COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A windy January didn't bother the newest faces of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
Switchbacks FC held their first practice of the 2020 season, fighting a blustery day at Colorado College's campus. The new years brings a majority of new players to the Switchbacks roster. Only 4 players return from the 2019 season, when the team finished at the bottom of the Western Conference table with 27 points.
The new season also brings a new head coach, Alan Koch. Koch's first priority for the Switchbacks? Making sure everyone's on the same page.
"These first few days...I don't want to call it the 'feel good factor,' but we want to get to know each other a little bit." Koch said following practice Friday. "Get to know each other's names, get comfortable with the ball again. For some of the guys who are new to Colorado, get comfortable with the altitude. Then next week we'll really start to ramp it up."
The Switchbacks, among the few players retained from 2019, bring back Colorado Springs native Austin Dewing. Dewing is a forward and former player at Air Force. With a half-season of experience in his belt, he's looking forward to growing into a leader with the Switchbacks.
"I'm still kinda a rookie, but now there's more responsibility on me to be that seasoned player a little bit, especially in the USL where there's so much turnover." Dewing said. "I'm hoping to be the most professional I can on and off the pitch, and do a good job representing the Switchbacks and the Air Force at large."
The Switchbacks open up preseason play on the road February 5th against the Colorado Rapids U-19 team.