Peter Trevisani is the owner of New Mexico United, a professional soccer team playing in the United Soccer League and New Mexico’s first to do so. Undefeated at home, the team’s doing extremely well and is one of the top-ranked in the league. So far, so good. We caught up with Trevisani to see how the momentum is going, how the team is stacking up to his expectations and what might be next for New Mexico’s one and only soccer team (spoiler: a possible stadium) ahead of this weekend’s Cinco de Mayo game against the San Antonio FC at Isotopes Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:05 pm—as New Mexican as times get.

Why did you start the New Mexico United project?

I was interested in doing something that could have a positive impact on New Mexico, and I felt that soccer, out of all the sports out there, has this amazing power to unite and bring together people who are from the most diversified backgrounds. I grew up playing American football, [but] in 1998, when I was living in London, I decided to go to a pub to watch this World Cup game that I didn't know anything about. The pub was packed, and I was a foreigner and I didn't know anything about soccer, but I was treated like family and like I was part of it. You could have 10 different people who speak 10 different languages and pray to 10 different gods, yet they could all watch a soccer game and be communicating through that experience.

As you fast forward to present day, I just felt like that was something that could really benefit New Mexico, because we're a very diversified state; we have a lot of different groups, but we have beautiful people. I thought this team could be something that brings our state together and helps unite instead of divide.

What are some of the elements that have allowed you to pursue this team? 

There are personal elements—first of all, just where I am in the stage of my life, I … had the ability to follow what is most important to me, and that's a real opportunity and gift, and I feel really fortunate to be in that position. I also think that there were some things, external elements that came together. For example, the timing is right. Given the political environment, given some other elements in terms of immigration and tension around immigration, I think that you see the United States as very divided right now, more so than a lot of people would like. And so, I think that there was an element that we could bring our state together and have something that could be positive no matter who you vote for, no matter where you're from. I also think New Mexico is ready to stand up and be recognized as a collective. I think there's a lot of negativity around the state, I think there's a lot of focus on things that aren't going well, and our state isn't always taken seriously, and I think this is about more than just soccer. This is about the people of New Mexico rising up and making a statement.

How is New Mexico United doing compared to your expectations?

I think there’s a lot of layers to that. I think we’re performing on the
field—the most simple, the most obvious is that right now, we’re undefeated at home. We’ve only lost one game. We have a chance to be in first place right now with our match on Sunday, and so I think that everyone’s really happy with how the team’s performing and the fact that we’re winning is important. We’re not going to always win, but what we’re seeing is that New Mexicans can be winners and we can put out a team that represents us in our style.
Off the field, I think our players are doing an amazing job. They’re so engaged with the community; they live in downtown Albuquerque, they’re constantly going out to events, meeting people and they’re becoming role models and heroes for a lot of people, and that’s tremendous and we just need more of that in New Mexico. I think that our front office is really staying staying true to our message, which is we want to be an agent of positive change, and we also want to bring our community together in a way that it’s never been brought together before, and I think those things are happening. I think that anyone who’s been to a game would agree with that.

Where do you see United going in the future? I've heard that you're hoping to make enough money to build a stadium.

We play at a great park, we play at Isotopes Park, and it’s phenomenal. But long-term, we do need to have a stadium, and I think that when we put the team together, there was a lot of talk o,  ‘Well, you need to build a stadium first.’ And my feeling was, and ultimately what we did … was the opposite. Knowing that we have such strong interest, knowing that it’s not just a fad, the quality of the response is super strong. So now we know what kind of size stadium we need and it’s easier to talk to private or public partnerships to put that stadium into play. So that’s our next step.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I think it's important that people know that this team is for the whole state. The [team] flag has every city, every town; all 19 Native American pueblos are on it. This isn't a team just for Albuquerque, it's for our whole state, and I think we're seeing it—people are coming from all over the state to go to these games. It's something that we can all rally behind. Whether you like red chile or green chile, you can still like United; whether you're from the 505 or the 575, it doesn't matter. Whether you're a first generation New Mexican or a 14th generation New Mexican, you can go to United.

New Mexico United vs. San Antonio FC 

5:05 pm Sunday May 5. $13-$99 (not counting season tickets). Isotopes Park, 1601 Avenida Cesar Chaves, Albuquerque; newmexicoutd.com.