The Folly of Youth: Why the Switchbacks Might Need More Austin Dewing and Tucker Bone Types

Austin Dewing
Photo courtesy of Air Force Academy Athletics.

Editorial (June 28, 2019) – Austin Dewing and Tucker Bone have properly announced themselves to the professional soccer world these past couple of weeks. Such was their energy and enthusiasm on their professional debuts, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC fans couldn’t help but be impressed.

The Folly of Youth: Why the Switchbacks Might Need More Austin Dewing Types

The former Airforce pairs’ youthful vigor was not only a breath of fresh air in and of itself it was also a stark reminder of something that the Switchbacks have been missing this season. Tempo.

The boys in black and blue haven’t really been trounced by anyone this season. Yes, there have been one or two noticeable mismatches, but nothing overly embarrassing. Instead, the Switchbacks have largely been architects of their own downfall.

Ten defeats from 16 USL matches is hugely disappointing, but even more so when you consider that the majority of those games have had some element of gun-to-foot. In considering this phenomenon, several things seem to have been contributing factors.

First and foremost, a lack of confidence. The more mistakes that are made, the more mistakes subsequently made. It’s a vicious circle of uncertainty and self-doubt that leads to hesitancy and continued errors. Couple that with the fact that despite the Switchbacks possessing some great ball handlers who play neat and tidy soccer, much of what we’ve produced this year has been too predictable. There’s an argument to be made that the Switchbacks could benefit from a little youthful chaos!

Often times Switchbacks fans allow themselves, dewy-eyed, to reminisce about the good not-so-old days of 2015, when the team was tearing it up left, right, and center. Goals were flying in from all over the park, as highly energetic and frankly naïve players played glorious gung-ho soccer!

Not only was the team very different back then, but to be fair so too was the league. That sort of caution-to-the-wind soccer simply wouldn’t be as effective against today’s better marshaled, more tactically aware and savvy USL opposition. And yet…

I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Pride Switchbacks U23 PDL team play their first couple of home games in the USL League 2 this past week and can’t help feeling some of what they have is some of what the Switchbacks are sorely missing. Swift transitions, rapid changes of pace, a desire to quickly overload in the attacking third, set the observers pulse racing.

You also have to admire those moments of youthful swagger, the unpredictability, the moments of outrageous skill, not all of which come off – but who cares?! Those young players have so much still to learn, but you hope not at the expense of stifling much of what can’t be taught.

Watching Dewing and Bone hit full throttle recently, not to mention teen Abe Rodriguez so impressive between the pipes, I can’t help but think the Switchbacks could benefit from even more of that freshman-like verve!

At this point, what do they have to lose? Coach Trittschuh continues to try everything, and perhaps it’s folly to imagine the tide that continues to ebb and flow this season will finally turn in the Switchbacks favor? Whether it does or not, Austin Dewing and Tucker Bone and guys like them could give Colorado Springs soccer fans a folly to get excited about in the meantime; the frankly fun-to-watch folly of youth.

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