Locomotive Hopes for 5th Straight; FC Juarez Women Seeking 1st Playoff Appearance
A big weekend of professional soccer is on deck this weekend in the Borderland as both FC Juarez women and El Paso Locomotive FC will be playing at home on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. Both of these matches will have plenty on the line.
FC Juarez Women look to secure first ever playoff appearance
FC Juarez will be looking to secure their first ever playoff berth since the women’s side came into existence back in 2019 when they host Puebla in the regular season finale tonight at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium. The Bravas already enjoyed a sense of accomplishment earlier this week when they defeated Necaxa, 1-0. The win gave the Bravas 25 points thus far on the season, the most points the team has ever obtained in the regular season.
The Bravas come into Friday’s match in seventh place in the general standings table. With the top eight teams making the playoffs, a win will lock them into the playoffs. A draw and the women will have to depend on other results, although they have a plus-9 goal differential in their favor which improves their chances of making the playoffs drastically. A loss and they will really be paying attention to other results.
Club proprietor and member of MountainStar Sports Group, Alejandra de la Vega tweeted early Friday morning (Above), “Today the history of women’s professional soccer in Juarez will be re-written.”
The match will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Deportes with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.
Locomotive try for record tying 5th consecutive win
El Paso Locomotive obtained their fourth win in a row last Friday defeating Colorado Springs Switchbacks 3-2 on the road. Locomotive came out locked in, taking a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of the match. The Switchbacks did not go down without putting up a serious fight, coming back in the second half, fortunately for the Locos they were able to hold on to obtain their fifth win of the 2023 season. They are undefeated in their last six matches in USL Championship play.
On Saturday night El Paso will host Loudoun United at Southwest University Park in downtown El Paso, a team that arrives to the Borderland in seventh place in the eastern conference as a result of three wins, one draw and four defeats. They have lost their last two matches in league competition. This will be only the second time these two clubs have faced each other, in April of last year the Locos defeated the team from Virginia on the road by the score of 3-1. It will be the first time Loudoun comes to El Paso.
What the Locos boss said
El Paso Locomotive head coach and technical director Brian Clarhaut spoke with the media earlier this week, addressing both his team’s most recent victory and the match coming up on Saturday.
Clarhaut began addressing the match against the Switchbacks saying, “Some of the levels we reached in the first half were what we wanted to do, what I’ve envisioned doing. The Petrovic goal is the type of soccer I want to play. It was a top class play, top class execution. Certain aspects of that first half I was really pleased with.”
The first year Locomotive boss was aware of the drop-off in the second and made reference to it by saying, “The next step for us is to put in that kind of performance for 90 minutes. We can’t be a tail of 2 halves here. That’s the challenge now, can we make these performances go for 90 minutes, that’s what championship caliber teams do.”
As for the match coming up Clarhaut said: “They are good team, I think they are well coached with some good players. They are a high scoring team, so I think it’s going to be a good challenge. They play Wednesday against the Columbus Crew in the Open Cup so we’ll take a look at them in more detail and be prepared to get a good victory at home.”
Saturday’s match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. MST kickoff. As always the match will be televised nationally via streaming on ESPN+.
UTEP men's basketball downs UTSA to snap a 4-game losing streak