Players try out for the El Paso Locomotive soccer team.

Photo courtesy / Jorge Salgado

El Paso Locomotive brings soccer to the Sun City

January 7, 2019

The El Paso sports world has grown to welcome professional teams and will grow yet again with the development of the El Paso Locomotive FC. The Locomotive is an upcoming professional soccer team that will play its home games here in El Paso. The team will play in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship, which is one step below the major league level. The USL has 36 teams including the Locomotive located throughout North America.

MountainStar Sports Group, owner of the Chihuahuas franchise, was awarded the rights to the team as an expansion franchise of the USL in the early months of 2018. The information was released to the public in February and the search for a team name began. Soccer fans across El Pasosent in their recommendations until five names were selected as finalists. The Locomotives beat out the Estrellas, Stars, Tejanos, and the Lagartos. Some people are hopeful the team will shorten the name and go by the El Paso “Locos.” The name and logo were released in October at the unveiling where fans from all over the city came to watch.

The team has been making headlines by signing players like Omar Salgado and Sebastian Contreras. Salgado currently plays for Las Vegas Lights FC, but will join the Locomotive in 2019. The forward was born in El Paso in 1993 making him a huge hit with soccer fans in El Paso. Salgado has madeover 20 appearances for the US national team when he was still young. Contreras has a strong track record as he has been playing professionally since 2012. The coach for the team will be Mark Lowry, an English born manager who played his professional days in the early 2000s. The coach is coming over from the Jacksonville Armada FC.

The Locomotives stadium is currently in the works as room is being made in the downtown area. When the team begins its inaugural season in February of 2019, the games will take place at the Southwest University Park, the current home of the Chihuahuas. Practices for the team will begin on January 9th to prepare for exhibition matches sprinkled throughout February. The official season will begin on March 9th and go on until October 13th, not counting the extra month for playoffs.

As El Paso sports franchises continue to grow, we hope to see other professional sports develop in the city. The Sun City holds some of the most passionate sports fans in the country, and this team will create many more.The El Paso Locomotive players, coaches, and staff will all be given a warm El Paso welcome this March.

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