Barry, Switchbacks have plenty to play for in season finale in San Antonio


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC striker Hadji Barry has one final chance to break a USL Championship scoring record this Saturday in San Antonio.

Not only that, but his team can clinch a first-round home playoff game with a win in the season finale against San Antonio FC (13-8-10, 49 pts), which owns the tiebreaker over the Switchbacks (13-8-10, 49 pts) based on head-to-head record. San Antonio would clinch second place in the Mountain Division with a win or draw.

After going scoreless in his team’s previous two games, Barry has one last chance to break the Louisville City FC forward Cameron Lancaster’s single-season scoring record of 25 goals set in 2018.

Barry was nearly unstoppable to begin the season, scoring 21 goals in his team’s first 22 games. While he’s scored just one in the previous five games, his presence has been felt in other areas.

“He’s unselfish. He puts the team before himself,” Switchbacks head coach Brendan Burke said. “That’s why he’s in the position he’s in because guys look for him and try to find him, and he’s smart enough to find the right pocket in the box. Twenty-six will come this weekend.”

“We know the kind of player Hadji is, and at some point it’s going to come, whether it’s now or in the postseason,” Switchbacks defender Matt Mahoney said. “Him missing the PK (against Real Monarchs SLC), it is what it is. Hadji’s a confident player. We all believe in him, so we have no doubt he’ll get it in these final couple of games.”

The scoring record would be a nice bonus, but it’d be bittersweet to witness during a draw or loss against San Antonio, which is 2-0-1 against Colorado Springs this season. The Switchbacks have won just once, lost six and drawn four times in 11 matchups this season against teams currently in a playoff spot in the Mountain Division.

“We have our own little personal agendas against them because they’ve beaten us head-to-head so far this year,” Mahoney said. “Some tough games, so we want to go down there and obviously bring a result and a home game to Weidner Field in its first season.”

“A home playoff game (at Weidner Field), it’d be a party,” Burke said. “It’d be a celebration. I mean, this place rocks when it’s full, so I can’t imagine what it’d be like for a playoff game.”

Both the location and opponent for the Switchbacks’ first-round playoff game are still to be determined. However, Colorado Springs will play either Orange County SC (14-10-7, 49 pts) or San Diego Loyal (14-12-5, 47 pts).

The Switchbacks and San Antonio FC kickoff Sat., Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m.

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