The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will play their third match in just eight days this Saturday evening as they visit the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium in Carson, California for a showdown against the Los Angeles Galaxy II.
Wednesday evening saw the Switchbacks defeat the Real Monarchs 1-0 behind a stunning 87th minute winner from Jamaican winger Saeed Robinson. Robinson’s exquisitely curled right-footed strike was fit to win any match in any league across the world and is destined to be a USL Goal of the Week candidate.
“That goal felt so good,” said Robinson after the match. “I didn’t tell anyone this, but that goal was for my dad, Bunny. Today is four years since he passed…my goal was for him. My dad would be really proud. And honestly, I’m just happy we won – for the team and for all our hard work. I got the winner, but really it’s about us being 3 points closer to the playoffs and that’s our goal.”
“That win was long overdue,” said AJ Ajeakwa. “It was what we deserved after all the hard work from everybody on the team. Saeed did so well with his goal – I’m very happy for him! He’s been doing a lot that most people don’t see. He’s been putting in the work. To see him get the winner was perfect. All-around it was a great team effort. From Moise at the back even to the guys on the sidelines – I could hear them pushing us on during the second half. I’m tired, but we’ll rest and go to LA ready to do this again against another good team. Now we have to get back at it and be ready to go on Saturday.”
Jordan Burt will be in contention for a return to the Switchbacks’ lineup after serving a one game suspension against the Real Monarchs for a red card he picked up against Phoenix Rising FC on August 25th. “If you look at last night’s game, we really needed the win and it gives us great momentum going into the weekend,” said Burt on Thursday afternoon. “LA are a young and talented team, but we’ll focus on what we do best and keep this going into Saturday.”
Before Robinson’s sensational winner, the Switchbacks saw three goals chalked off the board for offside. “We won that game 3-0…at least,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Steve Trittschuh immediately following Wednesday’s victory. “We scored a couple goals that should have stood and one that was borderline. We just wanted that game more and the guys gave great effort to get the three points. All the credit goes to the players. There was a lot of controversy that was uncalled for…but we did what we had to and kept playing and got the win we needed. With Mason [Toye] and Saeed up-top we pushed and pressed and that changed the game.”
“Amazing…that was amazing,” said Switchbacks captain Josh Suggs when asked about Wednesday’s dramatic win against the Real Monarchs. “Saeed’s goal was perfect timing. He did it all himself and we needed it! This is a long week for us, but we’ve got a lot of strong and fit guys and we have some guys who will be rested for Saturday so we’ll be prepared to play well in LA.”
Midfielder Sam Hamilton and full-back Kip Colvey will be missing for the Switchbacks on Saturday in California, as both Rapids-loanees will be representing the MLS club in a friendly match against the Tulsa Roughnecks FC at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee. Hamilton and Colvey each played 90 minutes for the Switchbacks against the Real Monarchs SLC on Wednesday.
The Galaxy II have not played since a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Real Monarchs SLC on August 25th at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. On March 17th, the Switchbacks opened their 2018 USL regular season with a 2-0 win over the Galaxy II at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs behind goals from AJ Ajeakwa and Jordan Burt. Head Coach Mike Munoz’s team currently occupy 13th place in the USL’s Western Conference. “LA are a young and dangerous team,” said Trittschuh. “They could bring some first team guys to play against us – we never know. We just have to go there and play and do what we have to in order to win the game. Taking care of business is what it’s all about. [Frank] Lopez up top is a guy we have to watch. [Ethan] Zubak and [Justin] Dhillon are very dangerous players too. LA have a freedom to play and they stick to their style well. We’ll play our game and do what we need to break them down and try to use our momentum from Wednesday.”
Zubak leads the Galaxy II in goals with ten, with Frank López just a goal behind. German midfielder Julian Büscher tops the Galaxy II’s assist charts. López and the aforementioned Ethan Zubak were both on the score sheet for the Galaxy II in their last win – a 4-1 victory over Sacramento Republic on August 18th. Miguel Aguilar and Jean Engola rounded out the scoring for Los Dos at Papa Murphy’s Park in California’s capital city.
On September 15th, the Switchbacks will return to Weidner Field on Super Hero Night as they welcome the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. Fan Appreciation Night against Phoenix Rising FC will be the final Switchbacks regular season match of 2018 in Colorado Springs on September 22nd.
“A draw isn’t good enough and we can’t lose,” said Trittschuh. “We have to go to LA and find a way to win.”