COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC won their third game in a row on Friday night, defeating New Mexico United 3-1 in a comeback victory at Weidner Field.
"I'm just so massively impressed with our ability to dig down and find the energy," said Switchbacks FC head coach Brendan Burke, after the match. "After playing two and half days ago with travel, playing with ten men for 60 minutes and then to be able to come back in a game like that against, for my money, the best team we've seen so far in this division, New Mexico deserves a ton of credit. They just grind through you, they win duels, they do a great job of getting around the ball, but I'm just so so happy with where this group is at, and the fact that we have room to grow and now we can trust so many players in the squad to step up in big moments."
New Mexico got on the board first in the 19th minute from a corner kick that was played on the ground to the top of the penalty area. After a dummy run, the ball fell to the left foot of Josh Suggs who curled the shot to the top left corner of the goal.
Later in the half, Hadji Barry and Michee Ngalina combined on the left side of the penalty area before Ngalina hit a low shot to the bottom right corner, but Alex Tambakis made a foot save to deflect the ball out for a corner.
Just before the hour mark, the Switchbacks found an equalizer as Ngalina timed his run to get into the left side of the penalty area to slide for a tap-in finish for Deshane Beckford at the back post. The Switchbacks found a second goal to flip the script of the game when Sebastian Anderson played an inch perfect pass to Hadji Barry six yards out from goal as he deflected the ball inside the left post. That goal would mark Barry's seventh consecutive game with a goal for the Switchbacks.
"I mean, things are just going my way right now," explained Barry. "I'm putting in the work in training, and my teammates believe in me and my coach and coaching staff have been believing in me. So I'm just going out and giving it 110% and things are working out for me."
With just under 20 minutes remaining, New Mexico had a cross get deflected and find Isidro Martinez who put a shot back across the frame of the goal for Anderson to make a sliding clearance off the goal-line to preserve the Switchbacks lead.
The Switchbacks closed the game out in the 82nd minute as Andre Lewis played a pass with his first touch into the path of Barry who won his footrace to get onto the ball and slot his shot right by Tambakis and into the back of the net. Barry now has ten goals in his last seven games, making him the first player to reach the double digit mark in the USL Championship this season.
"I think it's the character of the group," added Burke. "It's quickly becoming the DNA of the group. There's always belief that we can score goals because of the talent level up front and how industrious we are in the center and midfield, and the fact that we have 6 center midfielders who can rotate through, and that's missing Zandi whose right at the top of the group for me too"
Tonight's win means the Switchbacks are now riding a five game unbeaten run with three straight wins to move into third place in the Mountain Division.
The Switchbacks FC are back at Weidner Field for their next two games next week. The Switchbacks are getting the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration started on June 1 vs Orange County SC, with gates opening at 6pm MT