Sacramento Geckos

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Sacramento Geckos
Full name Albuquerque Geckos
Sacramento Geckos
Team Sacramento
Nickname(s) Geckos
Founded 1997 (as Albuquerque Geckos)
Dissolved 1999 (as Team Sacramento)
Owner(s) United States Al Valentine
United Soccer Leagues
Manager United States Ron Preble
League USL D-3 Pro League (1997)
USL A-League (1998-1999)
Original Albuquerque Geckos logo 1997-1998

The Sacramento Geckos were an American soccer club that competed in the United Soccer Leagues from 1997 to 1999. The club was founded as the Albuquerque Geckos in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1997, before being sold and moved to Sacramento, California for the 1999 season.

The Geckos had great success in their debut, winning the USL D-3 Pro League championship in 1997 before moving up to the tier 2 A-League in 1998. The team suffered a miserable season where they won only five games. The move to California didn't produce success, as the Geckos failed to win a game or survive the season, with the USL stepping in to buy the team, renaming them Team Sacramento before folding at the end of the 1999 campaign.


The Geckos emerged from a turbulent soccer history in New Mexico, following on the heels of a decade of semi-professional/professional club soccer in Albuquerque from 1986-1996 with the Albuquerque Outlaws, Albuquerque Gunners, New Mexico Roadrunners, & New Mexico Chiles. With this rich soccer history, Albuquerque and owner Al Valentine made the commitment to pro soccer with the debut of the Geckos in the USL D-3 Pro League in 1997. The team had instant success with a 15-3 (W-L) record, winning the league championship its first year.

Following this success, the team jumped up to tier 2 in the American soccer pyramid, joining the USL A-League for 1998. The club failed to produce similar results and, burdened with financial problems, were sold to a new ownership group in Sacramento, California.[1] Doomed from the outset, the Sacramento Geckos struggled with the existing club debt and further poor results on the field, setting an all-time league record losing all 28 games and being outscored 91-16 for the year,[2] lasting only half a season before the United Soccer Leagues were forced to buy the team, renaming them Team Sacramento. The team folded following the 1999 season.[3]


Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup
1997 3 USISL D-3 Pro League 1st, South Central Champion First Round
1998 2 USL A-League 7th, Central Did not qualify Did not qualify
1999 2 USL A-League 7th, Pacific Did not qualify Did not qualify

See also[edit]