NM United head coach Troy Lesesne will not return for fourth season

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Troy Lesesne has been the head coach and technical director for New Mexico United since the team’s inception three and a half years ago. On Friday, Lesesne said it was time for him to step back after several contract talks with owner Peter Trevisani, who was absent at the announcement at United’s Nob Hill headquarters.

"I had to do a lot of self-reflection," Lesesne said. "I think he wanted me to return and I appreciate that, but what I had to say was, ‘Am I going to be the best leader possible? Is this exactly what the club needs in year four? Am I ready for a new challenge? A new change?’"

Lesesne is credited with launching programs that celebrated diversity and getting the USL Coach of the Year Award last year.

"Again, it’s not like we were losing match after match," Lesesne said. "We had three winning seasons, two of those were in the playoffs. I think it’s a disappointment that we weren’t in the playoffs this year, and I look at myself first and foremost for that."

The announcement comes just three days after United suffered another big loss – at the voting booth. Albuquerque voters rejected a plan to provide millions for a new soccer stadium for the team. Owner Peter Trevisani told KOB 4 the team will continue its commitment to the community.

"I live here, you know, I’ve been here 21 years, raised a family here and I’m not going anywhere," Trevisani said. "Our other owner born and raised here, we’re from here, we’re committed to being in New Mexico."

Lesesne said his departure has nothing to do with the failed stadium proposal. He said he doesn’t know what is next, but he will always have a place for New Mexico in his heart.

"It’s not like this is a project that you want to blow up, it’s not like this is something that needs to be completely redone," Lesesne said. "It needs to be fine-tuned, but it needs to have the right leader who has the right energy to go forward and take it to the next level and bring a championship to New Mexico. That’s always the goal."