2020 Season Preview: 2020 vision


Photo by Jacob Terrell
Photo By: Jacob Terrell

In the third and final part of our season preview series we look ahead to the 2020 season. Who will score the goals? How will the fans respond? Can a United player win the MVP? Find out what our panel thoughts on those and more. If you missed our first 2 parts, reviewing last season and talking about the moves made this off-season, please check those out. 

Again our panel is  Josh Carrillo (ProView Networks), Earl (Somos Unidos News), Seth Biddulph (Dadventures Media) , and myself. 

1. We lost 25 goals from last year with the departure of Kevaughn and Santi. Who replaces those goals?

Seth Biddulph: I think the goals will come for more different players this season compared to last year. That being said though, I think Devon and Beez both see an uptick in their number of conversions, and I also see Brucey possibly hitting double digits. Depending on their usage, Amando, Romeo, and Sammy could all see 8+ as well.

Earl Nieto:  Replacing 25 goals with 1 or 2 people, is virtually impossible, however I do believe in United and the fact that Coach Troy knows what he is doing. He has brought in some top notch talent out of college as well as lured some talent from MLS. With that being said, I think you know where I am going with this. I feel that Sammy Sergi and Amando Moreno will MOSTLY fill the deficit, but the remaining goals will, in my opinion, come from Wehan who is due for another breakout season. 

Jacob Terrell: Beez and Devon see their goals increase by 8 between the 2 of them. So now we need to replace 17. Ryden will add a 4 from the back line. Now we are down to 13. Moreno scores in double digits so we will call that 13. So now we’ve replaced the 25 and are adding to it. Romeo can add 7 and Sergi adds 9 so we have now increased by 16. That was a long winded way of saying I think we will be fine 

2. After leading the USL in attendance last year with an average of 12,693 per match, does that number, along with the club’s popularity increase or decrease this season?

Josh Carillo: I say we average 13,500 somewhere around that range, I think the popularity has grown, also the state is crazy for the United, I know just off single tickets sales a handful are already close to selling out.

Earl:  Is that the official average? Wow, and that was before anyone knew what United was. That was before New Mexico United even brought to life the fact that they are 100% community based. That was also, WELL before the fact that United had a Playoff team last season. In my opinion, the number will only increase as much as the team allows it to. Allow me to elaborate, 

New Mexico as a State, only thrives on SUCCESS STORIES!! Which has been exactly what New Mexico United has been, a genuine success story. If New Mexico United continues it’s tear of the USL, and continues to focus on community first, it will expand exponentially.

Photo by Jacob Terrell
Photo By: Jacob Terrell

Jacob: I really want to say yes, so i’m going to say yes. The club’s message of unity is going to keep working and I think the state’s smaller towns still need to hear about it. The attendance number is going to be hard to beat but it is possible if the team can perform on the pitch. 

3. Given what we know about the schedule so far, Open Cup and League Play, is there a particular set of matches that worries you? Or do you feel like this year’s schedule is more friendly to United in terms of travel and turnaround between matches?

Josh: I think the schedule is more friendly to the United, doesn’t seem to be to much of a stretch between away and home games. I think this can become more favorable towards the United’s chances of clinching a playoff berth.

Earl: The part of the season that I am most looking forward to is the last part of the season. For a couple reasons too, we all felt the magic of last season clinching that spot into the playoffs, and the wild roller coaster ride that it was, I live for that. But, as we all know, United has a tough slate to look at from August 15 to October 17. United is looking at the first 6 of 7 matches on the road, at Oklahoma City, at Phoenix, home for Sacramento, then at San Diego (which is what I am most looking forward to), at El Paso then at Orange County. With long road trips like that, it will do one of two things to a person, 1. It will allow the team to gel, just at the right time, especially starting the second road trip at the beach… This is the part where I begin to sweetly whisper IMPERIAL BEACH to whomever is in charge of travel arrangements. and 2. it will draw on the weary body and possibly collapse a season, which I am hoping is the latter. 

Jacob: There isn’t a crazy long road stretch like there was last year. So, even with a deep run in the Open Cup, I don’t see the schedule being a problem. There is a  month long stretch from mid August to mid September that sees us playing 5 playoff teams from last year, 4 of which are on the road, and the newcomers, San Diego. Those results will go a long way in determining our seeding. Much like last year we are home down the stretch though. We will have to finish stronger than we did last season.

4. Where do you think United finishes this season, both in the Open Cup and in League play? Why?

Seth: We started to touch on this on the podcast last week, but didn’t really go in-depth on it. I think for the Open Cup, we could see another Round of 32 or 16 appearance for the club. Last year was certainly magical and while it could happen again, is unlikely. The format changes (insert link to other article about that here) will have an interesting effect on the USL tier and lower clubs. As for the league, I don’t think we’re quite there in terms of contending for the top spot in the West, but I would love to be proved wrong. I think we’ve got a solid club and could see a top 5 finish in the conference. 

Earl: I am thinking United finishes Top 4 (hopefully I didn’t just ruin that), and I see United back in the Quarterfinal of the Open Cup. I see both of these because of the new faces that came in and have not seen the magic that is the Open Cup, then as soon as they feel the Open Cup, hopefully it invigorates them to play tougher in league play.

Jacob: Finishing in the top 3 should be the goal and I think that will happen. The moves from this off-season coupled with the experience from last year should go a long way in improving our spot on the table. The Open Cup is hard to predict because of match ups and scheduling. I will say if we beat Greenville then we will go to the round of 16 but i have a bad feeling about the Greenville matchup.

5. Give us one bold prediction for this season.

Seth: Sammy Sergi is named USL Rookie of the Year. Sammy has had a very good preseason and looks to be fitting into Troy’s system very well. He’s going to turn some heads in his time on the pitch. 

Photo by Jacob Terrell
Photo By: Jacob Terrell

Earl: Bold prediction? As in us sweeping Austin Bold? Phoenix Rising still not beating us? Or massive bold like United wins the U.S Open Cup? You take your pick on which BOLD statement you want to look at… personally, I like hearing that Phoenix still has not beat us.

Jacob: Chris Wehan wins the MVP. His form really started to pick up the second half of last season. That coupled with the fact that he has a ton of goal scorers around him. His assists should skyrocket and as I mentioned above his goals will increase by a handful as well. Expect big things from him this year

Josh: My bold prediction is we make the Semi Finals or Finals. We have the talent and if you give us a couple home games. Watch out cause New Mexico United fans will make it miserable for the visitors.