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Vargish's View: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Primed For Home Opener

By Roland Vargish, 03/11/20, 1:00PM MDT

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Fresh off a 2-1 in Oklahoma City, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC host San Antonio FC this Saturday afternoon at Weidner Field in the first game of the 2020 USL Championship season to be played in Colorado Springs.  The Gazette newspaper will be giving away cowbells to the first 500 fans as part of Fake Paddy’s Day and tickets are available HERE. $1 beers will also be on tap for the first thirty minutes after the gates open at 2:30pm MT.  

“I thought it was a very good performance – the guys did exactly what we asked them to do, they executed, and we could have been several goals up to the good,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Alan Koch when asked about the victory against OKC.  “Oklahoma City is a good team. They came back into the game, but I was proud of the character our guys showed to not push any panic buttons, weather a bit of a storm, then go on and get the win. We need to just keep pushing. It’s one week at a time.  We don’t set ourselves any goals beyond one week at a time. I think if you look beyond that, you’re losing sight of what your job actually is, so we’re just going to get ourselves ready for San Antonio, be focused, and hopefully come up with another good performance.” 

“I think we’re all very confident coming from a good result away from home, so we want to take the same confidence into our next game in front of our home crowd,” said George Lebese.  South African Lebese played all 90 minutes on Saturday in his first competitive action for the Switchbacks. “It’s our first home game and we’re very excited for that. We’re looking to do well and give the supporters something to cheer about.  We’re going to start preparing today and get information from the coach about what we’re going to work on this week – it’s exciting to be home.”

Christian Volesky opened the scoring for the Switchbacks against the Oklahoma City Energy FC after a superb Aidan Daniels cross from the right wing in the 16th minute.  “Early goals always help strikers,” said Volesky.  “It meant a lot to score against my former club. I don’t think there were nerves, but it helped the team and we were able to relax and play the style and the brand that we wanted to.  I think even before the goal we were good, but the goal definitely helps my confidence and helps get the season started on the right foot thanks to the great ball from Aidan. For me this weekend will only be my second time playing here but we’ll train at the stadium and get used to the grass pitch and to be in front of the home crowd; you can’t beat that, so we’re very excited.  We’re going to bring our best and as I said last week, our theme is to focus on ourselves and control what we can. We don’t know what San Antonio will bring but if we control ourselves I think we’ll be fine.”

San Antonio started their 2020 USL Championship season on Saturday with an impressive and composed 1-0 win over the Real Monarchs SLC in Texas.  Canadian defender Callum Montgomery was named a starter on the USL Championship Team of the Week after the center-back notched the lone goal in the 1-0 victory at Toyota Field.  Montgomery fired home from the edge of the six-yard box after captain Luis Solignac smashed his cross across the face of goal.  

“We have a lot of confidence in the group we have here,” said Head Coach Alan Koch.  “It’s still very early days – because it takes time to completely get in-sync – so we’ll focus on ourselves these next few days and reinforce a few things and definitely be aware of San Antonio too.  I give San Antonio credit. They’re a club that’s gone out and spent a lot of money this offseason and they’ve brought in some very good players and they’re a very good team. They’ve gone through a transition as a club with a new coach and new players and they’ve invested heavily and you can already see that in their first game.  They’re a talent-laden club and we expect them to come here with a very good group.”

San Antonio native and beard-enthusiast Matt Cardone has appeared in every season of San Antonio FC’s existence, and the former San Antonio Scorpion started and kept a clean sheet in the victory over the Real Monarchs SLC.  Cardone’s opposite number, Switchbacks ‘keeper Sean Melvin, notched four saves in his debut on Saturday against OKC including a brilliant stop on the hour mark. “I think the win gives us a lot of confidence,” said Melvin on Tuesday morning.  “It’s difficult to go on the road and get a result so I think that’s great for us and will help us build this week. It’s going to be nice to be home and play in front of the fans. For a lot of guys it will be the first time playing at this stadium and I think it will be a really good atmosphere and the guys are going to be really excited.”