New Mexico United plan to maximize their chances against Austin Bold on Pride On The Pitch Night at The Lab
By Sombrero Man | Photos: DosPhoto
Las Estrellas de Nuevo México están en casa. The stars of New Mexico are home! After a road victory last Friday against Real Monarchs (1-0) it’s back to the Lab they go. The opponent is a foe that we saw not too long ago in Austin Bold FC. Austin themselves are coming off a 1-0 road win after defeating Eastern Conference juggernaut Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The Steel City fans did not even have time to adjust to their seats when Collin Fernadez blasted a ball into the back of the net from just outside the box for a very early 1-0 lead within the first 70 seconds. A stunned Riverhounds squad shook it off however and controlled the pace of the rest of the game but failed to find the back of the net for an equalizer. It was a good rebound for Austin who days earlier lost to Mountain Division opponent El Paso by the score of 1-0.
New Mexico United is coming home from beautiful Salt Lake City with three points in their back pocket and looking to give the home fans something to cheer about. United controlled a majority of the match (61% possession to Monarchs 39%) at Zion’s Bank Stadium but didn’t find the back of the net till newcomer Isidro Martinez hit a missile off his boot during a free-kick to give United a 1-0 lead in the 82nd minute sending the traveling United fans into a frenzy and sending Monarch supporters to the exit early.
The last time these two sides matched up you have to go back to May 15th. Yes, May 15th of this year. Austin plays at The Lab for the second time in less than a month. A 3-1 United victory occurred and United looks to have a similar result especially after the last home match.
Players I have my eye on for the Bold are Fernadez, Xavi Beaz, and Elliot Panicco. Fernadez’s shocking goal was his first pro goal and the young buck would love to make it two pro goals if he gets the chance. Beaz stopped a lot of counter-attacks from a physical Riverhounds team, sealing the clean sheet for Panicco. Beaz will give the attackers of New Mexico a hard time with his play. Finally Panicco. Panicco had a busy night along the banks of the Monongahela River as Pittsburgh took 10 shots on goal however only 1 was on target. Panicco also had to defend against five Hounds corner kicks, Pittsburgh’s 74% possession yes 74% possession as well as a loud crowd. Look for Panicco to be a force in between the sticks next match.
Players to watch for New Mexico United are Devon Sandoval, Austin Yearwood, Kalen Ryden, and Chelo Martinez. Sandoval hasn’t scored in a while for United. He had some close looks last week. Yearwood this year has terrorized opposing teams all season. After the rather questionable red card to Yearwood’s last home match, the defense bent a lot resulting in a Loudoun goal. Finally, Ryden, who recently signed a two-year contract extension, always seems to flip a switch when playing in front of the home crowd. Expect Ryden to come up huge in this match. Martinez leads all United players in chance creation in open play and free kick opportunities.
New Mexico United Head Coach Troy Lesesne talked in this week’s presser about the need for more goals with all the chance creation his side is generating lately.
Sombrero’s Spin: With all that I say United wins 2-1 but the last goal comes late I say about the 89th minute from Devon.
Before I end this article I would like to say Happy Pride Month to all our readers in the LGBTQ+ community. Pride night is one of my favorite nights at The Lab. The new pride kits out on the pitch as well as all the rainbow in the stands this week makes me so proud to be a fan of this club!