Sports Desk: NM United head to El Paso looking for a favorable result

FOX New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Maybe the third time really is the charm. The last two outings for New Mexico United have not gone their way with the team jumping out a lead, but not finishing. New Mexico United plays rival El Paso Saturday with hopes of ending a two-game losing skid.

“I think the guys are ready to respond,” said NM United Head Coach Troy Lesesne. “So, from the standpoint of the mentality of the group, how they communicated to one another after the match against Salt Lake, I don’t need to step in and say anything. They said it all themselves. They’re not happy with giving away the lead two games in a row and they want to go and correct it.”

New Mexico United is 4-2-4 and in fourth place in the USL Championship Western Conference Mountain Division. Saturday’s game in El Paso starts at 7:30 p.m.

In other sports news, the Albuquerque Isotopes started a six-game home stand against the El Paso Chihuahuas with a 6-3 victory Thursday night. Frank Duncan made his Isotopes debut on the mound and pitched six scoreless innings while striking out five and allowing only four hits.

La Cueva High graduate and Lobo softball slugger Andrea Howard is playing well for the Italian National team ahead of the Olympics. Going into the European Championship gold medal game, Howard leads with 20 RBI, 15 hits and 31 total bases. The gold medal game is Saturday.

Former Lobo post player Nike McClure is getting to see how the other side of the game works as director of player development for Mike Bradbury and the Lobos. McClure played two years overseas and was set to play another when the opportunity to return and work on the Lobo coaching staff came up.

“This opportunity was way better for my future and what I wanted to pursue in life,” said McClure. “I think that by ending my professional career on the note that I did, being center of the year, import player of the year and having all these accolades is something I can hang my coat upon.”

Ku’upualiliapihamekealoha “Lia” Pili of Centennial High School is the 2020-21 Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Player of the Year. Pili is the first Gatorade New Mexico Girls Track & Field Player of the Year to be chosen from Centennial High School. 

The Duke City Gladiators welcome their former coach Dominic Bramante and the Northern Arizona Wranglers to town Saturday. Bramante won back-to-back CIF championships as head coach of the Gladiators. The clash between the Indoor Football League teams has a 7:05 p.m. kickoff at the Rio Rancho Special Events Center.

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