Buoyed by picking up three points last weekend, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC travel to Reno, Nevada this Saturday as they face Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field.
The vital 2-1 win for the Switchbacks at Weidner Field against the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros vaulted the Switchbacks into 9th place in the USL’s Western Conference table. Second-half goals from Josh Suggs and Jordan Burt were enough to overcome a late strike from RGV.
Josh Suggs’ Man of the Match performance in the win against Rio Grande Valley FC saw the Switchbacks’ captain named to the USL’s Team of the Week. Suggs scored for the Switchbacks with a beautiful, curling free kick and was a constant threat against RGV down the left wing.
“It doesn’t mean much to me personally. It’s a testament to the team and our performance – it’s because we had a good game as a team,” said Suggs when asked about his place on the USL’s Team of the Week. “It was good to score and we played well and that’s important at home. But now we have a difficult trip. It’s good that we played at Reno in the preseason. I expect a strong team and because we had that game in preseason both teams will come out with that extra bit of fire. Hopefully, after getting two goals in our last game the floodgates will open for us and we can get goals on the road starting on Saturday. Reno are a good, strong team and it will be a good game.”
“Guys see what it takes to win and to have broken our losing streak like we did with two big goals at home felt great,” said winger Shane Malcolm. “We haven’t seen Reno [1868 FC] since preseason when we won there and we know they’re a good team. We’ll have to keep pressing our opponents, even on the road, and make sure we have good possession of the ball. The win against RGV was huge and we’re looking to keep it going. Now that we have some confidence from that win, guys will be more ruthless in front of goal.”
“It’s one of those things where we’re happy that we got the win, and a lot of guys played well, but we must keep going and pushing on,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Steve Trittschuh. “Hopefully now guys can be more aggressive in getting into the area. Reno haven’t had much success at home yet this year so we need to be ready for their best game. They have a 4-4-2 with a diamond in the center of midfield and they have talented players. We have got to keep playing our game.”
Reno 1868 FC have only managed to pick up a single point in 2018 – by way of a 1-1 draw with the Las Vegas Lights FC on March 24th in Las Vegas. Reno have dropped both games they have played this season at Greater Nevada Field. A 4-3 thriller on March 17th saw Reno lose the opening match of 2018 to the Swope Park Rangers, and on March 31st they fell 1-0 to Phoenix Rising FC.
“Reno have a solid backline and good creative players,” said AJ Ajeakwa. “Brenton Griffiths, Lindo Mfeka – these are just two of their guys that can hurt you. But we’ll be hungry for the win. We got to go there in preseason and come away from the trip with some confidence and some energy to win this time. Last weekend was huge. We have to make sure it’s a fortress for us here because it’s hard to play here. It was great to get the win. We need to make sure to get numbers in the box and take our opportunities on this road trip and use the confidence going on the road from winning here.”
“The altitude of Reno won’t give us any trouble or bother us – we need to stay big and play our game and use the experience of earlier in the preseason to help us,” said Trittschuh. “The schedule isn’t in our favor right now with our small squad and all the travel we have to do. It’s a tough week with three games in a row – if we’re going to get points we’re going to have to be at our best.”
The Switchbacks will stay on the road after Saturday’s match, as they face Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday, April 18th at Papa Murphy’s Park. April 21st will see the Switchbacks return to Weidner Field to host the Seattle Sounders FC 2 on 90’s Night. The first 500 fans at Weidner Field will receive the second part of the 2018 Poster Giveaway Series, courtesy of The Gazette Newspaper.
Reno 1868 FC will visit Weidner Field on May 5th with Colorado Technical University sponsoring a Cinco de Mayo cushion giveaway.
“The way we beat RGV is how we have to press and move up top and score goals,” said Trittschuh. “The guys got the feeling back of getting a big win and we’ll need that going into this trip. On Saturday night we will need to be big and get this stretch started right.”