The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC return to Weidner Field this Saturday evening as they host regional rivals Real Monarchs of Salt Lake City in a match presented by GE Johnson and Weidner Apartment Homes.
This weekend’s match will be the first action for both clubs since Saturday’s opponents fought out a wild 3-3 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on July 18th. Andorran left back Joan Cervós opened the scoring for the Switchbacks in first half injury time, before late goals from Rwandan center back Abdul Rwatubyaye and Butler University alum Jordan Burt rescued the draw for the Switchbacks.
“We learned about the Monarchs’ style of play,” said Luke Ferreira. Ferreira assisted Rwatubyaye’s 95th minute goal in Utah on July 18. “You can watch video and you can get an idea about a team, but it’s always different once you’re on the pitch. It’s a different understanding now that we’ve played against the Monarchs – we can train more precisely to their style of play. We’re going to be a lot more prepared now that we’ve had that game against them and be more understanding of their positioning and how they like to attack and defend. We played away against the defending champs so getting a result like we did, being away and a man down, it gives us a lot of confidence.”
Jamaican international Andre Lewis will be suspended for Saturday’s match after the midfielder was sent off in the 3-3 draw against the Real Monarchs. “We’ve shown already this season that we’ve played Andre, we’ve played Hiroki [Kurimoto], we’ve played Will Vint, and we’ve played Rony Argueta, so we have four players that can play in the middle of the park,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Alan Koch. “By virtue of playing all of them so far it shows that we have confidence in all of them. When one man goes down, somebody else has to step up and we have other players that can do that.”
The Switchbacks were scheduled to host Austin Bold FC last Sunday afternoon at Weidner Field in a match that has been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 26th. “It doesn’t change anything for us,” said Andorran left back Joan Cervós when asked about the postponement of last weekend’s match against Austin Bold FC. “We have trained at home and we trained hard like it was a normal game and we keep pushing every day. They [Real Monarchs] have a good team. We were losing there in the first half – we know we have to do better in defense and try to find our forwards and score goals. It gives us a lot of confidence to leave there with one point and it feels good because we were one man down and two goals away from them.”
The Real Monarchs dropped back-to-back 1-0 results to open their 2020 USL Championship campaign, losing by a single goal at Toyota Field against San Antonio FC on March 7th. A week later, the Real Monarchs fell 1-0 to San Diego Loyal at Rio Tinto Stadium, before regaining their offensive form in the 3-3 draw with the Switchbacks on July 18th in Utah.
“We’re going to be playing at home now so the Monarchs are going to have to come here and play at our altitude – it’s a little bit higher here than their stadium – so it’s going to be a little bit different for them and we’re going to be in our stadium where we like to play,” said Luke Ferreira. “We’re going to play a little bit differently against them and really go at them and try to get a result. We’re not going for a tie; we’re going for the win. We had to simulate a game-like session after the Austin game was called off so that we could get that fitness in and be ready for the Real Monarchs game. With one week off you can get a little comfortable so we did some physical work to be ready to play this weekend against the Monarchs.”
“We’ve trained a lot, to be honest,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Alan Koch on Wednesday afternoon. “We had a few days off and then we’ve gone and trained five days in a row, but we’re going to tone it down now tomorrow and Friday to make sure they’re energized on Saturday. We know that Salt Lake are a quality team – they can punish you with their own strengths, but they’ll also punish your mistakes and I think they did both of those to us in the last game. We obviously have to minimize their strengths and limit our mistakes so that we don’t give them any chances in the game. And we need to go out and create opportunities for ourselves consistently. I feel like we’ve played in fits and spurts so far since the restart and now we need to try and put together a 90-plus minute performance.”
Next Saturday, August 8th the Switchbacks are scheduled to make their Lone Star State debut of 2020 with a trip to Southwest University Park to face El Paso Locomotive.