It was a historic night for the El Paso Locomotive FC when the team clinched a spot in the playoffs on Oct. 15.
The Locos defeated Portland Timbers 2 with a score of 4–1, becoming the first expansion club to earn its place in the 2019 postseason.
The night was also significant because the match was rescheduled from Aug. 3 – the day of the mass shooting at the Central El Paso Walmart that left 22 people dead and many more injured.
The match at Southwest University Park also marked the team’s largest margin of victory, most goals scored and fastest goal in club history – all in the Loco’s inaugural year.
Locomotive midfielder Sebastian Velasquez dribbled past three Portland defenders and hammered the ball into the net in the fourth minute of the match – setting the record for scoring the fastest goal in club history.
“I’m so happy for this City. ... I’m so happy for these fans,” coach Mark Lowry said on Twitter after the win. “But most of all I’m so happy for our players. I want them to enjoy this and prepare for what’s next.”
The Locomotive has one regular-season match remaining, taking to the road on Saturday, Oct. 19 to face off against LA Galaxy II.
The Locos have a chance to better their standing in the postseason, and could finish between fourth and eighth place, team officials said.
The team also has a chance to host a home playoff match, though a date and time are yet to be determined.
Locomotive officials said a potential schedule is as follows:
• Play-in round, if necessary: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23
• Western Conference quarter-final: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
• Western Conference semi-final: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2
• Western Conference final: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
• USL Championship playoffs: Date/time to be determined by the United Soccer League.
The playoffs are a single-elimination format featuring the top 10 teams from both conferences.
El Paso Locomotive FC was in 6th place in the Western Conference as of Oct. 12.