Regular Season Finale for United?

Regular Season Finale for United?

Wednesday night could easily be the last match of United’s 2020 regular season. We’re still waiting for word on whether or not the match against RGV will ever be rescheduled, but at this point, it’s looking far less likely to ever take place. RGV has only rescheduled one of the previously postponed matches, leaving two left to be played.

Since RGV’s last match is only days before the playoffs begin, I can’t see United playing again after Wednesday night. And that’s not a bad thing. 

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Showdown in El Paso, United in search of crucial points

I have to be honest with you, reader. It’s not always easy to sit down and write up a match preview. Recaps are even harder some times. Not that I don’t love doing them or that I’m going to stop doing them. There’s just something different about this season that makes it hard sometimes. 

It’s hard previewing the same matchup four times in a single season. For the most part, rosters don’t change, club tactics don’t change, and the expectations don’t change. It’s especially hard trying to preview two matches between the same two clubs twice in one week. I guess the hardest part is coming up with new things to say. We know who the impact players will be every week (here’s looking at you Aidan Daniels) but we also don’t want to say the same name week in and week out. That would get to be quite repetitive right? 

All of that is a long-winded way to say that New Mexico United need to win tonight in El Paso.

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Finally ‘Home’, United host Switchbacks FC

Finally ‘Home’, United host Switchbacks FC

The last time that New Mexico United played a home match was way back on February 8th of this year. I’m not even sure you can count that as a real match. It was just an intra-squad practice that came about because the Switchbacks weren’t able to make it due to weather. If we’re talking actual competitive football, it’s now 11 months to the day since United last played a match in Albuquerque. 

October 19, 2019, was the date that United last played at home and was the date that they secured their first-ever playoff appearance. 

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Magic Numbers and a sprint to the finish

Growing up as a kid outside of Atlanta, I learned very early on about the ‘Magic Number’. I didn’t necessarily understand the math behind it, but it was important. It was this mythical number, typically a combination of wins and losses between the Braves and whoever was behind them, before the Braves would clinch the playoffs or a division title.

Now that I’m a good deal older, that ‘Magic Number’ doesn’t have quite the mythical status as it once did, but it’s still important.

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United look to bolster playoff seeding in El Paso

United look to bolster playoff seeding in El Paso

As strange as the 2020 calendar year has been, one thing remains the same: the calendar flipping to September means it’s time to start looking at the playoffs. Any other year we’d be talking about who might get a first-round bye or who will do just enough to grab a play-in spot. The new group play format may have eliminated some of the drama, but there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding the playoffs.

While most of the groups are already showing some separation between the top and bottom clubs, there are a handful that still have a range of possibilities. For instance, take Group E. I know that it’s from the Eastern Conference, but it’s the best example out there. All five clubs are within six points of each other, and within two wins.

That’s the beauty of playoff football. Nothing is decided until it’s decided.

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