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United brings back defender Padilla for 2020

Defender Manny Padilla has agreed to a contract to rejoin New Mexico United for the 2020 United Soccer League season, the club announced on Monday.

“I am excited to be back with a good group of guys from last year,” said Padilla in a statement from the team. “(I am) looking forward to getting back to work with them and writing more history together.”

Padilla, from Compton, Calif., made made 28 appearances, 25 starts, and led the team with seven assists in New Mexico’s inaugural USL campaign. He previously had played for Rio Grande Valley of the USL and Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.

United already had exercised options on 13 players and agreed to a re-up with Daniel Bruce, all from this year’s team that went 11-10-13 and made the USL playoffs, falling in the first round.

“Manny made such huge strides through the season and became a focal point of our attack from the right-back position,” said United coach Troy Lesesne. “Having him back is important for our system and style of play. It’s also important for our culture, as he’s a player that’s determined to be the best right-back in the league and bring a championship to New Mexico.”

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