Magical Melanie Barcenas makes her professional debut for San Diego Wave at 15 years old

Melanie Barcenas 2023 San Diego Wave Orlando

Credit: Deanna Gold/EVT Sports

Spread the love
Melanie Barcenas 2023 Orlando
Credit: Deanna Gold/EVT Sports

In a night where the San Diego Wave lost 3-1 to the Orlando Pride at home, it was nearly impossible to find any sort of positives to take in from the match. Coach Casey Stoney and the rest of the squad clearly were heavily unsatisfied with the result ahead of a rough three-game road trip to follow in the month of May.

However, there was a big shining light in this match in the form of teenager Melanie Barcenas, who made her professional debut at the very young age of 15. “Mel B” had patiently awaited her debut this season, featuring in two NWSL games on the bench but not being subbed in. The time finally came for Barcenas in the 71st minute of the game against Orlando, when the Wave was suffering a 3-1 deficit and required any kind of spark to try and get back into the game.

The 15-year-old replaced Isabella Briede in the lineup and immediately made her presence known on the pitch with her flair and class on the ball. Snapdragon Stadium roared when “Mel B” was subbed on and erupted in cheers anytime she touched the ball as she made sure to make it a spectacle to the eye. The Orlando defenders were struggling heavily to read any type of play that Barcenas made, as just when they thought she was going one way, she went the other and created magic on the pitch.

I'd like this amount to  

The only player that was able to beat Barcenas on the night was herself, as she sometimes held on to the ball for too long or did not make the proper decision after surpassing a rival player. This is nothing to worry about considering Barcenas’ age, as Casey Stoney also spoke on her game in the post-game press conference.

Stoney said, “Tonight was the night where we needed a bit more quality on the ball, maybe a bit of creativity. I felt she (Barcenas) brought that. She showed us what she’s about. I need to go over with her once you’ve beaten a player loose the ball. She did that in the box then tried to her beat her again. That’s the learning at this level, you’ve done what you needed to do and got the space, and you’ve created it now what. It’s fantastic that she made her debut, and I’m really proud of her.”

Makenzy Doniak also spoke on the young phenom in the post-game press conference. Doniak said, “She’s very talented, very good on the ball. I think that, obviously, she’s going to get her moments. As a team, we’ll support her, and we’re excited for her future.”

Melanie Barcenas made history, becoming the youngest player to ever debut in the NWSL, and she did not just do that as she also had everyone on the edge of their seat awaiting what was coming next. In a night where seemingly everything went wrong for the San Diego Wave, there was something that went right, and now we can all witness Barcenas’ progression into potentially something very special.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *