ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico United is back to USL Championship play against Phoenix Rising on Saturday night. Currently undefeated at 2-0-2, the black and yellow are currently one point behind Phoenix, who also happen to be on a three match win streak.

Story continues below

“This one of the teams that I would love to beat, said former Rising and current United player Sam Hamilton. “You know, if we are looking around the league at really anybody in our region I always think there is a little something there. So, yeah I think we are jacked up and focused and we really want 3 points.”

New Mexico will have to go into the match without starting keeper Alex Tembakis and will roll with Ford Parker. In the Open Cup match, Parker shut out Las Vegas, but the team is looking to add another keeper until Tembakis can return.

“Alex, he is out for a little bit of time,” coach Prince said. “So, we will just have to prepare for that and we will bring in someone and we are getting close to the final stages of bringing that person in. So, it will be announced pretty shortly on who that is.”

In other news, Lobo football receiver Zarak Scruggs Jr. has entered the transfer portal. Scruggs didn’t see much game action last season, however he stood out during spring ball. Earlier this week, coach Danny Gonzales gave his thoughts on the transfer portal.

“I’m not a big fan of it,” Gonzales said. “I think we do these kids a disservice in a lot of facets. I think this is just one more. There’s no longer adversity that they need to fight through. If they want to transfer they should have to sit out. We’ve got kids on our team that if they think they can play somewhere else, then they need to go.”

Meanwhile former Lobo and Valley High School Star Teton Saltes will get back on the gridiron on Saturday for the debut of the USFL. Teton, along with former Lobo Jallin Burrel, play for the Michigan Panthers and hope this opportunity will lead to bigger things.

“Oh man, I am super motivated. I have been working hard, I have been working and training down in Dallas with Duke Manyweather,” said Saltes. “You know, just really trying to perfect my craft. You know, my goal is to start in the NFL and I would like to start this upcoming season there after I get done with the USFL. So, again its a great opportunity and now its up to me to make the best of it.”

Also, the Duke City Gladiators will be rolling with quarterback Ramone Atkins for another week. Atkins, a former New Mexico Highland quarterback, struggled early in the season but had a solid performance last week in the Gladiators first win of the season.