Loudoun United’s home opener a couple of weeks ago was a hard fought, entertaining 1-1 draw with San Antonio FC, last year’s USL Champions and today’s game at Segra finds them hosting the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, who played San Antonio in last year’s Western Conference Final and played them again last week, in a game decided by a stoppage-time penalty kick save by Jordan Farr. Whether it’s a weird quirk of the schedule or a Kevin Bacon-esque turn of coincidence, Loudoun gets to see how they look against another formidable opponent while hoping to start fresh after last week’s 3-0 road loss to FC Tulsa.
The Switchbacks are in a weird position. Brendan Burke coached the team to said finals and used a lot of players from his Philadelphia Union youth days to comprise the roster, along with more talented folks like Hadji Berry who tied the League record in goals scored with 25 in 2021. Berry was transferred to an Egyptian club at the end of 2022 for what’s called the highest fee in USL Championship history, somewhere north of $700,000; not chump change for a 30-year-old forward in the second division of American soccer.
The team brought in several pieces that pose a challenge for clubs to face, such as midfielder Speedy Williams and defender Patrick Seagrist, and attacking midfielder Jairo Henriquez is returning from Concacaf Nations League play where he appeared for El Salvador against the United States. Zach Zandi and former D.C. United player Drew Skundrich head up the Pennsylvania contingent, who play under Stephen Hogan, a longtime assistant’s of Burke who left to join Ben Olsen’s staff of the Houston Dynamo. Expect him to keep things continual while exploiting the talents of Seagrist and Williams, the former of which may cause problems for Gaoussou Samake.
What to Know Before Kickoff
Given Loudoun has a midweek Open Cup game with North Carolina coming up, it remains to be seen how much or any rotation Ryan Martin employs for that. Given Loudoun won’t have another game until the 15h (also at home), they may keep first choice going for today and Wednesday.
Your random stat
Zach Ryan has scored as many goals as the Switchbacks (3).
How to watch
Match date/kickoff time: Saturday, April, 4:00pm ET
Venue: Segra Field, Leesburg, VA (tickets are available here for the compelled)
Online Streaming: ESPN+
Loudoun Unavailables: Alex Nagy (ACL) and Kwame Awuah (achilles) are both out for the season to injury.