ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It has been 574 days since New Mexico United has played at Isotopes Park in front of their fans. They played all the 2020 season on the road. The team will finally be reintroduced to the “Lab” on Saturday when they host Austin Bold FC in their home opener at 7:30 pm.
“It’s the best thing there is in the USL and maybe in the MLS, we have the best fans in my opinion. To be able to celebrate our first game in a very long time is something that we didn’t know if it was ever going to happen. So, we are just so thankful that it is here now in front of us, and we are going to make the most of it,” said New Mexico United Head Coach Troy Lesesne.
“It feels like it’s the first-ever game all over again. So, I can’t wait to get out there and see our people,” said United Forward Devon Sandoval.
Playing at Isotopes Park has become special for players and fans, but for the new guys on the team, they know nothing about that and are even more excited to finally experience the feel of a match in Albuquerque. “I am getting chills just thinking about it. They really just spoke so highly about it, and I have seen videos, and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am,” said United Defender Harry Swartz.
“The fan base is a reason why New Mexico United was so intriguing to me and to finally now be able to experience that on Saturday, it’s going to be a memorable night for me,” said NM United Defender Kalen Ryden.
New Mexico United is currently 0-1-1 on the season. Coach Lesesne said he liked how this team has progressed though, and he believes that they are in the right form to garner their first win on Saturday night.
Sandoval feels the same way as coach Lesesne and says that playing at home will be a huge advantage against Austin. “We feel the fans throughout the whole game. Their energy pushes us on, and especially at the end of the game. You know, we really feel the people’s energy and sometimes that’s what gives you the extra push to win,” said Sandoval.