ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico United earned its first victory in club history on Wednesday night, staving off a second-half comeback attempt by Tulsa Roughnecks FC before a crowd of 8,330 at Isotopes Park in the USL Championship Game of the Week on ESPN3. Here are three takeaways from the match.
1. UNBEATEN EARLY: Though it's plenty early, New Mexico United is unbeaten through its first three games with one win and two draws. Opening the season with a 1-1 draw against Fresno FC in front of a raucous home crowd of almost 13,000 in attendance, head coach Troy Lesesne's crew then picked up a second point in a wild 3-3 draw with Phoenix Rising FC away from home this past weekend. Wednesday's victory against the Roughnecks saw momentum continue to build for the expansion side ahead of Saturday's road match at Orange County SC, the club's third game in seven days.
2. USUAL SUSPECTS: Continuing on from their opening performances, NMU forward Devon Sandoval and midfielder Santi Moar once again found the back of the net to help their team earn a result. It was Albuquerque native Sandoval who scored the club's historic first goal after being named the team's first signing when it was launched last June, and his close-range finish in the seventh minute against the Roughnecks was his second in as many games after being absent from the side for the game against Phoenix. Also developing a penchant for scoring, Moar scored his third goal of the season to go joint-top of the Championship charts alongside four others, including Roughnecks defender Luca Lobo. Moar scored a brace on the road in Phoenix and produced a bullet of a goal on Wednesday to maintain his fast start to 2019.
3. MIGHTY MIZELL: New Mexico goalkeeper Cody Mizell was a major part of the effort to preserve all three points, seeing away two efforts on goal while commanding the penalty area throughout the match. As the Roughnecks turned up the heat in the second half, Mizell was there to answer the call in open play and off set-piece situations. The former Tampa Bay Rowdies netminder now has 12 saves on the season, just one behind Real Monarchs SLC goalkeeper David Ochoa.