Albuquerque Journal

Colonna selected to join team after trial run

Former SDSU player is second trialist on roster


Playing collegiate soccer at San Diego State prepared Kyle Colonna for a shot at the profession­al game.

It couldn’t fully prepare him for the crash course that landed him on New Mexico United’s roster.

Colonna became NMU’s latest official addition Tuesday, capping a successful stint as a preseason trialist. A 6-foot-3 center defender, Colonna took part in his first media conference after signing his first pro contract.

Not bad considerin­g he got his first look at NMU’s team barely a month ago, starting his trial one day before United left for its three preseason matches in Tucson.

“I got thrown into games right away,” Colonna said. “It was a pretty amazing experience.”

Colonna said he benefited from taking early advice from the coaching staff to heart.

“Anytime you’re in a situations with unknowns it can be stressful,” he said. “But (head coach Zach Prince) and the guys tried to tell me, ‘Just be yourself. It it’s a fit, it’s a fit.’”

Colonna’s successful four-year run at SDSU, where he served two years as a co-captain, instilled confidence. Still, the Danville, California native quickly understood this to be something different.

“The sheer athleticis­m and speed of play at this level was astonishin­g to me,” he said.

Getting used to New Mexico’s climate, altitude and United fans also required adjustment­s.

“New Mexico’s fan base is something I’d heard about and looked forward to,” Colonna said, “but we had a crowd getting into it for our El Paso scrimmage. That was something I’d never experience­d — amazing.”

Colonna became the second trialist to earn a 2023 roster spot for United. Midfielder Michael Wyparlo joined the club last week, and another signing or two could be announced before United’s regular-season opener Saturday.

 ?? ?? Kyle Colonna
Kyle Colonna

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