“I’ve always dreamed of making history” 01/16/2022

Mia Fishel, the UCLA star who announced ahead of the 2021 college season that she would turn pro after her freshman year, has signed with Mexican club Tigres.

“It’s always been my dream to make history, to open doors in places I didn’t think they would let me in, because that’s what being a female athlete is all about,” Fishel said. . “I’m thrilled to join this team to continue creating change on and off the pitch and inspiring the next generation together.”

The move comes less than a month after Orlando Pride selected 20-year-old Fishel with the fifth pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft. What makes the move more surprising is that Pride’s new coach is Amanda Cromwell, Fishel’s coach at UCLA, where she scored 32 goals – including 16 game-winning goals – in three seasons.

Fishel, a finalist for the 2020 and 2021 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year awards, had recently been called up for a women’s U-23 camp later this month in Austin.

Tigers are one of the best supported women’s teams in the world. It drew 36,843 fans for the second leg of the Torneo Apertura final against city rivals Monterrey, who won the title in a shootout. The first leg attracted 34,191 supporters to the Las Rayadas stadium. The Tigers drew three crowds of over 25,000 fans to give them three of the eight biggest crowds in women’s football in the world in 2021.

Each Liga MX Femenil club is entitled to two foreign players. When it launched in 2017, it did not allow any foreign players. In its third season, it allowed foreign-born Mexicans, opening the doors to many Mexican-Americans in the college and youth ranks. This is the first season where other strangers are allowed.

The Tigers recently signed the Nigerian Uchenna Kanu from Sweden Linkoping as his other foreigner. Kanu played college football at the NAIA school at Southeastern University. Tigers’ first foreigner, Brazilian Stephanie Ferrer, left after six months.

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