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Penn defender Alex Touche signs with New Mexico United

Albuquerque native was the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in 2019

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Reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Alex Touche will be returning home to start his professional career with New Mexico United.

The Albuquerque native captained the Penn Quakers in 2019 and started 43 of 44 matches over three seasons in University City. He was also a regular for USL League 2 Albuquerque Sol over two summer seasons.

“We are proud to welcome another talented New Mexican back home with our club,” New Mexico United head coach and technical director Troy Lesesne said in a news release. “Alex is an intelligent defender that has the confidence to play out of the back under pressure. He has a presence about him on the field and I’m thrilled he’s joining us for his first year as a professional.”

Touche contributed on both sides of the ball for the Quakers, chipping in eight career goals.

“He is a determined young man and has worked extremely hard to get this opportunity, so to be able to get to the next level and be able to sign with your hometown club is special,” Penn head coach Brian Gil said in a news release from the program. “Alex has been a big part of the program here over the last couple of years and we are excited to watch him start the next successful chapter of his career with New Mexico United!”

The Ivy League canceled all fall sports and announced in November that fall sports would not be conducted competition during the spring.

Touche will join fellow Penn alum Duke Lacroix in the USL Championship in 2021. Lacroix signed on with Sacramento Republic for the 2021 season, his fifth team in the league since starting his professional career in 2015. Touche’s former teammate, Erumuse Momoh, spent the 2020 season with Loudoun United.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for TheCup.us, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

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