With Snowpocalypse 16 settling in across the Colorado front range, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks barely escaped the shutdown of all local airports and made it to Seattle for Sunday nights showdown with against the Sounders 2. Other travelers, including Oklahoma City Energy were not as lucky.
Seattle came into the match winless, and judging by their lineup, it was clear that the night was gonna be different. The night started out with Switchbacks team president Nick Ragain posting the following on the Trailheads Facebook page.
Despite the stacked roster, the Switchbacks battled hard, but a first half PK call and conversion by Kovar in the 28th minute led to the only goal in the game, giving Seattle a 1-0 win.
The Good: Its a shame that a PK cost Devala Gorrick a shut out, because he had one of the best games Ive seen from him since he came to the Switchbacks. His first half save against a header from Nathan Sturgis will no doubt be added to his career highlight reel, and is what legends are made of. Aside from the PK allowed, Gorrick was brilliant again, and if Man of the Match was awarded in a losing effort, he would have won it hands down. Without his heroics, the Switchbacks could have been down 2 or 3 goals at the end.
The Bad: In the teams first losing effort of the season, there has to be some bad somewhere. The Switchbacks bread and butter has been attacking, high pressure play, but with that style it can lead to opportunities for the opposition. In this game, stacked with MLS ringers, the game plan didn't work. Down 1 goal, the second half often devolved into desperation deep balls from the back. Passes weren't as accurate as they normally were. Every team has a bad game, and for the Switchbacks, this was the case.
The Ugly: Once again, technical difficulties kept most of us from watching the game on YouTube. For an MLS team, sponsored by Microsoft, I would expect much better. The recurring theme of bad streams and broadcasts does not look good for the USL, especially in what was prime time on the west coast. These problems should be easy to resolve, yet are consistent. Its early in the season, but the USL needs to start thinking of ways to hold teams accountable for poor broadcasts.
It Was Over When: In the 50th minute, Christian Ibeagha took a pass from Josh Phillips, and played it back to Gorrick. However his touch was light, and the ball was touched off by S2's Mansaray, and if not for an alert dive by Devala, could have led to an easy Seattle goal. That moment perfectly summed up the night for the Switchbacks, being just out of sync all night.
Up Next: The Switchbacks return to the friendly confines of Fortress Sand Creek for a meeting with USL newcomers San Antonio FC. The game is on Saturday April 23rd, at 1:30 MDT.