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El Paso Locomotive FC Academy Close Out 2023 Season at USL Academy League Playoffs

By EP Locomotive FC, 12/11/23, 6:00PM MST


EL PASO, Texas – Over the weekend, El Paso Locomotive FC Academy (3-Mountain Division, 25 pts, 8-3-1, +21 GD) competed in its first ever USL Academy League Finals to close out its historic 2023 season. 

El Paso, who clinched its first-ever berth in the League Finals after finishing third in the Mountain Division, opened tournament play in the Round of 16 against in-state rivals, San Antonio FC (1-Lonestar Division, 31 pts, 10-1-1, +18 GD). 

Though San Antonio opened the scoring in the 24’, El Paso found the equalizer four minutes after and would go on to dominate the rest of the first half. The match would end deadlocked after regulation and extra time, bringing both times to the spot to compete in a penalty shootout.

Both teams would make all first five attempts, but the San Antonio goalkeeper managed to keep out El Paso’s sixth attempt to knock Locomotive out of the playoffs. 

El Paso would then go on to compete in a series of consolation matches, posting two wins and one loss to cap off its first participation in the USL Academy League Finals.

“The USL Academy League Finals was an amazing experience for our program, and we returned home proud to have showcased our style of play against high-level teams and have success in one of the best youth soccer tournaments in the country,” Academy Director Ivan Militar said. “The best compliment we received was that teams wanted to play against us and that college coaches and scouts came specifically to watch our players play, showing that they are not only top talents in El Paso, but in the nation as well. We hope to return next year and achieve more.”


El Paso Locomotive FC 1(5)-1(6) San Antonio FC (1-Lonestar Division, 31 pts, 10-1-1, +18 GD)*

  • Goal by Emiliano Rodriguez (A: Ruben Esparza)

El Paso Locomotive FC 1-3 Ironbounds SC (2-Metropolitan Division, 30 pts, 9-2-3, +10 GD)^

  • Goal by Emiliano Rodriguez

El Paso Locomotive FC 2-1 Tampa Bay United (1-Southeast Division, 40 pts, 13-0-1, +52 GD)^

  • Goals by Ruben Esparza (A: Alex Sanchez) and Ivan Escobedo (A: Adrian Gallegos)

El Paso Locomotive FC 3-2 North Carolina FC (2-South Atlantic Division, 26 pts, 12-8-2, +29 GD)^

  • Goals by Adrian Gallegos (A: Emiliano Rodriguez), Diego Abarca (A: Emiliano Rodriguez), and Axel Valdivia (A: Adrian Gallegos)

* USL Academy League Playoffs 
^ Consolation