Locomotive FC begin Wilmer Cabrera era with match against Charleston Battery

Locomotive FC begin Wilmer Cabrera era with match against Charleston Battery

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso Locomotive FC’s first match of the Wilmer Cabrera era will come on Friday, and it will be against the best team in the USL Championship right now: Charleston Battery.

It’s been a wild week for the Locos, who currently hold a 1-8-2 record and sit in last place in the league. Last Friday, the club parted ways with head coach Brian Clarhaut and quickly turned around to announce the hiring of Wilmer Cabrera on Monday.

Monday also marked Cabrera’s first full training session with the Clarhaut-built squad. Cabrera had his second training session with squad on Tuesday. The club traveled to Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday and then had one final training session on Thursday. So, Cabrera and the Locos have only had a few days to prepare for this match against the best team in the league.

“This is a change that the players are taking well and their attitude has been ‘this is a new chapter, let’s make things happen,’” Cabrera said. “It’s impossible for us to say that today we’re in last and tomorrow we’ll jump into first. [Change] takes time but we need to see the changes little by little and hopefully we can start sooner rather than later because we need [to get results].”

The Battery will come into Friday’s match looking to continue its historic run to start the 2024 season. Last week’s win at Birmingham Legion FC saw them extend their win streak to six matches, a new club record for Charleston. It also extended their record 11-game unbeaten run, which sees them tied for the sixth-longest undefeated run to start a season in league history.

One thing Charleston will have against them ahead of Friday’s match is rested legs. The Battery hosted MLS side Atlanta United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. Pushing the match all the way past overtime and into the penalty shootout, the Battery fell 5-4 in penalties. It’s the Battery’s first defeat in 2024 across all competitions and it doesn’t help that several starters contested heavy minutes in the match. Pirmann will need to be wary of the minutes he subjects his squad to against El Paso.

Kickoff between El Paso and Charleston is at 5:30 p.m. MT. at Patriots Point. The game will broadcast on CBS Sports Golazo Network.

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