After the departure of the former head coach, New Mexico United went out and gave the Tampa Bay Rowdies all they could handle before losing 3-2. In the days that followed, the club announced the hiring of Eric Quill and his era at the helm started in a hurry.
After his introduction at the First Financial Training Center, Coach Quill joined TEAM Talk, “for me, this is the right situation that I can help with. This group is really close to turning results around and going on a consist run of wins.”
The new coach will have to jump right into the thick of things without having much time to instill his own system. With three matches in eight days, the club will have limited time to practice. The fortunate side of that is the fact that the club doesn’t have to travel. First up in the congested schedule is the ever-confusing Rio Grande Valley FC.
Mired in a season of inconsistency, RGV is either the hottest club in the league or one of the worst. In the lead up to this weekend, the Toros had been held goalless in three of four matches while surrendering ten goals at the defensive end. They seem to lack cohesion and are listless at times. Even the coach’s son, Wilmer Cabrera has been inconsistent in his performance. With RGV not seeming to have any idea what they are going to do, this could be the best possible time for Quill to step in.
Player to Watch
Frank Lopez – The forward has always managed to be a thorn in the side of opposing clubs and tends to find himself in dangerous positions. Although he didn’t score against United in the first match this season, he kept putting himself in areas to force United out of the defensive areas they want to be in.
With the new coach stepping in, United has had a pep in their step all week long and it started on Tuesday. There was a feeling out at the training center that the club was excited about the hire. After how the club performed on Saturday at Tampa Bay, there are plenty of reasons to be confident in the outcome at The Lab. One of the things that Coach Quill likes his things to do is to press on the wings. While United has done well in the press this season, much of the pressure has come from the center forwards and the center midfielders. With the wingers engaged, United will have a much higher line and force RGV to play uncomfortably in their own half.
“Protecting the home pitch is the holy grail,” said Coach Quill. “You want those passionate fans igniting you and you want to protect what they give them. How you inspire them is by getting results.”
Hopefully, the defense will return to form at home after surrendering three goals to Tampa Bay. Although the back line performed as well as they could during the absence of Will Seymore during an injury stint, they were let down by the tracking back of the midfield. Three goals were put past the defense and Alex Tambakis, but with a return by Seymore and a subtle shift to a more traditional four at the back, the defense should be in better shape going forward, especially against a struggling RGV.
Player to Watch
Santi Moar – Moar has been talked about in the past, but with the new coach, there’s a chance that Moar could see a bit of a resurgence in his form. Quill’s style of coaching, Moar could become more involved in the attack again and have to worry less about tracking back. With the renewed focus on the wing play, Moar might find himself in more space and have more opportunities to get involved.
Saturday night’s match at The Lab will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM with coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. The TEAM’s coverage will start with the pre-game show with Andy Hageman and Scott Galetti on the mic. The duo will prepare you for the match against RGV and bring you every minute of every play until the match is over. Catch all of the coverage on ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM, via The TEAM app, or The TEAM website.