How Do You Beat The House in Vegas? Have Goals Like Locomotive FC
Leaving Las Vegas with more than what you brought is always a good thing.
El Paso Locomotive FC did a very good thing Saturday night.
Not only did El Paso do its usual thing –– dominate possession, pass well, play solid defense –– it also did an unusual thing for the team thus far.
Three of them to be precise, only the second time the team has scored that many in a match this season in a dominating shutout win over the host Las Vegas Lights FC.
It's the 10th clean sheet of the season for goalkeeper Logan Ketterer, tying him for second in the league with Tampa Bay Rowdies keeper John McCarthy behind Phoenix Rising FC's Zac Lubin (13).
AND all the goals came in the second half.
AND all came after the team's first missed penalty kick this season in another dominating but frustrating first half.
AND not a single goal was scored by Jerome Kiesewetter, who missed the first-half spot kick.
"The Orthodontist" was actually subbed out in the 79th minute by head coach Mark Lowry; but Josué Aarón Gómez, the player who replaced him, has apparently been doing his residency with Kiesewetter's practice.
Gómez became the third Locomotive FC player with a brace this inaugural season, notching his first just two minutes after coming on for Kiesewetter in the 81st, then following that with a beautifully-taken rebound shot off of Omar Salgado's miss in the 90th.
Gómez joins Kiesewetter and fellow Mexican loanee, Edson Partida, as the only three El Paso players to earn more than one goal in a game. Gómez is with Locomotive FC on loan from FC Juárez Bravos while Partida is on loan from Toluca.
Sebastían Velasquez scored his first of the season on a well-taken penalty in the 52nd minute after Kevin Garcia-Lopez was judged to have fouled James Kiffe in the Lights FC area.
Las Vegas coach Eric Wynalda, the former US international, felt a little hard-done-by after referee Farhad Dadkho whistled the hosts for their second penalty on the night, but on the balance Locomotive FC gave Waldo's team fits throughout the match and deserved the win.
After the minute-made miracle that earned El Paso a come-from-behind point Wednesday night –– with goals from Gómez and Kiesewetter scored a single minute apart to tie Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 2-2 –– El Paso has leapt back above the playoff line for the first time in a month. Locomotive FC's 9-8-9 record and a plus-three goal differential puts them in the final Western Conference playoff berth in USL Championship play with just over a month left in the season.
Interestingly, it also marks the second straight match Locomotive FC has scored two goals in the final 10 minutes.
Better late than never.