Behind the Scenes

Janae Gonzalez is a member of the 2014 U17 Women’s Mexican National Team as well as a reporter for The Vista Voice. While out of the country for competitions, Gonzalez will contribute weekly updates on her experiences abroad.


This picture was taken at the entrance of our training facility in Mexico of my teammate Briana Woodall (right) and me. (left)

8am-Wake Up; 8:30am-Breakfast; 9:30-12pm-Training/Showers; 12:30pm-Lunch; 1-2pm-Study Hall; 2-4pm Mandatory Rest; 4:30-6:30pm-Training/Showers; 7pm-Dinner; 7:30-9pm-Rest. This is a typical schedule I have everyday in Mexico.

We have mandatory rest periods because our coaches expect us to play at 100-percent each training. Although the training sessions are physically and mentally draining, having the experience of playing with some of the most talented players my age in the world  while being coached by high-class coaches makes every day a blessing and every training a privilege.

Oh, and did I mention that I am not fluent in Spanish? I literally cannot communicate with half of my teammates. Luckily, every soccer player speaks soccer language.

Every day I am living my dream, and I don’t want to be anywhere else; however, this life is also very stressful. Besides stressing over getting straight As in school and missing my family, there is no guarantee on how long I will be on the team. Cuts are made daily and new players come to fill their places. But in the end there are only 21 spots for the final team that will be traveling to the U17 Women’s World Cup in March in Costa Rica, and I am determined to be on the list.

The final cut will be made March 3rd. We also have four scrimmages: February 26 against Venezuela (won 3-0 and I scored the first goal) , March 1 against Venezuela (won 5-3 and I scored the second goal) , March 6 against North Korea, and March 9 against North Korea.