As El Paso enters their debut season, they will have a veteran defender leading the backline.
While a high-scoring offense is important for any expansion team in sports, a steady defense may be more vital to a club’s first-year success. El Paso Locomotive FC have added some quality attacking players, but one of their most crucial signings could be found on its backline. Mechack Jerome arrives in West Texas after being a mainstay in the Jacksonville Armada central defense. They were his fifth club in the United States. His initial move to the U.S. came back in 2010 when he joined Austin Aztex in 2010 after their former manager, and current Minnesota United manager, Adrian Heath scouted him playing for the Haitian national team. “Heath had a lot of patience with me. I didn’t speak any English at that time,” Jerome explains. “He was like a father figure to me when I came to the USA to play.”
Mech, as some call him, is still proud of his Haitian roots despite his long career across the United States soccer landscape. When asked what people should most know about Haiti, he answers “They always show the bad stuff of Port-au-Prince, but they never go to the other states in Haiti like where I’m from, which is Liancourt.” While Americans may not be overly familiar with the Caribbean country, one native they know is recording artist Wyclef Jean. Jerome says his favorite song by the hip-hop legend is 911 featuring Mary J. Blige.
Unlike the “original playa from the Himalayas” from the TV show Martin, this Jerome’s in the house to simply handle his business with El Paso. He says he’s here to “just do my job, score goals, and help my team win.”
Winning will be crucial in the first season for Locomotive FC as they look to establish themselves in the USL Championship. Jerome is not worried about fan support in the city nestled against the US-Mexico border. He thinks based on their interaction with him on social media, they will come out and support this season.
The club continues to prepare for their March 9th season opener at home vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC. This week, they played a friendly against Ascenso MX’s FC Juarez in Mexico. With Mechack Jerome leading the backline, Locomotive FC should chug smoothly into their inaugural season.