United’s win streak ends in Monterey, 1-0

United’s win streak ends in Monterey, 1-0

New Mexico United went into Monterey on top of the West. They’ll also leave in first, but it won’t be after extending their point lead. A poor first half and two missed penalties led to United dropping their first match since April by a final of 1-0 to Monterey Bay FC.

Coming off of a perfect month, it was expected that United would be more than ready for Monterey Bay. The hosts had been dealing with a number of injuries and were winless in six consecutive matches. They didn’t play like it.

From the opening minutes, Monterey looked to absorb the pressure from United and keep them out of the area. They were able to stay compact at the back and prevented United from getting a shot on frame until a weak attempt in the 32nd minute.

While absorbing the pressure, Monterey looked for chances to play on the counter. This led to the two best attempts from either side in the first half of play. The first came in the 10th minute when Alex Tambakis Walmer Martinez was played through and managed to work his way to the edge of the area. When he got there, he was met by Alex Tambakis as his shot was deflected but bounced back over the United keeper. Martinez kept to his feet and tried to keep the ball in play. With no one between him and the goal, it would have been a certain goal, but the midfielder couldn’t control it before it went out of play.

The next attempt would come in the 21st and United once again was fortunate not to give up a goal.

With a charge up the left wing, Monterey had a promising attack in the works. Despite having Chris Gloster out in defense, Tambakis came well off of his line and outside the box to try and assist. That decision left the goal wide open and if not for the play of Talen Maples, Adrian Rebollar would have been in on goal. Maples stood his ground and kept his hips engaged, preventing Rebollar from taking advantage and allowed Tambakis to get back in net.

Even as United looked like they were starting to play their way into the match, they just couldn’t get ahead. After the break, Monterey came out on the front foot yet again. United could not figure out the defense and left themselves open for a counter attack after a corner in the 61st minute.

United’s corner attempt went awry, with Antony Siaha coming down with the ball and quickly got the counter started. United had committed nearly everyone forward and with only Maples and Zico Bailey getting back in time, they tried to slow down the attack. Maples stood up in front of Jesus Enriquez, blocking the shot. An unfortunate bounce dropped the ball back to Enriquez who quickly shot again and pushed the ball past Tambakis for the lead, 1-0.

Ninety seconds later, United was gifted a golden opportunity. In the 65th, Dayonn Harris looked to cross the ball from the right side of the area, but Carlos Guzman slid in to try and break it up. To his dismay, his trailing hand was in the path of the ball, causing a deflection and a penalty for United. In an unusual choice, Bailey was chosen to take the attempt from the mark. Bailey’s slow run up was designed to force Siaha into an early choice. The Monterey keeper held his ground and Bailey went to his left and off the woodwork.

United was awake and would try to push for an equalizer. Their last best attempt would come by way of a second penalty in the 81st. Mukwelle Akale would draw this one when Rafael Baca took him down in the area. This time, Akale was chosen to take the attempt. Akale’s was better taken than the first as he went to the right side of the goal, but Siaha was there once again to preserve the win for Monterey, 1-0.

Player of the Match

Talen Maples – Maples had another great defensive effort in a loss for United. He showed an ability to stand up against multiple quality players on the Monterey roster. If not for Maples, the scoreline could have been a lot more one sided.

Up Next

United is back in action on Saturday, June 8 when they return to The Lab for their next match. That match will feature United and their opponent Hartford Athletic. Coverage of that match will begin at 6 PM (MT) with the pregame show featuring Adam Diehl and Andy Hageman. Following the pregame show, the match will begin at 7 PM (MT). Catch every minute of every play on ESPN Radio 101.7 FM The TEAM, The TEAM website, and The TEAM apps.