ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – New Mexico United has a week off before the team plays its final four games of the regular season. The Black and Yellows are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference standings, but each of the last four games on their schedule are against teams fighting for a playoff spot. Instead of taking a week off to catch their breath, United aren’t letting off the gas.
“There’s no rest now, no rest, not at all,” head coach Zach Prince said. “I told the guys that you can’t slow down for a second. We have four games left and we look at every game as a bit of a cup final and every game has to be won. Now, when you get to the end and where we are at the table right now, there’s only one way, one direction.”
Under the USL Championship playoff format, seven teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. While all seven spots in the Eastern Conference are already occupied, every team in the West is still technically in contention. New Mexico is still unseeded and the two teams remaining on their schedule — Las Vegas and Los Angeles — are out, while San Diego is clinched and Colorado Springs is in the best position to win and host playoff game.
United are not only fighting for their place in the top seven, but also trying to break into the top four to host in the first round of the play-offs. 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 in the last four games,” Cullen Ryden said. “We’re fighting for a position not only to get into the playoffs, but also to get a home game in the playoffs. We know how important these games are, and that’s why we play them. Tap on our shoulders and get out there and perform.”
New Mexico United returns to action on Friday, September 30 at home against FC Las Vegas Lights. The game starts at 20.00.