Editorial (February 13, 2019) – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC hosted their media day in a venue a stone’s throw from the patch of land that will soon be the home to their new stadium. That dream is still at least a year away, though. Today was about the 2019 season.
Switchbacks FC 2019 Media Day – Fanning the Flames!
After welcoming guests, and name-checking Switchbacks staff, coaches, and team sponsors, club President Nick Ragain launched into an impassioned speech.
In reiterating the Switchbacks commitment to the city of Colorado Springs, Ragain encouraged residents to ‘fan the flame of pride for this community.’
He went on to say, ‘It’s one thing for a city to be ranked highly by magazines, but quite another to actually have residents believe you are the best and fight like you are the best.’
Those who have followed the Switchbacks for several years now will have heard something similar from Ragain in the past, but today his tone was more evangelistic, more a direct ‘call to action.’ ‘Colorado Springs works, struggles, fights, wins, looses, trains, and inspires like few other cities. We call on you to believe in yourselves and to believe in the Switchbacks as we represent you to millions.’
The new affiliation with the Colorado Rapids was mentioned again, with Cherry Creek and Wake Forest favorite and former Rapids U23 captain Sam Raben confirmed as the first season-long loan.
Central defender Raben may not be the physically biggest guy on the Switchbacks defensive line this season, but he’s known for being calm and assured on the ball, very comfortable playing out of the back. No other loans were confirmed at this time, though sources suggest that Rapids winger and former UCLA winger Matt Hundley could soon be joining Raben in the Springs.
Head Coach Steve Trittschuh spoke next, reaffirming his goal for the team this season. ‘Our roster is coming together well, with some more experienced guys this season. We’re going to be competitive. Our goal is to make the playoffs.’
After unveiling the new black and white stripped away jersey and slightly tweaked home shirt, there was an opportunity to visit with Switchbacks players. Forward Mike Seth, returning to Colorado Springs after he departed for Phoenix at the end of the 2016 season, talked about his ‘homecoming.’ ‘I was out of contract and itching to get back to Colorado. I have a good relationship with Tritt and the staff, and with my wife being from here, it’s a familiar place for our family, too.’
Tricky winger Shane Malcolm continues into his third season with the Switchbacks and is delighted to do so. When asked what the biggest factor was in extending his stay, Malcolm replied, ‘The community. I felt a part of the community being here for 2 years already. Coming back for a third year was a no brainer. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather play. I love the fans and I love the atmosphere’.
Malcolm also revealed that he’s decided to join forces with his biggest competition last season for best goalscoring celebration. ‘I’ve planned some joint goal-scoring celebrations with Saeed (Robinson) this year, so it should be fun!’
Let’s hope the 2019 Switchbacks give Malcolm and Robinson, and all Switchbacks supporters, plenty to celebrate this season.