Yesterday, El Paso Locomotive FC signed local soccer player Louis "Chapa" Herrera, a Bel Air High School graduate, who dazzled the team in tryouts and tournaments.

Herrera, 22, had been working a day-to-day job in El Paso when he got the call from Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry that the club wanted to sign him.

“At 22, he has incredible room for growth and the opportunity to change the lives of him and his family. This is what dreams are made of. Last week he was working construction, today he signed a professional contract,” said Lowry in a release. “I am honored to be part of this journey with Louis and everyone else in El Paso who aspires to be something special”

The USL club initially saw Herrera play at the Alianza de Futbol tournament in El Paso, where he played with an all-star team built with former professional soccer players and collegiate athletes.

“We saw him play at the Alianza tournament in September, where I think he ran 5,000 miles and didn’t give the ball away once all weekend,” Lowry said. “We invited him to tryouts where he performed well and once again showed his quality and potential.”

Photo courtesy El Paso Locomotive FC
Photo courtesy El Paso Locomotive FC

He then continued to impress them at the local open tryouts for the team on four separate occasions in December. Both Lowry and general manager Andrew Forrest alluded to the signing of a local player that would make waves.

“In my years of doing this, I can honestly say it was one of my proudest moments sitting with Louis and his family while he signed forms to become a full-time professional soccer player,” Lowry said.

Herrera will join Omar Salgado as the Locomotive's two El Paso players on the squad.

“The fact that another local player has earned his way onto the first team and can compete at this level is encouraging and a great sign of the high-level of talent in El Paso,” Forrest said.

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