What Do Locomotive FC and East Side Commuters Have In Common?
Disconnected meanderings after watching Locomotive FC's 1-0 loss to RGV Toros FC at the team watch party on the east side.
- The good news for Locomotive FC: Jerome Kiesewetter is back!
- The bad news: It didn't matter.
- Something has to give. Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry knows it, which is why El Paso traded the player who scored its first-ever goal in Derek Gebhard for one they hope can unlock a few down the stretch in Alexy Bosetti. It's why Lowry signed Sebastián Velasquez just over a month ago. But teams are daring Locomotive to play through them and – outside of a 2-0 win against the last-place team in the USL Championship – El Paso hasn't generated chances, much less goals. Injuries have played an outsized role in that, but Lowry and the team won't make excuses. They know the onus is on them to make it happen. They have 10 matches to make it happen.
- El Paso had 64 percent of the ball and completed 90 percent of its passes...but was OUTSHOT, 17-9!
- Look at Locomotive's heatmap below, where the more a team touches the ball the redder it gets. That space with all the red on the right? That's Locomotive FC in its own defensive half. On lefthand side, though, the RGV penalty area might as well be a wildlife preserve with all that unsullied green space.
This was all WITH Kiesewetter back in the lineup for the first time since July 6th. But Kiesewetter was invisible to me all night (albeit on the shaky interwebs feed). Making Kiesewetter visible is a little like the genie and the lamp, though. You gotta rub the dang lamp to get the genie! Kiesewetter is lethal in the box, a first-touch phenom. But, to borrow from basketball, without the "alley" there is no "oop". Kiesewetter scoring depends on service that was nonexistent.
- Credit RGV Toros FC for just openly challenging El Paso to come get the game Saturday night. The midfield was like Zaragoza and Montwood at rush hour. RGV's orange jerseys were appropriate – they were as ubiquitous and frustrating as traffic barrels for the latest multi-year El Paso road project. Ever feel like you're putting your life on the line making a lane change out there? If so, you feel Locomotive FC's pain.
- Randomly changing subject because: Mont-agoza. Ahem...WHERE DID ALL THESE PEOPLE COME FROM?! I remember doing a remote at Zaragoza and Sunfire for the KLAQ Morning Show about a decade ago wondering if enough folks would show up to make it worthwhile. Saturday night, it took 10 minutes to travel that same route – ONE MILE up Zaragoza from Loop 375 to Union Drafthouse. Bumper-to-bumper traffic the entire way. I know we're spoiled rotten in El Paso relative to other cities, but...WHAT?! Did EVERYONE move to the east side?
- The second yellow card given to defensive midfielder Richie Ryan resulting in his expulsion was...not good. Ryan was whistled by referee Luis Guardia for making contact with RGV goal-scorer Eric Bird, except that he got the ball before Bird. The video might have make this appealable, but watch the highlights. After seeing red, Ryan saw red, extracting his pound of verbal flesh from Guardia. My guess is that the referee added dissent to his league report. Regardless, it means Ryan will miss his first league match for Locomotive FC this season when the team returns home Wednesday, Sept. 4th, against Tulsa Roughnecks FC, and is another knot in a long string of misfortune weighing the club down.
- Props to RGV Toros FC who, along with the rest of the USL, took time to honor the victims of the Cielo Vista Walmart shooting.
- Everyone, go read this wonderful piece on El Paso's recovery from the shooting from Rachel Williams in Rolling Stone. It's not about the racist coward who perpetrated it. It's not about the victims. It's not about the politics swirling around everything. It's about our city. I've lived in a handful of places in my 50-plus years. There are two I feel strongest about. One is my original hometown of Norman, OK. The other is El Paso. In a world of hometowns, what makes a place special? Job opportunities? Median income? Affordability? No. To me, it's the people. Rachel Williams' essay opened that door, and it suddenly got a little dusty.