Colorado Springs, CO (February 6, 2018) – The Switchbacks officially announced today the returns of four players, two from the inaugural 2015 season, along with five new additions. Taylor Hunter and Saeed Robinson return to the Switchbacks after time away from the club while Masta Kacher and Shane Malcolm return after playing with the Switchbacks last season. Steward Ceus, Jamal Jack, Jordan Schweitzer, Ayukokata Tambe, and Verneri Välimaa all join the Switchbacks for their first year with the club.
Masta Kacher returns to the Switchbacks after a strong performance in 2017. Kacher finished the 2017 campaign with 7 goals, adding 7 assists. Kacher made four USL Team of the Week appearances and his April 15th goal against Real Monarchs SLC made it to the final of the USL Goal of the Year before being edged out in the final hours of voting. Kacher was the only player that played and started in all 32 USL matches last season. He finished third on the team in minutes played at 2,710.
Taylor Hunter returns to the Switchbacks after spells on loan at Rio Grande Valley Toros from Houston Dynamo. A Colorado native and University of Denver product, Hunter was drafted by Houston Dynamo of the MLS in 2015. He was loaned out to the Switchbacks where he made 14 appearances and scored once. With the Toros, he made 43 appearances.
Shane Malcolm returns to the Switchbacks after spending his first season with the club in 2017. Malcolm played in all but two games for the Switchbacks in 2017, recording 1,947 minutes played. Malcolm finished fourth on the team with 5 goals scored and added three assists. Malcolm also received a USL Team of the Week nod in week 21 after his goal against Orange County was nominated for Goal of the Week.
Saeed Robinson, a member of the Switchbacks inaugural 2015 squad, returns to the Switchbacks after spending the 2017 season with North Carolina FC. In his first season with the club, Robinson played in 22 matches scoring three goals and adding an assist in 891 minutes played. He followed up with 1,456 minutes played in 2017 scoring three goals and adding three assists.
New 2018 Signings:
Steward Ceus joins the Switchbacks having most recently spent time with the San Francisco Deltas of the NASL. Ceus was drafted in the third round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids. Ceus has made 11 appearances for the Haitian National Team since making his debut in 2010.
Jamal Jack joins the Switchbacks after spending the 2017 USL season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Jack played and started 28 matches for the Riverhounds totaling 2,408 minutes played. Jack led the team in clearances, blocks, duels won, and aerial duels won. Jack is also a member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Team where he has two caps for the Soca Warriors.
Jordan Schweitzer joins the Switchbacks having most recently spent time with Orlando City B. A University of Denver product, Schweitzer joined Seattle Sounders FC on a Homegrown Player contract. He made his professional debut in a 1-0 victory over the Switchbacks in 2016. Schweitzer went on to play for Orlando City B where he appeared in 24 matches totaling 1,699 minutes.
Ayukokata Tambe joins the Switchbacks after spending last year with Isidro Metapan in the Primera Division, the top flight in the El Salvador football league system. The Cameroonian has also played for African club FC Kallon and is an alumnus of the Houston Dynamo Academy.
Verneri Välimaa joins the Switchbacks having most recently spent time with JJK Jyväskylä in the 2nd division of the Finnish League. Prior to that, he was on loan with Orange County SC from the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2016. Välimaa played in 23 matches for Orange County including both home matches against the Switchbacks. The Finnish native moved to Florida at the age of 5 and was named the Gatorade Florida Boys Soccer Player of the Year in 2011. He went on to play at North Carolina playing in 56 matches and scoring 6 times
The Switchbacks will kick their 2018 USL campaign on March 17 as they host LA Galaxy II at 6:00 PM at Weidner Field for St. Paddy's day celebration with fireworks and $1 beer the first 30 minutes after gates open at 5:00 PM. Tickets start at just $12 and are available here.