Birmingham Legion FC hosts El Paso Locomotive FC for the first time in club history on May 20. The USL Championship Western Conference side comes into the match hot on a six-game unbeaten streak. Legion will look to bounce back into form against El Paso with a win after a series of unfortunate league results.
Legion come into the match with mixed emotions as a club, as spirits are high ahead of the upcoming US Open Cup Round of 16 match up versus Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC on Wednesday thanks to a resounding 3-0 Fourth Round win over rival Memphis 901 FC, but that result and sentiment cannot erase the fact that the club has dropped three league games in a row for the first time since the conclusion of the 2020 season.
In 11 USLC games, Legion FC’s normally stout defense has allowed 20 goals, so shoring things up at the back is priority number one for Head Coach Tommy Soehn. BHM has racked up wins thanks to a dangerous attack that sits fourth in the league in goals scored with 16 and fourth most shots with 133. Midfielder Enzo Martinez leads the team and is tied for fourth in the USLC with five goals, and winger Prosper Kasim is tied for first in league play with three assists.
In its last outing, the Black & Gold lost to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 on the road. Matthew Corcoran, 17 years old, scored his first professional goal from a free kick that was named the USL Championship’s goal of the week.
El Paso Locomotive FC: 6W – 3L – 1D / 16 Goals Scored – 11 Goals Allowed / 19 Points / 2nd in USLC Western Conference
Birmingham – 0 – 0 – 0 – El Paso
If Legion FC were hoping for an easy match up to get back on track in league play, El Paso is not it. The Locomotive come to town as the hottest team in the USLC, winners of five straight games. ELP is also unbeaten (3-0-1) on the road this season, with most notably a 3-0 drubbing of Louisville City FC in Kentucky in March. Luis Solignac leads the team in goals (five), Ricardo Zacarias and Eric Calvillo are tied for first in assists (two), Denys Kostyshyn leads the way in shots (26), and Zacarias paces ELP is chances created (14). El Paso are tied with BHM for fourth in the league in goals scored (16) and have the second-most clean sheets (four).
This week’s UAB Medicine Injury Report forward Neco Brett who is listed as Out with a hamstring strain.
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