Albuquerque Sol Announce New Head Coach
On Tuesday morning, the Albuquerque Sol announced they are hiring former New Mexico Lobo soccer legend Justin Sells as its new coach. Sells signed a one-year contract to guide the Sol for the 2018 season.
He is currently the technical director for the New Mexico Rush soccer club. Sells set numerous scoring records at UNM that have been untouchable over the last 20 years.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to lead the Albuquerque Sol for the upcoming season,” Sells said. “I look forward to contributing to the Sol’s success on and off the field. My goal is not merely to win games, but to further the Sol’s mission and values in the community.”
The Sol mutually parted ways with long time manager Matt Gordon after the 2017 season. Sells will be tasked with roster construction with a particular eye towards cultivating and promoting local talent.
It’s part of the Sol’s steadfast dedication to serving the Albuquerque community and building a team with a distinct regional flavor. The Sol want Albuquerque residents and New Mexicans at large to take pride in their soccer club.
“I’m excited for the attacking soccer that I know Justin Sells will bring to the Sol,” GM Larry Espinoza said. “The club will work hard to produce an on-field product that everyone in Albuquerque can appreciate. The 2018 season really can now begin with a new leader in charge.”
The Sol are entering its fifth soccer season in the Premier Development League. The PDL is a catalyst for professional soccer careers. The Sol understands that role and will continue to work hard to help aspiring soccer professionals fulfill their full potential.
The Sol conducted an exhaustive national search to find the right person for the vacant head coaching job. The deliberative process was energizing and encouraging to find so many qualified and interested people all over the country. But it was clear that Justin Sells is the best choice to lead the Albuquerque Sol in the near term.
“Justin Sells has deep roots in the Albuquerque community and a fantastic network of soccer coaches and players,” Team President Ron Patel said. “He is definitely the right man for the moment as the club looks to expand its influence and impact in the Albuquerque area.”
The Sol compete in the Premier Development League, the fourth tier of American professional soccer. The PDL is part of the United Soccer Leagues. The USL also operates the Division II USL, the newly-announced Division III league and Super Y League. The PDL has served as the proven stepping-stone for aspiring professionals.
Nearly 70 percent of all MLS SuperDraft selections since 2010 have PDL experience, including a total of 59 alums chosen in 2017. Notable PDL alums include Newcastle United FC defender DeAndre Yedlin, 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris, 2016 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Hedges, and U.S. Men’s National Team members Darlington Nagbe, Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron, and Tim Ream.