Lady Moors Enter Mex Games 2011
Members of the varsity girls’ soccer team thought their time on the field together was over for the year after their first-round California Interscolastic Federation (CIF) loss; but to everyone’s surprise, an even bigger opportunity has arisen. With the help of Head Coach Armando Gutierrez, nine AHS players were selected to enter the 2011 Mexican-American Games, a national invitation-only tournament to scout U.S. players for the Mexican national team and the 2012 Olympic Games.
Only 32 teams in the nation qualified for the Mex Games 2011 women’s soccer tournament, of which all players must be of Mexican descent. After a few calls, Gutierrez was appointed as coach of this region’s 14-18 age-range team, into which he placed players from Alhambra and Schurr. Competition for entry was huge, as individual players from several cities even submitted videos to Gutierrez just for a chance to try out. The nine AHS qualifiers are named in the above caption.
“CIF is mostly to help get into college teams, but this is at the professional level. It’s a rare opportunity; we’ll be taking full advantage of it,” junior qualifier Karina Meza said.
According to Meza, it is a one in a million chance that the possibilities the Mex Games brings are even available to them, and just to be exposed to professional coaches is a huge deal. The tournament will be held on April 20-24 at the Bell Gardens Sports Center, and will host all 32 teams from across the nation.
“My concept of this tournament is that it’s an opportunity for them to feel and be treated like professionals, [and] to show their talent. Alhambra has a lot of good teams, but unfortunately, we’ve never had the opportunity to be seen,” said Gutierrez.
The emotional response from the Lady Moors was great, in part because it is simply another chance for these nine women to play together once again – a sentimental thought amidst the flurry of excitement.
“I was really surprised and excited because I was given another occasion to play with my high school teammates, and since it’s my last year, it will be even more special,” senior Captain Andrea Pineda said.
Regardless of how far into the tournament they play, or who actually gets recruited, it is another experience to build better skills, opportunities and lifetime memories.