Despite a fast start, New Mexico United fell flat on their faces and ended up surrendering four unanswered goals to Monterey Bay FC before falling by a final of 4-2.
Things looked bright for United at the beginning of the evening, especially when Chris Wehan was able to collect a deflection in the twelfth minute. In an unfortunate turn of events for Monterey keeper Carlos Herrera, he attempted to save a shot by Greg Hurst, but pushed the ball straight to the United midfielder. Wehan tapped the ball in for his 50th career regular season goal, and a 1-0 for the Black & Yellow.
After that though, it was all Monterey Bay. Sam Gleadle and Cristian Volesky took control of the match and dictated the remainder of the match. In the 33rd, Alex Dixon and Gleadle went on a counterattack running directly at the United back line. Gleadle laid the ball off to Dixon who went back across goal to put one past Alex Tambakis and pull level, 1-1.
Seven minutes later, it was Gleadle’s turn to find the back of the net. In the leadup to the Sol veteran’s goal, United had delivered a corner into the box, but Herrera fielded the ball well before playing it up field to Volesky. With a skillful header, Volesky found Gleadle on the run. Gleadle outpaced the United defenders before going to the bottom left corner to put the hosts up 2-1.
The offensive onslaught from Monterey continued from the feet of Volesky in the second half. Instead of Gleadle being played through, it was Volesky on the receiving end of a through ball. Mobi Fehr played Volesky into the middle of the area, again splitting the United defenders. Tambakis left his line to try and close down Volesky, but the forward sent the ball through the five hole and into the net once again for the third goal of the evening.
Volesky’s brace would come a short while later, again assisted Gleadle. Monterey’s final goal of the night was due to Gleadle pulling all three United defenders to the right side of the box, leaving Volesky alone in the middle of the area. Gleadle’s backheel to his teammate was easily handled and Tambakis was left out to dry as Volesky put in the match out of reach, 4-1.
Amando Moreno did manage to pull one back for United to make the score line more palatable, but only slightly so. Moreno pounced on a loose ball when a Monterey defender slipped on the turf. Inside the area Moreno easily slid the ball into the net to pull the score to 4-2.
Player of the Match
Sam Gleadle – The Albuquerque Sol veteran acquitted himself well against United. With two assists and a goal to his name, Gleadle was a major issue all night. United couldn’t keep up with the midfielder and he showed why he has been an asset throughout his time in the USL.
United is back in action on Saturday, April 15 when they finally get to celebrate their home opener for the 2023 USL Championship season. At 7 p.m. (MT) United and the visiting San Diego Loyal will open Isotopes Park for the year.