EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso Locomotive FC (1-West, 9-3-2, 29 points) is set to host the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Southwest University Park for the first time this Saturday night in a massive East vs. West contest.
Both sides met for the first time in the final game of the 2022 season at Tampa Bay’s Al Lang Stadium. Locomotive had to win to stay in contention for a 2022 playoff spot but, despite a valiant effort, were eliminated following the 3-1 loss. Now in flying form, Locomotive will look to get one back on the Rowdies in a rematch of that 2022 season finale.
The El Paso Locomotive are coming off a 2-1 win over Las Vegas Lights on Wednesday. It will be their third game in the span of eight days.
One key for the Locomotive will be to score first and to try to get it in the first 45 minutes. Tampa Bay are 0-3-1 when they concede first whereas Locomotive are a perfect 7-0-0 when scoring first, six of those wins coming when Locomotive led at the end of the first half.
Additionally, this Locomotive squad could cement itself once again in the club history books if it manages to pick up a result against the Rowdies. Los Locos currently sit equal with a club best longest undefeated streak in a single regular season (11 games, 2020) and a win or draw would see them set yet another new record.
Tampa Bay are undefeated in their last seven matches with six wins.
Key players JJ Williams and Conner Antley return to the starting lineup after serving their red card suspensions. Williams has scored six goals in 11 matches whereas Antley has been a cog to the team’s play on the right side of the field, both presenting challenges to the Locomotive backline.
Kickoff at Southwest University Park at 7.30 p.m. on Saturday.