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Sol hopes families can host soccer players

The Albuquerque Sol is selling team scarves as it prepares for its inaugural season.

The Albuquerque Sol is selling team scarves as it prepares for its inaugural season.

Some Duke City soccer officials are doing a little Sol searching.

The Albuquerque Sol FC soccer team will feature a number of top-level college players from around the country during its debut season, and is looking for a little assistance from the community.

On Monday, Sol president Ron Patel said the Sol started a program to help house out-of-town players. Those interested can go to abqsolfc.com to learn more.

“We need families to fill out a survey if they want to host a player or players,” Patel said. “After we review the survey, we will do an in-home interview to make sure it’s a safe place and a good environment for the guys to hang out for the summer.”

The Sol’s first game in USL’s Premier Development League is May 3 at Las Vegas.

The first home game is May 24 against Midland/Odessa. Home games are at St. Pius X High School on Coors, near I-40.

PDL players are not paid, so host families help make it affordable for out-of-towners to live in Albuquerque. The season is May through the end of July.

Deadline for host family applications is Feb. 28.

TRYOUTS: The Sol had two tryouts in January and a third is scheduled for March 21 from noon-2 p.m. at Balloon Fiesta Park.

General manager Larry Espinoza says the Sol is recruiting a number of top college players nationwide, but won’t commitments until early April. He says the team will have a traveling squad of 22 players, but will keep around 40 as part of the practice squad.

“We have to have guys to fill in for injured players and to replace guys who might get brought up to a pro league during the season,” Espinoza said. “The whole team will train together.”

The March tryout cost is $35 for those who preregister ($50 for those who wait until the day of the tryout), which includes a tryout shirt. Hopefuls need to arrive prior to noon to check-in.

Players may register at the team’s website at abqsolfc.com or by contacting Cartlidge at abqsolfc@gmail.com.

Call 505-510-2555 (and leave message) for more information.

LOBO SOL: The team is planning to have five current University of New Mexico players on the roster – NCAA rules don’t allow more from one college team to play for the same summer-league club.

Espinoza said Sol coach Chris Cartlidge and UNM coach Jeremy Fishbein will decide the players.

GROUP TICKETS: Discounted group tickets are now available.

“We’re hoping to get a lot of support from businesses, churches, families, soccer clubs and places like that,” Patel said.

SCARF SALE: You might not realize it by the temperatures in Albuquerque the past few days, but it is still winter and the Sol is offering stylish scarfs with the Sol logo on its website. Cost is $25, but there is a pre-order special until Feb. 28 for $19.99.

“By wearing a scarf, you let other soccer fans know that you ‘get it,'” Patel says. “It means you don’t need a noise meter on the scoreboard to make it look like the crowd is into the game coming in from the commercial. It means you understand why there aren’t 100 shots on net a game. It means you know the entire game is important, not just the fourth quarter or the last inning.”

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