Colorado Springs Switchbacks in Austin on Tuesday night for key conference match

·3 min read

Jun. 21—The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will try to build upon the momentum of three consecutive games without a loss when they take on Austin Bold FC on Tuesday in the Texas state capital.

"Austin has been solid. They don't give away much in terms of opportunities going the other way," Switchbacks coach Brendan Burke said.

Austin (3-2-2, 11 points) is a USL Championships Mountain Conference foe. It is tied for fourth in the division with San Antonio.

The Switchbacks (2-2-2, eight points) are bolstered by their first three points at home Wednesday with a 4-2 victory over Tacoma Defiance.

"Yeah, it means everything. It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end it's beyond words, man," Switchbacks defender Sebastian Anderson said after the Tacoma match. "It's great to get the first three points here, and you know the fans were behind us, everything was great so it was just right that we got it tonight."

The Switchbacks' victory over Tacoma was infused by the forward play of Hadji Barry, Deshane Beckford and Michee Ngalina. They combined for four goals and four assists in the 4-2 win.

With six goals this season, Barry is in a five-way tie for the league lead.

"We could have had seven or eight goals against Tacoma," Burke said. "It's coming."

Austin has just seven goals as a team. Sean Okoli leads the way with two. The Bold relies on a defense that has yielded six goals in seven matches.

"Austin tries to control the flow of the game defensively," Burke said. "When they win the ball they are good in terms of controlling possession."

Austin is also playing its first match since Wednesday. Sort of. The Bold was set to play on the road Saturday at the Birmingham Legion, but the match was abandoned in the first half when heavy rains made field conditions unplayable.

Before the postponement, the Bold had recorded two wins and a draw in their previous matches. Austin is playing at home for the first time since June 3, a 1-0 loss to El Paso.

The Switchbacks return home after the Austin match and begin the meaty part of their home schedule with five of the next six games taking place at Weidner Field through July 23.

Burke has used a similar starting lineup in every game this season. He said that may likely change with the team's plethora of upcoming matches.

Ngalina and captain Jimmy Ockford have played all 540 minutes — plus stoppage time — through the team's first six matches. Barry has played all but one minute. He came out late against Tacoma.

"It's a little irresponsible if we play certain guys too much," Burke said.

Switchbacks midfielder Jose Torres, the team's oldest and most experienced player at 33, has missed the last three games with a foot injury. He is anxious to rejoin his teammates and lead the way to more success.

"We have a good group of guys and we have a lot of experienced guys," Torres said. "The team is slowly getting to where Brendan wants it to be."

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