RIO RANCHO — The New Mexico Runners kick off season five with the release of their 2023-24 season schedule, with their six home games taking place in the Rio Rancho Events Center.

The opener is slated for Saturday, Dec. 30, when the Runners host the El Paso Rhinos, with a scheduled 3:05 p.m. start.

The Runners have been around since 2018 and are the longest consistent running sports team tenant in the Rio Rancho Events Center. The Runners are 100% owned and operated by a 100% percent Hispanic family born and raised in New Mexico. Team owner Andres Trujillo continues to employ his family, and says, “The fact that our family continues to bring New Mexicans a family fun and affordable sports entertainment option shows the community that we are 100% invested in building up a positive quality of life to inspire others to do the same.”

Last season, the Runners got off to a 3-0 start, but injuries crept up on several key players, slowing their momentum and resulting in a 4-8 record.

Head Coach Steve Famiglietta returns to the Runners organization for his fifth year at the helm. The USL soccer Hall of Fame Inductee and New Mexico Sports hall of Fame Nominee continues to build a solid program with his son, Nick, as his assistant.

“Our goal is to get to the postseason for the first time in franchise history,” Steve Famiglietta said. “We’ve got a solid as well as talented group of guys going into season 5 and we are ready to make some waves with key players returning that fans are going to love.”

The Runners held open tryouts in mid-October to see what local talent can be picked up for the roster. Several local players were brought on to the player pool as well as several athletes from out of state.

Runners’ home games

Saturday, Dec. 30, vs. El Paso Rhinos

Sunday, Jan. 7, vs. Amarillo Bombers

Sunday Jan. 28, vs. Kansas Bandits

Saturday Feb. 10, vs. El Paso Rhinos

Sunday March 3, vs. Wichita Wings

Saturday March 16, vs. Wichita Wings

(Season tickets start at $80 and can be purchased online at newmexicorunners.com.)