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Noyola switches allegiances
by Paul Kennedy, January 12th, 2011 8:13PM

TAGS:  college women, mexico, women's national team


[MEXICO] Saying the U.S. national team program had no place for a player with her talents, All-American midfielder Teresa Noyola, considered one of the country's most skillful young players, has become the second Stanford star to join the Mexican women's national team.

While Noyola, a junior, previously represented the USA at the 2010 Under-20 Women's World Cup in Germany, teammate Alina Garciamendez, a product of Texas, played for Mexico's U-20s in Germany and its full national team in Concacaf Women's World Cup qualifying.

Noyola's decision means she 's eligible to represent Mexico at the 2011 Women's World Cup. She debuted for Mexico at a four-team tournament in Brazil in December.

The junior out of Palo Alto (Calif.) High School was born in Mexico City, moved to the United States at age 3 and is a dual citizen. Noyola’s parents, Pedro Noyola and Barbara Bayardo, met as undergraduates at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico and moved north when both were accepted into graduate school at Stanford -- Pedro in economics and Barbara in education.

“During the past three years, while playing on different teams in the U.S., I’ve felt that the system and style of the U.S. program is not a good fit for me,” Noyola said. “On U.S. youth programs, when push comes to shove, coaches in the U.S. will resort to a more direct game, in which they don’t really see a place for me. With Mexico, what I’ve seen is that the coaches promote keeping it on the ground and commit to breaking a team down with combinations and skills, even if the going gets tough. It fits right in with how I think soccer should be played, and how I try to play my game.”

Noyola said the switch wasn't easy.

“It was a hard decision because I had some great experiences with the U.S. youth teams and learned so much with the U.S. program,” she said. “I do recognize Mexico’s weaknesses, mainly a lack of commitment to physical fitness and the never-say-die mentality that U.S. players are ingrained with. I think Mexico can learn from some of that, and improve in those parts of the game. They have the other tools in place already.”

Noyola and Garciamendez, who had been recruiting Noyola to play for the Tri Femenil, will travel to camps in Mexico City every other Wednesday through Sunday and embark on a spring trip to Europe in preparation for the World Cup.

“I returned to Mexico almost every summer until I was 15 or 16 when soccer began taking over,” Noyola said. “I’ve always wanted to go back. The culture, the people, the food. I’ve missed Mexico.”

  1. Heather Scott-molleda
    commented on: January 13, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
    Ring-ring, ring-ring ... US Soccer this is your wake up call! April? Jill? Are you listening!
  1. Sidney Hall
    commented on: January 13, 2011 at 11:16 a.m.
    I think she has some valid points about the way the US women and men approach the game. Instead of using passing combinations and foot skills, we tend to resort to long kicks and chasing. Hate to see talented young players leaving for those reasons. This should be a wake up call for our style of soccer.
  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: January 13, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.
    She breaks down the U.S. and Mexican teams' tendencies very well and I can't be disappointed that she is going to Mexico. I have to agree with her and even see what she's talking about at our youth level. I've seen very good players go to a "direct" style teams and found themselves unsuccessful. It is important the players play on teams that fit their style of play. When those types of players get together and start breaking down the direct (kick ball) teams, we may see a change. The problem is, the direct style wins games at the youth level and are easier to coach, so that's what many coaches end up reinforcing. Get big, fast players and boot the ball. Ugly Soccer!
  1. Ken Sweda
    commented on: January 13, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.
    Best Practices? What Best Practices? The manual on how US Soccer was going to change has been out for 4 years now. Typical corporate-style BS--let's pay people to put a new manual together, then don't follow anything in it. Bravo to the young lady for knowing the difference between futbol and soccer, and making a gutsy decision to do things the right way.
  1. James Madison
    commented on: January 15, 2011 at 11:27 p.m.
    What more can one say, except I believe there is a biblical saying something to effect that the children shall lead. Noyola, who is a joy to watch in action, is spot on, not only with respect to the women, but also with respect to the men. U.S. Soccer should pay attention and LEARN
  1. stewart hayes
    commented on: February 5, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.
    Too bad for her. I think she has given up an opportunity of a lifetime to play with the US national team. She'll live to regret it.

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