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Albuquerque Sol building momentum

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Today, the Albuquerque Sol officially begins its journey toward what it hopes will eventually lead to the city getting a Major League Soccer franchise.

The Sol has a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled today at St. Pius X High School, where it will play its home matches in its USL Premier Development League debut season this year. The event is slated at 2 p.m. Mayor Richard Berry and City Councilor Ken Sanchez are scheduled to speak.

“There has been a huge buzz in the soccer community since it became official that we had a team,” says Sol general manager Larry Espinoza . “It’s a great time for this to be happening. Soccer is really growing in the state, and we are already getting a lot of interest.”

Espinoza said the Premier Development League schedule will be released today and tickets will also go on sale. He said they already have 25 commitments for season tickets, and the team’s goal is to sell 600 before the May 24 season opener against Midland, Texas.

He said St. Pius can seat just more than 1,500 for games, but “we’re hoping we have to rent or buy additional seating and bleachers for games. From early indications, I think we will.”

The Sol is still in the process of selecting its team. It had two days of tryouts earlier this month, and Espinoza said another tryout will be held in early March. Players in the PDL are not paid. Many are top college players from throughout the country.

Espinoza said the Sol will play 10 home games.

“This is a great soccer town, and we really believe we can get an MLS team in the next few years,” Espinoza said.

Season tickets are $89, and individual game tickets are $10 (ages 11 and up) and $5 ages 6-10). Kids 5 and under are free.

For more information about the Sol’s schedule and tickets, visit abqsolfc.com or call 505-510-2555.

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