Arizona Sahuaros is an American soccer team based in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Founded in 1989, the team is member of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a national amateur league at the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The team is currently on hiatus from the NPSL due to a lack of teams in the Southwest Division, but is due to return to NPSL competition in 2011.
The team plays its home games at the soccer complex on the campus of Grand Canyon University. The team's colors are gold and navy blue.
The club originally started in 1989 as the Phoenix Hearts in the original indoor SISL league. They made an immediate impact on the league when they went to the 1989-1990 SISL indoor championship before falling to the Addison Arrows. Heat coach Peter Baralić was named Coach of the Year. They changed their name to the Arizona Cotton in 1992 and played both indoor and outdoor for one more year in the USISL, before joining the amateur USISL Premier League in 1995. In 1992, they again went to the final of the USISL Indoor season, losing to the Atlanta Magic. The Arizona coach, Zelimar Antonievic, was named Coach of the Year. In 1996, the team became the Arizona Phoenix. In 1997, they changed their name again, this time to Arizona Sahuaros, and moved up to the USISL D-3 Pro League. In 1998, the Sahuaros front office named 3 player coaches to take over the Sahuaros Professional franchise, Mate Kozul (Head Coach), Edson Rico and Roger Salazar (Assistant coaches). With their connections in the Valley they assembled a strong team of former HS Gatorade Players of the Year, College All Americans and National JUCO Champions from Yavapai College. That year the Sahuaros were crowned the Western Division Champions and coach Matt Kozul was named USISL Coach of the Year. After the 2002 season, the Sahuaros left the USL D-3 Pro League and helped form the new Men's Premier Soccer League, finishing the season as champions in the first year. The Sahuaros competed in the NPSL until 2004, after which the club chose to play in USASA affiliated leagues. They re-joined the NPSL in 2008. In 2000-2009, the Sahuaros hired Petar Draksin as their head coach, he made a significant contribution to the Sahuaros franchise by bringing in many talented players and winning many significant games in the different leagues.