Locomotive Scoring Drought Continues as Club Drops Third Straight
El Paso Locomotive FC dropped their third consecutive match on Saturday night losing to Louisville City FC by the score of 1-0 at Southwest University Park. Possibly more concerning than losing three matches in row is the fact that the Locos have failed to score a lone goal in each of those matches, totaling 270 minutes without being able to find the back of the net.
Jorge Gonzalez scored the match winning goal for Louisville in the 52th minute off of a corner kick to give his team from the Bluegrass state its 14th win of the season, handing El Paso its ninth loss of the season.
That corner kick, early in the second half, made the difference in a match that was particularly even not just from a statistical standpoint, but when applying the eye test to it as well. El Paso has played the top two teams in western conference (San Antonio FC) and eastern conference (Louisville) respectively in the past two weeks. Both have ended in 1-0 defeats, but it is not as if these teams have been superior to Locomotive on the field of play, not that this is much of a silver lining.
To make things worse, during this most recent defeat on Saturday night, two players left the match due to injury. Left fullback Nick Hinds and winger Emmanuel Sonupe were added to the rather lengthy injury list that El Paso has unfortunately generated over the past couple of months.
The Locos also continue to slip in the standings as a result of this negative streak.
They are still in the playoff zone in sixth place with 33 points, just barely holding on. LA Galaxy II who is the first team sitting outside of the playoff zone in eighth place with 31 points and two matches in hand on El Paso. All of the teams that are out of the playoff zone have two to four matches in hand on the team from the Borderland, which is something of concern.
The Locos have 10 regular season matches left in this 2022 campaign. Five at home and five on the road.
What was said
Saturday night, after the match, Locomotive head coach and technical director John Hutchinson said, "Today was just one moment of a defensive lapse." While that may have marked the difference in the match, the issue of not scoring still persists to which Hutchinson said, "Tonight we weren’t fantastic in the (offensive) one-third and we’ll look at that and come back. The best part about this is that we still have 10 games in the season and it is still in our hands (making the playoffs)."
"These are the times when you see what people are made of," is what Hutchinson said regarding the tough stretch this club is going through.
The Locos will once again return to northern California to face Monterey Bay on Saturday night. The Golden State has not been friendly to the Locomotive this year as they have played five matches, losing four of those and obtaining one draw. While Monterey may be in next to last place in the western conference with only 23 points the way things have been going for El Paso, this can turn into a trap game rather quickly.
The match will be televised nationally via streaming on ESPN+ and is scheduled for an 8p.m. MT kickoff.