For the second year in a row the Colorado Springs Switchbacks have knocked Harpo’s FC out of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The match was played under the looming shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the home stadium of the Switchbacks. A crowd of about 600 was in attendance to witness the match in the cool Colorado spring. Snow was seen high on the peaks in the background, and a definite chill was in the air, especially for visiting Harpo’s FC of Boulder Colorado, an amateur side who plays in the Colorado Amateur Soccer League of the United States Sports Specialty Association (USSSA).
The first half started brightly for the Switchbacks. The athleticism of the USL side showed in the early stages of the match, then in the 17th minute, Martin Maybin scored a perfect goal on the run in against Harpo’s gymnastic goalkeeper Zac Gibbens, who was caught out and just missed the save. Harpo’s FC looked to be on their back heels early in the match, but after the 20 minute mark they began to take the game to the Switchbacks. Frontman Sawyer Frank broke through several times in the first half but was unable to find the net. The first half ended with the Switchbacks up by a goal, but Harpo’s knocking on the door.
The second half was all Harpo’s. Wave after wave of attack was thrust upon the Switchbacks defensive unit. The only discipline of the match occurred in the 61st minute with a yellow card to Switchbacks Saeed Robinson for a nasty tackle in the midfield.
In the 71st minute, the Switchbacks brought in fresh legs to help on the defensive side but the Harpo’s attack continued, and missed a shot from inside the six yard box late in the match. The all-out attack from Harpo’s left them defensively open. Robinson got free with the ball late in the match and Gibbens was able to stop the shot which then careened off the post to save the one goal deficit.
However, in the end it was all that the Switchbacks needed, the single goal was the decider as they earn a trip to Peoria to take on fellow USL side Arizona United in Round 3 with the Colorado Rapids waiting for the winner in the Fourth Round.