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UNDER THE SOMBRERO: New Mexico Hosts First Non-Conference Opponent, Loudoun United

Currently on a two-match win streak, New Mexico United hosts Loudoun United their first Eastern Conference opponent that happens to feature former striker Sammy Sergi

New Mexico United huddled

By Sombrero Man |Photo: DosPhoto

A favorite son returns home. Sammy Sergi heads back to the Land of Enchantment as New Mexico United (2-1-1) takes on their first eastern conference opponent ever, Loudoun United (0-2-0). United comes off a resounding 3-1 victory at the base of Pikes Peak over the weekend. After going down a goal in just the second minute from Hadji Barry a flurry of United goals reached the back of the net. Goals by Sergio Rivas, Amando Moreno, and a streaking Daniel Bruce gave United the victory in a brand new stadium. United played down a man from the 54th minute after Andrew Tinari earned his second yellow card resulting in a red which gave him the boot. Alex Tambakis made some great saves to the delight of the United faithful that traveled up on I-25.

Getting set to defend against the free kick

Who is Loudoun United?

Loudoun United is affiliated with D.C. United of the MLS and play their home games at Segra Field. They are based in Leesburg, Virginia. Loudoun, an Eastern Conference side, came into USL Championship at the same time as New Mexico United. They are coached by Ryan Martin, who previously spent time as an Assistant Coach at FC Cincinnati.

Courtesy of Loudoun United

Now that we have the introductions out of the way, what can we expect from Loudoun?

Currently, Loudoun is 0-2-0 (0 points, -2 goal differential) and sits last on the Atlantic Division Table. They lost 2-1 to Miami FC. In a match that saw Loudoun open with a barrage of shots (26 chances created, 34 shots) and constant ball distribution. They looked like the dominant side to Miami FC, but only managed to strong arm the attacking side of play. This side is made up of D.C. United Academy players, D.C. United First Team Reserves, and standout players looking to climb the ranks of the organization.

Players to watch for Loudoun.

Defensive Midfielder Jeremy Garay has a high proficiency for find players on the attack and putting the ball at their boots. He has completed the most passes for his side. One of the players he loves to find is Right Winger Kairou Amoustapha. Amoustopha engages in the most duels for his side, though he doesn’t dominate that way. He manages to get into dangerous spaces constantly through the match. Former New Mexico United Striker, Sergi is one to watch. Through two matches, Sergi has taken 13 shots with 10 being in the first match against Miami FC. Loudoun’s netminder Jermaine Fordah is familiar with New Mexico and playing in The Lab. Fordah backed El Paso Locomotive FC’s Logan Ketterer for a pair of seasons before finding his starting role with Loudoun.

Loudoun is a young team. They have not featured much on the defensive front. Loudoun will have to transition back quickly from sending so many numbers forward. Otherwise, New Mexico will make them pay dearly.

Brian Brown dribbles Lamar Batista

Players to watch for New Mexico.

Attacking Midfielder Rivas, Forward Brian Brown, and Defender Sam Hamilton. Rivas wasn’t on his rhythm in the match against the Switchbacks last week. Though he found the back of the net. Can he bounce back this week? He has admitted to feeding off the home crowd energy so do not be surprised if he makes it goal number 3. Brown most recently assisted Moreno’s goal in the last match in Colorado. In his last match at the Lab sent a little chip into the back of the net to make it 2-1 United. Brown has been effective in back-to-back weeks. Finally, Hamilton deserved a spot in this week’s USL team of the week team and got it. Sam was streaking all over the new pitch in Colorado Springs making key tackles and takeaways which helped United win 3-1.

A key matchup will be Defender Austin Yearwood and Amoustapha throughout this match. If you enjoy duels, this will be happening on the right channel most of the match.

Prediction:

I expect a 3-0 United victory with Alex Tambakis getting his first clean sheet of the season.

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