Colorado Springs, CO (August 31, 2019) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC lost 3-0 to table-toppers Phoenix Rising FC behind three first-half goals on Saturday night at Weidner Field.
Phoenix came out of the gate hot scoring two goals in the first eight minutes of the game. Jose Aguinaga saw his pass get deflected back into his path before slotting his shot past the onrushing Andre Rawls. Solomon Asante intercepted a pass to give himself the space needed to score his league-leading 20th goal of the season. The visitors extended their lead to three in the 27th minute behind Adam Jahn's blast inside the near post. The Switchbacks had an opportunity late in the half on a counter-attack after Saeed Robinson's cross found the head of Austin Dewing but he couldn't direct the header on target.
Eight minutes into the second half, Rony Argueta was in the right place at the right time to find a cross that got partially saved by Zac Lubin before seeing his shot get cleared off the goal-line by a Phoenix defender. Cesar Romero had an opportunity fall to him when he fired a low shot towards the far post but Lubin got down quick enough to make the save and preserve the 3-0 scoreline.
"They're a really good team. They possess the ball really well. They overload one side and they're able to keep the ball. They're very patient but at the same time they move the ball quick. To me, they're the best team in the league in both conferences," said Rony Argueta. "They capitalized on our mistakes. If we're solid in the back, I think we can avoid those goals. Second half we came out better and pressed them. I think if we would've done that from the beginning, it would've been a different game."
The Switchbacks return to Weidner Field on September 7th to face the Austin Bold FC on Hero Night. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free Switchbacks foam finger courtesy of Children's Hospital Colorado Springs. Full 16oz beers will be available for $1 for the first 30 minutes after gates open at 5:00 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 difference between the Switchbacks and Phoenix tonight: "They were playing as a team and we were playing as individuals. I think that's the biggest thing. We were playing in small groups and not together as a team. There was a noticeable lack of communication and that speaks to the core of the performance, we're not on the same page. I think our preparation going into the game was good. I think the attitudes we're good even in pregame, but it seems that our mentality isn't as strong as it should be to face a team like Phoenix right now."
On how Phoenix's two early goals changed the game: "We knew it was going to be a test. We were poor with the ball tonight and a team like Phoenix will capitalize on those two mistakes early in our back four. They were up 2-nil and that doesn't bode well for your psychology going forward for the rest of the game. But credit to the guys who kept fighting, kept playing, and created more chances. Yeah we kept playing, but in terms of our matchup with them, they're a well-oiled machine right now. They're not a team that you can make the mistakes that we made tonight."
Rony Argueta - On his overall thoughts on tonight's game: "They're a really good team. They possess the ball really well. They overload one side and they're able to keep the ball. They're very patient but at the same time they move the ball quick. To me, they're the best team in the league in both conferences. They capitalized on our mistakes. If we're solid in the back, I think we can avoid those goals. Second half we came out better and pressed them. I think if we would've done that from the beginning, it would've been a different game."
On where the Switchbacks are moving forward: "We have to stay strong mentally. We have seven more games this season and we have to take it game by game and just focus on each game. We have to finish strong and mentally stay in it to keep searching for that win. We want as many wins as we can to finish on a good note."
Jordan Schweitzer - On the challenges that Phoenix presented: "They've got a lot of quality players. As far as the game plan goes, there were things that we were looking to do to nullify that and we shot ourselves in the foot a bit early on. Unfortunately, we dug ourselves a hole and when you dig yourself a hole against a squad like that, it's going to be even harder to come back. Take nothing away from how good they are, we didn't do ourselves any favors."