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Southlake Style

Catching Up With Southlake's International Soccer Star Monica Alvarado

Aug 05, 2015 05:03AM ● By Kevin
Monica Alvarado, Carroll and TCU alumna, recently represented Mexico in this year's FIFA Women's World Cup, for the second time in her career (third if you count the U-20 appearance in 2010).

Alvarado graduated Carroll High School in 2008 and went on to play for Mississippi State University. The midfielder transferred to Texas Christian University after her sophomore season.

She was a three-time First Team All-District selection, while leading the Dragons to three straight district championships.  As a senior she led the Dragons to the 2008 Texas 5A state championship along the way receiving honors as Midfielder of the Year. 

We had a chance to chat with Alvarado about her appearance on the international stage and her thoughts on her future in this special Q&A.

Southlake Style: Talk about this year’s tournament. How exciting was it? How did you do? Your overall thoughts on the success of the U.S. team. Your opinion on your team's performance.
Monica Alvarado: This year's World Cup was in Canada. It is always an honor representing my country in a tournament, but even more in a World Cup. Seeing "Live Your Goals” and “FIFA” everywhere makes it more surreal. I always think the coolest thing about representing a country in a World Cup is seeing all the fans travel for it. There were many fans who travelled from Mexico to Canada just to see our team play one game.

Our team unfortunately did not make it out of group play this year. We had a tough group and found ourselves very unlucky in games, which is the game of soccer and what makes it so beautiful. You never know what team will win.

I think it is very exciting for the U.S. team. They had a tough loss last World Cup. It’s obviously a dream to win the World Cup for every team that is there. And I’m not sure there are words to describe the feeling of making that dream into a reality.

SS: Talk about your journey as a whole, from Carroll to TCU to competing internationally, how did you do it and how do you persevere through the intense training to stay at the top of your game?

Alvarado: I started playing for Mexico at 16 years old, when i was a junior at Carroll. I started to travel to Mexico a lot for training and I was lucky the the school district and my teachers always worked with me. I don’t think I really realized what I was doing back then as a high school student. To me, I was just playing on another team, it just happened to be the Mexico U-17 National Team.

Coach [Matt] Colvin was always so supportive of me playing for Mexico. He is truly a great coach, very knowledgable in the sport, and always tried pushing me to be a better player. I actually went to Mississippi State University for two years where I played with the U-20 team and on and off with the full National team. My freshman year I took a lot of online classes one semester because I was traveling to Mexico so often preparing for the U-20 World Cup Qualifying tournament. I went to the U-20 World Cup in 2010 in Germany. And then joined the full team at age 20, for the World Cup in Germany 2011.

After my sophomore year and after the 2011 World Cup I transferred to TCU. I was always lucky because each World Cup is in the summer, so I am always able to make those tournaments without worrying about school work. I played at TCU for 2 years. After playing 4 years of collegiate soccer I was no longer eligible to play.

I had to get full ankle reconstructive surgery and then rehabbed my ankle with physical therapy and kept in shape on my own. I took about a year or so off from soccer when the Mexico National Team called me up again to play in a friendly against Canada. After that I continued to get called up to the team and made the team for this past World Cup in Canada. It has been a crazy ride on this team. I don’t think that as a high school student at Carroll High School I ever thought that I would have had to opportunity to go to 3 World Cups. 

Sometimes I don’t really realize all that I have been through, managing school and traveling for the team. It takes a lot of communication with teachers, time management, and discipline when it comes to studying and teaching myself on trips. I have always been an extremely hard worker and extremely competitive. I don’t really like to settle and I strive to be the best I can be. I enjoy pushing myself and being competitive with myself and others. This mindset has definitely helped me in training.  
SS: What’s next for you? What do you aspire for the rest of your professional career?
Alvarado: Actually I [started] work on Monday (Aug. 3). I am working in IT Advisory Services at Weaver, an accounting firm. I have interned with them a couple times, and I started working with them last August before my Mexico Schedule got really crazy. They have worked with me throughout this past year and stayed in contact with me. I am excited to get my foot in the business world with this firm.

SS: How about life after soccer? What would you like to do?

Alvarado: I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me. However, it is in my plan to go back to the team and help Mexico in the Olympic Qualifiers in January, but who knows! I love soccer, it has been a passion of mine almost my whole life and always will be. I am so honored for all the opportunities I have had playing with Mexico. It truly has been a dream. I definitely want to stay involved in the soccer world, whether that means coaching, running camps, or even just skills sessions. With time I will be able to figure out what exactly I want to do.
SS: What would you like to say to the folks back home?

Alvarado: Well I definitely want to say hi to all my Southlake folk! I started my soccer career in Southlake at age 3. Southlake and the DFW area have great programs catered toward the youth. It is a great place to grow your athletic abilities, teamwork, and grow lifetime friendships whether it is in soccer, football, swimming, or any other sport. To all my coaches, thanks for everything you have done for me! and Colvin….nevermind. To all the students, Dream Big, you never know where life will take you!