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Match 3: New Mexico United Earns First Club Victory

NEW MEXICO UNITED EARNS FIRST CLUB VICTORY AGAINST TULSA ROUGHNECKS ON ESPN3 USL CHAMPIONSHIP “GAME OF THE WEEK”


Match 3, POST-MATCH EDITION: New Mexico United defeat Tulsa Roughnecks 2-1 FT

By Christopher Walker | March 22, 2019 |seekandstrikecollective@gmail.com

Striking While It’s Hot

Through 3 matches, Forward Santi Moar has played 269 total minutes, which is all but 1 minute in on the action. If that’s a telltale sign of how this season is going to go then Moar should see his playing time increase from 77 percent, which it had been in prior seasons with the Bethlehem Steel FC, to at least 90 percent with the United.  In his debut with New Mexico, Moar’s numbers on the pitch are more important than they’ve ever been. Moar leads the team in scoring notching 3 of the team’s 6 goals in the past two games. He accounts for a third of the team’s 23 total shots not blocked with 8, as well as, the majority of the team’s 12 shots on target with 7. The more playing time that is afforded to Moar will result in career highs for him in scoring and shots alone. Another notable fact is that his long pass percentage and general pass percentage success rates are at least 75 percent. Whereas, the team’s averages are lower. It makes total sense to give it to the player with the hot foot. Therefore, Moar is tied for first overall in goals scored with four other players, to include Luca Lobo of the Tulsa Roughnecks.

Keep Striking When It’s Not

The United have not found their second half resurgence. The team is going 60+ minutes without scoring any additional goals and this has left them vulnerable against clubs that have balanced attacks during the course of the entire match. The United have scored all of their goals within the first 25 minutes of every match with the exception being the match against Phoenix where forward Santi Moir cinched a goal at the 55-minute mark to put the United up 3-2 before Phoenix mirrored their efforts ultimately driving the match into a draw. Despite scoreless second halves, the United have never trailed the lead in any of their matches this season. This is due to the United maintaining their composure when they are backed up on their heels playing defense most of the second half, as well as, goalkeeper Cody Mizell largely impacting the game with his 70 percent save rate. Mizell has managed the game from the box making catch saves, punch blocks, or just simply putting his body in place to disrupt any passing schemes.

Strike Anywhere

For the next three matches on the road, New Mexico must find a way to play a balanced game. It’ll be a good test for them playing especially to the cadence of the home team’s supporters. There has to be just as much offense in the second half as there has been in the first half. It may be time to think about reconfiguring the starting eleven so that there’s some bang left in the tank to hold off the late match rally campaigns that are proving to be successful against them. Their opponents are surely subbing in scoring threats late into the second half at the sight of fatigue. New Mexico must make it a family affair using all hands-on deck. If the United can play championship level teams in their own backyard never trailing, as seen in the Phoenix Rising match, along with mounting a late game rally of their own, they should return home April 13 with a four-game winning streak on their way to make it five. Let’s see if New Mexico can make these adjustments Saturday March 23 at Orange County SC as they start on what will be a three-match tour away from the Land of Enchantment.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Juan Labreche

Christopher Walker is a beat reporter for the Seek and Strike Collective covering the beat on New Mexico United and Albuquerque Sol soccer. Follow him on Twitter @_ChrisWalker505

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