It’s Back to School Night at Weidner Field as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC host the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday evening, with GE Johnson sponsoring a backpack giveaway for the first 1,00 fans. Tickets for Saturday’s match are available HERE.
On Wednesday night, the Switchbacks battled the Portland Timbers 2 to a 2-2 draw at Weidner Field behind goals from Ish Jome and Saeed Robinson. “It felt like a weight coming off my back and I really needed that,” said Robinson when asked about his goal against T2. “This weekend is another home game and we have to put all-in for the win. We just need to continue what we’re doing and what we work on every day. RGV are a possession oriented team so we have to communicate well and stay compact. We need wins – especially in all our games at home – to continue what we’re building here.”
The Switchbacks fell to the RGV FC Toros in Edinburg, Texas on the USA – Mexico border on June 15th. Carlos Small notched a brace after Wilmer Cabrera had opened the scoring for RGV FC. Panamanian Small is tied with Belizean striker Michael Salazar for the Toros’ lead in goals with eight. Jamaican Maalique Foster and former University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros standout Isidro Martinez each have 4 assists in the 2019 USL Championship to lead RGV’s stat-sheet. Three goalkeepers have seen significant time for the Toros, with Tyler Deric, Michael Nelson, and Nicolas Corti all having notched a clean sheet in 2019.
Corti started in the Toros’ 2-1 loss at the hands of Reno 1868 FC on August 3rd. Colombian midfielder Andres Arcila opened the scoring for RGV, just a minute after Reno had taken a 9th minute lead through Thomas Janjigian. Aidan Apodaca won the game for Reno in the 20th minute, as the former California Baptist University Lancer condemned Rio Grande Valley to their second consecutive 2-1 defeat in the 2019 USL Championship.
“They have a few dangerous players that we have to be aware of,” said Switchbacks Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris when asked about the RGV FC Toros. “Compactness again will be important for us. We have to be better with the ball and keep our tempo up. I know the players gave everything in the second half tonight, and they came out at halftime with a lot of intensity. We’ll look to build off that and start that way against RGV. Tactically the players know what’s required of them, so mentally and physically they need to recover so they can get back out and give their maximum effort.”
“Getting ready for Saturday is a combination – both mental and physical,” said Jordan Schweitzer. “We need to make sure we take care of our bodies and focus on the details. That’s something the coaching staff has been making us focus on. We’re starting to put games together – we’re still having lapses, myself included, and that cost us tonight, but we’re seeing some of the things we’ve been working on starting to pay off.”
Wednesday’s draw with the Timbers 2 saw a return to first team action for Switchbacks center back Jamal Jack. Jack had been ruled out since suffering a shoulder injury on May 4th against the El Paso Locomotive FC at Weidner Field. “I was just anxious to be on the field after a major injury and glad to be back,” said Jack immediately following Wednesday’s match. “All the glory has to go to God because it’s all due to him. The guys are ready for the challenge this week. [RGV] are a good team – they’re consistent so we’ll have to play well to get the win.”
Following Saturday’s match at Weidner Field, the Switchbacks head west to Papa Murphy’s Park in California’s capitol city to face Sacramento Republic FC on August 17th. After a trip to Chukchansi Park for a match against Fresno FC on August 24th, Wolde Harris’ team will return to Weidner Field to host Phoenix Rising FC on Free Underwear Night, presented by Sheath.
“We’ll handle the physicality of the short week in training,” said defender Kris Reaves. “Mentally we’ll be ready to go this weekend – we just need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves.”