Rio GranDerby: Playoff Edition

Rio GranDerby: Playoff Edition

That’s right folks, it’s time for yet another edition of the Rio GranDerby. This time though, it’s a win or go home scenario as the two sides face off in the Western Conference Semi-finals.

For the second-year clubs, this match marks the seventh time they have faced each other in their short history and the first time they’ve met in the playoffs. For two brand new clubs, the fact that they’ve both reached the playoffs in their first two years of existence is remarkable.

Continue reading “Rio GranDerby: Playoff Edition”

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. 

Continue reading “Regular Season Finale for United?”

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.

Continue reading “Showdown in El Paso, United in search of crucial points”

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. 

Continue reading “Finally ‘Home’, United host Switchbacks FC”

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.

Continue reading “United look to bolster playoff seeding in El Paso”

Seven matches remain as United look to stretch their lead

Seven matches remain as United look to stretch their lead

I don’t know about anyone else, but this year’s season has gone by in a flash. To be completely honest, it feels like it was just a week ago that New Mexico United returned to the pitch. It feels like we were all just trying to figure out our predictions for the 2020 season. Yet, here we are only seven matches away from the playoffs.

We’ve become intimately familiar with each of our Group C opponents and to be completely honest it’s gotten kind of hard to write about them. At times it feels like we’re just rehashing the same content from preview to preview. That’s especially true when the “Group of Death” is nowhere near as competitive as people, including us, thought it would be. Sure there’s enough time for things to change drastically in the standings, but the odds of that happening aren’t great.

Continue reading “Seven matches remain as United look to stretch their lead”

United go for three in a row in Herriman

United go for three in a row in Herriman

Sometimes it’s hard to admit when you make a mistake. I think it’s time I own up to one. I made a mistake in my preview of Wednesday’s match. I was off the mark with my projected team sheet. 

I fully expected Troy to put out our best XI and take it to the defending champs in what amounts to the first match of a doubleheader. I’m sure many expected to see Devon Sandoval and Chris Wehan carry the load once again. But Troy had other ideas in mind. While the club didn’t exactly take it to Real Monarchs SLC in that match, the team that was on the pitch performed above the expectations of many. 

Continue reading “United go for three in a row in Herriman”

United take on defending champs Real Monarchs SLC

I’m a stats guy. Numbers and data, especially when it comes to sports are some of the most intriguing stuff to me. My parents like to tell a story of how when I was three, I would read off the sports stats to them. Maybe that’s why I spend a lot of time following the guys over at 538 and looking at their club soccer predictions.

I may not understand all the formulas they use, but I understand their purpose. I wish they would go deeper into actual statistical categories. Honestly, they would probably be one of the better resources as far as that goes. But for now, we’ll just look at their club predictions.

Continue reading “United take on defending champs Real Monarchs SLC”

Amid Uncertainty, United’s Season continues in El Paso

We finally got back to the business of football two weeks ago. New Mexico United and their supporters were beyond excited for the season to restart. Although things seemed like they were on the upswing, even the soccer world isn’t immune to the ongoing effects of COVID-19.

We already knew that United would not allow fans in The Lab or UNM Soccer Complex, likely at all, this year. Then came the news that United may not even be able to play a home match this season. Due to the travel restrictions imposed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, not only would visiting clubs be required to quarantine here for 14 days, but so would United. That would prevent any of the USL clubs from being able to come and go as necessary for match days.

Continue reading “Amid Uncertainty, United’s Season continues in El Paso”

United heads south to continue Rio Grande Derby

United heads south to continue Rio Grande Derby

After a big win in the USL restart, everyone was looking forward to the next match for United (1-1-0). Instead, we get to watch them play in the sand trap down in El Paso. In what is supposed to be one of the biggest rivalries in the West, the Rio Grande Derby has to this point been nothing more than a backyard scuffle with the neighborhood ‘tough’.

Sure, there have been a lot of yellows and a couple reds (C’mon, let’s be honest, they probably shouldn’t have been.). Sure, one side hasn’t won a meeting yet. But we still called United vs El Paso Locomotive FC (1-0-1) a rivalry. It reminds me of how MLS was trying to force the ‘rivalry’ tag on Atlanta United and Orlando City. The matches have gone heavily in favor of one side. Is that really a rivalry?

Continue reading “United heads south to continue Rio Grande Derby”