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Gameday has arrived for El Paso Locomotive FC

El Paso Locomotive FC players are battling the typical pre-game mix of nerves and excitement ahead of tonight’s opener against OKC Energy FC at 7:35 p.m.

For many players though, it’s a welcome feeling.

“Yeah, it’s a nice feeling. You get those nerves. You get the buzz for the game, and I think that’s important for any player,” said midfielder Richie Ryan. “It shows that you care and that you’ve got that excitement built up inside of you.”

It’s been more than a year since El Pasoans learned that they would be getting a new professional soccer team that would compete in the United Soccer League or USL.

The excitement of the first match in franchise history is amplified by the fact the match is sold out. But the players know that to keep fans excited, they’ll have to prove something on the field, adding another layer of nerves.

“Well, it’s natural nerves. It’s what makes you play better when you get out on the pitch,” said midfielder Calvin Rezende. “So, we’re looking forward to exciting the fans and impressing them and wanting them to come back every game.”

Many of the players on the team have played for numerous squads, both in their home countries and abroad. A first match in a new city is nothing unusual for defender Mechack Jerome, a native of Haiti. He says the key for him is just to get plenty of rest until the match begins.

“First, I have to wake up, get breakfast, then go back to sleep,” he said. “I then watch a couple matches of mine and get ready for the game. And that’s it.”

Although the home opener tonight is sold out, it will be broadcast on the El Paso-Las Cruces CW beginning at 7:35 p.m.

In fact, each and every home game that is played on Saturday or Sunday (12 total) will be available on the CW.

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