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Molano’s Strike Leaves Rangers, Switchbacks Level

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 07/20/16, 11:55PM EDT

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Stoppage-time equalizer denies Colorado Springs top spot in Western Conference


Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Alex Molano’s brilliant free kick late in stoppage time grabbed a 1-1 draw for the Swope Park Rangers against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Wednesday night at Switchbacks Stadium, denying the hosts first place in the USL’s Western Conference. The Switchbacks almost took the lead late in the first half when Conor Doyle’s initial shot was blocked by SPR goalkeeper Alec Kann, and Saeed Robinson shot the rebound off the crossbar and out for a goal kick, but the game went to the break scoreless. The hosts took the lead just past the hour-mark however, as Mike Seth scored an outstanding solo effort for his fifth goal of the season. The Rangers had some good passages of play, particularly early in the second half, but it appeared they would head home without a point until deep into stoppage time when Molano’s outstanding free kick secured a draw.

Scoring:
61’ – COS – Mike Seth (Miguel Gonzalez)
90+’ – SPR – Alex Molano

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. The Switchbacks had one foot on top of the USL’s Western Conference standings, but the ladder got swiped from under them as Alex Molano produced a brilliant free kick to deny Switchbacks goalkeeper Devala Gorrick his ninth shutout of the season, and Colorado Springs the victory. The Switchbacks will probably feel they did enough to take victory, but now the upcoming string of three road games in their next four, and the home contest in that span coming against Vancouver, becomes even more important, and Coach Steve Trittschuh’s side will need to shake this one off quickly.

  • 2. There are probably other names that spring to mind first when you think about the Switchbacks, but Mike Seth’s play for the side should be starting to turn heads after his fifth goal of the season on Wednesday night moved him into a tie for the team-lead, in addition to his team-leading four assists this season. In a season where Colorado Springs hasn’t been quite as offensively prolific as it was a season ago, Seth has provided consistency, and in this victory a piece of magic that proved decisive.

  • 3. While Seth’s goal was magnificent, so was Molano’s as it curled just inside the post to leave Gorrick with little chance to keep it out. The point on the road is an important one for the Rangers, who while they didn’t return to the top eight in the West managed to claw closer as they return home for Saturday night’s contest with Orange County Blues FC. Coach Marc Dos Santos will surely be hopeful Molano’s goal will provide inspiration for that contest as two teams in the middle of the fight for the postseason square off.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match

Alex Molano, Swope Park Rangers – After coming on as a second-half substitute, Molano struck the decisive blow in stoppage time to send the Rangers home with a point against a strong Switchbacks side.

Upcoming Games:

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Saint Louis FC – July 23, 8:30 p.m. ET, World Wide Technology Soccer Park

Swope Park Rangers vs. Orange County Blues FC – July 23, 8:30 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field

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