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United’s Lesesne, Ryden are finalists for USL awards

New Mexico United defender Kalen Ryden, center, is shown from action this past Aug. 15 at Colorado Springs. (Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing/Switchbacks FC)

The United Soccer League announced Thursday that New Mexico United defender Kalen Ryden and Head Coach/Technical Director Troy Lesesne are finalists for league-wide end-of-season awards. Ryden is one of three finalists for the Defender of the Year Award, while Lesesne is one of three finalists for the USL Championship’s Coach of the Year.

“We are so proud of everything that Troy and Kalen have accomplished this season, and so grateful for their leadership,” said New Mexico United Owner/CEO Peter Trevisani in a statement from the team. “These two men are the very definition of hard work, humility and diligence, and we are honored to have them representing our club and our state to the world.”

After leading United to the playoffs in their first season, Lesesne took the club to new heights in year two, playing every match on the road and winning the club’s first-ever playoff match.

Ryden leadership along New Mexico’s back line saw the club’s goal against average drop from 1.67 in 2019 to 1.13 in 2020. Ryden recorded 16 blocked shots, tied for third in the USL Championship, and led United with 63 clearances and 26 interceptions.

League-wide award winners are expected to be announced by the United Soccer League within the next week.


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