Two New Mexicans led the way as New Mexico United bested Monterey Bay FC on Saturday night by a 2-1 score in front of nearly 10,000 fans at Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park. The victory was a measure of revenge for United, who fell to MBFC on the road earlier in the season.
First on the scoresheet was Taos native and United Academy product Alex Waggoner. In the 23rd minute, an excellent run and cross from Las Cruces native Josh Suggs found Amando Moreno, who expertly took down the pass, turned and fired on net. MBFC goalkeeper Siaha Ngnepi made the initial save, but spilled the rebound and Waggoner was fastest to the loose ball. The 18-year old tucked home from close range for his first career goal in his first career start.
Eighteen minutes later, Will Seymore made his mark on the match, as Monterey Bay saw themselves through on goal, and a low shot made its way past United keeper Alex Tambakis. But Seymore was quick on foot and in though, diving for a goal line clearance that kept New Mexico in front at halftime.
The second half saw Monterey Bay start brightly, earning a few chances on frame. Early in the second stanza, United’s Sam Hamilton saw two yellow cards in the span of three minutes, reducing New Mexico to ten men for the remainder of the match. But the second half substitute Rivas wasn’t phased by the disadvantage, as he took a lovely backheel from Moreno onto his left foot and scored in his third straight match to double the lead.
Monterey Bay earned a tally of their own in the 81st minute, but New Mexico held steady to maintain their unbeaten home record in 2023.