Perhaps, it was just a U.S. Open Cup hangover.
Regardless of the reason, the New Mexico United lost for the second time in their last three United Soccer League matches, the Las Vegas Lights hammered them 5-1 at Cashman Field on Saturday night. The United (6-3-7) also fell to third place in the Western Conference, as the El Paso Locomotive and the Phoenix Rising moved ahead of them.
Las Vegas (5-6-4) used a three-goal outburst in a 15-minute stretch to take a 3-0 lead by the 47th minute as Javan Torre, Christian Hernández and Tabort Etaka Preston each scored. New Mexico avoided a second straight shutout in league play when David Estrada scored in the 88th minute to make it 3-1, but the Lights responded with a goal from Edwin Rivas two minutes later. Las Vegas added an insurance goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time from Junior Sandoval.
The United have little time to lick their wounds, as they return to U.S. Cup Open play with a match against FC Dallas in the Round of 16 at 6 p.m. Tuesday.