ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If everything had gone to plan, they would have already played. New Mexico United and Phoenix Rising FC had to scrap their meeting last Saturday due to COVID issues in the Phoenix Rising organization. The teams are scheduled to meet at UNM Soccer Complex Tuesday.

New Mexico is hosting Phoenix for the first time this season after losing to them twice. The last match-up knocked New Mexico out of the Open Cup. “That bad taste in our mouth is still there and I’m still irritated with those two games that we played back to back against them,” said United head coach Zach Prince. “I look forward this next game against them and glad we are going to do it in front of our fans.”

New Mexico United fans are among the top in the USL Championship in attendance. They will have another reason to be excited Tuesday. Devon Sandoval will be back on the pitch and suited up for the first time in seven months.


Story continues below


Sandoval resigned with the team last week after successfully overcoming a heart condition. He is ready to play if his number is called. “When that time comes, you know, I’ll welcome it,” said Sandoval. “Very excited to be on the field again in front of our people, in front of our fans, in front of my family, the guys, you know, to share that moment. Hopefully, in that moment we get three points.”

Game time is 7 pm Tuesday night.

In other sports news, Lobo football announced that quarterback Jake Jensen has signed with the team. Jensen was with BYU for one season before moving on to Contra Costa College, where he played in 2021.

The Duke City Gladiators return to the field Saturday at 6:05. The following day San Diego State running back and former Manzano Monarchs star Jordan Byrd will hold a football camp with the help of the Gladiators at the Rio Rancho Events Center. “I just wanted to give back to the community,” said Byrd. “I’ve been hearing a lot of kids. You know, a lot of kids DMing me, saying that their brothers and stuff are giving up on sports and they don’t know what to do, you know. A lot of people look over New Mexico and sports. I just wanted to give back and show we have athletes out here too, you know.” The camp for grades K-12 will run from noon until 3pm Sunday.

Meanwhile, Byrd is preparing for his final season at San Diego State. The running back and kick returner said he has gone further in football than he thought he would and knows what he would like to see in his senior year. “Just looking forward to getting the ball a lot more, you know, playing on offense, showing what I can do there,” said Byrd. “You know, I had to prove a point on special teams that I can do something with the football. I feel like this year I got an opportunity to show that I can make it to the league.”