Albuquerque Thorns Soccer Club – New Mexico’s Best Youth Soccer Program

Albuquerque Thorns FC New Mexico Logo

Club Details


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Club Description

Albuquerque Thorns Soccer Club in New Mexico, also known as Albuquerque United Football Club (AUFC) is a youth soccer club that started in 1988 with 8 teams and now has over 30 teams for players aged 9 to 19. The club also offers a developmental program, the Youth Development Academy, for players aged 5 to 8. AUFC is affiliated with the Portland Timbers (MLS) and Portland Thorns (NWSL), and is recognized as one of the top clubs in the Western United States.

AUFC was founded by four individuals: Jay Grimley, Steve Cheshire, Bill Dodge and Larry Azevedo. They invited Leuan Gruffydd, a Welsh national coach, to be the club’s Director of Coaching. The club’s board of directors organized the club and held the first tryouts in June 1988. The club’s first president was Bill Dodge, who handled the administrative details of starting a non-profit organization.

The club’s philosophy is to provide a sound approach to player development, through great commitment from players, parents, coaches, and volunteers. The club has a curriculum that focuses on developing players within the spectrum of a team, based on their age and skill level. The club also has a relationship with the German club Borussia Mönchengladbach, which helps the club stay competitive and adopt a European style of soccer.

The club’s achievements include winning several state, regional, and national championships, as well as sending many players to college and professional teams. Some of the notable alumni of the club are Edgar Castillo, who played for the US national team and several Mexican clubs, and Devon Sandoval, who played for the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake. The club also has a strong presence in the Olympic Development Program and the US Soccer Development Academy.

AUFC is more than just a soccer club, it is a community that fosters a love for the game and a passion for excellence. The club’s mission is to provide a positive and challenging environment for players to reach their full potential, while also developing their character, leadership, and sportsmanship. AUFC is proud to represent Albuquerque and New Mexico in the soccer world.