New Mexico United returns home Thursday night for its first contest in Albuquerque in over a month, hosting Cardiff City FC in an international club friendly at the UNM Soccer Complex.
Hailing from the constituent country of Wales in the United Kingdom, Cardiff City is on the second leg of a North American tour in preparation for its 2019-2020 campaign. Founded in 1899, the club has spent 17 years in the various incarnations of the top flight of English soccer, most recently an abbreviated Premier League stint in 2018-2019. The Welsh side has a storied history that includes a 1927 FA Cup, a 2012-2013 EFL Championship title and 22 Welsh Cups.
The juxtaposition of long-standing tradition versus nouveau sheen isn’t lost on United head coach Troy Lesesne.
“We want to continue to raise the bar for our club in every endeavor we enter into, and this international friendly versus Cardiff will be another historic night for our organization,” Lesesne said in a statement from the team. “I’m excited to see our players test themselves against a club with a rich history in England’s Premier League and Championship.”