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Locomotive FC bow out of U.S. Open Cup to Union Omaha in penalties

(Courtesy: El Paso Locomotive FC)

OMAHA, Nebraska -A dramatic Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup rematch saw El Paso Locomotive FC fall 5-3 in penalties to USL League One side Union Omaha after both sides finished scoreless at the end of regulation and extra time.

Locomotive arrived at Werner Park looking to settle the score against the Nebraska side that eliminated Los Locos in last year's Open Cup 2-0, led by former El Paso assistant Dominic Casciato.

Reinforced during the offseason with familiar faces like Aaron Gomez and Mechack Jerome, El Paso were up for a test against the formidable League One club.

Tested they were, as Omaha came out flying on the offensive front, combining for 32 shots on the night. However, El Paso's defense stood tall, winning 90% of its tackles (19/21) and registering 30 combined clearances (defenders Yuma and Tony Alfaro combined for 16 of the clearances).

The biggest player of the night arguably was goalkeeper Ramon Pasquel (on loan from FC Juárez), who put on a fantastic display in net for his official Locomotive debut, registering six massive saves to keep Omaha's shots out.

However, luck would not swing in El Paso's favor for the penalty shootout.

Despite Pasquel guessing the right direction on most of the shots (even getting his hand on one that unfortunately was deflected in), it wasn't enough to turn over the missed attempt from Gonzalo Pelua, a FC Juárez loanee who also was making his official Locomotive debut.

El Paso must now shake off tonight's loss and focus on its recovery ahead of a massive test on the road against the Tampa Bay Rowdies this weekend, looking for its first win of 2024.


  • Three players made their Locomotive debuts tonight: FC Juárez loanees Ramon Pasquel (GK, 27) and Gonzalo Pelua (DF, 20), as well as Locomotive Academy product Emiliano Rodriguez (FW, 20)
  • Though he was not in attendance for the event, Emiliano Rodriguez was officially announced yesterday as one of 11 Academy players to sign USL Academy contracts for 2024.
  • Tonight's match saw veteran defender Yuma make a return to the starting lineup, and his leadership was on full display throughout the night.
  • Locomotive remain winless in the U.S. Open Cup, losing the first match of the four editions its competed in (2019, 2022, 2023 and 2024). 

FORECAST: 65, partly cloudy


  • ELP – 0 (PKs: Eric Calvillo, Tony Alfaro, Justin Dhillon)
  • OMA – 0 (PKs: Joe Gallardo, Luca Mastrantonio, Adam Aoumaich, Pedro Dolabella, Mark Bronnik)


ELP – (3-5-2) Ramon Pasquel, Tony Alfaro, Yuma – C, Noah Dollenmayer, Bolu Akinyode (Liam Rose 59'), Javier Nevarez (Miles Lyons 79'), Nick Hinds (Gonzalo Pelua 88'), Eric Calvillo, Tumi Moshobane (Jeremy Garay 79'), Amando Moreno (Emiliano Rodriguez 98'), Joaquin Rivas (Justin Dhillon 59')

Subs Not Used: Jahmali Waite

OMA – (3-4-3) Rashid Nuhu, Dion Acoff (Brandon Knapp 46'), Ryen Jiba (Missael Rodriguez 105'), Luca Mastrantonio, Mechack Jerome, Marco Milanese, Pedro Dolabella, Aaron Gomez (Mark Bronnik 120'), Nortei Nortey (Will Perkins 71'), Lagos Kunga (Adam Aoumaich 71'), Joe Gallardo

Subs Not Used: Wallis Lapsley, Anderson Holt


  • ELP – Nick Hinds (Yellow) 45+9', Javier Nevarez (Yellow) 55', Liam Rose (Yellow) 88', Noah Dollenmayer (Red) 90+2', Tony Alfaro (Yellow) 103', Yuma, (Yellow) 106', Gonzalo Pelua (Yellow) 107', Ramon Pasquel (Yellow) 117'
  • OMA – Marco Milanese (Yellow) 41', Aaron Gomez (Yellow) 45+1', Nortei Nortey (Yellow) 45+2', Pedro Dolabella (Yellow) 70', Adam Aoumaich (Yellow) 105+2'


GOALS: 0|0
SHOTS: 32|12
SAVES: 6|5
FOULS: 25|23

UP NEXT: El Paso Locomotive FC head to Florida for a league matchup against Tampa Bay Rowdies at 5:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, April 20, available to watch on ESPN+.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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