New Mexico United managed a draw against Rio Grande Valley, putting them inside the top 10 and back into playoff contention. If United’s opening season were to end today, they would make the playoffs as a tenth seed.
Before United took the pitch, the team sat just outside the bubble of playoff teams. They came in with a tie against league leader Phoenix Rising and a loss to Reno 1886. Still, United found itself in a good position going to the final TK-stretch of it’s opening season, in control of its own destiny.
In front of a crowd announced at 11,196, United struggled to find their offensive footing against the RGV team with no chance of making the playoffs. United managed to control the match possessing the ball for almost two-thirds of the game, taking 13 shots on the goal and eight from inside the box.
None of that was enough to put forth a dominant effort, something United needed to make an impact on the field.
RGV missed two opportunities in the first 15 to score. First, at the 6m mark, goalkeeper Cody Mizell tipped a shot headed for the top of the goal. Then, (2X check) RGV Defender Sam Junqua stumbled on a break and missed a nearly open shot. Forward Carlos Small (58) gave RGV redemption, capitalizing on a penalty and scoring the first point of the match around the 40-minute mark. A few minutes later, United struck back grabbing its first and only point off the head of midfielder Sam Hamilton with an assist from Manny Padilla.
Next up, United faces off against Tulsa Roughnecks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before rounding off their season with back-to-back games at home against Tacoma Defiance and Las Vegas Lights FC.
Justin Garcia is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @Just516garc