United adds Haitian U-23 midfielder Sainté – Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico and ABQ News, Sports, Business and more

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021 at 8:41PM
New Mexico United added youth and enthusiasm to its 2022 roster Wednesday with the signing of midfielder Carl Sainté.
A 19-year-old from Haiti, Sainté has a wealth of international youth-level experience but he’ll make his American pro debut with United. First-year head coach Zach Prince believes Sainté’s ability and work ethic will make him a valuable addition.
“I think Carl will be a great fit,” Prince said during a Zoom media conference. “Obviously he’s young and we’ll have to work though his maturation process, but I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know him and he’s just a great kid. He’s very, very intelligent and very hungry to take this step in his career.”
Sainté, who was born in Grand-Goâve, Haiti, led his country’s U-17 club to the World Cup in Brazil in 2019 and played for Haiti’s U-23 Olympic Qualifying squad this year. He also played for Violette Athletic Club, a top Haitian professional team in Port-au-Prince in 2020-21, helping the club to a 1st division championship.
Next step, New Mexico.
“He’s thrilled,” Prince said of Sainté’s reaction to signing with NMU. “I’ve been texting with him back and forth and this is a massive moment in his life. He’s so excited and we’re excited to get him here and start working with him.”
Sainté is the second new offseason signee for United, which is steadily piecing together its roster for 2022. The club added midfielder Justin Portillo last week and has thus far announced 10 members of last season’s squad who have re-signed. They are: forwards Amando Moreno and Cristian Nava; midfielders Chris Wehan, Daniel Bruce and Harry Swartz; defenders Kalen Ryden, Rashid Tetteh, Sam Hamilton and Josh Suggs; and goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
Midfielder Juan Pablo Guzman and defender Justin Schmidt will not return next season. Schmidt recently announced his intention to join the Army.
Prince said he ultimately expects to have roughly 24 to 26 players on his roster, but even that number is flexible.
“It’s not an exact number,” Prince said, “it’s more about getting the right people in the door who have the right mentality and want to come in and work. We’re in a really good spot as far as our roster goes. I’m excited about the signings we’ve announced and we’ve got more coming shortly. I like what we’re building.”
DIVISIONS DISMISSED: The USL Championship this week announced its competition structure for 2022, returning to a conference format similar to the one it employed in 2019. The league’s 27 clubs will be split between Eastern and Western Conferences with seven from each advancing to postseason. Only the top finisher in each conference will receive a first-round playoff bye.
New Mexico will be part of the 13-team Western Conference and will play home-and-away matches against each of the other 12 conference members. Teams will play 34-game schedules, with the remaining 10 matches to be played against a combination of intraconference and interconference foes (five home, five away).
New Mexico’s conference opponents will be Colorado Springs, El Paso, LA Galaxy II, Las Vegas, Monterey Bay, Oakland, Orange County, Phoenix, Rio Grande Valley, Sacramento, San Antonio and San Diego.
The USLC employed a divisional format for each of the past two seasons but is returning to a more traditional conference format. Two of United’s Mountain Division rivals from last season, Austin Bold FC and Real Monarchs SLC, are no longer competing in the league.
The upcoming season will start and end earlier than in 2021 to allow for player call-ups to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The regular season is scheduled to start March 11.

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