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New Mexico United Announces Addition of First Assistant Coach Masaki "Mac" Hemmi

January 19, 2022 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - New Mexico United News Release

Albuquerque, NM - New Mexico United is thrilled to announce the addition of Masaki Hemmi to the Technical Staff ahead of the 2022 USL Championship season. Hemmi, who goes by "Mac," was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico when he was 16 years old, then Las Cruces, New Mexico a year later. He has played and coached for clubs across four countries and three continents, and has returned to New Mexico to serve in the role of First Assistant Coach for New Mexico United.

"I'm extremely excited," said Hemmi. "Without the people of New Mexico, I wouldn't be where I am today, and I just want to wake up everyday, put in honest work, and make sure we can provide what the people of New Mexico deserve."

After moving to New Mexico as a teenager, Masaki played for the New Mexico Strikers in Las Cruces, coached by Freddy Juarez - current Assistant Coach with Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer. Hemmi played collegiate soccer at Colorado School of Mines for two seasons, before transferring to the University of New Mexico during his junior year. After college, he had a brief reserve match stint with Colorado Rapids before going overseas to Viktoria Arnoldsweiler of the German Oberliga.

The following year, he played for USL Pro's Sevilla FC, and then SB Gulbene of the Latvian First League, before returning in 2012 to USL Pro and a season with the Rochester Rhinos. After retiring from soccer the following year, Masaki returned to Colorado to finish his degree and began his coaching career at Real Colorado - a youth club in Denver. Three years into that stint, he began assistant coaching at the University of Denver.

Five years later, he traveled back to Japan, where he served as head coach for Inac Kobe - a professional women's club - in their first year of existence, before returning to the University of Denver as their 2021 Associate Head Coach.

Hemmi attended Las Cruces High School alongside current New Mexico United captain Josh Suggs, and worked with current and former United players Sam Hamilton, Ken Akamatsu and Will Palmquist at the University of Denver.

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