Loudoun United took some positives from their loss Tuesday to Charleston and hoped to carry them into Saturday night’s game with Colorado Springs. The defensive performance was better, but the finishing problems struck again as the team dropped a 3-1 result to the Switchbacks before 905 at Segra Field.
Despite their midweek loss to Charleston, coach Ryan Martin retained Hassan Pinto and Alexxon Saravia in the starting lineup on either side of Timmy Mehl. D.C. United loanee Jacob Greene returned to the lineup, as did Kimarni Smith. Greene was not the only D.C. Academy former or current player on either side of the ball, as Jackson Hopkins appeared on the bench again, and Michael Edwards (who played for the Academy before moving to Wolfsburg ahead of his return to MLS) appeared for the Switchbacks, the latter in front of several dozen family and friends, almost 80 by his count after the game. Numerous friends and family for Pennsylvania natives of Switchback players Matt Mahoney and Jimmy Ockford (to name a few) were in attendance also.
Following a scoreless first half where both teams registered nine shots and a shot on goal (Loudoun held possession 50.9% to 49.1% over the Switchbacks), Edwards scored in front of his large delegation that traveled from Woodbridge:
Dantouma Toure, who had just come on as a substitute for the Switchbacks after the first goal, made his presence felt almost immediately for the second:
Following substitutes on both ends, D.C. United loanee Kimarni Smith scored his first goal as a professional:
Loudoun continued to press late (Colorado Rapids homegrown player Abraham Rodriguez made two excellent saves in the last ten minutes) before Hadji Barry added to his USL Championship leading goal total late:
“You look across (MLS) at DPs, they’re nines, tens, and attackers, and those are the guys getting goals, so it’s not easy to find guys like that,” Martin said after the game. “That’s where you have to be patient with these young guys, because hopefully one can become one that can get goals for you. So you’ve just got to keep getting in the right places, keep believing in them and at some point, it will fall for you.”
“We’re trusting the process and creating the chances that we need to do,” added Mehl. “We’re just getting unlucky bounces here and there, and if we put (them) away on the other side, then we can prevent them from coming down our angles.”
Loudoun (2-13-0) hosts the Charlotte Independence next Friday at 7:00 pm at Segra Field.
USL Championship Regular Season - Game 15
Loudoun United FC 1 (Smith 70)
Colorado Springs Switchbacks 3 (Edwards 63, Toure 65, Barry 90+2)
Loudoun (4231): Jermaine Fordah; Hassan Pinto (Jackson Hopkins 73), Timmy Mehl (C), Allexon Saravia, Jacob Greene (Matt Di Rosa 61); Nicky Downs (Michael Gamble 73), Jeremy Garay; Kairou Amoustapha, Ted Ku-DiPietro (Giovanni Montesdeoca), Darluis Paz (Sammy Sergi 61); Kimarni Smith
Switchbacks (4231): Abraham Rodriguez; Michael Edwards, Matt Mahoney, Jimmy Ockford (C), Tristan Hodge (Jordan Burt 46); Beverly Makangila, Andre Lewis (Darren Yapi 79); Michee Ngalina, Jose Torres (Steven Echeverria 64), DeShane Beckford (Dantouma Torre 64); Hadji Barry
Loudoun - Pinto 15, Amoustapha 41, Mehl 66
Switchbacks - Hodge 45+2, Torres 58, Echeverria 68, Edwards 90+4