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Sol Making Strides Despite Latest Two-Game Slide Against Pride Switchbacks

Match 4, Post-Match Edition: Albuquerque Sol FC lose 1-0 to Colorado Pride Switchbacks.

By Chris Walker | June 11, 2019 | seekandstrikecollective@gmail.com

Sunday’s match against Colorado Pride Switchbacks did not result in a victory for Albuquerque Sol FC. Sol FC dropped the match 1-0 not finding the back of the goal through several strikes in the closing minutes of the second half. Though stoppage time was allotted, Pride Switchbacks took their time at every dead ball to ensure Sol FC would not have enough time to put the ball past them. Sol FC exit the weekend without earning any points and sit further behind the other three teams in the Mountain Division of the Western Conference.

Sol FC showed signs of improvement in this matchup against Pride Switchbacks. Sol FC is defensively stout with goalkeeper Anthony Munoz in the box. Additional efforts were shown by defenders Alex Touche and Edgar Davila, which is a big reason this match sat in a 0-0 score set until the 60’. Touche’s vision to anticipate where he needed to be when Munoz left the box really shows how well the team works together under fire. Sol FC had great showing when it came to movement. Sol FC players kept running when they were not in possession making real strides to close down on Pride Switchbacks. It would seem like Sol FC was behind the curve if they had a long pre-season to work out these kinks but, they are literally pushing forward after every match and not making any excuses for their results. Technical Director Justin Sells and Head Coach Steve Kraemer have commented in interviews that they are focused on winning matches every time they step on the pitch.

Fatigue has played a part in Sol FC’s season early on. Some of the players are still trying to adjust to the climate.  Midfielder Alique Skerritt, a native of Jamaica, substituted out of the match at the 37’. He and his twin brother, Alain Skerritt, are new additions to the Sol FC roster. They both play on the wing and are usually on the field at the same time on opposite ends. Early fatigue has minimized their effectiveness and they are players who exemplify great speed, ball handling, and smart decision making when on the attack. Once they adjust to the climate, they will make an impact.

Sol FC showcased better ball handling in this matchup. There were fewer instances of possessions given away due to the mishandling of the ball. Midfielder Julio Rubio, a new addition to the Sol FC roster, played a huge role in playing possessions through the center of the pitch. Sol FC even managed to win the ball up high some, which gave them some created chances for shots on goal. “Pushing numbers up and getting the ball forward and out to the wings really helped us,” Rubio commented. “As soon as we were able to get it out wide, something positive came out of it whether it was a cross, corner, or throw in. We just went wide and I think that helped us a lot,” Rubio finished.

Logan Sullivan, Jacob Gandarilla, and Zach LeMasters gave Pride Switchbacks a scare. The three went on several runs towards the goal, which is something Sol FC really lacked in Friday’s match against Pride Switchbacks. “We knew we needed to keep pressing up high and keep taking our chances because we weren’t trying to lose another game, Sullivan said. “So, we were going to try to press numbers forward. But in the end, it hurt us because they got the goal. We really tried to outwork them and sometimes you need more than that,” Sullivan added.

Pride Switchbacks had good communication throughout the game, which led to solid possession minutes. Their touch passes set up several 1v1 matchups. Pride Switchbacks players keyed-in on second-chance touches on the ball to create a rhythm and moved up numbers on Sol FC. Their lone goal came in the 60’ from Linus Fallberg. Sol FC stayed after Pride Switchbacks despite going into a deficit.

Sol FC is not turning back. This season wasn’t going to happen. They are making the best of it, doing whatever it takes.  “It’s going to have to come from our mentality and how we bounce back,” Sullivan said. “It’s going to come down to how we work in the next game. We can’t get too down on ourselves. We have to keep moving and keep working. I think we have a great group here and we just have to become more cohesive. I think there are positive things ahead for us,” Sullivan added.

Next Match: Albuquerque Sol FC host Park City Red Wolves SC on Ben Rios Field at St. Pius High School on June 21, 2019 at 6:00 pm MT and June 23, 2019 and 4:30 pm MT. There is no live stream for these matches.

Photo Credit: Albuquerque Sol FC

Chris Walker is a writer for Seek & Strike Collective covering NM United, Albuquerque Sol FC, and Albuquerque FC. Follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation. @_ChrisWalker505

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