New Mexico man breaks soccer record

[anvplayer video=”5161926″ station=”998122″]

RIO RANCHO, N.M. – Normally a goal wouldn’t have fans on both sides of the stands cheering, but that is exactly what happened during the New Mexico Runners game Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.

The 57-year-old coach of our state’s own professional arena soccer team took the field himself because too many of his players were benched with injuries. He became the oldest player in Major Arena Soccer League History to score a goal on his first touch in the third quarter.

“Stepped on the field, out of necessity,” Steve Famiglietta said. “I mean, Saturday for me, that was a pretty cool accomplishment, but really what that was about was the team.”

His back flick into the net is not his first accomplishment, after a long and successful soccer career. Famiglietta started at the Rio Rancho Soccer Club, then played for Cibola High School, the UNM Lobos and traveled the world as both a professional player and coach.

“I played quite a bit in Russia a little bit in Europe,” he said. Famiglietta was also inducted into the United Soccer League Hall of Fame in 2006.

He eventually put down roots in Rio Rancho and said coaching this family-owned and run team was the perfect next chapter.

“My wife’s my game ops director, my mom’s my ticketing director, my aunt is my fan engagement coordinator, my nephew’s my mascot,” explained the owner and CEO of the NM Runners, Andres Trujillo. “So, it’s all really truly family operated.”

Trujillo said his family operation of course includes Coach Famiglietta.

“Coach Famiglietta is one of the best individuals I know as a as a human being,” Trujillo said. “The great thing about Coach Famiglietta is he’s not just a coach of the organization, he’s become like a brother to me, and I mean, he’s family.”

“I’ve just really blessed to be able to still get on the field and do what I love,” Famiglietta said. “It’s been a passion of mine my whole life.”

The NM Runners have a home game this Saturday at the Rio Rancho Event Center. Kickoff is at 5:05 pm, and doors open at 3:30. Tickets are $15, and it is Educators Appreciation Night, so people who bring their school ID badges can get in for free.