Updated: April 30, 2021 06:38 PM
Created: April 30, 2021 03:07 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico United's Chelo Martinez grew up along the Mexico-Rio Grande Valley border.
He crossed the Texas-Mexico border to play soccer and go to school.
"Had to cross from Brownsville to Mexico to play, vice versa, Mexico to Brownsville to come home," he said.
Growing up, Martinez said the river became a symbol of hope.
"Friends and family that had, you know, their cousins trying to come across for a better education or a better life," he said. "Before coming here, I knew that the river came all the way here, kind of like proud of it being from the valley. It's nice to have a little part of back home. So much I've been through and so much that I've seen throughout my years that I've lived in the valley and I just enjoy it, give my friends a call here and there just to see how they are since I'm so far I get so close with river right here," he said.
One thing that makes Martinez feel at home is finding a good taco in Albuquerque. He said the Rio Grande Valley has some of the best tacos in the country.
Martinez gets a homecoming to kick off the season as a New Mexico united takes on RGV FC, a team that Martinez played for the last few seasons.
The game is scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
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