This Liga MX season marks a monumental stepping stone for the growth of Women’s professional soccer in Mexico.
In the United States, women’s soccer has been in full swing for several years and has generated magnificent players that have gone on to be superstars in the world of soccer. Mexico has been trying to grow the sport for women for a few years but this season has finally created the Liga MX Femenil, the official professional Woman’s league in Mexico.
Every team in the Liga MX, except for Lobos BUAP and Puebla now have a women’s team that will compete in this league. The league has a very competitive format as there are 16 teams in the league, divided into two groups of eight teams each, the top two teams of each group will advance to the semifinals of the competition.
The league will consist of 14 weeks of regular season play and then the playoffs which start at the semi-final stage.
The Xolas are in Group 1 of the competition along with Pachuca, Toluca, Morelia, America, Cruz Azul, Veracruz and Pumas UNAM. The border city side is special as it is only one of five teams who will play at the actual stadium (the Estadio Caliente) that the men’s team plays on. The other teams are Pachuca, Morelia, Cruz Azul and Veracruz, with the rest of the teams using training grounds to play the league games in. The home opener for the Club Tijuana ladies is set for this Saturday, August 5 at the Estadio Caliente against Monarcas Morelia. The game is set for a noon kickoff time and tickets are very affordable at only 100 Mexican pesos or about six US dollars to see this historic home opener for Las Xolas.
The first week of the Liga MX Femenil is already done and dusted as the Xolas took a 1-0 loss against Club America away from home to start the season. The roster for Club Tijuana is very local with seven out of the 11 players who started against Club America being from Tijuana and nine being from Baja California. The core of the team is very young as well with no player in the starting 11 against America surpassing 27 years old and the youngest girl, Karen Maprigat, being only 15 years old. Other than 27-year-old Maria Juarez, the rest of the starting lineup against the Club America ladies were all 22 years old or younger. Most teams in the league have a very young core with the intention to build a basis for the league to keep on prospering in the future.
The Xolas opponent on Saturday, Monarcas Morelia has the youngest registered girl in the league 12-year-old Layla Garcia. The team from Michoacán is coming off a solid 2-1 win against Veracruz and had the highest attendance in week 1 of the Liga MX Femenil with 6,170 fans at the Estadio Morelos. It will be interesting to see if the fans in Tijuana can surpass that mark and what the atmosphere will be like at the Estadio Caliente. The game should be an entertaining encounter between two teams that should give a good fight for a playoff spot in this inaugural season of the Liga MX Femenil.