Snow covered the Pride Soccer Complex at the start of Day Two for Switchbacks FC trialists. But after three 35-minute games, the fields of battle were almost completely clear. The thermometer showed mid-20s during warm-ups while the wicked wind chill was much lower.

“Like I told the players, I thought the quality was better today,” head coach Steve Trittschuh said. “I don’t know if it had to do with the weather or if they were more familiar with the players around them. There was some good soccer today. I was happy about it.”

On Saturday, assistant coach Wolde Harris said tryout situations eventually show cream rising to the top.

“In a group like this,” Harris said, “you have some people playing at a higher level and some people lower. So it’s difficult to judge teamwork. We can see if they’re communicating or providing instruction to help teammates with positioning. That in turn helps you judge the players that set themselves apart with leadership and game intelligence.”

All 10 teams received instructions to line up with a 4-2-3-1 formation. On Sunday, some of the teams shifted players and made adjustments. The weaker players had a chance to shine on Saturday, and they filled new roles on Sunday (or sat on the sidelines longer).

After the final whistle, Trittschuh gathered the group to thank the players and tell them that one of three things will happen. They’ll receive a contract offer. They’ll receive an invitation to come back in February. Or they won’t hear anything at all.

In addition to USL Pro veteran Luke Vercollone, the Switchbacks already signed a few players and are on track for the opening game in March. Although the USL Pro schedule isn’t settled, Trittschuh said the first home game at the new Sand Creek Stadium won’t be until April.

In the meantime, Trittschuh said he will finalize input from his coaches, offer contracts to the top talent from the weekend, invite six or seven from the tryout to preseason, and finalize the schedule at the USL Pro AGM in December.

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