Ahead of Wednesday’s night’s Open Cup game with Columbus Crew, I talked about the need for the team to put together a really good effort lest they start facing a slide and well, giving up a goal and going a man down in the first 10 minutes (en route to a 5-1 loss) wasn’t optimal! More than that, the team has been outscored 10-3 in their three-game losing streak, in the middle of this compressed stretch, where they come back home and play next Wednesday as well. The good news from Ryan Martin’s end is the team left at 6:00am Thursday morning for their next game. The bad news is they’ve lost two straight on the road by a combined score of 6-1, and they’re playing a side that’s won four in a row and unbeaten in six overall.
Martin has faith in his players, saying postgame Wednesday, “El Paso is in a good place but what we do have is mentality, we have good character, and we’ve got guys that are up for it and want to keep fighting and competing. So we’ll go to El Paso looking to get a result and keep pushing forward.”
What does Martin mean when he says El Paso is in a good place? Well, Lucho Solignac is tied with Zach Ryan in goals (5), Denis Koshtshyn leads the league in shots (25) and Ricardo Zacharias leads the team in created chances (15), and as a team they’re second in the league in goals (15) and shots (118). When they’re on they can be scary good, particularly at home, going 20-1-5 in 2020 and 2021. Against a Loudoun team missing Cole Turner and Yanis Leerman in their starting centerback pair, and Bryce Washington went off of Wednesday’s game a little sore and dinged up, the Friday news of Hayden Sargis being loaned down to Loudoun from D.C. United for the second straight season couldn’t have come at a better time, and Kalil ElMedkhar (who’s scored 3 goals in his last 4 games) should hopefully stay hot.
Your Random Stat
6.46 – The difference in actual versus expected goals for El Paso (via ASA), two goals better than the next best team and tops in the USL (Loudoun’s is 1.98). In short, El Paso is wildly outperforming in attack and less so on defense, and may be due for regression. Yes, I’m telling you there’s a chance.
How to Watch:
Match date/kickoff time: Saturday, May 13, 9:30pm ET
Venue: Southwest University Park, El Paso, TX
Online Streaming: ESPN+
Loudoun Unavailables: Alex Nagy (ACL) and Kwame Awuah (achilles) are both out for the season, Cole Turner (meniscus) is out until approximately August. Yanis Leerman (ankle) is out Saturday, and may return for Wednesday.