The Ups and Downs on the Road to the World Cup

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.


Me and Briana (in wheelchair) enjoying a day at the mall

On March 3, which was also my birthday, the coaches posted the final roster. Twenty-one girls were chosen to represent Mexico in the 2014 U17 Women’s World Cup, and I made the list.

I feel like the emotions haven’t completely come to me yet, and I feel like they won’t until I step on the field in Costa Rica for my first World Cup game. It feels surreal that I will actually be doing something that I have been dreaming about for several years. Representing a national team in a World Cup or in the Olympics is the highest honor a soccer player can achieve.

One of the hardest things to be confronted with is loss. With the list also came the goodbyes to the girls whose dreams have been delayed, including one of my best friends here. As I pictured my dreams I started picturing the people who would be there beside me, and it was hard to take that she wouldn’t be there with me.

Sadly, being cut from the team is not the only way for dreams to not come true. My best friend, or as my coach puts, “my partner in crime,” got injured in our game against Venezuela. She now needs surgery on her knee and will not be attending this World Cup. If there was one person I wanted to share my dreams with, it was her, and everyone here knows that. My coaches pulled me aside to tell me personally what happened so that I could let my emotions out with them and be positive when I saw her later. The moment we shared together knowing I would be moving on without her was the most bitter-sweet moment of my life.

“Keep your head up, God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”