For El Paso Locomotive FC it all comes down to this, the final match of the 2023 regular season: win or draw on the road against the Oakland Roots. That will be what Locomotive will be trying to accomplish to return to the USL Championship playoffs after not making it last year. 

While these may sound like somewhat standard conditions to advance into postseason play, it is important to acknowledge that the Locos have never beat the Oakland Roots. The Roots have defeated Locomotive in their two most recent matches, and out of the four total matches that these two teams have faced off in, the best that El Paso has been able to muster is a draw last year in the first of two matches that these two teams squared off in.

Oakland has not won in their last eight matches, and with a win tonight, they will jump over El Paso in the standings and get the final playoff spot. With these implications on the line, this is one of the most important matches of the final week in the USL.

This week during media availability, head coach/technical director for El Paso, Brian Clarhaut was concise: “It’s in our hands, we know what’s on the line, we know what’s at stake.”

As for the playoff berth being at stake, Clarhaut said, “It’s important for the club.”

Now a lot of fans on social media have expressed that with the form the Locos have been in recently, they would rather not see this team make the playoffs,

“What for?” has been the consensus for the “supporters” of this mindset. It would seem that they have forgotten with the way the playoffs are structured in the USL, upsets happen. They happen a lot and frequently…all you need is a seat at the table.

Kickoff for tonight’s match is scheduled at 8 p.m. MST. As always it will be televised via streaming on ESPN+.

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