The Xolos women’s team have a very peculiar project in place that is common in American sports, but is almost unheard of in Mexican soccer.
Xolos Femenil is in a full-blown rebuilding process and is buying young players and giving them minutes on the field.
Across the border, in San Diego, the Padres have been in a similar process for a couple of years now and will probably still have to wait a couple of more years to start competing for titles in Major League Baseball. The Xoloitzcuintles will not likely have to wait as long as the Friars, but should not hope for instant success with such a young core of players.
The reason this type of process is rarely seen in Mexican soccer, or soccer in general, is because of the relegation system in place.
A team can lose millions of dollars, or in some cases cease to exist, if it relegates into the irrelevancy of the Ascenso MX. Relegation is not something Liga MX Femenil teams have to worry about and Xolos Femenil has used this as a way to build towards a fruitful future. The border city side signed 11 players this off-season, but all were young players for this process in place.
Head coach Andrea Rodebaugh fully believes in this process and is all about giving younger players time on the field.
Some of the more experienced players on the team, like Cristina Juarez, also seem to be on board with this project that should greatly benefit the team, and women’s soccer in Mexico. Some of the early standouts from this process so far have been midfielder Valentina Oviedo and forward Layzha Alejandra Garcia, who are both just 15 years old. Both seem to have found their way into Rodebaugh’s starting 11 and are looking sharp so far as their soccer skills continue to develop.
Club Tijuana has lost its last two games, but both have been respectable efforts against some of the best teams in the league. Xolos is coming off a 1-0 loss against Club America at home and lost 1-0 against Pachuca the week before that. The results themselves do not tell the full stories of the games as Xolos had solid performances in both matches against two teams that normally win by larger margins.
The Aztec Canines are currently last in Group 1 of the Liga MX Femenil with just a point and still have yet to win this season. But Andrea Rodebaugh and Xolos Femenil do have something special brewing in the border city, and time will soon showcase these efforts.