Photo courtesy El Paso Locomotive FC
EL PASO, Texas – New Mexico United saw Harry Swartz, Carl Sainte and Cristian Nava find the net as the visitors took a 3-1 victory against El Paso Locomotive FC in a preseason exhibition on Saturday afternoon at the Westside Training Complex.
After a scoreless first half, United took the lead in the 55th minute as a long ball upfield by United’s trialist goalkeeper bounced once near the top of the penalty area, allowing Swartz to shift past a waiting defender on the left to earn a one-on-one opportunity. The midfielder cut into the penalty area and slotted the shot to the right corner of the net.
The lead proved short-lived, though, as El Paso equalized almost immediately after the ensuing kickoff as Ricardo Zacarias received the ball in space just outside the top-right edge of the penalty area and fired low into the bottom-left corner of the net.
New Mexico regained the lead with 14 minutes to go as its collection of substitutions just past the hour-mark made a difference. Nava – who claimed the Golden Ball at the 2021 USL Academy Playoffs in December – began the play with a beautiful turn of his defender 30 yards from goal and released a teammate down the left. A low cross came to the far post, where it was centered back to Tabort-Etaka Preston at the top of the six-yard area. Preston found Sainte about 15 yards out, and the newcomer shot home first time.
Nava added a third two minutes later, as Kiesewetter worked past a defender in the right channel and centered for a Nava as he broke into the penalty area. Nava deftly tucked home the finish to wrap up the scoring and the win for the visitors.