We were able to get some insight from the owner of one of the expansion sides set to join USL Championship in 2019.
As we enter the final week of the 2018 USL season, some fans have already turned their attention to the 2019 season. That group certainly includes supporters of the incoming expansion sides. Among that group, New Mexico United has unveiled their branding, manager, and the rest of their technical staff. We were able to find out more about the expansion side ahead of their inaugural season from their owner, Peter Trevisani.
BGN: As the 2018 USL season winds down, the debut of New Mexico United gets closer. What is something you simply can’t wait to experience in 2019?
Peter Trevisani: I can’t wait to see the team take the field and the reaction from New Mexico supporters as we come together to collectively cheer on this team. We have all been imagining the first kick and all that it signifies for New Mexico. One small kick for New Mexico United, one giant kick for the state!
BGN: What went into the decision to join USL Championship rather than USL League One?
PT: No doubt about it, New Mexico is ready for a pro team and USL Championship competes at an extremely high level. It’s certainly on the same level as some other leagues globally, such as Ascenso MX in Mexico and Serie B in Italy, The level of play is going to surprise a lot of people.
BGN: What made you feel confident that Troy Lesesne is ready to build this expansion side’s roster and coach them? (Check out our feature with Lesesne HERE)
PT: Troy is amazing. Sometimes you encounter someone who you know is doing exactly what they are meant to be doing in this life. That is how I felt about Troy within a few hours of meeting him. In terms of our club, we wanted a coach who was tactically sound, intelligent, and hyper-motivated to compete and win. At the same time, we needed someone who also understood that what we are doing here everyday transcends just playing soccer games. We are trying to be an agent of change that helps propel New Mexico forward and to do that, you need to not only be out in the community, but you need to be a part of the community. Troy is all that and a whole lot more. Almost every night, he is out meeting with clubs, conducting free clinics so youth players and coaches can see what pro coaching looks like. We are already seeing talented players signing with our club because they believe in Troy and believe in our mission.
BGN: There are a few natural rivalries (Vegas, Phoenix, El Paso, etc.) for the club. How important will those be for the club?
PT: Vital. Our games matter. Winning matters. Rivalries matter. Frankly, we are coming into the league with a collective chip on our shoulder. I am tired of hearing about how our state comes in last in certain things. Yes, our state has some serious issues around education and economics, but we are also one of the top states when it comes to qualitative characteristics such as the sense of community and pride, the place where the head meets the heart and true grit and determination. New Mexico will be speaking with a loud voice. Off the field, we are going to have some fun with these rivalries and we already have a friendly bet with El Paso for the Cinco De Mayo Cup on May 5th. On the field, it will be all business.
BGN: A lot of USL sides enter the league with ambitions of using it as a stepping stone to MLS. Is that something that’s on New Mexico United’s radar?
PT: It’s important that people understand this is pro soccer and it’s very different from minor league sports. Just because we are in USL Championship doesn’t mean we don’t get to compete against MLS teams. Every year we get a chance to compete in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup for a chance to be crowned the best team in the USA. The winner actually gets a bid to CONCACAF with a chance to compete in the Club World Cup. In no other sport in America is it possible to cross league boundaries like that. However, in soccer, it’s not uncommon for a USL team to beat an MLS team in the Open Cup. Its one of the most exciting and under promoted tournaments in our country but the people of New Mexico will know about it very soon!
BGN: For people that may be familiar with the previously existing club in town, what is New Mexico United’s relationship/affiliation with Albuquerque Sol?
PT: In terms of relationship, we don’t currently have one. We are a different ownership group, comprised of people who were born and raised in New Mexico or have raised their families here. That being said, we support all levels
of soccer in New Mexico. In the years to come, we would like nothing more than to see some local players rise up through the youth clubs and realize their dream of playing professional soccer. I believe it will happen.
BGN: What would you like to say to fans and potential fans as we get closer to
showtime for New Mexico United?
PT: We want to say thank you. Thank you for opening up your hearts and minds to this team. Thank you for entrusting us with being the ones to bring this team to New Mexico. Thank you for stepping up and saying ‘I want to
be a part of this’ by being a corporate sponsor, purchasing a season ticket or a piece of merchandise, or even just following us on social media. We see every ‘like’ and read every comment. We are humbled by your support and want you to know that you are the fuel that is driving us forward every day to make this dream a reality. We are doing this! Somos Unidos!
It will be exciting to see what expansion sides like New Mexico United will bring to the USL Championship in 2019. You can get your season tickets for their inaugural season at NewMexicoUTD.com.