A quiet first half for both New Mexico United and Colorado Springs was turned on its head in the second half. The two sides combined for three goals before the Switchbacks closed the door on United’s hopes for even a point as they picked up a 2-1 at Weidner Field.
One of the lone highlights of the night for New Mexico United came by way of the returning Santi Moar. Coming out of halftime, United continued their high press, hoping to force Colorado into a mistake. Christian Herrera attempted to play the ball out of the back against the press and found Devon Williams deep in their own defensive third. Williams was let down by his first touch, putting the ball directly into the path of Moar. Moar’s left-footed attempt in the 46th minute wasn’t properly handled by Herrera and ended up in the back of the net, giving United the lead 0-1.
United’s aggression continued until it was broken in the 67th. Against the run of play, the Switchbacks pushed their way forward and found Romario Williams at the top of the area. As he laid the ball off, he took a push in the back but the referee played the advantage for the hosts. One pass later, Patrick Seagrist put the ball across the area with what appeared to be a cross. Harry Swartz slid in to try and stop the ball, but ended up deflecting it toward goal. Caught going the wrong way after the initial contact, Alex Tambakis was unable to recover in time to stop the equalizer from sneaking past him.
Now on level terms, the feel of the match shifted from advantage for United to advantage for Switchbacks. On the heels of the first goal, the Switchbacks’ passing was crisp the next time they got into the final third. Kalen Ryden got turned around and was chasing the back of Maalique Foster. Foster’s square ball opened up an opportunity for Drew Skundrich to be completely unmarked in the box as he poked home the winner for Colorado in the 70th, 2-1.
Player of the Match
Kalen Ryden – Ryden looked impressive anchoring the back line against the Switchbacks on Saturday. The veteran defender closed out the night with three tackles, ten clearances, one block, and four interceptions.
After the road loss, United returns home for two consecutive matches. The first of those two is the third round of the U.S. Open Cup against Phoenix Rising FC. This will be the third time that the two sides have met in the tournament. The match will kickoff at 7:00 p.m. (MT) on Wednesday, April 26 from The Lab.