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Vargish's View: Switchbacks Look To Stay Unbeaten in Four Straight Games

By Roland Vargish, 07/01/18, 4:30PM MDT

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For the second time in four days, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will play at Weidner Field as they host Orange County SC on Tuesday night for an Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza.  In addition to the post-match fireworks display, the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Switchbacks scarf, courtesy of Oakwood Homes.

The Switchbacks were held to a 1-1 tie by a spirited San Antonio FC on Saturday evening in Colorado Springs in a match that was delayed over two hours after a whirlwind hail storm moved through Weidner Field.  

Jordan Burt, the Switchbacks’ leading goal scorer, gave the home side the lead with a first half stoppage time penalty kick against San Antonio FC.  “It was a relief to see it go in,” said Burt. “I missed some chances earlier in the game, and to be honest; it felt like I’d let the team down. So, I was very thankful the penalty went in.  On Tuesday we’ve got to be better. I’ve got to be better. OC are a good team and we’ve just got to make sure we prepare physically. Hopefully we get back to our best on Tuesday because we’ll need to be better.”

“We’ve just got to recover and move on,” said Switchbacks captain Josh Suggs immediately following Saturday’s draw.  “To not win tonight was extremely frustrating. We had a good first half – it was obviously tough with the conditions but we’re very disappointed with the result.”

“Giving up that goal in the second half was really disappointing,” said Taylor Hunter who started at right back against San Antonio FC.  “We’re at the point of the season where we have to move on and get three points on Tuesday against a good team. We know it will be a hard game – Orange County will be ready for a battle.”

Field conditions at Weidner Field were difficult for both teams on Saturday evening, with the Switchbacks’ ground staff working heroically to get the surface playable after a comical amount of hail blanketed the field before kickoff.  In addition to the worries regarding the pitch for Tuesday’s match, Switchbacks Head Coach Steve Trittschuh confirmed his team will be without key players for the visit of Orange County SC.

“Hopefully the city will roll the field so we’ll see how it plays on Tuesday,” said Trittschuh.  “It obviously needs work and we need it to improve. Luke [Vercollone], Kimmy [Kim Taeseong], and JJ [Tambe] are all out for Tuesday.  We’re down to just sixteen players now. I could only name five subs tonight. We’ve been struggling a little because of that, so we’ve got to make sure the guys get their legs back in the next couple days.  These next few days will be about seeing who is ready to go on Tuesday. We will have to make changes for Tuesday and see on Monday how the players’ legs are and how they’ve responded to treatment.”

Orange County SC have endured a rollercoaster couple of weeks.  A 6-1 thumping of the Tulsa Roughnecks FC on June 23rd at Champions Soccer Stadium at OC Great Park in Irvine, California was followed by a tight, 1-0 loss to high-flying Phoenix Rising FC on Friday evening in The Valley of the Sun.  

On April 28th the Switchbacks lost 1-0 to Orange County SC in Irvine, California after a 6th minute goal from midfielder Aodhan Quinn.  “Orange County are a good team,” said Trittschuh.  “They lost to Phoenix but it was a close game and Phoenix are on a roll.  OC have a lot of new players that we didn’t see in California. So we know we’re facing a new team.  We just have to be good defensively and really pressure OC. Keeping the tempo up while we’re here, at home, is the most important part of our game.”

Danish hitman Thomas Enevoldsen is Orange County’s run-away goals leader with nine.  Enevoldsen is tied with the aforementioned Aodhan Quinn on four assists. Undisputed number one goalkeeper Andre Rawls has kept seven clean sheets in the 2018 USL season for OC, although he will have to produce something special to match the heroics that saw Switchbacks goalkeeper Steward Ceus named the Better Business Bureau Man of the Match on Saturday evening against San Antonio FC.  

After Tuesday’s match, the Switchbacks will travel to Oklahoma City where they will face the OKC Energy FC at Taft Stadium on Saturday, July 7th.  The Switchbacks will return to Colorado Springs on July 14th with the Heat Depot sponsoring a Premium Bottle and Bag Giveaway for the first 500 fans in attendance for the visit of Sacramento Republic FC.  A week later, on Video Game Night at Weidner Field, the Switchbacks will host the Tulsa Roughnecks FC with the first 500 fans receiving the third part of the 2018 Poster Giveaway Series, courtesy of the Better Business Bureau. 

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