuire at Weidner Field, complete with a post-concert fireworks show.  Kimberly Dunn and The Tyler Walker Band will open the show in Colorado Springs, with tickets still available HERE

Orange County SC arrive in Colorado Springs having lost their last three matches in the 2019 USL Championship.  Last Saturday, Head Coach Braeden Cloutier’s team fell 2-1 to the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy II at Championship Soccer Stadium at OC Great Park in Irvine, California. 

“OC are on a little bit of a skid too,” said Switchbacks striker Mike Seth on Tuesday morning in Colorado Springs.  “Thursday will be a good opportunity to see where we are and to give a good performance.”

The Switchbacks fell 2-0 on April 6th to Orange County SC on the site of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine, California.  Darwin Jones notched a brace against the Switchbacks on April 6th, and the former University of Washington Husky is now atop OC’s goal-scoring charts with six goals in the 2019 USL Championship.  Dutch midfielder Jerry van Ewijk is tied for OC’s lead in assists with Aodhan Quinn, while former Chicago Fire goalkeeper Patrick McLain is OC’s undisputed first-choice ‘keeper. 

Last weekend saw the Switchbacks lose in Texas’ capitol city 5-0 to the Austin Bold FC under a blanket of oppressive Lone Star State summer heat.  Former Jamaican international Wolde Harris will take charge of the Switchbacks as interim Head Coach on Thursday, after the Switchbacks parted ways with long-time Head Coach Steve Trittschuh on Monday morning.  

“It’s definitely good to get back on the field quickly,” said Harris.  “The guys have had a chance to think about what happened last weekend and learn from it and they’re looking forward to the opportunity to get back to it this week.  Orange County have good players. [Darwin] Jones, [Jerry] van Ewijk, Vinicius, [Michael] Seaton as well, and [Aodhan] Quinn who likes to run the show for them.”

“Thursday will have two teams who are looking for a win that they need,” said Shane Malcolm.  “At the end of the day, it will be about who has the most composure and the will to win and get a result and who is ready to give everything.”

At the time of writing, just five points separate the Switchbacks from the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros who currently occupy 13th place in the USL Championship’s Western Conference.  The playoff line is currently three points above the Toros.  Wins for the Switchbacks in their three-match home stand at Weidner Field that begins on Thursday night would see Wolde Harris’ team vault into the thick of the Western Conference playoff push.  

“Based on our previous results, it’s important for us to build a good defensive foundation,” said interim Head Coach Harris when asked about what his team will focus on after taking charge of the Switchbacks mid-season.  “Having a good defensive base and making sure we’re in good defensive positions is where we have to start, and then we will learn to attack off that. As we get more comfortable we’ll look to expand the attack and get in behind teams more often.  We should have a good crowd at home this week and we’ll use that.”

The Switchbacks will have the weekend free from matches, before welcoming both teams from the Sooner State to Colorado Springs.  Tickets for the matches against the Tulsa Roughnecks FC on July 13th are available HERE, while fans can purchase seats for the visit of the Oklahoma City Energy FC HERE