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NM United: Patel leaving, USL League Two team coming

A local U23 soccer team under the umbrella of New Mexico United will compete in United Soccer League Two play beginning this season, the league and United said Thursday.

“This team will be an essential addition to our club model, as we look to bridge the gap between our High Performance Youth Program and first team,” United coach Troy Lesesne said in a team statement.

The players are expected to be drawn from college and elite academy-age pools in the region. More specific information on coaches, players or even the home venue weren’t announced. It would not be at Isotopes Park, the home venue for United’s USL Championship division team, however.

Also, this is not the reincarnation of the Albuquerque Sol FC that competed in USL League Two from 2016-19 but needed help from the USL just to finish out 2019. No word on whether this means the Sol is dead.

United’s USL Championship team begins its second season on March 7 at Austin, and the home opener is March 21 vs. El Paso.

PATEL LEAVES: Ron Patel, who has been United’s Chief Revenue Officer, is leaving to become president of Rio Grande Valley FC, a USL Championship team based in Edinburg, Texas. Patel was formerly president of the Sol before joining United. He was lauded by United as playing a major role in the success of the team in its inaugural season, during which it led USL Championship in attendance.

Ron Patel

“He has earned this opportunity to lead Rio Grande Valley and they are getting one of the best in any league,” said Peter Trevisani, United majority owner and CEO.

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