Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will have a pair of familiar faces back in its lineup for the 2018 season, with defender Taylor Hunter and midfielder Saeed Robinson among four recent additions to the squad as the club prepares for its fourth season this spring.
Hunter made 15 appearances for the Switchbacks on loan from the Houston Dynamo in the 2015 season, including one appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs, and now joins the club on a permanent deal. The past two seasons, Hunter has played predominantly with Rio Grande Valley FC, making 44 appearances for the Toros. A native of Aurora, Colo., the 24-year-old recorded 55 interceptions and 56 clearances a season ago.
Robinson rejoins the Switchbacks after spending the 2017 season with North Carolina FC. A member of the Switchbacks during the club’s first two seasons, Robinson made 49 appearances for Colorado Springs in his previous stint at the club and recorded seven goals and four assists. Last season for NCFC, Robinson made seven appearances and recorded six key passes.
The Switchbacks also added to their midfield with the signing of former Orange County SC loanee Verneri Välimaa, who returns to the United States after competing for JJK Jyväskylä in Finland this past season. Previously a member of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Välimaa made 22 appearances on loan with Orange County during the 2016 USL season, helping the side reach the Western Conference Semifinals of the USL Cup Playoffs.
Also joining the club is former Houston Dynamo Academy defender Ayukokata Tambe, who arrives in Colorado Springs after competing last season for El Salvador power Isidro Metapan. A native of Cameroon, Tambe made 12 appearances for Metapan during his time at the club.