Loudoun United hosted El Paso Locomotive Saturday night at Segra Field in what is ultimately the visitors’ longest road trip of the season. And while the red-and-white made several changes in an attempt to kickstart things, the result was the same as they dropped a 3-1 result to El Paso in front of 1,282.
Coach Ryan Martin found himself with several new or familiar additions to the lineup; Gaoussou Samaké was loaned down from D.C. and started (as did Jacob Greene, with Jeremy Garay on the bench), while Grant Lillard made his first start since March 26. Skage Simonsen, a draft pick from D.C. United, made his first appearance in the lineup as a starter as did goalkeeper/Fairfax native Joe Rice.
An active, back and forth first third of the game found a shot go off El Paso defender Matt Bahner, and Sami Guediri opened the scoring that would be the difference in the first 45:
Cool, calm, and collected!— Loudoun United FC (@LoudounUnitedFC) April 30, 2022
Guediri scores his first Loudoun United from the spot! pic.twitter.com/IBK75pxP7d
Going into the second half, Lucho Solignac drew a penalty on a questionable foul from Joe Rice and leveled things:
Absolutely. .@LuchoSoli equalizes with his penalty! #VamosLocos #LDNvELP pic.twitter.com/kYtdVWPtHM— El Paso Locomotive FC (@eplocomotivefc) April 30, 2022
Late in the game, Diego Luna found himself free deep in the Loudoun end and pulled El Paso ahead:
Ｄａｎｇｅｒｏｕｓ.— El Paso Locomotive FC (@eplocomotivefc) April 30, 2022
Diego Luna gives the Locos a lead!#VamosLocos #LDNvELP pic.twitter.com/bPTR7kEkQl
Following a late red card to Azaad Liadi, Solignac landed a brace to ice the game:
What's not to love from this goal— El Paso Locomotive FC (@eplocomotivefc) May 1, 2022
The backheel from @rzacarias7 ➡️Composure from @DMares06 ➡️ Beautiful finish from @LuchoSoli #VamosLocos #LDNvELP pic.twitter.com/7qAV6MUByI
“I think when you’re going through tough times, you’ve got to really make your own luck and that’s where we are right now,” Martin said after the game. “I thought the reaction from the penalty kick call, whether it was a penalty or not, wasn’t very good. And that’s something that young guys in particular have to learn when you’re going through situations like this, things happen and they’re out of your control, and all it is is how you react to them.”
On his debut, Simonsen said, “My number one priority was to do my job defensively, and I tried to get on the ball and do well on the ball. I know I have a lot more to give, and I think the team does as well. We have a lot of offensive power, but I don’t think we’ve managed to get that out in games.”
“We’re performing decently, so right now it’s about individual moments that can win or lose you games,” Martin continuted. “There’s a reason that De Bruyne is one of the top attacking players in the world, he gets and creates goals, (or) Taxi (Fountas) for the first team. There’s a reason you spend that much money on players and if our guys want to get to that level, they have to execute in games like this.”
The next game for Loudoun (2-5-1, 7 pts) is next Saturday on the road at Hartford Athletic.
USL Championship Regular Season - Game 8
Loudoun United FC 1 (Guediri (PK 28))
El Paso 3 (Solignac (PK 68), Luna 81, Solignac 90+5)
Loudoun (343): Joe Rice; Jacob Greene, Rio Hope-Gund (C), Grant Lillard (Isaac Espinal 86); Sami Guediri, Nicky Downs, Houssou Landry (Jeremy Garay 45), Gaoussou Samaké; Azaad Liadi, Skage Simonsen (Tyler Freeman 61), Zoumana Diarra (Abdoul Zanne 61)
El Paso (433): Evan Newton; Harry Brockbank (Louis Herrera 60), Matt Bahner (Yuma 45), Andrew Fox (C), Nicholas Hinds (Ricardo Zacharias 60); Dylan Mares, Eric Calvillo, Diego Luna; Christiano Francois (Eder Borelli 60), Luis Solignac, Aaron Gomez (Richie Ryan 82)
Loudoun - Landry 39, Hope-Gund 44, Downs 49, Rice 67, Liadi (RC, 87)
El Paso - Bahner 27, Brockbank 40, Herrera 65, Luna 83, Borelli 90+1