Sports Desk: NM United adds a friendly, Spicy P makes noise and Kelati adds another regional award

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On the Sports Desk Friday New Mexico United announce plans to hold an exhibition match with Cardiff FC of the English Premier League. The exhibition match is part of Cardiff FC USA training tour. It is also another opportunity for New Mexico United to show their skills. “There is a lot of trust within the group, there is so much character, and I think that there is a selflessness to the group that really distinguishes us from a lot of the competition,” said NM United head coach Troy Lesesne. The friendly will be played at the University of New Mexico Soccer Complex on July 18.

Meanwhile, Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has the entire sports world talking after leading the Raptors to a game one 118-109 victory over defending champ Golden State in the NBA Finals. The former New Mexico State star scored 32 points and shot 14 of 17 from the field and said he had more than basketball on his mind. I have a bigger purpose and I play for something bigger than just basketball,” said Siakam.  “I think that’s what makes it special, that every night I am out there, no matter the result, no matter how many points I score.  I am playing for something bigger than myself.” Siakam was referring to playing for his father who he lost while he was a student at New Mexico State. Game two of the NBA Finals is Sunday in Toronto.

Meanwhile, Former Lobo guard Chris McNeal has a new basketball home. McNeal is going to the University of Cincinnati as a graduate transfer. He spent last season at Tennessee Tech where he sat out of basketball.

Also, University of New Mexico standout runner Weini Kelati has been named the Mountain Region Women’s Track Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA. It’s the third regional athlete of the year award for Kelati during her sophomore season. Kelati is currently ranked first nationally in the 5,000 and third in the 10,000.

Then, the Albuquerque Isotopes are back on the diamond, trying to win a second straight game against the Reno Aces. The Isotopes are also hosting fighters from Jackson and Wink MMA Academy.

Also, Minnesota Twins catcher and former Lobo Mitch Garver could be back in the lineup as early as this week. Garver has been out since the 14th of this month after suffering an ankle injury. Prior to his departure, he batted .329 with nine home runs through 25 games.

Then, the New Mexico Highlands Vatos are competing in the National Small College Rugby Organization Championships this weekend in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania. The Vatos are one of five teams competing. The Vatos have two national titles, winning in 2015 and 2016.

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