Exclusive Interview: ‘Rocket’ Rony Argueta Returns to Colorado Springs

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Photo Courtesy Isaiah J. Downing/Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

Editorial (December 16, 2018) – Though the recent announcement of former Switchbacks skipper Rony Argueta returning to Colorado Springs may have come as a surprise to many, that he would be the first player unveiled on the 2019 roster shouldn’t be.

‘Rocket’ Rony Argueta Returns to Colorado Springs – and talks to Last Word on Soccer

During his previous 3-year spell with the club, Argueta fast became a firm favorite with fans, teammates, and coaches alike. His intensity on the field and approach-ability off it endeared him to ‘Backs fans immediately.

When I last saw Rony in 2017, when he graciously conducted an exit interview with me Fresno-bound, he appeared somewhat dejected.

He was undoubtedly excited to have the opportunity to play in his birth state, but his final season with the Switchbacks had taken its toll. The wide smile had been replaced by a furrowed brow. His confidence appeared shaken.

2017 was a season to forget in Colorado Springs, but you got the sense that Argueta wasn’t going to in a hurry. He sincerely cared for the Switchbacks, the team that had given him his break as a pro and had elevated him to team captain. I got the sense in talking with him that day, that he felt there was unfinished business. This was clearly not how Argueta wanted to conclude his Colorado Springs story.

The returning Argueta that confidently strode into the coffee shop today for our visit was more like the Rony of old. The beaming smile was back.

His shoulders looked more relaxed, though less broad than in previous seasons. Still as fit as a butcher’s dog, this was a trimmed-up Argueta, a man at his prime fighting weight. Through the conversation that followed, it was clear that he’s ready, even eager, for that fight.

Although Fresno FC didn’t pan out as Rony had hoped, it was obvious that he had learned a great deal, perhaps most importantly how to channel adversity. He wasn’t bitter about his Fresno sojourn. On the contrary, he seemed singularly focused on how he could use that year in California, and all of his experiences in Colorado Springs previously, to help the Switchbacks get back to winning ways.

He talked about leadership. He talked about creating the right team culture. He talked about leaving it all on the field every game – at both ends of the pitch. I think Switchbacks fans are going to take a great deal of heart from the familiar that Argueta will bring. I also think they should prepare to be a little surprised by one or two new tricks.

More than unfinished business, ‘Rocket’ has returned to Colorado with a fire in his belly. His desire to drive the Switchbacks to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 is there for all to hear in this interview. When the USL season kicks off in March, I’m confident it will be there for all to see, too.

Check out our interview with Rony Argueta here > https://soundcloud.com/user-852311858/rony-argueta-talks-to-last-word-on-soccer-colorado-springs

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