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Pedro Lopez

Mexican women’s soccer trends up with Pedro Lopez

Pedro Lopez aims to help Mexico a women's soccer ;power

Pedro Lopez knows what it takes to build a women’s soccer power. The Mexican women’s national team coach played a crucial role in developing some of the stars who helped Spain win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and he already has a signature victory with El Tri Femenil.

Now the Spanish coach hopes to help El Tri Femenil join some of the Top 10 women’s powers in the world. After the Mexican women failed to qualify for the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics, the Mexican Soccer Federation turned to Lopez in September 2022.

The Mexican women’s national team may not have been at its lowest point ever when Lopez was hired, but it was definitely trending in the wrong direction. Lopez got to work, and the results have been impressive so far.

Pedro Lopez slays U.S.

He led El Tri to a major victory over the mighty U.S. national team in the Women’s Gold Cup. That 2-0 victory on Feb. 26 was only the second victory for Mexico’s women’s national team over the four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champions.

Mexico was eliminated in the Gold Cup semifinals by Brazil, another world power, so Lopez knows work remains. The U.S. beat Brazil 1-0 to win the 2024 Women’s Gold Cup.


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“I think that story after so many years against a power like the United States did lead to a lot of discussions or repercussions,” Lopez said. “I think it was a good example of what our team can do. But realistically we would have liked to reach the finals to fight for the final.

“It was a mix of emotions. We can do big things. That story had a big impact, but we were still hurting after the semifinal loss. We’re waiting to have another opportunity.”

MexTourW up next

The Mexican women’s national team will have another opportunity to show its growth during the upcoming MexTourW. El Tri will play Colombia on April 6 in Orlando. Then they will face Australia on April 9 at San Antonio’s Toyota Field.

“It definitely motivates us to face Colombia and Australia, two teams that had great showings in the last World Cup,” Lopez said. “It motivates us and it gets us close to the next challenge of where we want to be. For me, a victory over Colombia or Australia would have the same importance as a victory over the U.S. 

“Above it being an official tournament, a Gold Cup or a World Cup, we want to beat the best. We have another opportunity next week.”

The Houston Dash’s Mexican American forwards María Sánchez and Diana Ordóñez are the two biggest names from the National Women’s Soccer League on El Tri’s roster. Club America forward Kiana Palacios of the Mexican women’s league is another dynamic player to watch. 

Mayra Pelayo of Club Tijuana anchors the Mexican defense for CF Pachuca goalkeeper Esthefanny Barreras. Rayadas forward Rebeca Bernal is another big name on Mexico’s MexTour W roster.

Impressive resume

Before being named head coach of the Mexican women’s national team, Lopez guided several of Spain’s youth national teams over the previous decade. He was the manager of Spain’s under-17, U-19 and U-20 women’s national teams.

Pedro Lopez had also coached Spain’s U-16 and U-19 teams earlier, so he appreciates the importance of building a strong youth program. His optimism is buoyed by the U-17 and U-20 teams that have qualified for their respective World Cups.

Kiana Palacios

“I think Mexico is now in the situation as one of the teams that needs to be in the World Cup,” he said. “I think the rankings are deceptive. We’re ranked No. 31, but really I think we can be in No. 20, approximately. 

“In a few years we can be among the top 10 national teams in the world. … Our youth teams have to keep doing what they’re doing.  The U-17 team has qualified for the World Cup. The U-20s qualified in a brilliant way for the World Cup by beating the U.S. for the World Cup berth. And we have to beat Colombia and Australia.”

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