Santi Moar knows exactly what he’s getting into as he embarks on a second stint with New Mexico United.
Before taking any questions at his re-introductory media conference Tuesday, the 29-year-old Spaniard officially put one key New Mexico issue to bed.
“The answer is green,” Moar said emphatically, “always green, never red.”
Chile preferences aside, Moar was all smiles in discussing his return to United after spending the past three seasons with USL Championship rival Phoenix Rising. The outgoing forward, who scored 12 goals for NMU in 2019, comes back to United via a transfer arrangement with Phoenix receiving an international roster slot in return.
“I’m really thankful that New Mexico United reached out to see if a transfer was possible,” Moar said. “I know this club well, I have a lot of friends here. The Phoenix page of my career is closed now and I had different options, but I really wanted to come back here.”
Moar enjoyed one of his best seasons with United when he racked up six assists to go with his 12 goals. He excelled again for Phoenix in 2021, earning All-USL Championship first-team honors after netting a career-best 16 goals.
Things dropped off for Rising FC and Moar last season as the club finished a disappointing 10th in the Western Conference and missed the postseason. Moar ended up with two goals and four assists in 31 appearances.
Moar acknowledged the down season and sees it as an opportunity for a fresh start. He’ll be reunited with Phoenix teammate Greg Hurst, who also moved to United via transfer this offseason.
“Greg coming to New Mexico United was honestly a factor for me,” Moar said. “He’s a great player, a great guy and, like me, he’s got something to prove.”
Moar also is well acquainted with NMU coach Zach Prince and a number of the returning players on New Mexico’s 2023 roster, including Daniel Bruce and Austin Yearwood. He’s looking forward to getting back in front of United’s fans and hopes to give them something extra to cheer about in 2023.
“Winning a championship could happen here,” he said, “and that’s important to me. I mean, are you going to play in the USL for 10 years and not win a title? I’ve been in the league six years now and I don’t want to retire without a title.”
Prince believes Moar can provide a key piece as he builds United’s roster for next season. The club also re-signed veteran defender and 2022 captain Josh Suggs over the weekend.
“Santi draws your attention wherever he is on the field due to his ability to consistently beat opponents off the dribble and complete dangerous passes,” Prince said of Moar. “… I’m happy to bring Santi back to New Mexico where he belongs.”