ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico United has a week off before the team plays their final four games of the regular season. The black and yellow currently rank as the six seed in the western conference standings, however, each of the final four games on their schedule is against teams that are fighting for playoff positioning. Rather than taking the week off to catch their breath, United isn’t letting off the gas.

“There’s no rest right now, no rest, absolutely not,” said head coach Zach Prince. “I told the guys there’s no slowing down, not for one second. We have four games left, and we’re looking at every game as a little bit of a cup final and every game is a must-win. Now when you get down to the end of it, and where we are at the table right now, there’s only one way, one direction for us to go.”


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Under the USL Championship playoff format, seven teams from each conference make the playoffs. While all seven spots in the eastern conference have already been filled, every team in the west is still technically in contention. New Mexico has yet to clinch a spot, and two of the teams remaining on their schedule — Las Vegas and Los Angeles — are on the outside looking in, while San Diego has clinched, and Colorado Springs is in prime position to clinch and host a playoff game.

Not only is United fighting for their spot in the top seven, but they are also trying to climb their way into the top four to host in the first round in the playoffs. While New Mexico has reached the postseason before, the team has never hosted.

“It’s like every game means the world; it’s almost a playoff game these last four games,” Kalen Ryden said. “We’re fighting for position, not only to make the playoffs but still have the possibility to get a home playoff game. We know how important these games are and that’s why we play the game. Pressure on our shoulders and go out there and perform.”

New Mexico United returns to action on Friday, September 30, at Las Vegas Lights FC. The game has an 8 p.m. start time.