Trio of familiar names get academy contracts with United - Albuquerque Journal

Trio of familiar names get academy contracts with United

New Mexico United’s roster added a large helping of local flavor Friday as three players with strong state soccer ties received academy contracts with the USL Championship club.

Alex Waggoner

Alex Waggoner, Miles Merritt and Andres Robles, all of whom played for United’s academy team last season, will have an opportunity to train and play with NMU’s first team in 2023. Academy contracts will not impact their NCAA or academy eligibility.

Waggoner, Merritt and Robles have impressive credentials. All three won high school state championships in New Mexico, and they helped NMU to a fifth-place finish at the recent USL Academy Playoff Tournament in Florida.

Waggoner, a forward, has turned heads with his goal-scoring prowess. He was named Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year for 2021-22 after leading Santa Fe High to a state championship. Waggoner then earned Golden Boot honors at the academy tournament, amassing six goals and three assists in his team’s four matches.

United coach Zach Prince also noted Waggoner’s defensive ability.

“He is committed to being a leader on both sides of the ball with his willingness to press defensively,” Prince said. “He has an opportunity to make a massive step in his game this year.”

Miles Merritt of New Mexico United

Merritt, a midfielder and former all-state player who won a state title at Sandia Prep, was named to the USL Academy Playoff all-tournament team. He joined NMU’s academy club in August 2021.

“Miles Merritt has shown the most improvement over the last 12 to 16 months in our academy program,” Prince said. “His comfort level on the ball has remained consistent and is still improving while he has taken the biggest step defensively.”

Andres Robles of New Mexico United
Andres Robles of New Mexico United

Robles, a midfielder and former state champion with Albuquerque High, was among United’s first academy signings in February 2021 and earned a call-up to play for its U-23 team last summer. He received an academy contract in 2021 and trained with the first team but has not yet appeared in a match for NMU’s top squad.

“He has all the tools to be a top midfielder.” Prince said. “Helping him have a similar personality with the first team that he has with the Academy is key for Andres.”

United’s academy program is beginning to pay dividends for the club. Forward Cristian Nava was the first player to rise through the ranks and appear in a first-team match after receiving an academy contract. Nava later signed a full professional contract and will return for his second full season with United in 2023.

Home » From the newspaper » Trio of familiar names get academy contracts with United

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Lobo women are in Utah, hoping to reverse their ...
College
Home has been where the victories ... Home has been where the victories are for the UNM women's basketball team this Mouuntain West Confer ...
2
Boys prep basketball: Volcano Vista's victory at Rio Rancho ...
Boys' Basketball
Volcano Vista was a winner. So ... Volcano Vista was a winner. So was Cleveland, both directly and indirectly. And the boys basketball standings in District 1-5A, New Mexico's most successful ...
3
Lobo men's basketball team holds off Air Force
College
(Photo gallery: Air Force at New ... (Photo gallery: Air Force at New Mexico) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored 24 points — seven during a crucial late surge ...
4
Former Albuquerque High coach takes over St. Pius football
Featured Sports
Sartans were 2-9 last fall, but ... Sartans were 2-9 last fall, but Curtis Flakes sees 'opportunity'
5
McGruder's grit, Augmon's shot lift UNM women to much-needed ...
ABQnews Seeker
Not necessarily pretty, but it got ... Not necessarily pretty, but it got the job done. The University of New Mexico women's basketball took a different approach to Thursday night's game ...
6
Midrange Mash: Lobo leads league in scoring thanks to ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo guard Jamal Mashburn, Jr., leads ... Lobo guard Jamal Mashburn, Jr., leads the MWC in scoring thanks to mastering the 'lost art' of the midrange jumper.
7
Lobo football: Gonzales has made 'big adjustment' in roster ...
College
Danny Gonzales will say it ... Danny Gonzales will say it – this wasn't exactly the plan. ...
8
Grammer answers his mailbag: Should Lobo basketball tweak its ...
ABQnews Seeker
Should the Lobos tweak their lineup? ... Should the Lobos tweak their lineup? How many Mountain West teams get in the NCAA Tournament? Which arena is best?
9
Lobo basketball women: Sophomore Augmon 'ahead of schedule' as ...
College
Last season, Aniyah Augmon was known ... Last season, Aniyah Augmon was known as the UNM women's basketball team's Energizer Bunny.