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SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA, 5 MARCH 2004
Domínguez the Toast of Mexico
A female footballer from Mexico has earned a rare honor. Maribel Domínguez is the toast of the country, having scored both goals in a 2–1 result over

Maribel Domínguez celebrates afterward (AP)
Canada, propelling Mexico's women's team into the Olympic Games for the first time (Daniel Blancas Madrigal, "Maribel: Madera de campeona," El Universal). Las Tricoloras earned further respect, both abroad and at home. The match against Canada was telecast live nationwide; the side's World Cup qualifier against Japan last year brought an estimated 85,000 to Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (no admission was charged). After the victory on 3 March, coach Leo Cuellar said it could have long-term impact.

What we earned today was another four years of support [from the Mexican federation]. We live in a culture where you have to win to get support. . . . The players deserved this win. They do not get any pennies for this. It has no value financially for them, but emotionally these are tattoos that stay on your heart forever. (Mark Zeigler, "U.S. Women Joined by Mexico in Nailing Down Trip to Olympics," San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 March)

Domínguez has seven goals in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament thus far, with a final against the United States tonight. (Both teams already have earned the confederation's two spots in Athens.) The youngest of nine children growing up near Mexico City's federal district, Domínguez credits her mother with hiding her football shoes and taking her to training when her father, who did not like football, was not around (Blane Bachelor, "Mexico's Dominguez Overcomes Long Odds," USA Today, 4 August 2003). "Yo era feliz en los campos" ("I was happy on the fields") Domínguez tells El Universal. At 25 she is already Mexico's all-time leading scorer and with the WUSA's Atlanta Beat was one of the side's most popular players. Local Spanish-language publication Estadio dubbed her "Mari-gol," and children posted her picture on bedroom walls (Michelle Hiskey, "Newspapers Make Sport(s) in Spanish," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 17 August 2003). | back to top