Colorado Springs, CO (July 20, 2019) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks won their second consecutive game over a team from Oklahoma by a 1-0 scoreline at Weidner Field after defeating the OKC Energy FC on Saturday Night.
Even though an afternoon storm pushed kickoff back 45 minutes, both sides came out of the gate firing to find an early goal. Oklahoma City forced Ish Jome to clear the ball off the goal line after Andre Rawls made an early save. Jome later rattled the crossbar with a shot from 25 yards out. The Switchbacks took the lead after Rony Argueta found Jome cutting inside on his right foot to strike a low curled shot into the bottom of the far post in the 51st minute. The Switchbacks thought they had doubled their lead when Austin Dewing headed home a cross from Shane Malcolm, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Two minutes later, the Energy had a goal ruled out of their own for offside after Deshorn Brown failed to get back in an onside position after the Switchbacks pushed their line up after a corner. Andre Rawls was once again forced to come up with a couple of big saves to deny Deshorn Brown and Cordell Cato before Abdul Rwatubyaye was sent off in the 83rd minute. The Switchbacks held on for their second consecutive shutout win at Weidner Field.
"I'm happy with my performance tonight. I thought I had a good game. But I have to give credit to the guys in front of me too. And especially Ish, he got the game-winning goal," said Man of the Match, Andre Rawls. "These past couple weeks have been really good for us. We're definitely coming out on the front foot. Guys are working together and guys are working hard. We're all connected and united on the same goal and it's showing when we get out on the field."
The Switchbacks are on the road for their next two games visiting Reno 1868 FC on July 27th and the Real Monarchs SLC on August 2nd. The Switchbacks are back at Weidner Field on August 7th to take on the Portland Timbers 2 on Cowbell Giveaway Night. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free Switchbacks cowbell courtesy of Centura Orthopedics. Full 16oz beers will be available for $1 for the first 30 minutes after gates open at 6:00 PM. Tickets start at just $12 and are available HERE. For the price of a Switchbacks ticket and 2-5 beers, it is cheaper than buying 2-5 beers at a bar or restaurant.
Wolde Harris - On the gritty performance from the Switchbacks tonight: "I thought the guys brought what we did in practice into the game. It was a long week for us, some guys played on Monday. It was also hot this week so it was tough during practice. For me, they showed great character, especially with going down to 10 men and still grinding as they did. But in terms of the play itself, one of the key points we emphasized before the game was that we have to stay compact defensively. If we did that, we knew we would be able to force turnovers in good spots and be able to attack. I think in the 15 minutes to a half-hour, we did just that. After that, we got out of shape here and there and they found some holes to break us down. But overall, I think we really worked as a team tonight and I'm proud of the guys and their effort. I'm really proud of them and the way they approached the game because that's the way we train and that's the mentality we have to have to win games."
On the team stepping up after going down a man: "It's something we've been harping on in practice; to have a winning mentality. Part of that concept is that you have to do whatever the game dictates that you do in order to get the win and I think they've bought into that concept to a certain degree. We have to keep molding it and working on it and improving it. I think the effort is a reflection of that mentality. Once we show them the video again, they'll see that their efforts are being rewarded in wins. We're going to continue down that path and keep improving and try to go into the next game and improve upon the things we were a bit deficient in tonight."
Andre Rawls - On being named Man of the Match: "I'm happy with my performance tonight. I thought I had a good game. But I have to give credit to the guys in front of me too. And especially Ish, he got the game-winning goal. These past couple weeks have been really good for us. We're definitely coming out on the front foot. Guys are working together and guys are working hard. We're all connected and united on the same goal and it's showing when we get out on the field."
On recent positive results for the Switchbacks: "A couple of weeks ago, we went through a coaching change. I think that was kind of a reset button for us. It's never easy going through a coaching change. Wolde has stepped in and I think he's handled it well. His assistants have handled it well. The senior leaders on this team have handled it well. We've all got together and said 'alright now it's time to grind out and try to get this thing going on the right track' and the results have shown so far."
Ish Jome - On the gritty performance for tonight's win: "It was a tough game. It was a hard-fought game. We knew we had to give everything. They were dangerous on the counter. I think it was a well-deserved win. This is a team effort. We all pitched in and everyone dug deep even when we went down to 10 men, everyone kept their heads. This was a great team win."
On if his first shot hitting the crossbar was on his mind before his goal: "No. I forgot about that shot. I was thinking about it at half time but second half, I was like if I get another shot, I'm going to try to keep it on target."