The University Degrees Abroad men’s soccer academy program at New Mexico State University heads into a pivotal game this weekend.
UDA@NMSU, which remains undefeated in its United Premier Soccer League regular season and plays in the UPSL’s Southwest Conference, will face Arizona’s East Valley United Pro Sunday, Oct. 17, at the High Noon Soccer Complex, 2004 Bruins Lane, in Las Cruces.
Kickoff is at 10 a.m. on field No. 1. The match is free and open to the public.
“We’re still undefeated in league play. We’ve got three wins and a draw. And we have what is arguably the best team in the league coming in this weekend to play on Sunday,” UDA program director Jeff Thompson said.
East Valley United Pro finished second overall last season in the UPSL, a professional soccer development league in the United States that includes more than 300 teams nationally.
UDA@NMSU started its current season in August and most recently prevailed against Arizona’s Barca Residency Academy USA last week.
“We had almost 400 fans in the stands, and that was a great atmosphere,” Thompson said of the Oct. 8 match. “We ended up winning that game 3 to 2, and we’d love to replicate it for the game that’s coming up on Sunday.”
A win on Sunday would put UDA@NMSU at the top of the league table, Thompson added.
“That would put us in a really good position to get into the top four for the playoffs, which start the first week in December,” he said.
NMSU and UDA teamed up in 2019 to create a developmental men’s soccer program. The program – UDA’s first in the U.S. – has 35 students, all of whom are seeking degrees at NMSU or Doña Ana Community College.
UDA’s mission is to provide student-athletes with an internationally recognized university degree, a developmental soccer experience and an opportunity for multiple pathways in their chosen career within a fully integrated university experience.