Sports Desk: NM United prepare for first-ever match against Oakland Roots

FOX New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico United and the Oakland Roots have never shared the pitch together but that changes Wednesday night when the two clubs meet at Isotopes Park. The Roots have one player very familiar with New Mexico. Former United midfielder Saalih Muhammad plays for the Roots.

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The game comes at a time when New Mexico is struggling with trying to score goals. They’ve had three straight draws, only scoring a goal in one of the matches. “In general, we have to be more consistent,” said Head Coach Troy Lesesne. “We have to turn some of these draws into wins and I think we’re continuing to build in year three as part of a process I talked about with Peter. This is our best team that we’ve had in three years, but we have to capitalize on that as well.”

Help is on the way with the return and signing of midfielder Chris Wehan this week. The second-leading scorer in franchise history will be available for the game was has a 7:30 p.m. start time at Isotopes Park. New Mexico is 6-6-5 this season while Oakland is 2-8-4.

In other sports news, Lobo football has a three-man race to find out who will be kicking field goals for the team this year. It’s two seniors and a freshman who has entered the fray. Lobos Head Coach Danny Gonzales said the battle to decide the top kicker could last until game week.

The Eldorado Eagles thought they were going to be on the outside of opening week when the Highland Hornets opted out of their game due to safety concerns. Highland only has 20 players in the program, about half are freshman who have yet to play in a football game. Highland found a more suitable opponent in West Las Vegas and the Eagles made a date with the West Mesa Mustangs, scheduled for Saturday.

“We are excited to get a game,” said Eldorado Head Coach Charlie Dotson. “I mean, each week is going to be different for every team in the state. I mean COVID-related and all that. I mean, you just hope and pray that you get to play each week.”

The Eldorado and West Mesa game starts at 5 p.m. at Wilson Stadium Saturday.

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