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Even the rain couldn’t stop United’s heat

The Tulsa Football Club Roughnecks came to town this past Saturday, Aug. 26, playing against our boys in black and gold and were sent home after a 2-1 loss. Not even the rain in the first half could stop United from bringing the heat.

Dark clouds and a light rain started off the match at the Rio Grande Credit Union, but thankfully for United, the game would go on no matter what. By the second minute, #33 Harry Swartz was immediately able to take control of the ball and sink it into the net, causing Isotopes Stadium to erupt, and the game was off with a bang.

“The first half was probably one of our best first halves we’ve played with ball domination, chance creation and overall keeping them at bay,” Coach Eric Quill said after the match.

In his first match, United’s Zico Bailey immediately made an impact. He earned an assist on the first goal for Swartz. Bailey was officially announced on Aug. 22 as United’s newest defender.

The first half of the game had United intense and aggressive with attitude, keeping possession of the ball constantly. The Roughnecks were barely able to hold a string of passes together, making Tulsa antsy to get the ball back and lead to a couple of yellow cards to be called.

Both United and the Roughnecks would begin trading corner kicks, free kicks and yellow cards before the 45th minute. But just before the stoppage time of two minutes was added to the clock, United’s #7 Sergio Rivas secured the second goal of the night.

The first half began and ended with the two United goals, which led to a dominant feeling for the boys in black and gold, and going back into the second half, they wanted to keep it that way.

The Tulsa Roughnecks, on the other hand, did not take kindly to the goals thus far, and by the time the clock began for the second half, the Roughnecks started to pick up the pace. While the first 25 minutes of the half were highly competitive for both teams, #10 Amando Moreno was subbed in for United, cementing their stamina for the match.

Three yellow cards were given out to United within this time, but they kept the pace up and kept Tulsa’s #7 Marcus Epps in check, mainly due to United’s #22 Kalen Ryden who played an exceptional game.

That is until the 77th minute came along where Epps broke away from United’s defense and scored a beautiful goal.

After United subbed two different midfielders to tighten up the defense, the Roughnecks did the same. A yellow card was again given to United, granting Tulsa a free kick. Unluckily for the Roughnecks, the power went out in the lights above the pitch. This caused a slight delay and the kick achieved nothing just before the 90th minute.

The game would go on for an additional six minutes of stoppage time in the second half where both teams received a yellow card, but the scores could not be touched. New Mexico’s United ended the night off with a 2-1 victory, promptly breaking their five match winless streak.

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Saturday’s game saw a turn out of 10,130 people. 

“I’ve heard about the crowd, and I won’t lie, it kinda surprised me. The numbers – they came in and how loud they were. It was fun,” Bailey said about his first experience at a home game. 

United will play again on Aug. 30 against the Las Vegas Lights FC once again at Isotopes stadium.

BillyJack Davidson is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @BillyJackDL

BillyJack Davidson

BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached on Twitter @BillyJackDL 

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