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Luke Sanford as the new first assistant coach. Photo Courtesy of New Mexico United Instagram

United promotes Luke Sanford

New Mexico United announced Luke Sanford will be promoted to first assistant coach in a press release on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Sanford first joined the team in Jan. 2022 and has held a variety of positions. He has served as an assistant to the team but has acted as the head coach of both the U-23 team and the United Academy. He also served as the director of the Academy, according to the press release.

United’s Sporting Director, Itamar Keinan, said in the press release that Sanford has earned his promotion due to his leadership.

“Luke has proven himself to be a terrific leader and a wonderful soccer mind. He – alongside our technical staff – are poised to get the most out of this great crop of players in 2024. We are thrilled to see him continue to grow and push this club toward major honors,” Keinan said.

The U-23 team plays in the USL League 2. Last season under Sanford, the team finished second in the Mountain division and went 6-0-4. They were eliminated in the conference quarterfinals. Last year, United Academy went 7-0-1 and were eliminated in the USL Academy finals.

Before joining United, Sanford was the head coach for the Mississippi Brilla FC where he compiled a 14-5-8 record over two seasons.

Sanford has already started his role as the team has begun practice for the upcoming season, according to the press release. United’s home opener is against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on March 9.

Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @thomasbulger10

Thomas Bulger

 Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @thomasbulger10 

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