A Chance at Soccer South of the Border
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Los Angeles Times -- With women's professional soccer struggling to gain a foothold in the U.S. in the post- Mia Hamm era, the American national team was one of the few places left for players who wanted to compete after college. And though Perez, Garciamendez, Vinti and her former University of San Diego teammate, 20-year-old junior Natalie Garcia, had all participated in development camps in the U.S., none seemed to have a future with the national team.
So when they were offered a job on the other side of the border, they took it.
"For many of us, this has been our whole lives. I've been playing since I was 4 years old," Vinti said. "And watching it as a young child — watching the U.S. play in the World Cup and hoping one day that I could reach that goal. To say that I'm doing that now is something that I will never forget."
Mexico isn't the only country that has poached talent from the U.S. About 20 nations — including World Cup qualifiers England, Canada, New Zealand and Brazil — have stocked their rosters with Americans who qualify for dual citizenship. (Full Story)